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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Boris Johnson channels Trump as he departs in disgrace

Picture courtesy of the Daily Star

First, it was Nadine Dorries, departing in apparent disappointment at not being handed a peerage by her long-time chum, Boris Johnson, and then the former Prime Minister himself, leaving the Commons in disgrace, shortly after awarding seven peerages, five Damehoods, six knighthoods and twenty-six other honours to his closest chums and allies.

The narrative adopted by Johnson was pure-Trump. The former prime minister angrily accused the privileges committee investigation of trying to drive him out, and claimed there was a “witch-hunt under way, to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result”. 

As the Guardian says, his bitter 1,000-word statement, attacked Rishi Sunak’s government, and blamed the current prime minister for rising taxes, not being Conservative enough and failing to make the most of Brexit:

In his statement, Johnson hit out at political enemies for targeting him after he was shown the privileges committee findings against him earlier this week.

“It is very sad to be leaving parliament – at least for now – but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by [the Labour MP] Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias,” he said.

“Their purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court.”

Johnson protests too much. He has been found bang to rights and his exit from the House of Commons is well overdue.

Of course, there are similarities between Trump and Johnson. These are two men whose vanity and ambition took them to the highest office, a level well beyond their competence, where they managed to wreck, on one way or another, their respective countries.

The big difference of course is that the former US President has significant (though misguided) minority public support, that is something Boris is lacking, and not even Trump could match the way Johnson systematically destroyed the UK economy through his obsession with Brexit. 

The higher cost of living, a widening divide between rich and poor, supermarket shortages, the undermining of free trade, increased red tape, an insidious culture war, the removal of individual freedoms, the subversion of democracy and openly racist UK Government policies are all part of Johnson's legacy. Let's hope this is the last we see of him.

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