AFTER three long years of chaos, incompetence and falsehood, Boris Johnson will finally leave Downing Street early next week.
Most Prime Ministers will have numerous aims and causes, but seeing the country emerge better from their reign than when they started is certainly a universal one.
But Johnson leaves office with soaring inflation, rising energy bills and a cost-of-living crisis that has already hurt millions of Britons. He’s brought down any semblance of integrity from high office through parties and falsehood. The pandemic, which engulfed much of his time in charge, led to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths.
It’s rather ironic, considering a consistent and rather pithy PMQs attack line referred to the state of the economy after Labour lost power in 2010. Flawed as New Labour are, it’s unlikely a Gordon Brown government would have ever led to this (or even a ‘chaos with Ed Miliband’ one).
He may be rather pleased with himself, though. He ran his 2019 election campaign, infamously, on ‘Getting Brexit Done’. And as far as pushing his individual agenda forward, Johnson actually achieved a fair amount.
Jeremy Corbyn, and much of the Labour Left, have effectively been sidelined. Her Majesty’s Opposition, under Sir Keir Starmer, is dominated by milquetoast resistance to any government action and a distinct lack of policy. As New Labour was Margaret Thatcher’s “greatest achievement”, perhaps Sir Keir’s leadership is Johnson’s.
Harsh immigration policies, such as the Rwanda plan, have been forced through against the will of human rights groups.
And Brexit, was, of course, done.
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Well, no one said his feats were for the greater good. None of the promises which came off as somewhat moral, such as levelling up, were ever really actioned to a significant degree.
He not only leaves Britain in a worse state than when he was elected in 2019, but with worse handlers.
His not-so-subtle support of Liz Truss against Rishi Sunak has played a part in her likely victory, to be announced on Monday.
And below that, the likes of Nadine Dorries, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel have, and may continue to, play prominent roles in the government.
God help us.
So while Johnson may have cemented his legacy in the way he was moulded – erratic, boisterous and impulsive – he has set the UK on a collision course with an upcoming brutal reality.
Naturally, as is becoming of his personality, there have already been rumblings that Johnson is planning a political comeback. The state of Westminster politics is such that Redaction would certainly not raise an eyebrow if he is involved in the next leadership contest.
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