“The whole thing is unbelievable. As I write these words, [he] is still holed up in Downing Street. He is like some illegal settler in the Sinai Desert, lashing himself to the radiator, or like David Brent haunting The Office in that excruciating episode when he refuses to acknowledge he has been sacked. Isn’t there someone – the Queen’s Private Secretary, the nice policeman on the door of No 10 – whose job it is to tell him that the game is up?”
These prescient words are ironically not about Boris Johnson but are attributed to him back in 2010 when he wanted the sitting Prime Minister gone. How they resonate today, applying to Boris Johnson himself.
Labour Councillors have welcomed the news that the Prime Minister has finally seen the writing on the wall and announced his resignation.
Of course, this should’ve happened months, if not years ago. This is a Prime Minister who used questionable financing to refurb his Downing Street flat, who tried to hire his future wife to a senior post in the Foreign Office, who unlawfully prorogued parliament, who recently breached international law, who lied about Brexit, who broke his own laws on lockdown restrictions, who lied about partygate to parliament, and most recently – lied about knowingly hiring someone accused of sexual assault as a Deputy Whip.
Like a vertebrae-themed game of dominoes, one-by-one Cabinet Ministers found a spine in the past days and resigned, leaving the Prime Minister unable to fill his front benches to run the government.
However, no one should be doing victory laps right now, because this shameful Prime Minister has only promised to resign once a Tory leadership election has taken place.
Now, leaving aside the fact that Johnson’s word is worth less than his hair stylist, think of the damage he could as Prime Minister in the coming months.
He is a lame duck Prime Minister, desperate to carve out some form of legacy, and to outlast Theresa May in terms of tenure.
How many more British laws could he break in that time? How many more international laws? How many more times could he stifle British democracy and make a mockery of Parliament and the country on the world stage? How many more diplomatic relations could he perhaps irrevocably damage? How many more Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe’s may suffer abroad on his watch? How many more refugees fleeing conflict may be thrown onto planes destined for Rwanda? How many more children will go hungry, and families suffer from his disastrous economic policies?
The Prime Minister no longer has the authority to govern, so instead of staying ‘holed up in Downing Street like an illegal settler haunting the office’ to borrow his phrase, it is the view of Labour Councillors that ‘the game is up’, and he must vacate from 10 Downing Street, and hopefully British politics altogether, immediately.
Image: Creative Commons