Boris, Biden, and Bill. By Rubin Rothler LL. B, LL. M
He is a formidable orator, and brilliant writer drawing on his journalistic background and experience. But alas, in parliamentary politics nobody is invulnerable. The events that led to his demise were foreseeable. Some would argue that this larger than life personality was vulnerable to backstabbing by jealous colleagues who were keen to knock him off his pedestal. Although his party had a thumping majority, with daggers concealed on the Commons floor, like those on the Senate floor with Julius Caesar, it was only a matter of time before Mr. Johnson would be compelled to resign. This observation holds some merit, but the better view is that the specific circumstances leading to his downfall were compounded by prior oversights on his watch. Critical amongst these, was the ‘partygate’ scandal that hypocritically flouted Covid restrictions. The final nail in the coffin came in the form of an aptly named Mr. Pincher, who had allegedly licensed his hands to roam where they were unwanted on several occasions. Boris was apparently aware of the first of these rather grotesque episodes, but failed to act on that information. This error of judgement proved terminal for his tenure as Prime Minister.
When Boris first assumed center stage as Prime Minister there was an immense sense of popular optimism for the future of a Britain unshackled from Brussels agenda. As the Guardian notes: “The payoff for this autonomy from the EU’s rules and regulations was to be a welter of trade deals around the world that offered greater access for British goods in emerging markets, along with a bonfire of regulations in the City of London that would make it more competitive.” However, due in large part to the Covid downturn, these dividends substantially failed to materialise. Boris Johnson did not adopt a purely medical science based response to the pandemic as Sweden had successfully done, but pursued a hybrid reaction that politicized the science, doing so to the economic detriment of the UK, in imitation of the main EU countries.
As Melanie Phillips correctly observes “those who voted for Johnson because he had actually “got Brexit done” became terminally disillusioned and withdrew their support because they saw him squander the chance for Britain to use its newly restored independence to take off economically and free itself from what had held it back for so long…If the Tories are to pull themselves out of the electoral mire into which they have slid under Johnson, it is imperative that they now elect a leader who will…use Britain’s independence from the EU to become again a nimble, innovative and creative trading nation.” Although Johnson led the charge for Brexit, many right leaning conservatives , particularly the anti Europhile Thatcherites (who remain a pillar faction of the party, not dissimilar to how Donald Trump does in the American Republican Party), saw him doing so for ideological advantage – not believing in it due to idealogical conviction. Evidence of his lack of conviction was seen in such acts as the post-brexit meeting with Macron where they discussed the vision of a new Roman Empire extending into Eastern Europe. Certainly the Party’s Europhile wing exemplified by such old guard figures as Lord Heseltine see an opportunity of a potential reconciliation with Europe now that Boris has been shown the door. And the Labour party leadership is already smelling blood in this direction. But they are currently stumped by Labour’s working-class voter base who were solid Brexit supporters, although this is not nearly as true in Scotland.
On the opposing pole, right-of-center activists in the Conservative Party “began planning an all-out effort to seize the party leadership for the first time since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and party leader three decades ago” according to Newsmax. This could be seen as the British equivalent of the Trump camp pushing out the establishment ‘Rhinos’ in the Republican party, inasmuch that the Tory establishment is being pushed out by the Thatcherite right. According to several sources in the party who spoke to Newsmax, the right-of-center activists hope to change the rules to a direct U.S.-style primary. Under the present rules, the Conservative members of the House of Commons vote on prospective candidates for leader until the list is down to two. The card-carrying members of the party then choose between the two, with the winner (the candidate with a majority) becoming leader. “The greater, say, the members have, the greater chance of a genuine conservative winning,” Bow Group Chair Ben Harris-Quinney, whose group is the oldest British conservative organization, told Newsmax. Quinney said that “because the rules of leadership elections are much more flexible than in America, they tend to be different each time. This time we are calling for a full primary before the membership to ensure a strong mandate. In a modern democracy of 65 million people, it simply isn’t defensible to have two of the last four prime ministers [Theresa May and Johnson] selected by a tiny group of elite, establishment political figures behind closed doors”, akin to Biden’s forced nomination by the Democrat Party establishment to block Sanders.
Most of the frontrunners to succeed Johnson are ethnic Asians and non-Christian in religious orientation. These include Sajid Javid, Nadhim Zahawi, Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman. This would mark an unprecedented departure in British politics and Conservative party tradition. For generations with the exception of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Ministers have always been of Anglo Saxon or Celtic origin, and at least nominal adherents to the Christian faith (even Disraeli, while a Jew , professed belief in Christianity , viewing Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah).
The British Conservative Party conspicuously featuring more ethnic Asians in its leadership reflecting Britain’s changing demographic, is an electoral strategy that seeks and serves to reframe and redefine the traditional party image as the party of an Anglo Saxon and Anglo Celtic ‘old boy’ aristocracy. In this respect, it is akin to the American Republican party pushing to prominence Hispanic leadership figures such as
Governor De Santis, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio from America’s largest and fasting growing minoirity.
Within the Tory party, the leadership has almost always been an exclusive set of those schooled at Eton or Harrow, and educated at Oxbridge and Sandhurst, with a privileged membership at the Carlton Club. It is almost providential that the alleged homosexual groping incident by Pincher took place in the Carlton Club.
Boris Johnson fell because of the improper sexual malfeasance of others, not himself , and his lack of candor in hiding it.. In this we see an acute recapitulation of the Profumo affair that brought down the conservative Macmillan government following from the episode at Clivden Manor.
In comparison to American politics, where despite proven perjury by Bill Clinton, and his personal immoral sexual exploits inside the White House, Clinton politically declined to resign once being forced to admit he lied to the American public, during the Lewinsky scandal, and survived impeachment. This was even after the public disclosure of sexually deviate acts , which most considered perverted and unnatural, were pe
rformed in the Oval Office on an emotionally manipulated young woman near the age of his daughter Chelsea.
Only political cover-up crimes of his own commission removed Nixon from office in the USA during Watergate. In Great Britain however , it was covering up the morally inappropriate conduct of another outside of No. 10 Downing Street that produced the downfall of both Harold Macmillan and now Boris Johnson. This highlights the contrast of the American political culture to Britain’s. The Epstein sex scandals have wrecked havoc for the future of Prince Andrew as a Royal figure in the UK. In the USA however, the same Epstein scandal sees Bill Clinton unscathed and galloping along with impunity as usual in the aftermath.
The reasons for these differences between the political cultures of the Whitehall and the Washington Swamp may be multiple. The mainstream media manages, editorializes, and spins the news according to its own political agenda on both sides if the Atlantic. But there are other explanatory factors. The British blue blooded class structure as opposed to American meritocracy, the morally debased – but politically influential role of Hollywood in the USA, and the innate differences between parliamentary and presidential models of democracy, all contribute to the variances.
One thing however is certain. If Washington were London, the first party culpability and lying of Bill Clinton would have finished his political career, and the second party lying and culpability courtesy of Hunter Biden, would have finished the Biden presidency, as it has now terminated Johnson’s premiership courtesy of Pincher.