The resignation of Boris Johnson is traumatic for the country. Anyone who has been on Twitter since 2022 might think I’m crazy. Everybody seems to hate him. The algorithm seems to be rewarding anyone that has a bad word to say about him. Since Johnson’s resignation there have been comparisons with Donald Trump and with Berlusconi, both allies of Putin. Very often the analysis of him seems emotive badly supported by evidence. It is like Boris Johnson has become Goldstein in 1984. Johnson’s become an object of hatred. Hatred towards him went viral and became hugely dangerous to all politicians within the Conservative Party. Very often the hatred of him seems to be based on Brexit. These statements and essays are getting seriously boring. David Cameron was elected in 2015 in large part because of the promise of a referendum on Brexit. Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016. They had chances to effect the decision in 2017 and 2019 and both times they voted very confidently in support of the Brexit deal. We’ve had four democratic decisions on Brexit. If you aren’t supportive of these elections then you aren’t supportive of democracy. The fact of the matter is that since 2016 the United Kingdom’s greatest political minds were in deadlock negotiations on the subject of the Brexit deal. Amidst the climate crises, the Chinese annexation of Hong Kong, the emergence of internet monopolies that have become more powerful than nation states and the election of Donald Trump Britain’s greatest political minds were concerned with removing ourselves from the European Union. The election of Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in 2019 provided the first British government with the ability to focus on governing the country and the world since 2016.
There are many sensible arguments to leaving the European Union. Think about all of the tweets that complain about Britain leaving the European Union, why don’t we have tweets demonstrating the merits of the European Union merely as a result of its democratic prowess? It’s because people don’t know what the EU’s doing well and the game they most enjoy is complaining about Brexit. The fact of the matter is that British communicative power is much greater than the European Union. National conversations about national problems and politics concerning the United Kingdom are communicated far more effectively than problems within the European Union. Which website is the home of the politics of the European Union? Coverage of European Union politics is rarely mentioned meaning that the European Union occupies a space of absurd moral othering within the British imagination. The most well reported story is the EU’s offering the Ukraine candidacy which too anyone who cares about the future of the European Union is horrifying prospect given that the Ukraine is quite literally under martial law, the economy destroyed and has been at war with Russia for the last decade. If you would like to join the European Union, start researching what it is that the European Union are doing better than the United Kingdom and tweet that, don’t waste my time complaining about four democratic votes that have affirmed support for the departure from the European Union.
Then we have Boris Johnson. Before he was elected we were aware of his faults. These were not things that hadn’t been researched. The footage of him promising to give the details of a journalist so his Bullingdon club mate can beat him up is the worst thing that I’ve ever heard from a British politician.
Johnson’s merits as a media figure have not been equalled by any other politician since Tony Blair. He is the only feel good politician we have here in the United Kingdom. He is trained through Eton, the school of James Bond, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, and the Oxford Union Debating Society, formerly chaired by Christopher Hitchens. He studied Classics at Balliol. He’s got a great memory for reciting ancient text. These things matter not only to the British public but for the global image of the United Kingdom. Johnson’s command of the English language and culture is extraordinarily strong. The institutions of Eton and Oxford are two of the most symbolically significant places on the planet and Johnson managed to assert himself as the head boy in both arenas. Imagine the preparation before a diplomatic meeting with Johnson and realising that he was the head boy for the school of Ian Fleming, Robert Boyle, William Gladstone, Maynard Keynes and Bear Grylls. It would be like meeting with someone who is the legacy and chosen air of your political and cultural imagination. Johnson’s oratorical performances are why the United Kingdom left the European Union and they are why he won the largest Conservative share of the vote since Margaret Thatcher in 1979. During the Coronavirus the most important jobs for the Prime Minister were communicating the science and securing vaccinations. Johnson succeeded in both of these tasks. Johnsons’s greatest failure was the attempt to build a track and trace system. Before the war in Ukraine, Johnson was arguably the most powerful global adversary of Putin aside from Biden, and as foreign secretary organised and co-ordinated the expulsion of a string of Russian diplomats throughout Europe following the Russian murder of a former Russian military officer in Salisbury.
Johnson was almost killed by the Coronavirus. I don’t know what impact the illness had on his personal health but it certainly seemed bad for morale seeing Britain’s strong man hospitalised by an illness that is very often symptomless. It may well be that these events left him distracted or weakened Johnson’s capacity to do the job of Prime Minister. If he felt the desperate need to impress after the illness then the events during Partygate may make more sense, nonetheless, the events around Partygate are completely humiliating for an individual that has been exercising power for the amount of time that he has. Moreover, lying to Parliament made him look like an idiot and exposed a very weird psychopathology. The best thing to do would’ve been to have told the truth then explained the personal suffering and vulnerability caused through the coronavirus hospitalisation. The events surrounding Partygate were arguably the most powerful political media scandal that I’ve experience since interacting with the 24 hour media and was where the virtual condemnation towards Johnson became brutal. The idea that Johnson thought the he would get away with illegal social gatherings during the age of the mobile phone exhibits further ignorance.
Johnson’s failure as a Prime Minister, or inability to understand how to act as Prime Minister were most effectively demonstrated through the selection of Nadine Dorries as DCMS Minister and Priti Patel as the Home Secretary. The DCMS is the most important revolutionary ministry in government due to the authority on the Internet and big data, Dorries’ treatment of the BBC and discussion of how the media worked demonstrated the highest level of stupidity. Priti Patel’s Crime and Sentencing Bill was designed specifically to destroy Britain’s greatest post-Brexit democratic organisation Extinction Rebellion. In both cases one couldn’t help but get the sense that Dorries and Patel were farcically failing to present themselves as Thatcherite conviction politicians devoid of economic or cultural ideology or logic and merely exhibiting masturbatory displays of self aggrandisement.
We’ve now got a situation where, during war with the Ukraine, the highest levels of inflation since the 70’s, an energy crises that threatens the climate crises, we’ve lost the author of Britain’s modern political fortunes over a cocktail party. Apart from Michael Gove, there are obvious flaws with all of the other Conservative party Prime Ministerial Candidates. Therefore the internet has decided that Johnson has got to go and now we are left without a good candidate for the job and potentially having a leader that will do huge deals of harm towards the future of Britain. Given that Johnson’s errors seem idiotic and futile the situation cannot be seen as anything other than traumatic. Whether we like it or not we have seen the taking down of Britain’s most powerful politician. The fall has been met with sadness in the Ukraine. The fall has been welcomed in Russia. It may well be welcomed in China. It will be welcomed by the anti-climate change wing of the Conservative party. And rather strangely, at the centre of the social media echo chamber are the climate activist anti-totalitarians who are celebrating this as a great day for Western Democracy. You cannot build men like Boris Johnson, we don’t have alternatives that have that education, that command of the English language, that political experience, the social connections and the confidence. Tony Blair lied to the British public and took the nation to war with Iraq. Boris Johnson was investigated for lying after a cocktail party during the lockdown and hatred towards him went viral. He was making bad decisions on the DCMS and bad decisions in the Home Office yet without the virality, largely encouraged by the police fine and the lying in Parliament, he hasn’t done that much.
In the West we’re all very stressed about the inability to have control of America’s constitution, the inability to reverse global warming, the inability to stop the war in Ukraine and the inability to make China be held accountable for the Coronavirus. Just as we’ve seen peoples political fears of political adversaries in France and Australia lead towards the support of political movements that ally themselves with Russia with Marine Le Penn and China with the Australian Labour Party, it seems like the internet’s repressed anger is being directed towards the United Kingdom and towards Boris Johnson.