There is a plot to remove the democratically-elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and/or his wife
Originally published here
What we saw at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions was a Boris Johnson who was more contrite than he has ever been, and yet somewhat less contrite than he should have been. Various former partners of his may know the feeling.
This was a Prime Minister who, fundamentally, did not (and still does not) believe he has done anything that is all that wrong, but has been forced to accept that he might have done something a bit wrong. But that either way, really, it had all been stirred up just to have a go at him. To be fair to him, though, his instinct is probably quite right on that score.
There is a plot to remove the democratically-elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and/or his wife – who, of course, now that they have children, can only be removed by vector of him. There – I said it.
I have suspected this for some months now. The key to understanding it is the way in which it is being gone about. This is an old trick in Westminster, and it’s an old one because it’s a good one.
When you really want to get rid of someone, you do it by dredging up stuff from the past – long beyond the point when it could have been dealt with sensibly – and then you drip-feed it to the press.
Normally, if the matter were a one-off affair where either the target themselves was responsible, or someone for whom the target must take the rap, the whistle would be blown and whatever had gone on would come out relatively quickly. It would then be dealt with, and we move on. There would be – as I now rather fondly recall from English lessons in my primary school days, before I had anything to do with the wearying business of politics – ‘a beginning, a middle and an end’.
But that is not the way this affair is proceeding. It had a beginning, yes, but its middle is designed to be inherently interminable. Its only logical end can be written either by the target, or by those who then rally and ‘target’ him – just like poor Simon in The Lord of the Flies.
The methodology is typical of its genre. You drip the first bit out, and the media goes crazy – especially in a frenetic scenario like this one, in which people who have had far less to do than they ought to have had in the past few months suddenly release all of their fury. All of the typically pro-target commentators will then write articles saying ‘do shape up, Boris’… ‘do sort it out, Boris’… ‘you can carry on if you’ll just get a grip on your Government, Prime Minister’ – as, indeed, they since have.
But even if he does – today, tomorrow or yesterday – that will not matter, because the stories will just keep dripping out regardless. This will be done bit by bit, and over time, so he cannot escape their fallout, even if he does suddenly ‘shape up’. But that never happens in Westminster for no reason.
Drip… drip… drip…
Another key element is that you wait until something happens that an incumbent government ‘wobbles over’, but from which it would otherwise ultimately recover in the polls – as long as nothing else goes drastically wrong in the short term. The mishandling of the Paterson incident is one such clear example, from which lessons will already have been learnt. But something like that is precisely what someone was waiting for in order to strike.
Someone has clearly been sitting on a cache of material for over a year and a half, as is evident from the various dates in play. This brings us to the central question: why is it that we are only just finding out about all this now? The answer to that question is: because someone, somewhere, wants us to find out about it now. But who, and why?
I am no fervent supporter of the Prime Minister, although I have only limited confidence in the Conservative Party to produce a credible alternative leader at this juncture.
But if you do wish to remove a Prime Minister, or perhaps their entire party, from the stewardship of government, then there is one – and only one – proper time and place to do so. That is at the ballot box, at the time of the next election. It is not like this.
To all those who would desert the Prime Minister now, I can say only this: it is entirely possible that you are being deliberately manipulated. It is wholly plausible that you are being caught up in someone else’s agenda – that of a person who wishes to force a change of leadership in this country by sleight of hand. And you do not even know who they are, or what they want – yet you are potentially playing into their hands regardless.
For the record: no, I don’t think it’s Dominic Cummings. To actually instigate something like this is not typically his MO, and some of the material is dated from after his dramatic departure from Downing Street anyway. However, I can well imagine that he would be very willing to ably assist someone else who did wish to do this.
Such a person would seek to do so by playing upon your own righteous anger at the notion that those who set the rules now appear to have subsequently broken them, and thus far with impunity – if, indeed, they actually did.
I do note on that score, however, that it is, as ever, the shrillest voices that are most likely those who know perfectly well that they were hardly saints during the pandemic themselves. Indeed, while in my experience most people observed most of the rules, most of the time, I do not know a single individual (myself included) who followed all of the rules, all of the time.
Dear Reader, if you are entirely honest with yourself here, I imagine you can relate.
And so this brings us to what the alternative might be, if not only the Prime Minister, but in fact his entire party, is ultimately ousted from office. Enter Sir Keir Starmer.
It has been evident from plenty of interviews and profile pieces on Sir Keir that he views himself as quite literally the antithesis of Boris Johnson. The latter, to his mind, is a man who has never followed the rules and has always thought himself quite above them. A man whose sheer moral decadence – in his view – is reason enough for him to be forced from office by any means necessary (although I do not mean to say “j’accuse” here).
“I’m nothing like Boris Johnson”, the former forensic prosecutor – who, like most of that sort, is utterly convinced that it is for men like him to define the moral high ground – told The Sunday Times, as his countenance visibly hardened. The Prime Minister is “the worst possible leader at the worst possible time”, he told the BBC.
Recent events have played entirely into his own worldview that he is just the man to see this sleazy bunch of incompetents – as he would, no doubt, refer to them – slung out on their ear.
But herein we see that Starmer has now become that most dangerous of men: the Deliverer.
For, in that most desperate hour, the Deliverer shall surely attend thee. His coming shall herald the dawn of a new era, in which the Forces of Darkness shall be cast out, and the world evermore bathed in a renewed light of hope and optimism. After all, a Deliverer arrives at a time of great need in order to wash away the degenerate Old Order. How, then, in his own eyes, could he ever be doing anything wrong?
Things, surely, can only get better…?
But my generation grew up under another such man who was to be a Deliverer, and I remember the very great damage to the fabric of our society (and one other in particular, elsewhere in the world) that his governance of our nation ultimately wrought. This was due, in equal measure, to the men and women he gathered around him, who were entirely unable to see how whatever they were doing could ever be anything other than, in the purest terms, The Right Thing To Doּ™.
Be very careful what you no longer wish for.