You’d be forgiven for thinking that Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, and the Tories were attempting to win the crown for most disastrous campaign from Theresa May. May’s 2017 campaign set out to “Crush the Saboteurs” and give the next Iron Lady a stomping parliamentary majority with which she could enact the Brexit means Brexit, red, white, and blue, will of the people. Instead her campaign limped from crisis to crisis, beginning with the “dementia tax” manifesto, cycling through her “nothing has changed” robotic performances and dodging the leaders debate, ending with her on her knees in front of Northern Irelands answer to the Evangelical Christian wing of the Republican party. The closest thing the UK could come to political representation of the Westboro Baptist Church.
Johnson’s 2019 campaign seems at a glance to be more stable thus far, his polling numbers are holding steady and the promised Labour surge has yet to materialise. Take a closer look and Johnson is lurching, just as May before him, from scandal to scandal. In the short two weeks of campaigning, the number of lies and crisis continues to mount rapidly:
– They produced an edited video of Kier Starmer that cuts out an incredibly significant portion of his answer on a Brexit question. Then numerous MPs proceeded to line up to tell lie and contradictory lie throughout the day in an attempt to defend what can only be described and wilfully malevolent propaganda
– In the same week as it was revealed that Russian donations to the Conservative party were spiking, Dominic Grieve dropped the bomb that Number 10 was suppressing and preventing the release of a report by the intelligence community (that has already been cleared for immediate release) on Russian interference in the 2016 referendum. Nine Russian donors to the Conservative party have allegedly been mentioned in the report which the Sunday Times is claiming states that Russian influence may have been a deciding factor in the referendum
– The Jennifer Arcuri story continued to unfold. She gave an interview to ITV which has raised further questions over her alleged 4-year affair with Boris Johnson whilst he was Mayor of London. Questions still remain over why Johnson never declared his personal interest whilst he was Mayor and over whether he helped push funding in her direction.
– Government ministers and backbenchers have all repeated the unfounded claim that Jeremy Corbyns’ policies would cost £1.2 trillion or £43,000 per household. Many MPs were subject to real scrutiny of their blatant lies and a handful gave car crash interviews on BBC and Channel 4.
– Flooding hit the North of England at a bad for Johnson. Having just started a campaign in which he is hoping to win over Northern, Brexit-voting constituencies, an examination of the poorly funded flood defences and bare bones rescue infrastructure was not what he needed. Instead of being proactive and throwing Boris in to help on the front line to do what he does best, muck in, he cowered for days before finally arriving lacklustre to see victims of the flooding. They were furious at the slow response from the government, with viral clips showing flood victims unleashing torrents of anger at the PM.
– As the NHS has now been declared to be in a state of perpetual crisis due to 10 years of real-terms cuts, the Prime Minister has been chased out of hospitals whilst attempting to drum up some positive press coverage.
– Nigel Farage and Anne Widdecombe of the Brexit party have thrown around allegations that the Conservative party was attempting to bribe and strong-arm Brexit party candidates into not standing in marginal seats (that includes reportedly offering peerages for candidates to stand down).
– Over two years since the Grenfell tower fire that killed 42 people, Jacob Rees-Mogg was marred with scandal after suggesting those who died after listening to the Fire Service advice to stay in their apartment lacked common sense. Then, just days later, a student tower block in Bolton (kitted out with cladding similar to that of the Grenfell tower) caught fire, thankfully none were killed in this incident – but it proves that the Conservatives have failed to learn or act after the tragedy.
I’d be lying if I said that the next month is unlikely to be filled with more of the same as an ideologically driven, morally and intellectually bankrupt party, backed by a compliant tabloid press, clings to power. Honestly, I would love to believe that the people of Britain will collectively stand up and say, no more. No more shall we tolerate the incompetence of a corrupt ruling class bent on nothing but power and their own enrichment. No more shall we allow these liars and charlatans to occupy the highest offices of state that were once reserved for those who sought to do the best for the country.
Sadly, I am slowly coming to the realisation that this is just not going to happen. The truth of Britain as it stands today is a dwindling economic and geopolitical force that has been weakened by 40 years of neo-liberalism that has enabled a monstrous wealth transfer from the state and public pockets to private hands and the murky offshore world of tax havens and financial secrecy. It is no meritocracy, far from it. Just take a gander at the sheer incompetence of the front bench, how can these be considered the most capable people in Britain to run the country. Now occupying the chairs at cabinet discussions are architects of some of the most wasteful spending ever seen by a government, Chris Grayling, Liz Truss, Priti Patel, the list goes on, and yet they remain in power.
In his book, “12 Rules for Life”, Jordan Peterson writes, “Reality has its terrible aspect: do we really need to confront its snake headed face in every moment of our waking consciousness, and at every turn in our lives? Why not turn away, at least, when looking is simply too painful?” Confronting the idea that we have consistently enabled the asset stripping of Britain is painful. We would be forced to admit that we as a population, our parents and grandparents, friends, colleagues, and families have voted to give the keys to the country to a class of politicians that have done almost nothing to improve the lives of the British people as a whole, whilst enriching themselves. We’d be forced to admit that we’d been conned, lied to, corrupted, and influenced to consistently vote against our own self-interest.
Later on in “12 Rule for Life” Peterson reasons that our own negligence will only speed the decay of the British state, “We spend the natural deterioration of great things through blindness, inaction and deceit.” The asset stripping of Britain has been made possible by our own apathy and failure to notice what was going on. The decline of the politics of modern Britain is our own doing. Only by confronting the dire situation that is modern Britain can we truly hope to make amends and become the nation that I am more and confident we are capable of. I just don’t see us waking up and confronting the truth any time soon.
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