The long march to the end of Johnsonism

After a week of relentless good news stories from the government in the run up to the parliamentary recess, the week commencing 10th April has put a pin in the balloon with inevitable consequences.

The pin comes principally in the form of Fixed Penalty Notices for Boris Johnson, Carrie Johnson and Rishi Sunak and relate to a 9 minute gathering for a “surprise” party for Boris Johnson to celebrate his birthday.

It appears however that the pin may not be back in the grenade, with several other events that Johnson is alleged to have attended under investigation by the Metropolitan Police for further breaches of the Coronavirus Act. Further Fixed Penalty Notices for events outside of Boris’ birthday are all but inevitable.

Number 10 may well have thought that Boris‘ first Fixed Penalty Notice was already priced into the Tories polling numbers but a snap poll from YouGov suggesting that 57% of people feel that Boris Johnson should resign as Prime Minister and 75% believe he lied over partygate is damning. In addition, 57% of people believe that Rishi Sunak should also resign as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Many #BackBoris loyalists have said that as this is a minor infraction of the law and given Boris’ strong performance on the world stage since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he should be allowed to continue in post, given he has given a full apology.

What this completely fails to recognise is that the government created the Coronavirus Act using emergency powers, such was the perceived severity of the threat to life of COVID-19. The use of emergency powers was unprecedented in peacetime and severely curtailed the civil liberties of the population of the United Kingdom.

As the Prime Minister of a government that created this Draconian legislation and was himself hospitalised by the virus, the optics around partygate just in relation to Boris‘ birthday are awful, coming so soon after his own brush with mortality courtesy of COVID-19.

There is a strong case to argue that Johnson has breached the Ministerial Code by misleading parliament in relation to the event for which he has been fined. If that is proven, he must resign.

It is not acceptable for a Prime Minister to remain in post who has misled Parliament simply because there is no better alternative available on the Conservative benches.

Until recently, Rishi Sunak was considered, along with Liz Truss, as one of the favourites to succeed Boris Johnson in the event of his resignation as Prime Minister. In the space of just 3 weeks that possibility has ended.

When it was first revealed that Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty was a major shareholder in Infosys, which continued to trade in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, Mr Sunak was able to dead bat the story away, arguing that his wife’s shareholdings were unconnected to the business of government.

The subsequent revelation that Ms Murty was residing in the UK as a non-domiciled Indian citizen, whilst legal, given not a penny of tax from the £12M dividend she received from Infosys was paid in the UK was, at best, bad optics. Mr Sunak remained resolute (helped by his wife subsequently declaring that she would row back from non-domiciled status and pay tax in the United Kingdom).

Unfortunately, the disclosure that both Sunak and Murty held US green cards at the time he became Chancellor, which he only returned after 18 months in post saws him off at the knees.

A green card is granted to those who wish to become permanent residents of the United States. Why would a serving Member of Parliament, let alone one of the holders of the Great Offices of State, have applied for and received a green card if he did not intend to use it?

It is quite clear that relations between numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street are poor, at best. That so much personal information has been released into the public domain suggests that:

  • It is a concerted campaign to discredit Rishi Sunak;
  • As the information is so intimate, the release of it has been authorised at the highest level (way above a disgruntled, Labour supporting, mid-ranking civil servant as has been suggested elsewhere).

Such was Sunak’s popularity with voters of all persuasions 18 months ago, he was all but a shoo in to replace Boris Johnson when the latter left office. Not anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him resign shortly as he appears chastened and bruised by recent “events” and the backlash against him.

Boris Johnson has always had a flexible relationship with fidelity and truth telling. A redoubtable campaigner, accepting that 2 of his almost 3 years as Prime Minister have been blighted by COVID-19, it is difficult to nail down a tangible benefit that he has delivered to date.

Northern Ireland is a sore on the “Get Brexit Done” mantra unless you view its annexation as an EU satellite as success, which Unionists most certainly do not.

Raising taxes throughout the parliamentary term is distinctly “unconservative”.

Whilst it would be churlish not to acknowledge his statesmanship over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, domestically Johnson has, at best flattered to deceive.

The cost of living crisis could not have come at a worse time and exposes not only the folly of continuing with the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee continuing to set interest rates but also the counter-intuitive raising of personal taxes, in breach of the 2019 Tory manifesto, at a time when net disposable incomes are already falling in real terms.

The announcement of a pilot scheme to send single male illegal immigrants on a one way ticket to Rwanda is eye catching and if it works, may finally be a first tentative piece in the jigsaw of tackling not only the Channel crossings but illegal immigration and people trafficking in general.

Along with the U turn on Nuclear power, review of fracking, validating that sex trumps gender and the proposed sell off of Channel 4, this policy may temporarily paper over the cracks of Johnson’s empire and avoid a bloodbath of Tory Councillors on 5th May (I expect them to lose 1,000 to 1,250).

I am in no doubt though that the foundations of Johnsonism are subsiding. Dominic Cummings may be behaving like a scorned lover but he is relentlessly working to remove Johnson from office, along with the mainstream media.

Cummings has shown that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”, which is quite the pivot for someone who was pilloried by his new found allies over his return. trip to Barnard Castle.

Further Fixed Penalty Notices, a damning Sue Gray report and heavy council losses is a trifecta of doom that even Boris, who has endured more highs and lows than most politicians, is unlikely to survive for too long.

Johnsonism continues to lack strategic vision, relying instead on short term, usually reactive, populist measures. In recently comparing himself to Margaret Thatcher, who most definitely had a strategy, stuck to it whether her polling waxed or waned and fundamentally recognised both the importance of monetarism and instinctively reducing the tax burden to stimulate economic growth, Boris did himself no favours.

Profligacy with other people’s money and lack of moral compass will be my abiding memories of Johnsonism. These are not conservative values but then, as I have said for quite some time this is not a Conservative or Unionist government.

© justchrisdavies 2022

Published by justchrisdavies

Happily married. Thatcherite Conservative, hawk, libertarian, meritocrat, patriot, free speech, free markets, abhor all identity politics, woke/cancel culture/Critical Race Theory. Privilege is not exclusively white. Proud of my country, and it’s history. Support our armed forces. Refuse to bow to revisionism. The Laffer Curve will set us free. Lower taxes = higher tax receipts @justchrisdavies on Twitter, GETTR and Parler. Support GBNews, Fellow of the Bow Group, Member of the Bruges Group.

3 thoughts on “The long march to the end of Johnsonism

  1. Always good to read and understand 🙂 I cannot agree with all of it, but then you know I would not 😉 No room on twitter, so I can ask a few questions here, and make a few comments.

    I believe BJ is a different man to maybe what some believe. I believe he blasts through life, not always thinking of the consequences. Little things like Birthdays, and meeting this person, that person, are peripheral to him. I believe he really didn’t see those fines coming, and I believe that there is something very suspect about the police attacking No.10, and no ‘important’ others’. I still don’t believe the investigations were legal or ‘true’. If it had gone to court, it would have been laughed out of court, because of all that has been said before. I think you are wrong about #BackBoris peeps (me, cos I am one 😉 , we don’t fail to recognise the whys and wherefores, at least I don’t. People like me that back Boris, do so because they believe in him. I do, but with a question mark. I believe he is the very best man, right here, right now.Maybe I am wrong to hold up my hand and say I am backing him, but it is the only way for me, I cannot think differently. I can however, think he was foolish, to not see what was coming, either with the problems of rule breaking at No 10, and with the bile that would come from Dominic Cummings, who has set himself up as a St George figure, saving us from BJ.

    The draconian measures bother me, because I don’t understand. Every country did what we did, some more than us. What would have happened if no measures were taken to stop the virus, and stop the overwhelmed hospitals?. What could have been differently, and why were people saying it took their civil liberties away.? I can’t argue with much, because it did not affect me, not really. I can only go as far as local shops, and not much further, or at least I haven’t been able to. Of course it caused hardship, of course it caused problems. But what else could a Government have done?

    My belief is that BJ was chosen because they (the party) recognised he could deliver on Brexit. No one knew what was round the corner, and I believe they dealt with it in the best way they could. BJ is a libertarian, it must have gone against his bel;iefs, but did he truly do it to save lives. Seems people think not, so I would love to understand.
    Thank you for letting me talk, because your pieces are always so thought provoking:))

    1. Always good to get a comment from you as you know. 😊 I’ll do my best to answer fully and fairly.

      Your assessment of Boris’ lifestyle is very fair. My understanding from seeing Parm Sandhu (ex Met) on Mark Steyn is the Met have only issued FPNs when they are 100% sure they would win in court.

      I accept there is an agenda against Boris, largely media led in the absence of a viable opposition. Not all #BackBoris folks are slavish zealots (you most certainly are not) but I’ve had quite a few block me when hit with facts they don’t wish to acknowledge. They want to argue that the cost of living crisis emanates from Ukraine when that is simply not true. It has worsened things and will prolong the severity but was not the proximate cause.

      It is irrefutable that there is no one better than Boris within the Conservative ranks who wants the job. Cummings is the worst kind of scorned lover. He has a seemingly endless supply of dirt on Boris and will leak it until he resigns, is “no confidenced” or loses an election.

      Following the crowd is sheep behaviour. By being outside of the EU, we got our vaccine ducks in a row more quickly but blindly following “the science” (SAGE, “independent” SAGE (misnomered) etc) rather than all science (have a read of the Great Barrington Declaration) was muddled at best and in my opinion, a dereliction of responsibility. Neil Ferguson (Professor Pantsdown) need I say more?

      What other countries do is up to them. Sweden did their own thing. Their inflation is at 4.5% and trusting their citizens’ common sense has avoided excess mortality (which we still have despite 3 lockdowns).

      These restrictions were not applied even in war time before. They have and will cause many more deaths than the pandemic from heart disease & cancer patients, through mental illness & most tragically they have severely impacted school age children.

      We left the EU to free ourselves from their sclerosis and have a government that acts in our best interests. Instead, they have fallen in with the World Economic Forum globalists’ position. That is beyond disappointing, not least as their agenda is Marxist.

      Boris became leader because the other 21 candidates were hopeless. Jeremy Hunt criticises Health Secretaries for policies that he enacted. Members knew what they were voting for and held their nose to ignore Boris’ past infidelities and ongoing loose relationship with the truth. We’ve got what they voted for (I wasn’t a member at the time but would have voted for Boris as the least worst option).

      Sadly, Northern Ireland has been cut adrift, which is an open door for Sinn Féin who will ungratefully make themselves at home in Stormont. They will win the Dáil Éireann in 2024 and I expect a border poll on Irish unification in the next 10 years. So much for the Union.

      “We have a tax burden rising to the highest level since the 1940s, the worst fall in living standards since the 1950s, public sector net debt reaching the highest level since the 1960s and real earnings growth facing the largest one-year drop since the 1970s” Siobhan McDonagh said that in the House of Commons on 28th March. She is a good constituency MP, despite her left leanings and whilst I disagree with her on many things, what she has said is unarguable.

      Boris is a libertarian where he himself is concerned. His third party credentials I’m afraid have been scorched.

      I know you may disagree with much of what I have said but I hope it resonates and you know it comes from a good place.

      Have a lovely weekend. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

      1. Thank you Chris, for a really good reply. I do understand so much, maybe don’t understand myself, and will never really understand worries of lockdowns etc, mainly because I did not experience what many others may have. I am afraid I laughed at Neil Ferguson, didn’t believe him, but I believed Chris Whitty and Jonathan Van Tam, every word. Maybe I was wrong to do so, but it lead to some questioning and learning. I am sorry that Boris Johnson has not turned out to be what I thought, in many ways, but right now, its the best option, and he can certainly motivate. Reading the regulations about the workplace, I believe the met would not have won, and even more so, had they decided to invoke Crown Land immunity. But Boris would just say, ok, Ill take it on the chin. Its who he is, hes a Que Sera, que sera, character. I don’t believe the Met is what it was, its a law unto itself with too much influence from politicians. However, we agree to disagree on something, and yes, it resonates with me a lot, because we agree on more than we disagree on now. Thats got to be good, means I listened, without bias in my mind.:)) Have a great weekend also

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