Friday, 1 July 2016

Good riddance to Boris Johnson

I almost called this one in advance, but didn't follow my logic to its conclusion. Yesterday morning I wrote:

[Boris Johnson] doesn't want the responsibility of rebuilding British international policy from the ground up; where's the fun in that?

I assumed Johnson was too ambitious to give up on the prize. He would become Prime Minister, and leave the country in an even worse condition than he found it. As it turns out, he really doesn't want the responsibility. A couple of hours later, Johnson announced he would not stand for the Conservative leadership.

David Cameron and Boris Johnson are the two people most directly responsible for our present state of chaos. These former inmates of Eton, Oxford, and the Bullingdon Club behaved like the spoiled children they are, and treated British institutions like expendable playthings. They tried to use the referendum to manipulate the Conservative Party's internal factions, for their own personal gain. They wanted to show off by juggling flaming torches, and now they have set fire to the family home.

Their own country mansions are intact. They can retire in luxury, and watch as others try to put out the flames and rebuild.

Our next Prime Minister will be the winner of the Conservative leadership contest. The current favourite is Theresa May, but these contests have a way of surprising us. Few expected William Hague to win in 1997, or Iain Duncan Smith in 2001. Whoever succeeds will of course be a Tory, so is unlikely to have much in the way of compassion; but I can at least hope for a degree of competence and responsibility.

Cameron and Johnson can now scuttle away, to spend more time with their ill-deserved personal wealth. I expect they are too busy feeling sorry for themselves to spare a thought for the rest of us. Be gone, the pair of you, and know that our fury and contempt will follow you for the rest of your pathetic lives.

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