Just as drugs didn’t work for The Verve rock band, the bluster didn’t work for Boris Johnson at his Partygate hearing this week. The former Prime Minister sometimes gets away with it in time limited media interviews, but under the close questioning by MPs he became flustered and irritated.
There has been a disgraceful campaign to get the investigation shut down. One can only imagine the pressure on the Privileges Committee. We should praise two of our own, the Labour MP for Makerfield Yvonne Fovargue and particularly the Conservative member for Warrington South, Andy Carter.
The evidence session lasted many hours and there is a huge bundle of evidence, but it all comes down to this. The Prime Minister constantly told us to obey the rules. As a result people didn’t go their loved ones funerals or left their aged parents alone in care homes. Meanwhile Mr Johnson told the Privileges Committee that it was alright to hold rule breaking events in 10 Downing Street to say goodbye to officials. In other words it was alright to bid farewell to someone who was going to work elsewhere but not to someone who was making a very final departure.
On the very afternoon he was blustering away in the committee room, he took time out to embarrass the Prime Minister by voting against the Windsor Agreement. That is the attempt to mitigate the mess Johnson created over the Northern Ireland trade border. Only twenty-one other Tories joined his rebellion. One can only hope that he is a busted flush and that talk of him returning as Prime Minister is nonsense.
But don’t be certain. If the Privileges Committee recommends a penalty that could trigger a recall petition, the Daily Mail will do its best to whip up enough Tory MPs to vote it down when it comes to the Commons. What people who couldn’t attend loved ones funerals or see elderly relatives in care homes will make of that cannot be contemplated.
DANGEROUS DE SANTIS
The Governor of California, Ron DeSantis could well be the Republican candidate for President in 2024 so his views on the war raging in Ukraine are important, not least to the brave people of that country relying on the generous support being provided by the current Democrat President Joe Biden.
However in a statement that I think has received less publicity here than it should, DeSantis said this: “While the US has many vital national interests, becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them”.
What a boost that will give to Putin and what a blow to morale in Ukraine.
The Republican Party has come a long way since it was led by Ronald Reagan who urged the Russians to tear down the Berlin Wall. We have already seen Donald Trump in office with a compromised relationship with Putin. Let’s hope the Ukraine war is resolved before President Zelenskyy is fatally undermined by a possible isolationist Republican Presidency.