By Richard Sudan
(Richard Sudan is a journalist, writer, and TV reporter for Press TV.)
It seems at times as though everything Boris Johnson touches results in complete shambolic failure. For many living in Britain, this reality is not new. Nor is it new to the millions who, interestingly in spite of his track record, voted for him as London mayor, and ultimately as prime minister, fulfilling Johnson’s long-held dream of running the country.
But Boris Johnson’s leadership as prime minister of the United Kingdom has been nothing short of a complete unmitigated disaster.
And his ascension to the highest office in the land arguably serves as one of the ultimate examples of career opportunism, and also duplicity.
The latest claims and allegations levelled at Johnson align perfectly with his track record so far. And despite those claims, including the suggestion that Johnson said he’d rather see “bodies piled high in their thousands” than order a 3rd national lockdown, Johnson, for the time being at least, continues to weather the current political storm. Politics in Britain is in crisis, and Boris Johnson is standing firmly in the middle of the storm.
It’s no secret to those with an understanding of his career that Boris Johnson always harbored ambitions to be prime minister and seemed to be of a mindset from a young age that it was his right, almost destiny, to enter 10 Downing Street.
Boris Johnson’s own sister has spoken of how Johnson as a child had professed ambitions to become ‘world king.’
Perhaps this partly explains why Johnson, despite the carefully crafted image offered to the public, is so dangerous. And dangerous he is.
His belief and conviction of his own right to rule, at whatever cost to Britain, means he might do just about anything to remain in power, in the face of all the evidence underscoring the fact that he is simply not fit to serve as prime minister.
The current shambles of government reflects this reality, while his own track record proves it. At the time of writing, and not for the first time, Boris Johnson is trending on social media, with many calling on him and demanding he leave office. The current state of affairs in Westminster and around the country was predictable, certainly, when considering the past.
Boris Johnson failed as a journalist. Sacked, to be precise, in 1988, for fabricating claims made in an article. He was sacked as a shadow minister in 2004 over claims about a lurid affair in his private life.
But as London mayor and after a few stints as a pundit on TV, Johnson was able to revitalize his image and use his platform as mayor to endear himself to many in the public.
His subsequent rise to become prime minister and his time in office since have been no different.
Johnson staked his prime ministerial campaign run on being an outspoken proponent of the leave campaign in the run up to Brexit, regardless of the revelations indicating he had no real serious ideological commitment to either position.
As prime minister, Johnson then made the entire general election, in which he was eventually victorious, about Brexit, pledging to ‘Get Brexit Done,’ successfully persuading many communities who may yet prove the hardest hit by Brexit to vote for him.
While in office, Johnson famously prorogued parliament in order to push through his widely criticized no-deal Brexit plans, a move which was later ruled as unlawful by the Supreme Court.
And again in office, Johnson was hit with claims of yet another extramarital affair, in his own personal life.
Recently, Johnson’s office has also been accused of backing a report that argued that the United Kingdom is not institutionally racist, which itself has been torn apart by experts and analysts.
And Johnson himself, of course, has a long record of having made racist and bigoted comments.
Sadly, the problems characterizing the leadership of Boris Johnson seem endless, and all of course arise amid a backdrop of other very real problems, while Britain attempts to emerge from the grips of a pandemic that threatened and still threatens to cripple the NHS.
In recent days, media reports questioning the means by which Boris Johnson paid for the refurbishment of Downing Street may not surprise those with a keen eye on the developing political situation in the United Kingdom.
But what should not be overstated is the seriousness of the overarching claim that has shocked millions.
Reports of Johnson allegedly stating that he would rather see “Bodies piled in their thousands” than order a 3rd national lockdown, if true, reaffirm a different kind of shallowness and selfishness.
Thousands have already died due to the pandemic. Many would argue that countless deaths could have been prevented, had Johnson taken serious action, and much sooner, over the pandemic. Johnson himself contracted COVID-19, and by his own admission was saved by the same NHS, which many now believe is under severe strain due to his decisions, and the actions of his party.
While in most circumstances, the controversies surrounding Johnson might have led another leader in another nation to fall on their own political sword, Johnson survives. But at what cost? Johnson continues to survive a political storm of his own making. It is not the first time he clings to power, and it symbolizes a democracy and country in deep crisis, while millions around the country continue to live in a reality and within circumstances that will simply never be felt by either Johnson himself or his cabinet of privileged millionaires.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)