How Boris Johnson Failed Britain
Well they finally got Boris Johnson. But he sure scared the bejesus out of them…or did he? Johnson’s time as Prime Minister has been one plagued by political turmoil, Coronavirus, and scandal, all three of which many thought he could overcome with relative ease and buoyancy. But alas, due to his own party imploding after the latest scandal - involving sexual allegations surrounding his Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher - and various cabinet ministers and others important to the running of a functioning government resigning, his position became untenable. And despite some of his loyalists inside and outside the state backing him no matter what, the game was up and Johnson knew he had to resign. The questions now are firstly who will replace him and secondly where does the British right go from here? Unfortunately, both of these questions do not have clear answers.
Johnson has been at the forefront of British conservative politics for the better part of a decade and was beloved by the right-wing and predominately libertarian side of the spectrum for most of it. He was known as a brash, no-nonsense, and straight-talking politician who, unlike many of his friends in Westminster, did not play the game of social respectability and towing careerist party lines. As his own sister, Rachael Johnson, once said in an interview, Boris knew that breaking all the usual rules of politics would get him further and would make people like him more. In retrospect, this appears to have been the case.
On becoming Prime Minister, Johnson sought to re-inject optimism and dynamism into British politics which had become stale thanks to the lingering state of Brexit. Unlike Theresa May before him, Johnson was a true believer in the Brexit project and set his sights on passing his deal through parliament no matter what. If this meant proroguing parliament, so be it. If it meant de-selecting pro-EU backbench Tory MPs from the party, so be it. If it meant calling a General Election, so be it. In the end, this was the path Johnson took and it paid off beyond his wildest dreams, earning an 80-seat majority - the best result the Conservative Party has had since the Thatcher era. This landslide majority enabled Johnson and his cabinet to do essentially whatever they wished but true to character the Conservatives did absolutely nothing with this victory. Johnson becoming Prime Minister simply revealed that his ideological convictions and penchant for getting everyone to like him were both not as strong as many may have hoped.
After two years of Johnson rule what have the British people had? Lockdowns, Coronavirus fearmongering propaganda, debt at 100% of GDP, inflation rising, high fuel prices, scandals and an overall continuation of the managed decline Britain has been subject to for decades. Anti-ID card Boris Johnson became pro-vaccine passport Boris Johnson. Free market Boris Johnson became money printer and high tax Boris Johnson. Anti-nanny state Boris Johnson became puritan Boris Johnson. The libertarian credo that Johnson rode on for so many years proved to be empty bluster and lies. The populist ‘man of the people’ image he fostered turned out to be a mask which hid behind it simply another careerist Globalist hack; easily captured and made a puppet of the Westminster deep state.
After the recent scandals which broke Johnson’s chances at leading a credible government he resigned, albeit without much remorse or sadness. The question now is who will replace him and the many answers to it all are rather depressing.
Risihi Sunak, Johnson’s ex-Chancellor and poster boy for Tory moderns and wets, seems to be the front runner with Penny Mourdant, a war-hawk who has played into the cultural left’s talking point on more than one occasion, following closely behind him. Other leadership hopefuls are the ex-Liberal Democrat and Thatcherite LARPer Liz Truss and one of the last remaining Neocons in the party, Tom Tugenhardt (derided as ‘Total War Tom’ by his detractors). While there may be some lesser supported candidates, such as the seemingly libertarian-esque Kemi Badenoc and Suella Braverman, these types of MPs- while holding some good ideas and being popular amongst young Tories - will not get anywhere near Downing Street.
The current Conservative Party wants stability and sterility rather than any semblance of radicalism or ideological conviction. Their view is that the poll ratings show they can’t afford to elect a renegade like Braverman, who came out the other day declaring that Britain spends too much money on welfare. But maybe a radical renegade who is able to muster the populist energy of Johnson in 2019 and Farage before that is exactly what the current Conservative Party needs and what the country needs if it is to throw off the shackles of pessimism and decline. But alas, that is unlikely to come in the near future.
Nevertheless, the current turmoil might pose some benefits.
As Murray Rothbard pointed out during Watergate, the scandal “destroyed the public's 'faith in government'” with him further remarking that “it was high time, too.” The public’s faith in the state has been radically diminished over the last few years with Brexit, Coronavirus, and now incessant scandals and internal party bickering over who gets to sit in the big chair at cabinet meetings. Institutions like the Church of England, the courts, and even the police are facing greater scrutiny and dismay from right-wingers and the general public than they ever have before. And to top it all off, the young British right is beyond fed up with the current Conservative Party and is tired of the stale soundbites, ideological vapidity and the ever-ongoing shifts to the left both economically and culturally.
While there is still a plethora of ideological factions and groupings inside of Conservative youth and related circles the predominant strains seem to be that of a more populist, traditionalist and nationalist bent on the one hand, with a fervent anti-state, pro-free market, and libertarian force on the other. Both may disagree on minute policy proposals, but both want to see the end of the current consensus that has dominated politics for decades which was created by New Labour. They want property rights to be restored, taxes and regulations to be cut, our foreign policy to be independent of the American Empire, and for Britain’s state to be cleared out of weak civil servants, ex-Communist special advisors, and fifth columnist NGOs. For those wanting change, a new alliance between the traditionalist and libertarian factions may be necessary in order to overturn the dominance the middle ground modern Tories have had over the party for decades.
But whatever happens over the next few months and whatever leader the Conservative Party gets, it will not save them from the British public’s derision and their membership’s anger. Nor will they forget the state Britain was put in by Boris Johnson or renew their faith in the institutions of this country. Out of every crisis comes opportunity and the grassroots right must not be dismayed or demotivated. On the contrary, they should work hard at building up alliances with like-minded renegades and seek to create as much noise and trouble as possible in the months and years to come.