Writing by Ellie Bye. Illustration by Hannah Grist.
When Boris Johnson first came to power, the UK looked, for better or for worse, more stable than ever after he secured such a strong majority. That stability has been eroding ever since. Following the publication of the Sue Gray report, Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said “if Johnson is found to have broken the law, he must…resign”. Indeed, over the weeks following the report, the public witnessed a flurry of resignations and letters of no confidence. Amongst this anger, the distrust of the Tory leader was seemingly reaching its rightful crescendo. The partygate scandal caused an eruption of anger both in the public and within the Tory party with 70% of the electorate disapproving of the PM and five aides resigning. Numbers like these should guarantee the Prime Minister’s resignation, yet somehow, we are still watching him limp on.
Davey’s comment was made on February 16th. Accordingly, we saw Boris rocked by this fresh wave of calls to resign, but demands for the PM’s resignation have reliably ebbed and flowed throughout his time as Prime Minister.
Back in 2019, barely a month after taking leadership, before lockdown parties, before Greensill scandals, and before “let the bodies pile high in their thousands”, Boris was found to have broken the law over his highly controversial suspension of parliament, ruled by the supreme court. Even within his personal life, Boris does not escape from scandal - he features regularly in the gossiping press having at least six children by three different women. Personal finances and secret refurbishments are amongst other scandals within which he finds himself. Where does this list end? From petty rumours to serious violations of the law, Johnson’s career has been punctuated by wrongdoings. There are too many scandals to even remember and as a result, each scandal that surfaces is just as shocking as the last. By this point, it is, unfortunately, behaviour we must expect from the PM and the quotidian discussion of his incompetence has become practically useless. Each scandal dilutes the last. This is something that Boris boasted about in 2006 when he said “I've got a brilliant new strategy, which is to make so many gaffes that nobody knows which one to concentrate on”. Johnson’s refusal to resign proves he lacks integrity, but worse than that, it proves him right. Headlines are bubbling up everywhere: ‘7 times Boris Johnson botched a scandal’, ‘This is a Boris Johnson scandal that even the great trickster can’t blag his way out of’, ‘Is ‘partygate' one scandal too many for Boris Johnson?’, ‘Boris Johnson Has Survived Many Scandals. This One Is Different.’. Boris’ explosive strategy of chaos is keeping him in power, and it is a strategy that we cannot continue to endorse. The world is wrapped in chaos. From the Ukraine crisis, to the impending threat of climate change, there is simply no space for Johnson’s incompetence, or rather maliciously purposeful blunders, as it distracts us from the bigger issues that plague our Earth.
Prime Minister or not, Boris has proved time and time again that the well-being of the country is not at the core of his leadership, but rather his own attention-seeking agenda. Reporting on his scandals is feeding into his plan to confuse the public. There is nothing more he can do, nor more analysis that can be done, to prove he is anything but the heartless and lying leader he has steadfastly been throughout his time in power. Put simply, Boris Johnson is de facto malicious and de jure a criminal.
As it stands, Boris Johnson is regrettably still the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His name will inevitably continue to circulate in the media and in conversation, but we must stop ourselves from being shocked at each scandal. Instead of allowing each wrongdoing to dissipate and disappear, we must learn to see each as part of a bigger picture and add each item to his list of sins that he must be held accountable for.