LOVE him or loathe him, there is no denying that Boris Johnson treats this country like a demanding, dim-witted, large-breasted mistress who constantly needs to be calmed down, fobbed off and placated.
Promise her anything!
Cheaper energy bills after Brexit? Slashed taxes and sun-lit uplands for all? Controlling our borders? No problem, darling.
More wine and a sliver of this delicious Brie? But even as he clings to power by his chewed fingernails, it is worth contemplating: Would Boris Johnson‘s replacement really be better at navigating our way out of this 21st century plague called Covid-19?
Perhaps it is already too late to wonder. It is entirely possible the corrosive narrative Boris has created — the perception that during lockdown there was one law for the wine-swigging, cheese-noshing elite and one law for the people — has already sealed his fate.
But what would our country look like if Boris Johnson had never been born?
Without Boris, I reckon we would still be in some post-EU referendum twilight zone, a zombie-like state where the UK was neither in nor out of the European Union. A global laughing stock.
And without Boris it is entirely possible the most fundamentalist Labor leader in our national history would at this very moment be gurning on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street while representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah tucked into chocolate digestives in the back garden.
And without big-spending, big-talking, big-dreaming Boris, would our scientists really have been given the unprecedented financial backing to create our world-beating vaccination programme? I honestly don’t think so.
These are all major achievements. And yet, and yet — it is well within the bounds of possibility that Boris will be gone in months, days or even hours. And some of his supporters would be glad to be shot of him.
Because our national debate should be about living with Covid, the six million people on the NHS waiting list, unlocking our schools and the coming cost-of-living crisis.
Instead we are talking about entitled, tone-deaf Tory oafs “making the most of the lovely weather” during lockdown while the rest of the country could not attend a loved one’s funeral.
We should be talking about how we get this country rocking again after the worst health emergency for 100 years. And instead we are talking about lockdown-breaking Brie and Sauvignon Blanc in the comfy corridors of power.
It is absolutely maddening. This country deserves better than Boris Johnson’s 57 varieties of cock-up. The experts talk of the PM’s fate hanging on May’s local elections, or further toxic revelations released by dumped guru Dominic Cummings, or the contents of Whitehall ethics chief Sue Gray’s report on lockdown-breaking Bacchanalia, expected as early as next week.
Like a drowning man desperately reaching for half-inflated water wings, Boris repeatedly suggests that we reserve judgment until ethics girl Sue Gray concludes her report. This from a PM who has been a virtuoso at shrugging off all previous official reports, from Lord Geidt’s inquiry into fancy Downing Street refurbishments to Sir Alex Allan’s inquiry into accusations of bullying by Priti Patel.
So is it over for Boris? The raging relish with which Labor and the BBC are laying into Boris is edged with hysteria. Because the comrades and the BBC staffers all suspect that Boris Johnson will never be removed from office at a general election. Labor and their allies at the impeccably impartial BBC want the PM to resign because it is the only way these mouth-foaming Brexit-loathers will ever beat him. But Boris has always had his haters.
So is it over for Boris? The raging relish with which Labor and the BBC are laying into Boris is edged with hysteria.
Boris’ former editor — and mine — Sir Max Hastings, of The Daily Telegraph, once wrote, “He (Boris) is totally unfit to be Prime Minister. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification.” That damning looks increasingly ancient. And yet, and yet . . .
I lived on the same street as Boris in Holloway, North London, for years back in the Nineties when he was still a working journalist. And people loved him. Even then. All kinds of people — the Sri Lankans in the newsagents, the Koreans at the local restaurant. They would all tell you excitedly they had seen Boris. Because he connected with people.
He was interested, curious, kind — and waddling across the gloom of Highbury Fields, that albino Billy Bunter figure with his shirt-tails flying looked totally unlike anyone else. But even then, the clouds gathered above Boris. One of my most vivid memories of our old neighborhood is his then-wife Marina stepping out of their home with a tray of party cakes and a couple of tiny children in tow and having to make her way through a pack of paparazzi. An early sex scandal was breaking news, and it revealed the world of Boris.
He connected with people in a way that nobody else could. But he was trouble. And now the Tory party and the nation are asking the question that has haunted his wives, lovers and editors: Is Boris worth all the trouble?
The Tory party has strength in depth. Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt would all be reliable Prime Ministers who would ensure Labor stay out of power for another generation. But Liz, Rishi and Jeremy will never campaign like Boris. They will never connect with the working class like Boris. They will never make people feel as good about themselves, and their future, as Boris did.
And yet, and yet . . . Lockdown cut us all. Weddings cancelled, children’s education disrupted and loved ones dying alone. And Boris was having a jolly in his back garden?
Sometimes it seems that nobody wants it to be over as much as Boris himself. He looks totally knackered. This unfit expensive, overweight 57-year-old seems exhausted, not simply by the job of running the country, but a personal life that includes a recent divorce, a new young wife and two children under the age of two.
And the moment he leaves office, Boris is suddenly a fabulously wealthy man. His money worries will be over for ever when he waves goodbye to the Lulu Lytle wallpaper in Downing Street. There will be a seven-figure publishing deal for his sparkling memoirs and big paydays on the American lecture circuit that will have Tony Blair spitting with envy.
Boris will enjoy a stress-free life watching his young family grow. He might even finally lose some weight. So why not?
Boris will enjoy a stress-free life watching his young family grow. He might even finally lose some weight. So why not? Beyond the fanatical green fundamentalism, Boris does not seem on a political mission. He seems to have no grand vision for this country.
He doesn’t look as though he has even the slightest interest in making Brexit work — getting Brexit done turns out to have been the easy bit — and makes me fear that the whole painful struggle for an independent, sovereign nation outside of the EU was meaningless. Does Boris really want to be Prime Minister?
Surely he would prefer to be rich, as he will be, while those who voted for him are choosing between eating and heating. So why does he hang on? Vanity. Human vanity, that most powerful of motivations.
Because if he goes now, then Boris Johnson is a one-hit wonder, the shortest serving Prime Minister since Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1905-1908), a minor political figure like David Cameron and Theresa May and John Major, that dreary parade of true-blue medicine.
Boris deserves to be remembered more fondly.
Yet the chaos he trails in his wake now repels even those of us who have loved him. And his grip on the nation’s collective heart has been loosening for some time.
The country that gave him an 80-seat majority has been appalled that Boris has somehow morphed into the Bullingdon Club’s tribute act to Greta Thunberg. The man who swore blind that energy bills would come down after Brexit now tells us that we must bin our gas boilers, scrap our petrol cars and open our wallets to his uncosted green dreams while China and India continue to do whatever the hell they like to grow their explosive economies.
Among those who wish Boris well there has been mounting anxiety at this Tory PM’s love of a high-taxing, fanatically green, big bossy state. If we wanted all that Socialist crap, Boris, we would have voted Labour.
Better off apart
Beyond the overdone bluster of the BBC propaganda machine, there is undoubtedly a rage out there in the hearts of everyone who sacrificed so much during lockdown while the entitled oafs in Downing Street “made the most of the lovely weather” in May 2020.
But there is also exhaustion. We grow weary of the hypocrisy, the broken promises, the excuses.
So don’t stay in office just because your ego demands it, Boris. Don’t cling to the keys to 10 Downing Street out of wounded vanity.
If you can’t get a grip, your end is nigh.
Like any passionate affair that dies, the ending is tined with regret, sadness and pain.
But it’s hard to fight the feeling that this relationship is almost over. And that the British people and Boris Johnson are better off apart.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17335437/love-affair-with-boris-is-ending/ Our love affair with Boris is ending and it’s tined with regret