On Radio 4 Today programme yesterday (25 June) Mishal Husain asked Boris Johnson if there are the matters of principle over which he’d resign. The prime minister declared that if our government decided that we had to abandon the Ukrainian cause because it became too difficult and the cost of supporting that cause became too great, he’d accept he’d lost an important argument and would go. These are the words of a ‘dead man walking’.
Johnson knows that the country is really behind supporting Ukraine’s fight for freedom and that there is absolutely no chance of the UK giving up on this cause. So he is in fact choosing to cite a resignation matter which is never going to arise.
It was, therefore, quite extraordinary that this unpopular prime minister then went on to claim that many of the countries at the Kigali conference in fact actually blamed European and Western sanctions and not Vladimir Putin’s aggression for the inflationary pressures on food/fertiliser prices, and that they think we should let Putin have his way. Of course Johnson confirmed he doesn’t agree with them.
It is incredibly frustrating that, as we are about to dip into recession and face dreaded stagflation, Husain didn’t remind Johnson about his promise during the 2016 EU referendum campaign to resign immediately if there was recession. She did press him on the many reasons for him to resign around standards. As he claimed failure on policy would be a resigning matter of principle, surely he should resign on Brexit, which is a total failure.
Some of his earlier claims and promises:
- £350m/week to the NHS which hasn’t materialised.
- Reconnect with the Commonwealth – who now are at odds with us as they support Putin and we support Ukraine.
- Only over his dead body would there be a border in the Irish Sea. There is a border in the Irish Sea and his body is still very much alive.
- The best deal and easiest (microwavable) deal in history, which Johnson wants to tear up because he claims it isn’t working when NI business say it is working well.
Sadly this failure by Husain to hold Johnson to account meant he was able then to spin the by-election defeats as mid-term blues and claim that he now has a renewed mandate from his colleagues and he’s going to continue. However the facts are:
- Three weeks ago Johnson faced a vote of no confidence in which 41% of his MPs voted NO CONFIDENCE in him.
- The vote wasn’t an election for leadership where a mandate to lead is won by competing against other candidates.
- The vote showed that only 59% of Tory MPs had enough confidence to stick with him then and Johnson is only still in office because of a Tory rule that no confidence votes can only happen every 12 months. A rule which we know can be waived because Theresa May was ousted a few months after securing support of 63% of her MPs.
Johnson is a ‘dead man walking’ and it is surely only a matter of time now before the Tories manage his exit. Then all we have to worry about is who replaces him.
Here is link to the Husain interview of Johnson on Today.
Ed: And here is another interview of Johnson at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference (CHOGM), this time by Channel 4, which did ask some trickier questions.