December 6, 2020

Wales News Online

Local and National news for Wales

Is it Cummings’ government now?

I have a hunch that  Boris Johnson will come to regret securing the prize of becoming PM for which, he has struggled so long.

I say this because it is my belief that the experience of the premiership will lay bare his absolute unfitness for it. It is a belief shared with Max Hastings, who commented as such in July of  2019.

Those who have spent a lot of time following Boris Johnson’s personal and political life knew full well that for a variety of reasons he was not fit for or cut out to be Prime Minister. He might just about have been able to ‘wing it’ in good times but at times of crises such as we have in 2020 it appears that he can’t cope and will not survive too long.

The Coronavirus pandemic and all its ramifications and consequences let alone the pending post Brexit 2021 shambles I believe will be the total unravelling of him.

He comes across as a fair weather politician, not cut out to master detail and applying himself to the rigours that being PM demands.

I am not going to allude here to his personal life, dalliances, alleged irresponsible behaviour, lack of loyalty to those he had played with for decades. Although all that of themselves makes him totally unfit to hold the high office of Prime Minister.

One person that knows Johnston’s character and style better than most is his former Daily Telegraph boss Max Hastings. Two articles written by him in 2012 and then 2019 lays it all out

The 2012 article was written when Johnson was Mayor of London. It is a devastating critique and a warning of what was coming down the road some years later.

Hastings commented: “If the day ever comes that Boris Johnson becomes tenant of Downing Street, I shall be among those packing my bags for a new life in Buenos Aires or suchlike, because it means that Britain has abandoned its last pretensions to be a serious country.

“I have known the mayor more than 20 years. He worked for me as EU correspondent of the Daily Telegraph and then as a columnist when I was the paper’s editor, and I have seen plenty of him since. He is a magnificent journalist and showman.

“Most politicians are ambitious and ruthless, but Boris is a gold medal egomaniac. I would not trust him with my wife nor – from painful experience – my wallet.

“His chaotic public persona is not an act – he is, indeed, manically disorganised about everything except his own image management. He is also a far more ruthless, and frankly nastier, figure than the public appreciates.’’

But the Tory grandees, MPs and party members knew all this but were in no mood to take notice and listen. He was seen as the new Messiah, who will lead them to the new promised land post Brexit.

Hastings tried to warn them again in June  2019

He said: ‘’His premiership will almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability….

‘’Johnson would not recognise truth, whether about his private or political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade… I came across an observation made in 1750 by a contemporary savant, Bishop Berkeley: “It is impossible that a man who is false to his friends and neighbours should be true to the public.

“Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him.

‘’With Boris, however, what you see now is almost assuredly what we shall get from him as ruler of Britain…. I have a hunch that Johnson will come to regret securing the prize for which he has struggled so long, because the experience of the premiership will lay bare his absolute unfitness for it.’’

The Tory party it seems, was in no mood to heed the warning.

Johnston’s premiership during the autumn of 2019 was a series of misrepresentations, manoeuvrings and dishonesty. Remember when MPs were sent home from Westminster for five weeks until mid-October?

The official story was that the government needed time to draw up a new legislative programme. But it was all to avoid scrutiny over Brexit.  Then there was the proroguing of Parliament with the Supreme Court decision that the PM had acted illegally also the apparent lying to the Queen. As if all that wasn’t enough, we are still waiting for publication of the Russian Report.

One only has to visit the Google search engine to read and follow Johnson’s litany of lies, falsehoods, misrepresentations, gaffes and scandals.

The General Election came and went. An event that should not have happened but the Lib Dems and Corbyn let the PM off the hook when he was on the ropes, on his knees and wilting  The rest is history.

With an 80 seat majority, courtesy of our grotesque and unrepresentative Westminster voting system Johnson was in his pomp ignoring Parliamentary and media scrutiny. He only had to deal with the fag end of the ineffective and quite disastrous Corbyn era and was looking forward to a couple of years of just coasting, ‘levelling up’ the UK and the like. A good time PM is just what he was cut out for.

But as so often happens in politics and life, events intervene, take over and as so often happens the political landscape is transformed.

The fair weather politician found himself in a mega crisis where it demanded attention to detail, strategic thinking and planning. The devastating events of the period February to April I will not recount here save one.

The Cummings’ saga has proved beyond doubt that the Prime Minister is beholding to Dominic. Does he know far too much about the skeletons in Johnston’s locker which makes the PM wary and apprehensive? More importantly does Johnson rely upon him for running the Number 10 machine and other areas of the Whitehall bureaucracy? These are matters it appears that Johnson can’t be bothered with.

So we have ended up with a ‘Vote Leave’ team inside Downing Street, a very weak and inexperienced Cabinet probably appointed with Cummings’s say so and a Prime Minister merely there to follow orders.

With the opinion polls stacked against the PM, over 60 Tory backbenchers urging him to sack Cummings the powerful Tory 1922 Committee sits on the sidelines. Why? Because they know full well that its over for Boris if Cummings has to go.

When a man in his position is allowed to flaunt the rules and laws applicable to the very people he advises the PM they represent, while families are unable to attend the funerals of loved ones and who remain in isolation for up to 12 weeks or more, what on earth does that say about the morals, ethics and humanity of the PM’s closest adviser but more so the PM himself?

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