Posted on 9th July 2022

I have been in hospital this week so some entertainment was welcome. Well Sky News provided it, the Boris Show, politics in its rawest form, with the opening salvoes giving running commentary on Boris Johnson’s attempt to stay in Downing Street, the cascade of resignations from his Cabinet mind-boggling, the dismissal of Michael Gove a full frontal political stabbing part of a political psycho drama going back years. Remember their glory days when they ran the successful referendum campaign for the UK to leave the EU.

Distant view of Slane Castle

So here is a man who gained a thumping majority for his party at a general election, partly on the basis of arguing that he had got Brexit done. He initiated a highly effective vaccine programme for the UK. He has arguably led the charge on the defence of the Ukraine and this I might argue has been critical and acknowledged by President Zelensky. He is also the first British Prime Minister for some time to initiate an increase in expenditure on Defence. What is interesting about Boris was that he was driven and a shameless self-promotor. Extremely clever, he could play the buffoon, cultivate the man of action image and yet still attain a political objective. He had a unique ability for a politician to relate to people and it is this above all that made him a vote winner and an electoral asset to the Conservative party. He was elected Lord Mayor of London twice, a considerable achievement over the Labour Party. What was particularly interesting politically was his ability to get through to voters in the North of England who were regarded as traditional labour voters. The breaking down of what they call the Red Wall seats led to the thumping majority he achieved at the last general election.

So what you may ask went wrong ? The signs were there from the beginning. For some years I have known Max Hastings, formerly Editor of the Daily Telegraph. I value his opinion. This is what he had to say about Boris, writing in the Guardian on 24th June 2019. Max was Boris’s boss when he was the Telegraph’s correspondent in Brussels. “ He was unfit for national office because it seems he cares for no interest save for his own fame and gratification” and tellingly, “ He would not recognise the truth, whether about his private or his political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade”. Pretty damning stuff, so I paid a good deal of attention to Boris’s playing fast and loose with the truth ever since. Whether you agree with Brexit or not, he was not entirely truthful about it and there were times when I felt he hadn’t understood the Protocol. Certainly it was clear that our government felt increasingly uneasy dealing with him. In the end, it was his relationship with the truth that was his undoing. His party and his MP’s have just had enough of the cover-ups and the lies, in the end it was lying about when he was informed about the bad behaviour of somebody called Mr. Pincher, who he appointed Deputy Chief Whip. You couldn’t make it up but that was Boris.

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