December 5, 2023

Don’t stop me just because you’ve heard this story before, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson is once again fighting for his political career. And again, this time it may be the end. After another scandal, exacerbated again by a silly dumb cover-up, two senior members of Johnson’s cabinet – his finance minister and his health minister – resigned in disgust.

Is the game really over, then? For everyone else, the answer would definitely be yes. For Johnson, the man impervious to shame, who knows? The answer is likely, although there is still a small chance that he will find a way to get rid of it. Either way, the point is this: Britain is no longer governed.

The United Kingdom today is a country without direction, without an idea and without a government able of judgment. It is a country run by a man whose sole purpose is to stay in office, supported by people whose sole purpose is to stay around, either because they will never get to any other government or because they have decided that holding on to office is the best way to get Johnson’s job themselves.

All of this is happening less than three years after Johnson won the general election that was supposed to put him in power for a decade, as the new Margaret Thatcher managed to remake the country in his image, embedding a new economic and social model alongside Brexit. from the European Union. Instead, Johnson threw it all into a series of pathetic lies about pathetic decisions that revealed his pathetic weakness.

The truth is that Johnson didn’t want to order the country to shut down during the coronavirus pandemic but did so reluctantly and too late – just to not bother following rules he didn’t believe in. And when he was discovered, he lied. When he got into trouble for these lies, he desperately promoted people they shouldn’t have, which he knew because people told him not to. When this is It was discovered, lied to, only to be discovered again. Over and over again, an endless circular loop of corruption.

Now Britain is back to what it was just a few years ago, when the country seemed completely ungovernable due to Brexit and the failure to implement the referendum result. Remember, this is how Johnson made it into the prime ministership in the first place: He presented himself as an agent of chaos who would break the rules to end the chaos caused by those who should have known better (including, of course; he swung all over time on what to do).

Today, again, after a brief moment of calm, chaos is back and Johnson is, once more, at its center – the vindictive Mr. Bean, leaving a trail of destruction wherever he goes.

What Britain has is a prime minister with instincts, sometimes good, sometimes bad, who in principle almost never refuses to modify or abolish them in any way. Doing so, in his opinion, would be a crime against the thing he believed to be the most important in the world: the greatness Boris, that comedic embodiment of his dreams and desires. Johnson’s refusal to dilute this character was the source of his success, his superpower in a world of caution and calculus. It will be his downfall.

On the road, Boris He was a cynical and despised clown capable of mocking the British political class, which had been failing for years even as they patted their back. in power, Boris His contempt for the rules of this political class helped him at times, and he worked his way through the agreements that were published to prevent Britain from leaving the European Union, for example.

And his instincts have sometimes helped after Brexit, too. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Johnson became one of that country’s most popular politicians after dumping billions of pounds of military equipment into the crisis, more than any of Ukraine’s other ally in Europe. Although it is true that any other British prime minister would have acted in support of Ukraine, Johnson’s refusal to be cautious meant that Britain was quicker than others to send in lethal aid, and continued to do so at a much higher rate.

But those same instincts now look as if they will cost Johnson his job. Constantly ignoring official advice, trying to bypass the rules or completely ignoring them, seeing them as nothing more than official tools for his control. The latest scandal concerns the appointment of a high-ranking MP – responsible for enforcing party discipline – to a Conservative MP named Christopher Pincher, who has been accused of sex offences. Johnson was alerted to Pincher’s misconduct but ignored the warning, then claimed he was unaware of it when Pincher resigned after being accused of further wrongdoing. Johnson seems pathologically incapable of condemning anyone else for his own failures, likely because he sees in the failures of others a mirror of his own, and he hates being on the receiving end of others’ judgment. If the Tory politician’s sex scandal proves this downturn, the irony will be that it wasn’t a scandal of his own.

Johnson rules by instinct because he is It is governed by instinct. He wants to spend the money on schools, hospitals, police and infrastructure, because that will make him popular. And when he’s popular, he’s happy to raise taxes to pay for it in full. But then, when he’s unpopular, he calls for tax cuts to ease the pain. He wants a low-tax Thatcher free market economy And the He wants a socially democratic society protected by tariffs, high taxes, and big spending. wants a wife And the Wants a Mistress of Responsibility And the freedom, strength And the popularity.

Boris Johnson will not change. As he said recently — his only honest statement in weeks — after demands from colleagues to change his behavior to stay in office, “If you’re saying you want me to undergo some kind of psychological transformation, I think our listeners will know that it won’t.” This is the great irony about Johnson: He is the most self-conscious political leader I have encountered, a leader who seems to honestly reflect his character’s flaws, And the The one who seems more determined to do nothing about them. Thus Britain bounces from scandal to scandal, from instinct to instinct, without direction or purpose, uncontrolled and unruled.

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