Scandals are notorious for catching up with their creators. Thus, it did not surprise Britons when the many scandals of Boris Johnson walloped him into withdrawal and resignation. The controversial Prime Minister of United Kingdom bowing out was in the works. Finally, he did capitulate, and how. The Conservative Party may see Johnson’s exit as signs of blessing and benevolence. Losing its leader for his steamy scandals is not a loss in the real sense. While Johnson is expected to cling on until the entry of his successor, the writing on the walls of 10 Downing Street is large, loud and clear. Johnson needs to go, right away. His turbulent tenure punctuated with perfidy is all but finished.
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Quite unbecoming of a prime minister, Johnson hurtled from one controversy to another. From let-loose lockdown parties in his official residence to thrusting responsibilities to questionable characters, Johnson was scripting his exit with each questionable move. Slowly, but surely, he was losing his grip over his ministers, government and party. Scraping through a no-confidence vote was a rehearsal. The final play has gone on the stage now.
Johnson’s detractors are not happy however. They want the law-breaking Johnson to make an exit right away. Their argument: exit of a dishonest prime minister alone can put the country back on rails. Till the end, Johnson refused to read the signals. The more he hung on to his chair, the more he was despised at. Thus, he inflicted untold harm to himself and his party. Britons should have seen all these coming. After all, they had so much time on their hands to judge Johnson, who was the Mayor of London before.
Sugary Brags and Boasts
The last straw was flung when two of Johnson’s ministers resigned. From how he freaked himself out in his lockdown parties to how his alcohol-high deputy chief whip Chris Pincher sexually behaved with two men to how he fibbed about this unsavoury episode, Johnson proved to be an offender and a liar par excellence.
These prime ministerial sins stimulated the exit of over 50 of his ministers. A good reason why Johnson is not even fit to be an interim caretaker prime minister. For Britain’s sake, he needs to go right now. Lies and law-breaking apart, Johnson’s performance too is nothing worth raving about. He was an irrational votary of protectionism and a reckless spendthrift in managing government finances. His country’s inflation is the highest in G7 and the forecast now is 11 per cent.
Worse, national income growth in Britain is negative. Productivity is poised for a further slide. Above all, the Pound is on depreciation mode. Adding hot spices to the hurt, a carefree Johnson was but concentrating on packaging his lousy performance in sugary brags and boasts. Pardon the cliche, bravado goes before a burst.
Spoilt for a Choice
Doubtless, alarm bells have been tolling in the United Kingdom, within his party and parliament. The mass exodus of disgruntled ministers was but inevitable. Unenviably, Johnson is now leaving a badly-bruised Britain for his successor. The decisive exit of Rishi Sunak, his former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his health secretary Sajid Javid confirmed the worst fears of Britons. Johnson’s last-minute temptation to test constitutional propriety by seeking recourse to Her Excellency proved he was an incorrigible manipulator.
Who will be Johnson’s successor? Well, Britons are spoilt for a choice. There is this popular Tory health secretary Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi, foreign secretary Liz Truss, Chair of the foreign-affairs committee Tom Tugendhat and the attorney-general Suella Braverman. However, Javid and Sunak are the favourite front-running horses.
Britain is known to replace its prime ministers sans a general poll. To recall, parliamentary representatives showed the door to David Cameron to let Theresa May in and later did the same to May to allow Johnson in. Incoming prime ministers have to prove majority in the house to satisfy the queen, that’s all. Surely, Johnson would throw his hat in again, but he will not make it.
As the news of Johnson’s departure trickled in, Britons went berserk on social media. A few tweeted asking whether they can petition to rename Boris Johnson as ‘Boris Goneson’. But, for a majority of Britons, Johnson has not gone too soon. Others asked whether they would get a bank holiday as a happy token. Though it is unlikely, Britons are sure to get a holiday from toxicity.