The independent London newspaper

Fight them on lorry parks

12 September, 2019

Boris Johnson

• WHAT a week that was in British political history. I even found coverage of the House of Lords a must-watch. I know, sad.

In 2008, when Have I Got News for You panelist Paul Merton was asked about regular host Boris Johnson becoming Mayor of London, he replied: “Let him do it for one day what harm can he do?”

Mr Johnson built his reputation on dishevelled blond bluster and showbiz charm. But the reality of this very public reality show we are now living through can only be described as scary.

Boris did a unique thing: he brought every section of the Labour Party behind Jeremy Corbyn to support a Labour victory. He got all other parties, besides prop-up coalition partners the Democratic Unionists, to oppose him.

Combined with 21 of his own party members, who included a former deputy prime minister, two former chancellors, eight former members of the cabinet, having the whip withdrawn. That led to eight ‘renegade’ MPs saying they would not stand at the next election.

And right at the start of his first prime minister’s question time a Tory MP defected, so giving Boris no majority. Then, a series of votes went against him and the House of Lords endorsed the Commons.

Amidst this chaotic nightmare his brother resigned from the Cabinet. Then fellow stalwart of the Tory Cabinet Amber Rudd ended the week by resigning to add fear that Boris & Co were not serious about a deal with the European Union, given there was no evidence.

As former premier Harold Wilson observed: “A week is a long time in politics.” So, what’s next? Do or Die, Dead in a Ditch, Fight them on the Beaches? Sorry, lorry park?



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