By Alex Story.
Boris was subject to a coup. He was removed from office by a small number of Members of Parliament, many of whom aspired to his job.
His premiership was subjected to a relentless and vindictive media campaign aided and abetted by an establishment unreconciled with his unparalleled electoral appeal.
Unable to defeat him at the ballot box, they would ignore it. Instead, they would circumvent democracy by trashing his reputation daily.
The strategy was simple: relentless attack on his character.
“Boris has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign orchestrated via a nakedly biased UK media – the usual suspects of course – over the life of his short time in Downing Street.”
The tactics would be based on controlling the narrative by turning small peccadilloes into national scandals. Great achievements in the meantime would be belittled, mocked and, finally, overlooked.
The end would be to manufacture a purely artificial aura of incompetence mixed with venality which would facilitate the justification for his removal by a handful of underserving colleagues.
In short, his ousting was undemocratic. It was also shockingly quick. Pincher, the supposed “straw that broke the camel’s back”, a mere pretext, has largely been forgotten. Such are the sentiments brewing beneath the surface. They are spreading fast.
While the Conservative Party Membership is being distracted by yet another leadership campaign (the third one in six years), Boris’ brutal defenestration is hitting home way beyond Westminster.
Dave, a pub landlord in Bolton, just said when interviewed by Sky News the day of Boris’s resignation: “It is disgraceful”. He continued, “the general public didn’t have a chance to have their say.”
Perhaps most damning for people who thought “Partygate” was an issue, and reflecting the good nature of Brits generally, he added, “we knew what we were getting when we voted for Boris. We knew he would make silly mistakes… and make jokes. We knew that when we elected him. He has been taken from us by a relentless media campaign.”
His is not an isolated voice. A recent survey shows that 85 percent of those questioned want Boris to withdraw his resignation. And 15,000 people took part in that poll.
Within the Conservative Party, Lord Peter Cruddas, a self-made man with a strong affinity to the membership and the working men and women of our country, launched a petition “to give the Tory faithful a vote on whether to accept Boris’s resignation.”
As he writes:
“The ousting of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister by a minority of MPs is deeply anti-democratic.
“I am ashamed that this can happen in Britain, the birthplace of modern democracy.”
By the time the ink was dry on Lord Peter’s article, thousands had already signed the petition “despite attempts by hackers to shut the website down.”
It is worth remembering that the Conservative Party won less than nine percent of the votes under Theresa May in the 2019 European Election only to bounce back to a huge 43.6 percent of the votes under Boris six months later.
Different elections perhaps. But a good indicator of how much of an electoral impact Boris had, and in the minds of millions across the country, still has. Boris redrew the electoral map of the country not because he stood for the Conservative Party but because his personality went beyond political labels.
He proved this time and time again. He won in London, tipped the scales for Brexit and brought home the largest majority for the Conservatives in a generation. In short, he wins and would win again if given the chance.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss might be talented politicians. Herein lies the problem. They both sound like “professional” politicians. Rishi is competent, understands “numbers”, and is as sharp as a whip.
Liz, as she would say herself, is not the most polished presenter but she comes across as earnest and capable. However, they are both from a recognisable cast. In terms of charisma, they just cannot compete with Boris. He is a very difficult man to dislike.
Now, more than ever perhaps, he would be welcomed with open arms in all the pubs across the country. No introductions would be needed. He would be instantly recognisable. People would want to sit by his side, knowing that they would have an unforgettably fun evening.
His successors, by contrast, would walk into a pub like strangers in a strange land. Perhaps it is this inexplicable attribute that has made Boris such a hate figure among a small number of charmless characters.
To them though, his defenestration is not enough. The humiliation has to be total. Boris must be crushed.
Ian Blackford, group leader of the SNP in Westminster, reminded the House during Boris’s last PMQ’s that he was under investigation as to whether a contempt has been committed, following a motion passed by the House of Commons asking the Committee to undertake the inquiry on on April 21 2022.
The Privileges Committee wrote to the Speaker asking for his determination on the matter, which he gave, based on legal advice (by law it is the Speaker who is authorised to give any ruling on this matter, not the Committee).
The determination stated: “Any suspension of the requisite length (10 sitting days or 14 calendar days) following on from a report from that Committee will attract the provisions of the Recall of MPs Act”.
Now, in short, if found guilty, Boris could be suspended and forced out of parliament altogether.
Boris has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign orchestrated via a nakedly biased UK media – the usual suspects of course – over the life of his short time in Downing Street.
He has been ousted by a small number of MPs, whose talents for scheming are far greater than their electoral appeal. He is set to be judged by the Privileges Committee, the grand name of which belies its tawdry nature, and faces being forced out of the House of Commons.
The ones who have not been consulted and the ones who never will be are the people of the United Kingdom, the first time Conservative voters in Red Wall seats and the broad membership of the Conservative Party.
As Lord Peter rightly says: This is shameful and cannot be allowed to stand. The precedent it would set is too awful to contemplate.