The Slow Death of a Government
Boris Johnson has moved slightly closer to leaving number 10, but a moving out day still feels like a long way off
Resignations from UK Prime Ministers is something that voters have become semi-accustomed to in the last decade.
Two Prime Ministers have stepped down from their post in recent times, reaching a point which they considered to be of no return.
Had they overseen even half of the crisis that Number 10 incumbent Boris Johnson has waded through, they would likely have resigned months ago.
Yet this is because, regardless of your views on them, they had more integrity and a more self awareness of when things were past the point of saving than Johnson ever has.
His defiance in the face of heavy criticism would once have been understandable, perhaps even expected, but the events of 5 and 6 July have helped to show that Boris Johnson doesn’t know when it’s time to just call it a day.
Johnson saw over 60 Cabinet Ministers resign in little over 36 hours, a number which has smashed the previous 24 hour record of six.
The most eye-catching departures were that of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Two senior members of a Cabinet pieced together by Johnson, turning around and statning in black and white that they no longer saw him as the right man for the job
The slow decline of the Johnson tenure finally came to an end on Thursday, or at least we saw the beginning of the end.
Cheered on by a very small group of supportive MP’s Johnson addressed the nation outside 10 Downing Street. He spoke of his regret at not being able to complete his term in office.
He spoke of the ‘huge’ mandate he gained from the British people in 2019, and his regret at not being able to fulfil this through until the next election.
He said: “The reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person, was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to do what we promised in 2019.”
The support for Boris Johnson within his own party dwindled at first, but by the end he saw over 20% of his government resign.
It feels like a lifetime since Johnson won a huge majority in the 2019 General Election, the biggest majority seen by the Conservative Party.
In that time we have had a global pandemic and the efforts to build back better (to quote a Conservative Party Motto) from this.
Johnson has made attempts to say his party bailed out workers through furlough, and helped to push through the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
However, the NHS were the driving force behind the rollout and all money provided through furlough will be recouped through taxes in the years to come.
He has wanted to take credit for so much that he has had very little to do with, and has often talked about the benefits of Brexit without really pointing out what these benefits are.
Boris Johnson PM will be remembered for the times we lived in during the roughly three years he was in 10 Downing Street.
His departure from the Prime Minister’s job, although still several weeks or months away from being official, will hopefully bring to an end one of the bleakest, most embarrassing periods in UK politics.
In-fighting from both of the biggest parties in the UK and debate over what illegal activity both leaders took part in over the Covid-19 lockdown was pathetic and tedious to endure.
This country needs better leadership, and it needs to have better leadership now.