‘Boris Johnson is one of the least admirable – and successful – PM’s we’ve ever had’, Sunday Mirror, 10 July 2022.

Boris Johnson was sooner or later bound to crash and burn.

He was the salesman suddenly promoted to CEO by a firm desperate to avoid loss of market share to a disruptive rival – in the Conservatives’ case Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which finished so far ahead of them in the 2019 European elections that they literally feared for their survival.

In the short term, it seemed like a smart move.

Johnson won the ensuing general election on the promise (false, it turned out) that he had cooked up an “oven-ready” deal that would “get Brexit done” so that he could “level up” the country and repair the damage done to our public services by a decade of Tory austerity.

But it very soon became obvious that he had no talent for (nor, if truth be told, very much interest in) governing as opposed to campaigning.

As a result, Covid hit the country far, far harder than it needed to.

Indeed, no amount of Johnsonian boasting about Britain’s successful vaccine programme should be allowed to disguise his manifest failure to prevent so many people losing either their lives or their long-term wellbeing.

Meanwhile, instead of establishing a genuinely cooperative trading relationship with Europe, Johnson simply couldn’t let go of the Brussels-bashing that had become his trademark – with the result that Britain’s economy is growing more slowly than nearly all its major competitors while politics in Northern Ireland remains gridlocked.

The only bright spot has been our support for Ukraine. But does anyone seriously believe that another Prime Minister have behaved differently in that regard? I don’t think so.

So…throw in his lawbreaking, his lies, and his sheer disregard for the norms and conventions underpinning our parliamentary democracy, and you have, in Boris Johnson, one of the least admirable, as well as least successful, premiers this country has ever seen.

Originally published at https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-one-least-admirable-27446006


About tpbale

I teach politics at Queen Mary University of London.
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