UK. Boris Johnson does not escape the exit
After nearly 48 hours of siege, the madman was neutralized at 10 Downing Street, London (United Kingdom). Thursday, at the beginning of the afternoon, at the end of the stages of an ordeal as only the British conservatives can conceive.
Between the poison injected drop by drop, with the uninterrupted litany of the resignations of his obligees, and the venom of surprise betrayals, with those courtiers who, after having supported him beyond the end, turn his tail, the first British minister has decided to leave. Or, in this case, to talk about leaving.
Victim of a putsch fomented by leading leaders of his own party – it is very close like Rishi Sunak, his Minister of Economy, and Sajid Javid, that of Health, who launched, Tuesday evening, the large-scale release – Boris Johnson said to himself « very sad to give up the best job in the world ».
Avoid a rout for the right in the legislative elections
Disheveled as always, undermined as ever, the one who, by promising to “make Brexit happen” and benefiting fully from another internal sabotage – that of Jeremy Corbyn among his Labor opponents –, had won a very large majority for the Conservatives in December 2019, does not bow out without a final trick. Boris Johnson agrees to give up the presidency of his party on Thursday.
But he intends to remain, in reality, prime minister until at least the fall. The time, he hopes without a doubt, to see his potential successors torn apart. A way, in short, to pave the way towards a knockdown for the right in the next legislative elections, anticipated or not. Which would allow him to reestablish himself, for history, as the victorious tory leader, and not to remain as the arrant liar he is today for posterity…
Proof of this last-ditch scheme: just after formalizing this real-false exit, Boris Johnson called a meeting of his government with the replacements of the nearly sixty ministers, secretaries of state, collaborators, members of the cabinets who resigned in less than two days. In the process, he even let it be known that he had spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As if nothing had happened… Dominic Cummings, his damned soul with whom he got angry after having multiplied the dirty tricks during his rise and during his first months at 10 Downing Street, warns: “I know this guy and, believe me, I’m telling you, he doesn’t think for a moment that it’s over, he imagines that it’s a war and that in a war, crap happens. That it is enough to save time, again and again. That he has a warrant. That the members of the party adore him, that he only has to wait for September to get out of it. If the deputies leave him in his place, it will be carnage. »
« Pack Instinct »
Faithful to a method proven throughout his career, Boris Johnson, himself from the purest London elite – despite a hair-raising style – plays a populist card by denouncing « pack instinct » Conservative MPs. « Over the past few days, I have tried to convince my colleagues that it would be absurd to change governments, when we are achieving so much, we have such a vast majority and we have only a handful of points. delay in the polls, details the Prime Minister. I regret not having won with these arguments, but as we see in Westminster, the herd reflex is powerful, and when the herd moves, it moves! »
A little later in the day, the conservative leader wanted to regain a little height: “British public, thank you for the immense privilege of serving you as Prime Minister! he throws. I want you to know that until my successor is in place, your interests will be served and the government of this country will continue to function. »
The problem for Johnson is that, in the United Kingdom, most people do not want to see him parading for more months as head of state. Labor begins to dream of returning to power, on a line that would probably not really break. Keir Starmer, their leader, has, for example, just endorsed Johnson’s line on Brexit, after having urged Labor MPs not to appear on the pickets of railway workers fighting for wages. But among the Tories, the objective of ousting their ex-winning machine is undoubtedly precisely to avoid early legislative elections. John Major who led the government after Thatcher calls for getting rid of Johnson immediately.
A landing that will not change the political line
Basically, obviously, this unusual manu militari landing is not likely to lead to a change of line to the right. Actors in this palace revolution within the Tories blame Johnson for his deliberate lies at every opportunity – from the underground parties during the first confinement at 10 Downing Street, to the recent promotion of an MP friend of his who was prosecuted for sexual assault –, but not at all his political projects.
Management of the Covid-19 pandemic characterized, at first, by a very liberal conception against confinement in order to achieve a chimerical « herd immunity » – which caused a higher number of deaths in the country than ‘somewhere else ; return of asylum seekers arriving in the United Kingdom to Rwanda, charged against cold hard cash with this outsourced management of immigration; the unraveling of international treaties in the context of Brexit with the cancellation of the provisions conditioning the maintenance of Northern Ireland in the single market and a direct threat, therefore, to the peace agreements signed at the end of the 1990s; plan to break social law during the recent and spectacular strikes by railway workers, whom the conservatives propose to replace with temporary workers during work stoppages… The list of damage is in fact much longer than the interminable list of Boris Johnson’s escapades, but on that, his friends really have nothing to complain about.
Like what, with the British conservatives, when the knives are drawn, they can turn to the head of state. But they are never slow to return to lard the working classes and the middle strata who are going through an absolutely unprecedented “cost of living” crisis.