Boris Johnson: Good riddance to an entirely contemptible man - Euan McColm

‘Believing Johnson can save the Tory Party is like believing the arsonist who set fire to your local school can put out the blaze with a can of petrol’

In the end, one almost felt sorry for him. To be so deluded, so detached from reality, so completely unable to accept the truth about oneself is a kind of curse.

I say almost because, of course, Boris Johnson wrought such damage on our country during his years of “public service” that he deserves contempt rather than pity. He debased our democracy to feed his insatiably gluttonous ego. He lied and lied and lied again and, when his lies were found out, he lied some more.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The former Prime Minister’s announcement, on Friday evening, that he was to step down immediately as an MP must be a cleansing moment for our democracy. The departure of Johnson removes a pollutant from public life.

He may fancy himself a great statesman but, in the end, Johnson took the coward’s way out. Having received a pre-publication copy of a report into whether he misled parliament over lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street from Westminster’s Privileges Committee, he jumped rather than accept its recommendation that he be suspended from the Commons for lying.

Johnson departed with a 1,000-word statement soaked in self-pity. He accused the inquiry of trying to drive him out. He had been victim of “the very definition of a kangaroo court” which had produced a report “riddled with inaccuracies” . The document, he said, “reeks of prejudice”.

Johnson claimed the committee had been determined, from the start, to find him guilty, regardless of the facts”.

The former Prime Minister - forced out of office by mass resignations among his ministerial team last year - ranted on: there was a witch hunt underway to take revenge for Brexit; the committee members wished to overturn the 2016 EU referendum result; he was bewildered and appalled that he could be “forced out, anti-democratically: by a committee chaired by Labour MP Harriet Harman.

It was pathetic stuff, a blustering attempt to divert attention from the truth. Of course, he would rather we didn’t dwell on that. After all, the truth is that while the British public adhered to strict Coronavirus lockdown laws, enduring agonising separations from loved ones, unable even to attend the funerals of close family members, Johnson and his acolytes were breaking every rule at boozy parties in Downing Street.

The rules that Johnson dictated to the nation were good enough for the little people but, since he is so very special, there was no need for him to take them seriously. Johnson - who acted the part of man-of-the-people to advance his political career - treated ordinary people, and the sacrifices we made, with contempt.

Of course, the signs that Johnson is a liar and opportunist were clear, long ago. Sacked from an early job as a newspaper reporter for fabricating quotes, thrown out of the Tory shadow cabinet for lying to then-leader Michael Howard, caught on tape discussing a friend’s plan to have a journalist beaten up - the evidence of his unfitness for office was overwhelming.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But a gift for bullshitting and a pathological inability to accept his own faults helped him brush off scandals that would have ended the careers of others.

Johnson’s disturbing cynicism reached its apex when former Prime Minister David Cameron called the referendum on EU membership. Despite privately being in favour of the UK remaining part of the European bloc, Johnson calculated that taking a leading role in the Brexit campaign would enhance his chances of one day leading the Government.

So, he lied about the benefits of Brexit. A Leave vote would unlock Britain’s; potential and we’d all be richer and happier. Anyone daring to suggest there might be downsides to departing the EU was a gloomster. All we had to do was believe.

It is a great tragedy that so many voters in areas already struggling believed Johnson. Desperate for change, they put their faith in him.

Now, as the impact of Brexit makes their lives more difficult still, he blames others for failing to make departure from the EU work. It’s not Brexit that’s wrong, it’s just that people are doing it wrong.

On Friday, the recipients of honours bestowed by Johnson were announced. This was list of enablers, of lickspittles who clung to his coattails to advance their own careers.

Sir Jacob Rees Mogg? Dame Priti Patel? Don’t make me laugh. These honours, handed down by a most dishonourable man, are worthless. You could buy a broken old judo trophy from the Barras market with more value.

Everyone who accepted a bauble from Johnson has allowed their lack of judgement and weakness of character to be formally recognised.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Naturally, because he cannot bear the idea that the world might keep turning without his input, Johnson’s departing statement hinted that he might return to public life. He was, he said, sad to be leaving parliament “at least for now”.

Some Tories - the usual suspects - cling to the idea that Johnson will return from his spell in the wilderness to save their party and make it a winning force, once again. But these fools ignore the fact it was Johnson who so trashed their party that it now trails miserably behind the Labour Party in every opinion poll.

Believing Johnson can save the Tory Party is like believing the arsonist who set fire to your local school can put out the blaze with a can of petrol.

Away from politics, Johnson will grow richer. He’ll make speeches to idiots willing to pay six figure sums to hear his schtick. He’ll bluff and lie his way through a life of every-growing privilege.

Meanwhile, his legacy is a Brexit project that’s hit the poorest hardest.

Good riddance to Boris Johnson, an entirely contemptible man.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.