The Fall of Boris Johnson

After reports of the Prime Minister and his staff partying during the pandemic, his appeal has shattered.

United Kingdom, Boris Johnson

1/19/2022 7:04:00 PM

Why have reports of parties parties taking place at No. 10 Downing Street during the pandemic hurt Boris Johnson , when other instances of rule-breaking, lying, and incompetence haven’t?

After reports of the Prime Minister and his staff partying during the pandemic, his appeal has shattered.

regulations at the time, attended masked and socially distanced. She mourned alone. For a while, Johnson was able to pretend that he didn’t know about the carryings-on, that he was as furious as everyone else. But, on January 12th, the Prime Minister admitted that he had gone to a garden party on May 20th last year (to which his personal secretary had invited a hundred people to “bring your own booze”), which he mistook for a work event. “I want to apologize,” Johnson told the House of Commons, in an uncharacteristically sombre appearance. His approval ratings have tumbled since the scandal began. The Conservative Party, which led Labour in the polls last fall, is now ten points behind.

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samknightwrites 1 down 1 to go... samknightwrites Boris Johnson had a persona? Very good question that so many in UK are asking . He has modelled himself on Trump in being brazen and shameless and seeing what the public will let him get away with . Problem is the entitlement always leads to downfall.

I do believe that the Brits have finally said enough is enough out of this idiot. Boris still standing

Boris Johnson, adversaries nervously await ‘partygate’ reportThe British prime minister and his staff are accused of attending parties on government property while the nation was under coronavirus restrictions in 2020 and 2021.

‘In the Name of God, Go’: Boris Johnson Told to Resign Over Boozy Lockdown PartiesOne of the British PM’s most well-known colleagues confronted him face-to-face Wednesday.

Ex-Brexit secretary invokes Neville Chamberlain in calling for Boris Johnson to resignU.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be ousted from power within the week after former Brexit secretary and longtime ally David Davis compared him to Neville Chamberlain in a stunning rebuke today. Boris Johnson should have been ousted long ago

Boris Johnson Risks Facing Vote of No-Confidence - Impact on GBP/USDUK politics have been stealing the limelight in recent weeks following revelations that the UK government had been flaunting lockdown restrictions on various occasions over the last two years. Get your market update from JMcQueenFX here:

Boris Johnson denies he was warned 'BYOB party' was potential breach of Covid-19 rulesUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied claims he was told in advance that a 'bring your own booze' party held in the garden of his residence at the height of a national lockdown was a potential breach of Covid-19 restrictions

Under-fire Boris Johnson denies lying over lockdown partiesBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied misleading Parliament about lockdown-breaching parties I believe him

-19 regulations at the time, attended masked and socially distanced. She mourned alone. For a while, Johnson was able to pretend that he didn’t know about the carryings-on, that he was as furious as everyone else. But, on January 12th, the Prime Minister admitted that he had gone to a garden party on May 20th last year (to which his personal secretary had invited a hundred people to “bring your own booze”), which he mistook for a work event. “I want to apologize,” Johnson told the House of Commons, in an uncharacteristically sombre appearance. His approval ratings have tumbled since the scandal began. The Conservative Party, which led Labour in the polls last fall, is now ten points behind. Why has this particular shit show of rule-breaking, lying, and incompetence hurt Johnson, when other mistakes haven’t? He has got away with greater outrages in the past. People say that it is because of the hypocrisy: the Prime Minister and his officials broke the rules (and, probably, the laws) that they had imposed on everybody else. That’s true, but it doesn’t quite explain the peril for Johnson. A big part of his appeal—the sense of possibility that Johnson engenders—is that rules don’t apply to him. He rises when others would crater. An important condition of the idea of Johnson’s becoming Prime Minister, which was first aired in the early two-thousands—when he was a junior member of Parliament, a magazine editor, and a television personality—was that it was a joke. He has piffled and flubbed and shambled his way until there he is, addressing the United Nations General Assembly about climate change, referencing Kermit the Frog. According to “ Boris: The Adventures of Boris Johnson ,” a mostly fond biography by Andrew Gimson, a former colleague, Johnson once entertained his classmates at Eton by failing to learn his lines as Richard III, in the Shakespeare play. He pasted pages from the script onto pillars in the school cloisters and spent his performance darting between them. There is the thrill of jeopardy, and there is the backslapping afterward. People who don’t like Johnson sometimes mistake him for a populist, or a milder version of Trump , but he is neither of those things. There is nothing transgressive about Johnson; there is only Johnson. He shores up the existing order of things, even as he seems to undermine it. In this sense, he is a clown and his political persona is slapstick: nothing is serious, no one gets hurt, he never apologizes. For these reasons, he is a consoling, even cheering, figure. He wins elections and survives scrapes. His staff keep the wine fridge stocked for Friday afternoons. What is devastating about the parties at 10 Downing Street is that things were serious, the suffering outside the walls was real, and—perhaps most crucial—Johnson has acknowledged this. His persona has cracked. The charisma is torn. The garden party organized by Johnson’s secretary on May 20, 2020, occurred about a month after the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in England. A hundred and eighty-seven deaths were recorded that day. “With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them,” the Prime Minister said, of his staff, last week. “I offer my heartfelt apologies.” His remorse hasn’t helped, politically. On a visit to a hospital in north London on January 18th—his first public appearance in almost a week—Johnson hung his head when he was asked about the party on the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. “I deeply and bitterly regret that that happened,” he said. “I can only renew my apologies to Her Majesty and to the country for misjudgments that were made.” It is too late for him to try to be like everybody else now. When Johnson is apologizing, what is the point of him? He could stay in office for some time. The Conservative Party is considered ruthless when it comes to disposing of its leaders, but the next general election is still almost three years away. Theresa May, Johnson’s predecessor, lost her political authority many months before she announced her resignation , in the spring of 2019. Most recently, the political gossip was that Johnson might be given a last chance to redeem himself, at a set of local elections in May. Rishi Sunak, Johnson’s chancellor—and possible successor—was noticeably absent when the Prime Minister apologized in the Commons. Like other prominent Tories, Sunak has said that a civil-service investigation of the Downing Street parties must be allowed to run its course. The investigators are expected to report by the end of the week. Johnson’s premiership has been defined by Brexit and COVID . As those immediate challenges ease—or progress to their next stages—there is no other coherent policy platform or higher set of beliefs that Johnson stands for, or which bind him to his political allies. The only big slogan that his government espouses is to “Level Up” the country: a vague program requiring billions of pounds of investment in poorer parts of the country and, most likely, tax increases—both anathema to traditional Tory voters and politicians. Johnson has always been a strange, lone animal in Britain’s collegial parliamentary system. His appeal, when it was there, existed alongside the Conservative Party, and not because of it. Now the Party is imagining life without him. New Yorker Favorites