The Tories have had 12 wasted years
Ask any progressive what he/she/xe believes in and they will not hesitate to roll out a list of their demands - diversity, equity, inclusion, trans women are women, fight global warming, refugees are all welcome, open borders, end whiteness. Progressives know what they want, are prepared to fight for their visions and, when the have achieved their objectives, will roll out their next programme. Progressives set the trends and the agenda and they know how to get whatever they want.
Now as a Tory what he or she believes in. You will get quite a lot of umming and ahhing before they mutter some sub-par Thatcherism about free markets or demand something along the lines of "common sense policies" none of which they are willing or able to articulate. A few will claim to support 'One Nation Conservatism' but, again, without any ability to explain what that actually means.
There is the problem; it is not Boris Johnson or the Conservative Party but conservatism itself. It's a broken,. clapped out, exhausted political movement which has now reached a dead end and can go no further. It's a rudderless, clueless, incoherent husk which stands for nothing, aims for nothing, believes in nothing, fights for nothing, delivers nothing and conserves nothing. I expect that Mr. Johnson will shortly be defenestrated and replaced by Our Lizzie or Our Penny or Our Rishi or Our Priti or Our Jeremy or Our Somebody in an attempt to keep the sinking ship afloat for a bit longer. It will fail. What has Johnson got to show for it? Frankly, who cares? What has Britain has got to show for voting in Conservative governments for 30 out of the last 43 years? Stopping Corbyn is not enough.
To play devils advocate, the Tories have done ok considering that they were in coalition with the Lib Dems passing austerity, then had the Brexit constitutional crisis and then finally had Covid to grapple with. The past 12 years have been absolutely nuts politically, certainly when compared to the New Labour years prior to 2008. The Tories were dumped a truly terrible list of problems in 2010 and went someway to change things.
But yes, Boris Johnson has been a deeply disappointing Prime Minister. He had the opportunity for greatness but he's too lazy and too greedy to actually achieve anything in government. The time has come for him to go and for someone else to press the reset button on this Government. We should all fear another term of labour in power, so long as the Tories ensure labour don't get in, i'll probably still vote for them.
Uniquely, it appears, I’m delighted we’ve got Boris as PM. He’s fun, Starmer, May are so dull, Cameron was awful. I don’t want competent technocrats like Blair trying to solve everything, making it all worse, devolution baking in a resentful Scotland. remember Reagan’s nine most terrifying words: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
I have wondered if somehow Boris and Marina Wheeler had kept the marriage going, which would certainly require a tremendous effort on the part of Boris to be, you know, faithful, then he'd have turned out to be a quite different PM. Wheeler seemed to have a balancing effect on Boris. And perhaps we'd have the Boris of the London years. It's telling that ever since the divorce he's become quite unpredictable. And Carrie Symonds is clearly not the spouse to balance out Boris' extreme personalities.
I did like your observation that Boris would have made for a great aristocrat in the past. One can see him as one of the grand Whig dukes of the 18th century, with Carrie building another Chatsworth to bless these lands.
As for the statement: Everywhere there is a sense of overwhelming gloom about the state of the country and its lack of future - rest assured the UK is not alone in this. It's pervasive all over the US too. Recent polling shows 88% of American believe the country is on the wrong track, and the current president is just as unpopular, albeit for different reasons.
And you're sadly right. 12 years of Tory governments with nothing other than an anticlimactic Brexit to show for it.
It's now the end of the day in the US so we were privy to all the late night turmoil among the Tories and resignations and the latest being Gove's sacking. Makes me wonder what I will wake up to in the morning!
I had been an admirer of BoJo from the early days when he first surfaced in the public conscience as a witty writer poking fun at the Brussels bureaucratic machine. As mayor of London, he wasn't bad at all. There was something endearing and idiosyncratically British about him compared to the typical US politicians. At the same time I did have friends quietly warn me that BoJo wasn't quite what he appeared to be.
They were right, after all. I supposed I wished too much of him. Boris was great at campaigning and got some weaselly deals done. But as an official of state he was terrible. His record at the Foreign Office was shambolic and that's when I first started seeing a different side to him. But I still gave him the benefit of the doubt. But the last few months have shown he's simply not realistic. Too many lies in the manner of a boy who doesn't believe lies matters. And when it's clear he'd lost meaningful mandate, his refusal to resign with grace has only worsen his situation. There's something to be said about knowing when you've lost and it's time to leave, as May did, and despite her horrendous tenure, she's now an established and respected Tory grandee. But Boris? He will never have respect again, which means a completely different future from the one that might have still been possible a few months ago. His inability to understand this is remarkably telling for someone I'd once thought as extremely astute.
I stand by what I mentioned earlier. Everything started to go south for him when he divorced Marina Wheeler.
Some belters in this one; I love Johnson as 'an oriental potentate, a benevolent and cosmopolitan sultan, hampered by court intrigue and presiding over a crumbling empire.'
BJ is my ultimate example of the fact that more than anything people vote for archetypes (Johnson - Priapic BIlly Bunter; Thatcher - Public School Matron Dominatrix; Trump - Cartoonishly Gauche Nouveau Riche, etc).
Certainly Corbyn would have been worse.
Personally I don’t believe the allegations - unsubstantiated in any way, to may knowledge - that Boris skipped COBRA meeting/s to finish a book. I’m only sorry he couldn’t stand his ground re resisting lock downs which should only have locked away those of my age and the vulnerable. That is why GB is poor. Inflation will of course impoverish us further as everyone screams for more money via the printing press.
As for the shortage of housing in, particularly London, that won’t be solved as immigration is promoted from every quarter.
Man is sadly a pathological liar. Voted for him in that it seemed to me that he and only he would bludgeon Brexit through; guess he did, tho' of course he's made a mess of it. He is clearly financially utterly incontinent and has pissed away the inheritance of generations not yet born by printing money as it were only just invented.
I have a problem with government borrowing, all the more so when the National Debt is wildly out of control. This is in effect taxing those without a vote.
Another great article. Who would you like to replace Boris? Who among the Conservatives sees things as you do?
The ❤️ is because I enjoy this blog a lot. But, hahaha! When all Conservative supporters have got is the pub chat talking point that, featuring no epistemic valence at all, of ‘Corbyn would have been worse’ we perhaps get as close as we’ll ever get to the root problem of feeling-led British political daftness. It’s a worthy successor to ‘Take Back Control’. Unless Ed is being ironic and I’m being dim, which is always possible.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.