Skip to main content

In defence of Boris Johnson

 I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm about to go into bat for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Yes, yes, fair enough, I have to date regarded him as pretty much the fount of most things wrong with politics today, and I stand by that. But there is one thig that I'm not going to criticise him for, and thats's his religion.

As you might imagine, I regard mos religion with a mixture of bemusement and contempt. At its best it's something to get you out of the house. At its worst? Genocide, torture, repression, untold misery. As a concept, I'm not pro, on the whole.

But inasfar as I have any opinion on which deity or manifestation thereof you wish to have guide your daily decisions, I pretty much put them all on a par. I don't giver a monkeys which iteration of the magical sky fairy you choose to believe in.

So the news that Johnson's recent marriage to his inamorata has caused something of a constitutional kerfuffle has caused eyes at Coastalblog towers to toll to no uncertain degree. BJ's presto-changeo conversion to Catholicism has meant that, as PM he's fallen foul of some archaic law dating from Wellington's time about recommending Bishops to her maj.

This fucking country man.

I mean, every aspect of this, the a Monarch? Is deeply embarrassing, and yet further proof that we're still mentally living in a cosplay of Mallory's Morte d'Arthur. I'm all in favour of collective folk legends, but the idea that any of this is remotely relevant to the machine of the modern state induces acute queasiness.

There are many reasons to dislike Boris Johnson: his disdain for due process, his elastic approach to the truth, driving a coach and horses through the law when it suits him to do so, selling the country out on the whims of his own ego. His religion (and does anyone think that this serial philanderer has a religious bone in his body?) is not one of them.

The problem is, that he incites such levels of dislike, that it becomes all too easy to grab any stick to beat him with. I tend to his view that his personal life is personal, and bears no relevance upon his job as PM.

Take the Jennifer Arcuri affair, for example. Yes, he was shagging her on his sofa as his wife was out getting treatment for cancer. Pretty morally reprehensible, I'm sure we can all agree. Not, however, relevant to his job. The 130K her company was funded? The business trips she went on without the correct accreditation? THEY are relevant. 

There is a tendency in our press to play the man and not the ball, and it doesn't help anything at all. The obsession with people makes it easier to ignore policies.

So you can dislike Boris Johnson for ignoring 5 COBR meetings at the start of the pandemic, the disastrous failures over lockdown, the release of Covid positive patients to care homes, the 120K + death toll, the chaos in Northern Ireland, the complete mismanagement of the Brexit agreement, selling the fishing industry down the river, chucking the farmers under the bus, screwing up lockdown again, the naked theft of public funds by Tory donors and cronies, threatening the Union, rolling back civil liberties and trying to distract everyone from his mistakes by fomenting a made up culture war in which minorities are a target.

You can dislike him for his racism, his sexism, his boorishness. "Letterboxes", "Piccaninnies", "Fuck Business", reciting Kipling in Asia and saying "your wife will get bigger breasts if you vote Conservative." 

By all means hate him for his clear contempt for the NHS despite it saving his sorry hide, the attacks on teachers who've worked their arses off right the way through the pandemic, the assaults on human rights lawyers, judges and anyone who tries to trammel the power he believes should be unconditional, the brushing off of Ministers breaking their own code, for "forming a square around the Prittster", for not sacking Cummings, for not sacking Hancock, for investigating himself and finding out he did nothing wrong, for getting everyone else to pay for him, for freebie holidays, for 72Ks worth of takeaways when people in this country are using food banks.  All good reasons.

His religion? Don't give a fuck about that, mate.


Popular posts from this blog

Gordon Ramsay and the semiotics of the full English breakfast.

 It was bound to happen, sooner or later. A public which has spent a long time having to think and argue about serious things was just gagging for something trivial to get in a froth about. Sure, football's back, but is that trivial enough? Enter one-time chef turned full-time media personality Gordon Ramsay, and his iteration of that classic dish, the Full English Breakfast, the dish of which Somerset Maugham famously said "If a man wishes to eat well in England he should eat breakfast three times a day." Here he is announcing the Savoy Grill's breakfast It's hard to think of a dish more deeply embedded in the national psyches of the nations which make up the British Isles. I should like, at this point, to acknowledge that Full Irish, Scottish and Welsh breakfasts are all things of pure beauty, I mean no disregard by referring to a full English in this blog (though Ramsay, as a Scot, should have known he was playing with fire). Roast Beef maybe, Fish and Chips pr

The Free School Meals Own Goal

As you're doubtless aware, HMG scored a fairly spectacular own-goal this week, with the decision not to extend free school meals (FSM) over the half-term holiday. The idea, advanced to tremendous effect by Marcus Rashford, was to ensure that no children go hungry when they're not in school. No one could argue with that, right? If we can all agree on one thing, it's that we're pretty anti-starving kids, right? And at a cost of a mere 20 million quid, which is chump change to a government which has wasted billions on Track and Trace that doesn't work, and hundreds of millions in contracts to their mates for PPE that doesn't work, it was a pretty cheap bit of good publicity. Well, as it turns out, there's a sizable element of the Tory party (and the wider populace, we'll get to them in a minute) which is pretty pro-starving kids. You may have seen the speech by Brendan Clarke-Smith, the Conservative member for Bassetlaw, in which he spoke about not wanting

Just let us enjoy it for five minutes, yeah?

He lost! The moment that most sane humans have been fervently praying for for the last four years has finally arrived. After an interminable period of watching numbers fail to move, more "Key Race alerts than I've had hot dinners, and much marvelling at the seemingly iron constitutions of all at CNN, the news was finally confirmed. And lo there was much rejoicing across the land. You'll have your own favourite bit, no doubt, Personally for me it's a toss-up between Nigel Farage losing a ten grand bet and the hilariously shambolic, bathetic ending, where a confused Rudy Giuliani, thinking he'd booked the Four Seasons Hotel for a press conference, stood blinking in the car-park of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a crematorium and a shop selling dildoes.  I am not by any stretch much of a US politics nerd. I know that most UK politics fans have a slightly dorky obsession over the US process which probably stems from watching too much West Wing , but it's s