The Tories woke up this morning to review the wreckage in their own press, where they find the status of their party and their leader as shattered as No. 10’s garden. reported be after the party of May 20.
The few stalwarts today who praise the prime minister’s lack of remorse will be of no consolation, since his ranks include Ann Widdecombe and Patrick O’Flynn of the Express, while another of his ilk, Allison Pearson of the Telegraph, has jumped ship total. “These idiots will never take us for fools again,” he writes.
As passionately as some publishers have endorsed Boris Johnson as their Brexit champion, even they realize that regardless of the outrageous falsehoods they have sold to their readers in the past, there is a limit to how far they go. dare to take them for fools. They know that his readers resist Johnson’s expecting us to believe he thought a party with booze, fries, and sausage rolls was a work event. The anger and grief of grieving families accelerate through its pages because publishers know how their readers feel: each of them recalls the emotional deprivations of their own confinement. Editors dare not say that it is absurd for a 25-minute appearance at a boring office party to topple a prime minister – they know this is personal to all of us.
They don’t ask for his head on a platter yet, but they warn that that’s where his blonde hair will be if he doesn’t make the list of things they want: take control, cut taxes, use Brexit to deregulate everything, abolish everything. Covid rules, etc. Like party MPs, the conservative press weighs the pros and cons of keeping Johnson, but the mood leans dangerously against him.
The staggering duplicity of the right-wing press matches Conservative MPs in their comically sudden discovery that Johnson is a rule-breaking sociopath. Who knows? Here it is the Mail with vast acres of space devoted to his “litany of lies” for all the years of his life, repeating every (well-known) public and private disgrace. Well wow!
Watch the fight as everyone tries to disassociate themselves from everything they always knew in the foul-mouthed and long-overdue tweets of half-hearted support from their ministers. But Johnson was never the problem. It was only the symptom of what had become of the conservative world that selected and promoted him. This is what the political poison of Brexit did to them, when the old party was transformed into Ukip. A Tory Rip Van Winkle who woke up from decades of sleep and looked around the cabinet table would now be horrified.
Last night on Newsnight there was an extraordinary moment to pinch on the strange sight of Jacob Rees-Mogg, head of the house (Rip would gasp), telling Kirsty Wark that the leader of the Scottish Tories, Douglas Ross, was just “a light figure.” Ross’s call for Johnson to resign is backed by the vast majority of his conservative MSPs, who face the May election with anathema from the Westminster cabinet north of the border. Since Ukip took office In power, the Conservatives ceased to be the Unionist party, chivalrously throwing the Scots and Northern Irish under the wheels of their Brexit bus.
Now is the time to save your skin for every Tory MP faced with local Labor and Liberal Democrats pamphlets listing the sins they have voted for. Rees-Mogg may think that no one but Johnson would give him a job. Rishi Sunak fading deep into devon, which canceled interviews with the local press yesterday, lives up to Johnson’s attempt to escape journalists by hiding in a refrigerator during the last election campaign. It can show Sunak’s political greenness that his disloyalty marked him, peppered over a Tory press inclined to prefer Liz Truss. The Mail tells you its own charming story today: “Liz: Let’s unleash the true potential of Brexit.”
How little this ship of fools has learned from its latest disastrous leadership selections. Brexit still boils their blood, although not anymore ranks so highHe and among voters, who are now more concerned about the pandemic and the economy. Johnson’s more dives in ratings and a 10-point lead to Labor can focus their minds; Sunak’s polls have also slumped below zero, and its April cost of living crisis is yet to come.
The Teflon is permanently scraped off the prime minister, leaving a pan where everything now sticks. Labor expects him to stay in office for the next election, as Wes Streeting told Newsnight. He described Johnson as “unfit to govern” and called for his resignation, even though he said it was in the political interest of Labor for him to stay.
Indeed, a damaged, untrusted, and now ridiculed opponent could, in theory, be a better prospect than the Tory party reshaping itself once again with a new leader. But a new beginning is not in them. Conservative MPs and members are destined by their Ukip DNA to select one of their own kind. They are no wiser than they were when they made the shamefully unpatriotic decision to impose on the country a lying, cheating, and self-obsessed scoundrel, knowing his every flaw and his utter inability for office. They are the most to blame.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism