The public deserve someone with more respect for this great office of Prime Minister than what we’ve got, says Mark Dolan
It didn't have to be this way, the man who got Brexit done, ultimately did for himself
It didn't have to be this way. The man who got Brexit done, ultimately did for himself.
The outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson, half way through a book about Shakespeare - another unfinished project - will discover that parting is such sweet sorrow. And that his time centre stage at number 10, is playing out like a tragedy, with a touch of comedy thrown in.
Whilst there is a lot of noise about the media being out to get Boris, which is true, and scheming politicians being disloyal, which is also true, unlike the plot of Julius Caesar, it was ultimately Boris himself, who plunged the knife into his own back.
Et tu, Brute? More like Et tu Boris. Like an F1 star that takes those bends a little too quickly, or the boxer that signs up for one fight too many, Boris Johnson has finally run out of luck. \
It has been a career of risk, of peril, of danger.
It's no accident that Tom Bower’s biography of Bojo is called the Gambler. And this time, the cards did not go Boris’s way. He backed the wrong horse and the crap table turned pretty crap.
I’ll be talking to Tom Bower later this hour.
Ultimately, Boris Johnson's legacy is secure, and it will age well.
And I want to thank him. He kept Putin-sympathising Corbyn out of number 10. Can you imagine if HE’D been in charge during the pandemic? Or handling the war with Ukraine?
Boris ended our Brexit nightmare, unleashed global Britain and presided over a world class vaccine rollout.
He pushed back against the worst excesses of SAGE and presided over Britain being the first country in Europe to depart from lockdowns.
Not that he should have done them in the first place, which in my view, is the greatest blemish on his record. Aided and abetted by doomsday scientists and cervix free leader of the opposition Keir Starmer, absolutely.
But Boris Johnson was the one who discarded his freedom loving, libertarian instincts by locking us up, on and off, for two years and who discarded his alleged conservative economic principles, by paying healthy people to stay at home, closing once viable businesses, borrowing hundreds of billions and smashing the economy against a brick wall.
Any one of the brave 100 Tory backbenchers who voted against lockdowns, would've been a better pandemic PM, than scaredy-cat Boris. Old Larry the cat has a bigger pair of balls frankly.
In the end, Boris Johnson was mis-sold to the public.
Bold and buccaneering was his image, but he was cowardly in the face of the sage scientists. He was the king of levelling up, except he seemed more interested in levelling up Mariupol rather than Manchester, even snubbing the north-west recently, by not turning up, in favour of a photo up with his best pal Zelenskyy.
But I think the saddest thing about his three years in charge is the squandering of that 80 seat majority and the failure to give those lifelong labour voters in the red wall what they asked for. Proper control of our borders, investment in the north and a full fat Brexit.
Serious times call for serious leadership, but it's abundantly clear, that Boris Johnson doesn't take anything seriously, even his own political career.
Michael Gove famously knifed Boris in the first leadership elections, after David Cameron fell, because, as Gove’s brilliant ex wife Sarah Vine writes in the mail today, he didn’t even take his own bid for the top job seriously.
Whilst putting together Johnson's leadership campaign in 2016, hammering the phones, securing donations and assembling a team, Gove discovered that the man himself, Boris, was with friends in the country, flipping burgers, guzzling rosé and playing cricket.
In the end, all he got was a sticky wicket. Now I didn't care about partygate, because my objection was to the stupid rules in the first place.
But the sight of crates of wine and beer literally being carted into number 10 whilst people said goodbye to their relatives on a computer, will be an image that lingers.
People locked at home, as mandarins, aides and politicians gave it large with a karaoke machine and a wine box, snogging in the corridors of power and throwing up on the number 10 carpet.
Just as the American authorities captured notorious gangster Al Capone not for his multiple murders, but for tax dodging, so it was a relatively unexpected twist in the tale that did for Boris – the role of the deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.
Why was it important? Because Boris Johnson lied about knowing this man's background. And on this he’s got form, girlfriends, wives, previous jobs, wallpaper, tree houses, secret meetings, you name it.
Entertaining chancer, he may be, but he’s not honest, he’s not straight and frankly you deserve better. Many of you won’t agree with what I’m saying and I know many are gutted that he’s gone. But I for one, will never bull**** you, even if it’s a tough message or one you don’t want to hear.
I owe that you to you, and I will never change. I say it as I see it, and I think the country, I think YOU, deserve someone with more reverence and respect for this great office of Prime Minister, that what we’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, Sir Keir Starmer would have been ten times worse.
And this beergate hypocrite and his partly clearly lied about how many people attended that event in Durham and lied about Angela Rayner’s presence. For that, old Starmer should be out too, but it seems the Durham police have let him off the hook.
I notice Durham’s Chief Constable Jo Farrell has been awarded a new £550,000 contract by the Labour police and crime commissioner Joy Allen. I do hope the two are not connected.
I think the public, will punish old Starmer for his beergate hypocrisy at the next election anyway.
Labour are buzzing now from the Durham let off, and are talking about a snap an election and a fresh start. More like fresh hell.
I wish Boris Johnson had made more of a success of his time in office - and there are positives - but his premiership has collapsed like a Ponzi scheme.
Ultimately the numbers didn't add up and collapsed around him. The House of Cards fell and it's now time to reshuffle the pack.
The next appointment is the most significant since 1979, when Britain was the sick and lazy man of Europe. If we get this appointment right, we will emerge from the biggest economic shock since the war, as one of the great freedom loving, democratic, successful, sovereign nations on Earth. If you we get it wrong, our great country may never recover. It’s do or die. May the best man, or woman, win.