The Tories are to be credited with bringing the “stupid” back into the summer slump, that fallow time for the news industry when very little should be happening.
In the last few months, we’ve moved beyond the silly into a realm more befitting of The Monster Raving Loony Party.
As the current Tories leadership campaign gathers momentum after Boris Johnson’s defenestration, there are some lessons to be learned, although whether the candidates will be able to learn anything remains a matter of mere conjecture.
It should never have gotten that far for the Conservatives and Johnson. After all, he delivered a majority of 80 seats. He “did Brexit” (in a way). He crushed the increasingly militant Labor Party. The UK’s launch of the vaccine has been far more successful than many countries that are still in the EU. And let’s not forget, Johnson was the first European leader to offer unwavering support to Ukraine while France and Germany sat on their hands.
But while the arguments for the defense are undeniably strong, the arguments for the prosecution were simply undeniable.
Due to Johnson’s own hubris, he’s managed to snatch defeat from his jaws quite spectacularly
Proponents argue that there was no other Conservative politician who could have achieved the kind of election result they achieved under his leadership, and they may well be right. But it is just as hard to imagine any other conservative politician so spectacularly squandering the enormous goodwill he once enjoyed.
After all, more than 14 million people voted for Tory in the last election, many of them for the first time in their lives.
Now many of these ‘new Tories’ are rejoicing at Johnson’s back and will think twice about who they vote for next Britain’s election day.
From our parochial perspective, Johnson’s departure can be seen as good news for a Northern Irish protocol that he seemed keen to destroy. This blatant disregard for an internationally binding legal treaty was characteristic of a man who never believed the rules applied to him, even when those rules had been agreed upon and signed by his international partners.
Frankly, the bellicose stance towards Ireland and the EU under ‘BoJo’ has seen the Tories become the diplomatic equivalent of Millwall FC – nobody likes us and we don’t care.
But while many Irish people passionately detest Johnson, they should be careful about what they wish for.
Liz Truss, for example, is one of the frontrunners in the 11-person race to replace Johnson, and despite being known as “The Pound Shop Thatcher” by her detractors, she has plenty of support.
So how would we fare if she comes in number 10? Well, here’s a woman who just a few weeks ago referred to the Taoiseach as the “Tee Sock” and in 2019 claimed a no-deal Brexit would only be bad news “for a few Irish farmers with turnips behind them”. their trucks”.
Likewise, the hard-line Priti Patel was so outraged by Ireland’s stance early in the Brexit negotiations that she even suggested the UK could even halt food exports to Ireland, effectively starving us into submission. Given the inherited memory we all have of this little thing we call famine – the last time Britain imposed food shortages on us – those remarks weren’t well received, but she simply shrugged at the excitement and gave one purposely vague “sorry/ not sorry” sorry.
We will have to deal with such people. In fact, I’ve often joked that Sinn Féin and the Tories actually have more in common than the ether side realised. The reason? Well, they both want a united Ireland, just for different reasons. The Shinners want their fourth green back and the Tories just want to get rid of it.
Instead, they are chasing their fevered dream of a ‘global Britain’ where they can leave Ireland and most of Europe and trade around the world. That’s just not going to happen and they are currently on a collision course with the United States over their willingness to rig the Good Friday Agreement.
Why can’t they see that?
Well, there are many questions that come to mind when we look at the current Tory regime and the leadership competition, but the answers are a little harder to find.
None of them have the rowdy charm of Johnson – a man who has wormed his way out of so many self-inflicted scandals that he has eventually become known as “the greased piglet”. So a rather boring safe pair of hands would be welcome right now.
Uncertainty runs high, but one thing is for sure – the next UK election will be a vicious, sordid and gripping spectacle.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/alas-poor-boris-but-where-does-it-leave-us-if-only-monster-raving-loonies-are-left-41838674.html Alas, poor Boris – but where are we when only Monster Raving Loonies remain?