I was delighted that the Jubilee celebrations went so well and were so widely attended. I am especially grateful to Goldstar Taxis for hosting a Jubilee party; my thanks also go to all the other community groups that held events. Other events are happening this week: the Cherry Fair begins on Friday and it will be held at Rock Park. This location was halted 20 years ago. It’s good to see it back. I encourage everyone to attend.
The Jubilee and its accompanying celebrations provided a moment of unity for our nation; the Queen’s example of dignity and service shines in an age in which both are in short supply. It says something that we had to pivot from the high of tributes to her majesty and sink to the lows of Tory infighting.
148 Conservative MPs said they no longer want Boris Johnson to be prime minister. If you take that number of rebels, add them to Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and other MPs, it becomes a super majority of MPs which represent an overwhelming majority of the country which says he should go.
Comparisons have been made between Johnson and Theresa May, John Major, and Margaret Thatcher. All three also faced leadership challenges. However, the challenges they faced were different: May, Major and Thatcher were all challenged because of their policies. The vote on Johnson occurred because of his character: his relationship or lack thereof with the truth, his inability to show repentance beyond uttering a few words, and his shiftiness on what he actually believes.
No one really knows what the Conservative Party is there for, except to keep Johnson in power. Words are said about “levelling up”, but very little to that end has been achieved. Indeed, the gap created by the end of European funding is becoming unavoidable. Low taxes? Taxation has gone up, especially if you take into account National Insurance contributions. The Conservative Party has been solely defined in recent years in relation to its leader. Now we find that he did not abide by the rules he set down for others and is surprised that we object. He is the embodiment of privilege, the ultimate of which is the ability to say “Do as I say, not as I do”.
Where was our local MP in all this? Did he think about the many families who weren’t able to see loved ones during lockdown or sit by the bedside of relations in their final moments? Did he consider the tragic spectacle of Covid funerals, and how people were only allowed to grieve remotely rather than together, while Johnson and his colleagues made merry? Did the image of our Queen, sat alone during the funeral of her husband, permeate his thoughts, and did he consider that parties were being held at Number 10 the night before, a sign of a decrepit culture? No. He voted to perpetuate the rot. He could have been for his constituents or for Boris Johnson. He chose the latter. The former will have to come to a judgement about Mr Bristow soon enough.
In the meantime, to use a well-known phrase, “a house divided against itself cannot stand”. May, Major and Thatcher saw this and stepped aside. Johnson has neither the awareness nor dignity to do the same. He will continue to impose himself on our country, aided and abetted by MPs who hope beyond hope that Johnson can be something other than what he is. Time is up. The party is over. We need to move on.