It’s hard to think of another time when a buffoon of Boris Johnson’s stature would have been elected Prime Minister of the UK. He lacks completely the intellectual and moral capacity for the role, and while politicians trade in duplicity and deceit the world over, Johnson is a serial liar.
Partygate may fill the airwaves and front pages, but the prohibited gatherings are simply the latest in a line of lies and illegal acts undertaken by Johnson and his cronies since they took office in July 2019. They appear to believe they are above and beyond laws, international agreements and parliamentary conventions.
The Prime Minster and the Tories have presided over a Covid Catastrophe, with 150,154 deaths (at time of writing), the seventh highest in the world; he is a laughing stock around the world and his government an incompetent backward looking gaggle.
While the revelations of illegal social gatherings in No.10 Downing Street and across government departments are shocking, they are resoundingly unsurprising and Johnsons response expected. The PM’s denials and evasions are part of a pattern that goes back decades. From misrepresentations made and repeated throughout the (Brexit) Vote Leave campaign, to lying to the Queen over advice he gave her on the prorogation of parliament. The supreme court ruled the suspension to be unlawful
Johnson is part of a privileged cozy class (Eton to Oxbridge to Whitehall) that feels themselves exempt from moral duties, social obligations and legal restrictions. He knows nothing of the struggles and worries of the majority of the population, and cares even less. And yet, like Trump’s 2016 victory, it was the working class/lower middle class – so-called blue-collar workers – that voted him and the Conservatives – the ‘Nasty Party’ – into office in 2019, and with a huge parliamentary majority of 80 seats.
Their success was part of a global movement of extremism, which, whilst waning, persists. It has enabled a posse of parties and narcissistic leaders to take political office. Some have gone, such as Trump and Netanyahu, but many remain in office, e.g., Brazil, where Bolsonaro reigns, India under the Hindu Nationalist Modi, as well as in Poland, Italy, Hungary and Australia.
The populists wrap themselves in their national flag, proclaim themselves to be the friends and guardians of the masses whilst reinforcing systematic controls – economic, social and democratic. They rule from a narrow stand point of intolerance and fear; immigration, suppression of freedoms and the relentless presentation of misinformation form the backbone of their doctrine.
Johnson’s Conservative government is part of this poisonous force; electoral success is all that matters to politicians the world over and this is no more true than with UK Conservatives, many of whom are born believing in their right to rule. They credit Johnson with the 2019 election win, and as a result, despite the fact that many MPs and cabinet ministers cannot bear the man, he has kept his job as PM – for now at least, although his days appear numbered, as veteran Conservative MP David Davis put it in the House of Commons, “In the name of God, go.”
The great tragedy is that people grant legitimacy to such groups, indeed to all and any government, virtually without question. Their lies, divisive policies and propaganda are accepted, believed, as are the values and ideological conformity that is pumped into the minds of everyone from birth. It is this conditioning that allows this crushing status quo to continue, a mode of living in which concentrations of power and vast social, political and economic imbalances are allowed to exist.
Information is everything, and throughout the world it is politicians who, through mainstream media, control the flow of information. Not just the subject matter that is promoted, but the presentation and interpretation of material, the socio-political slant, to the extent that a great deal of material or news coverage is little more than propaganda. Alongside the corporate/state-owned media, education is the key area of sociological and psychological conditioning, followed by the perpetuation or reinforcement of inculcated ideals and values by family, friends and work colleagues.
And so an interconnected system of control and inhibition has been built in which the masses, who (did they but believe it) hold all the power, have become subordinate to a tiny group of men and women – the entitled controlling the marginalized. That power does not reside in the ballot box, but flows from the streets and the weight of collective action. The ‘controllers’ are far from free themselves of course, they are little more than puppets of a narrow ideological construct, which serves their corporate masters, and which they no doubt believe in.
Politicians like Boris Johnson have no legitimacy, despite an electoral victory, because elections are never free and fair – people are manipulated and conditioned. The system that allows such men to ascend to power is corrupt and unjust; distorted by the perpetuation of sociological/psychological conditioning that promotes and maintains the idea that some are born to rule and some to be ruled.
It is time that not only Johnson and his like were thrown out of office, but that the whole pack of cards was challenged, and a new and vibrant form of democracy based on true democratic principles of participation, equality and responsibility was inculcated. Only then will systems of governance and representatives within diverse streams of involvement emerge that will allow social justice and freedom in all its forms, including freedom of thought, to emerge, and democracy worthy of the name to take shape.