Category: Johnson

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Is the nation being gaslighted by another psychopath in No 10?

Anthony Robinson

With 38 days to go before the greatest instantaneous shock to our overseas trade in history, there is apparently a total void at the highest levels of government where policy direction normally starts, while we await the mercurial mind of Johnson to be made up. Psychopaths tend to lie, be socially irresponsible, disregard or violate the rights of others, cannot distinguish between right and wrong, have difficulty showing remorse or empathy, manipulate people and have problems with the law. Does this seem familiar?

A brief history of ministerial responsibility

John Cole

In the 26 years since publication of Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life, standards have progressively fallen – with a near-vertical plunge since Johnson became prime minister. Johnson, Cummings, Gove and the rest of the government fail the test on each of the seven principles: integrity, objectivity, accountability, honesty, openness, selflessness and leadership.

Brexit: why a deal and an extension to the transition is coming

Anthony Robinson

Why Boris Johnson’s choices are limited to securing a deal at any price and an extension to the transition period. The next few days will be crucial in setting the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU but circumstances mean the prime minister’s choices are strictly limited. A deal at any price and an extension to the transition period is the only option.

Downing Street ‘nest of vipers’ reveals Johnson’s leadership crisis

Anthony Robinson

The chaotic ‘nest of vipers’ in Downing Street burst out into open warfare last night with the shock resignation of the PM’s communications chief Lee Cain and the threatened departure of senior adviser Dominic Cummings and chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost. Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent at the FT tweeted: One well-placed Whitehall official […]

Unrest in the Tory party is driving a wedge between Cummings and Johnson

Anthony Robinson

How long can the prime minister’s senior adviser cling on? There is a growing rebellion in Tory ranks against the latest lockdown measures, with leading Tories including Sir Desmond Swayne and Iain Duncan Smith in the vanguard. Even the chair and vice-chair of the powerful backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady and Charles Walker, have […]

No-deal Brexit may be best for Boris, but not for Britain

Amanda Robinson

While it could be argued that any rational prime minister would have requested an extension to the transition period in July 2020, so that Britain could avoid the double-whammy of Brexit and Covid-19 in winter 2020, I suspect Boris Johnson is content to proceed with no-deal Brexit. This is because it may benefit those who […]

Reclaiming populism, and why Johnson is more Caesar than Cicero

Alex Toal

Classics is often at the heart of Boris Johnson’s political brand, and particularly his admiration of the orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. In April of this year, he got in trouble with the historian Dame Mary Beard after misquoting the statesman, and previously he has referred to his use of Ciceronian rhetorical techniques.   Comparing ancient […]

King John and Boris John-son: the parallels are uncanny

Andrew Milroy

As Richard Corbett noted in his recent Yorkshire Bylines article – ‘The government’s attack on Magna Carta undermines the foundation of our constitution’ – the iconic Magna Carta is over 800 years old but still has analogies and resemblances to the present day. Boris Johnson himself has many similarities with reputedly the worst king in English […]

King John-son, Magna Carta and the breaking of international law

Marc Limon and Dan Magraw

Response to Richard Corbett’s recent article on Magna Carta and the Yorkshire barons Magna Carta is an iconic historic document, regarded by many as the foundation of the English constitution and the rule of law – in other words, the idea that the actions of governments (whether monarchies or democracies, and no matter how powerful) […]

A tale of two countries: a comparison of Trump and Johnson’s pandemic policies

Paige Yepko

Two political power heads, one ideology – both politicians possess a naïve and passive understanding of Covid-19, while testing and PPE issues have plagued both countries. Luckily, many state governors, as well as the first ministers of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have had more freedom to enact their own policies that contradict their top […]

Lord of lockdown in thrall to vindictive innuendo

Hecate

The prime minister was in a bad mood. His settee was full of children’s plastic toys and when Gandalf’s staff spiked his rear as he sat down to savour his Coco Pops before bed, his satanic retaliatory reflex kicked in. He ordered a national lockdown to teach everyone a lesson and kill two birds with […]

Johnson’s mysterious Russian links continue to dog him

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister seems unable to shake off his mysterious connections to Russians and their money. The BBC is now reporting an $8m transaction between a Russian politician and the husband of Lubov Chernukhin, who is famous for donating £1.7m to the Tory party and paying handsomely for the privilege of playing tennis with David […]

Johnson now heading for his own Suez moment

Anthony Robinson
Boris Johnson in Downing Street

In 1956, prime minister Anthony Eden conspired with France and Israel to invade Egypt and recover control of the Suez Canal, which had been seized by president Nasser. It was an act of monumental hubris and Britain was eventually forced to withdraw under pressure from the USA and Russia. It was a seminal moment and […]

Johnson’s approval rating among Tory party members nosedives

Anthony Robinson

The regular monthly survey of party members carried out by the website Conservative Home shows Boris Johnson’s satisfaction rating slumping into the bottom third of his own cabinet. The prime minister is not so much first among equals as nineteenth out of twenty-six. In a cabinet stuffed with mediocrities and incompetents he doesn’t even make […]

Why is Johnson so uniquely awful at PMQs?

Anthony Robinson

By consensus, even among right-wing commentators, the prime minister was systematically dismantled by Keir Starmer at yesterday’s prime minister’s questions (PMQs). It was his worst performance in a series where he has consistently struggled against the new Labour leader and former barrister. John Crace, in an excoriating piece for The Guardian, says many Conservative MPs […]

Let’s celebrate the real wealth creators

Jacob Taylor
silver round coins

Cast your minds back two months, to a time when every Thursday evening you would step out your front door or lean out of your window and join your neighbours in clapping for the “wealth creators” of Britain. That’s not who you were clapping for? Well according to Boris Johnson we were as much clapping […]

Refugees are neither migrants nor illegal

Jon Danzig

By making such a chancy crossing the only way to seek asylum here, the prime minister and home secretary are complicit in aiding and abetting odious gangsters who are making millions out of desolate people.

What happens when ‘the chaps’ are no longer ‘good’?

John Cole

Radio 4 has a most amusing comedy programme: ‘The Unbelievable Truth’. In this, four panellists take it in turns each to spin an amusing yarn that is all lies – except for five truths hidden in the tissue of falsehood. Boris Johnson is clearly a fan of programme and has managed to turn prime minister’s […]

Counting on the shock of the new

Andrew Leach

Being in government is like playing with Lego. Or at least it seems to be, judging by the number of times things are taken apart before being triumphantly put back together again. Allied to which is a collective amnesia. It appears that when you’ve been in power for over a decade, it’s fine to forget […]

The truth: bending it like Boris

Anthony Robinson

Johnson has been rapped over the knuckles by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) for repeatedly quoting erroneous and misleading figures on child poverty. The OSR is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority watchdog, and they were responding to a complaint from the End Child Poverty Coalition (ECPC). The story is all over […]

Why don’t they say sorry?

Robert Ellson

Let’s give the prime minister the benefit of the doubt. Don’t worry, it won’t be for long. Just one paragraph. Bear with me. Let’s say that he wasn’t trying to blame care workers. Let’s say that he meant that no one knew the correct procedures for care homes to follow. Let’s acknowledge that if you’re […]

Continued confusion from Johnson

Jane Thomas

Today’s daily press briefing was important, coming as it did on the eve of lockdown restrictions being lifted despite thousands of new Covid-19 infections every day. Indeed, Boris Johnson was only too aware that he had to tread a careful line between being upbeat and giving a sense of being in control of the pandemic. […]

Prime minister riddled with certainty (country riddled with doubt)

Andy Brown

Most reasonable people are occasionally riddled with doubt. Questioning what you believe, changing your mind, and never being over certain or over confident are actually very positive behaviours. Particularly if you are trying to make objective decisions about how best to run a country. Boris Johnson seems riddled with certainty. He knows what the ‘good […]

Johnson’s failure to extend transition will come back to bite him

Mike Buckley

Boris Johnson was never going to extend the transition period, pandemic or no pandemic. It was never politically tenable to win an election on the back of ‘Get Brexit Done’ only to go back on his word six months later. An extension would be attacked as betrayal however it was dressed up, all the more […]

Who pays the Tory Party piper?

Charlie McCarthy

Large donations to the Conservative Party and the delayed publication of the Russia report are harming our democracy. Politics costs money, lots of it. ‘Short money’ is the UK state’s attempt to fund our politics and ensure opposition to the government exists in our democratic system. The opposition political party receive £16k per seat and […]

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