Vox Political: Tories Turn on BoJo

Mike over at Vox Political has also put up another story, reporting how the Conservatives have finally got fed up with Boris Johnson. Matthew Parris, who was formerly one of Thatcher’s aides, attacked the Mayor of London in his column in the Times, writing

Somebody has to call a halt to the gathering pretence that if only you’re sufficiently comical in politics you can laugh everything off.

Incompetence is not funny. Policy vacuum is not funny. A careless disregard for the truth is not funny. Advising old mates planning to beat someone up is not funny. Abortions and gagging orders are not funny. Creeping ambition in a jester’s cap is not funny. Vacuity posing as merriment, cynicism posing as savviness, a wink and a smile covering for betrayal … these things are not funny.

Some of these issues are decades old. The reference to Boris advising his old mates on beating people up is about a scandal that occurred over ten years ago now, when Boris told his old chum Darius Guppy how he could go about beating up another man Guppy felt had double-crossed him. Ian Hislop took Johnson to task for it, when the Blonde Buffoon appeared on Have I Got News For You all that time ago. I think it was so long ago, that Angus Deayton might actually have been in the chair. Johnson also got his mistress pregnant, then forced her to have an abortion. In America, this would have effectively ended many a politicians career, as it would have over here at one time. But definitely not in today’s more liberal, and also more cynical, attitude towards sex and politics.

None of this, not even Boris’ reputation as a bumbling oaf, has ever cause the Tories any problems before. Far from it. For all his inane public persona – the apparent physical clumsiness, that has seen him amongst other things lock himself out of his house when confronting the press in the morning, the strange archaic mannerisms of speech and attitude that hark back more to the Victorian and Edwardian periods than the slick politics of today – the venality and cavalier attitude to sexual morality – have never presented any problems to the Tory party up to now. Boris was the editor of the Spectator, appeared as the good-natured butt of the joke of Have I Got News For You, and, despite having to apologise to Liverpool for something one of his columnists wrote, was genuinely popular – at least to that part of the British public that didn’t wish to peek beyond the bluff, apparently affable exterior.

In private, the man is allegedly not so affable. He’s supposed to have a vicious temper. He is also very obviously keenly ambitious. That in itself really isn’t remarkable, nor is his political rivalry with Cameron. Denis Healey has said that in politics, you have to remember that your opponents are on the opposite benches, but your enemies are in your own party. And lies and cynicism aren’t remotely confined to BoJo. They run all the way down through the Tory party, as well as the Blairite faction of Labour.

What’s really behind Parris’ attack on Boris is the fact that BoJo’s a loose cannon. The statement that about ‘policy vacuum’ looks like it really means that he won’t toe a consistent party line, and certainly not that of David Cameron. As for the cynicism, this seems to me to be motivated by BoJo throwing his lot in with the Brexit campaign, despite having said that he was against it, and for Britain remaining in Europe. The Tories are deeply divided on the issue of the European Union, and Boris is making this worse by exploiting it for his own political advantage. He wants to topple Cameron and be the next PM. And he’s ready to tear the Tory party apart if it suits him.

Which is fine by me, and a lot of people, if the infighting help to stop the Tories winning elections, and inflicting more pain and suffering on the poor and working people of this country.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/03/27/the-tide-of-tory-thinking-turns-against-johnson/. Go and read it for his view of this latest clash of personalities.

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