Boris fucking Johnson. You have reignited my love for politics once more.
On the 3rd of September, 2019, Boris Johnson became the first Prime Minister since John Major in 1997 to lose a majority whilst still in power. Not only that, he managed to do it before he could even finish his first speech during his reopening of the House of Commons – after MP’s well deserved summer holiday.
Phillip Lee MP, wrote his name into political folklore by standing up from his seat with the Tories and physically walking to the Lib Dems. His defection was then announced via Twitter, all while Boris was rambling on about how we need to stick together to fight against the evil of some sort of bla bla bla. The timing was poetic and the shit storm that has followed is epic.
How we got here
We must rewind 2 months to fully appreciate how badly this is going for BoJo. After stalking the dying pedigree of Theresa May, he was the obvious choice to take over the crown. The golden boy of the Tory party and the political mastermind of his own future. “This was all part of his plan!” they shouted from the rooftops, “He’s not really silly you see? I don’t know if you know but it’s all an act.” Hunt was too May-like and Stewart was too Corbyn-like, Johnson prevailed and glory awaits.
As expected, Johnson flew in like a wrecking ball and started mixing shit the fuck up. The most right wing cabinet in British history was comprised of inexperienced No Dealers (Rees-Mogg and Raab) or sycophantic sociopaths (Patel and Javid) in the hope to not only appeal to the Brexit voters of Britain but also to scare the rest of his party into towing the line. This was the first move in the most aggressive game of chess you will ever see. With Brexit chief, Dominic Cummins, sent out as Queen to protect King Boris.
What did he do?
Straight to business like the model professional, with his attack Mogg well trained to squash any negativity regarding negotiations, Johnson began his whistle stop tour to lick the arseholes of European leaders. Sorry for being so crass about the topic because I know he chooses to describe this as negotiating but it has been confirmed he didn’t bring anything new to the table, it was literally just a social visit.
Remember Johnson was one of the main critics of May’s deal with the European Union. He had claimed it was a dreadful plan and that he was the best person to be able to get something credible out of all those stubborn Europeans. The only problem was of course they didn’t want to re-negotiate, they had told us so and Boris was a liar.
To be fair to Johnson, he did manage to get a smile out of Angela Merkel and the right wing press decided to wank him off on the front pages in return. Many political commentators were desperate to suggest that this was the turning point in negotiations but countless European experts made clear, she was just being polite.
Imagine that, a new leader being greeted with respect on his first day visiting the country. Is that how low our standards really are?
It would be interesting to know if Boris actually did have the confidence that he could turn water into wine (2 years too late) but no matter his motives, he is no Jesus. Time for a new tactic!
Let’s manipulate the framework of our democratic system to destroy democratic debate; all in the name of escaping the “undemocratic bureaucrats” of Europe. The irony is marvellous.
I hate the way the word “proroguing” has been battered across the press in recent weeks. It’s so archaic, only used in this context and really hard to spell. It is literally there to confuse normal people into giving up finding out what it means. It means a break in parliament. Think of it like a school term; you finish for the year and go on your summer break but come back with the same class mates to do different stuff. It happens all the time in British politics, normally once a year but the whole Brexit debacle means that this one has lasted a little bit longer, there was actually a conversation suggesting it would be delayed again to ensure the topic was fully debated before the deadline of 31 October.
Boris and Cummins hatched the plan to pause parliament for 2 weeks on the end of the existing 3 week break for the party conferences. That’s 5 weeks of no parliamentary activity, ending just 2 weeks before the deadline in which we are meant to be leaving the EU. You’ve got to respect the sheer cheek really.
Boris’ camp replied that it was a chance to “bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval.” However, just so it is clear, that is bullshit. This was an obvious attempt to prevent MP’s capabilities to approve another deadline extension, because Boris was scared he might not be able to live up to his lies. Tactically you can see where he’s coming from, people are frustrated so he just wants it done but he has definitely crossed a line.
When he knew he fucked up
Protests followed, criticism flowed, the great planner was starting to stumble and it seemed he didn’t have all the answers. His plans to ignore parliamentary debate had really ticked off some people on his side of the house, including ex Chancellor Phillip Hammond, and seems to have made clear to them they must stand up to stop No Deal. 21 Conservative MPs chose to vote for a bill blocking no-deal on 31 October, knowing full well this would lead to them losing their job for disobeying the whip. They stood up for what they believed was right, not for what was in the best interest of their leader.
But what if this was all Boris wanted? Maybe he is Keyser Soze. Why would he reduce his majority from 1 to -43? Well, to try and force an election. Johnson knew his best chances to push through any deal was with a new government and he was pinning his hopes of negotiating one on the chance the EU believed he was willing to leave with no deal. And everyone knows Jezza wants an election. Except, for once, Mr Corbyn has seemingly played a tactical blinder. He has not taken the bait of power and Johnson has lost again.
I’ll just offer some context on why the Labour party did choose to abstain on the vote for a snap election. The simple answer is it is exactly what Johnson wanted. Johnson believes if he was to win an election on the mandate for No Deal, it would provide more influence in negotiations with Europe. The EU doesn’t want No Deal, that is true, but they are not willing to budge unless they think it is absolutely necessary. Labour essentially abstained because avoiding No Deal is their priority at this moment, once that is confirmed, an election is likely.
Has anything went right?
So what have we ended up with after this week of madness. Johnson laying down on the Commons floor after enduring a political bukkake (google it), wondering if this was everything he ever wanted or had he promised too much that he couldn’t deliver. His bloody brother has even left him (harsh) and no one is really sure what happens next (apart from no No Deal, yay!)
Before I end this horribly biased and blatantly negative piece of journalism I must say one thing and that is that all of this is completely Boris’ fault. It is entirely true that he was the right person to negotiate a deal with the EU regarding Brexit, he was a leader in the campaign and a popular member of parliament. But he choked. He got it all wrong after the referendum and somehow thought putting the broken pieces back together would be easier than simply trying to sell whatever it is the 52% wanted.
If Boris somehow manage to turn this around it really will be a rabbit out the hat but I worry he is too hell bent on protecting himself and not the British people. The Brexit process has went on far too long and the blame for this lies with many politicians from all sides but when May was in power Boris was in a prime position to push this process along, choosing instead to take her out from within. His grand plan is starting to become unstuck, it’s just a shame everyone’s taken so long to realise.