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News and Comment January 2022

Index: 2019202020212022

26 January (Part 1) - Should he stay or should he go?

When I voted Conservative two years ago I knew that Boris Johnson was a philandering liar but I consoled myself with the thought that he was a Conservative and a clever one at that. He proved to be neither. His obsession with Green policies is unaffordable, if electric cars are better than petrol they will gradually take over like CDs killed tape cassettes and DVD killed VHS. The imposition of impractical laws is more Putin than Thatcher. Banning Conservatories? Is he totally mad? I am beginning to suspect he is.

The Covid rules were for the most part illogical. At Christmas 2020 you were allowed to share it with family so long as you could get there and back in a day with all public transport at a standstill. If you stayed over until Boxing Day the risk of contracting Corona Virus was massively increased and banned. After spending all day with my sister she provided breakfast next morning. I am a criminal.

Johnson authorised fines for people who sat on a park bench and his Home Secretary pleaded with us to snitch on our neighbours. Students who invited a few mates into their digs for a booze up were fined £10,000. It was the point at which I decided I could never vote Conservative again while Johnson was in Government.

However I now know that Johnson is clever after all. He knew that many of the rules were stupid. If 30 people could legally work in an office together all day why shouldn’t they gather in the basement once work was over for a glass or two? There was no logical reason why they shouldn’t but it was illegal. I don’t think it should have been, but what sort of idiot makes the rules, breaks them and then excuses himself on the basis that no one told him he was transgressing?

I feel a bit like Johnson must have done when he wrote two Telegraph articles before the Brexit vote, one for the other against, before deciding which one would propel his political career furthest. One can argue the present situation in a wide variety of ways but it is impossible to ignore the hypocrisy and the subservience to false data. Why are SAGE members not all sacked?

Daily Telegraph cartoonSo that is my view, or one of them anyway. What of people more important than me? My new friend and fellow Council critic @tonyofsidcup is far more familiar with the ways of ruthless dictators than I am. He hails from Belarus. Under the misapprehension that he now lives in a democratic country he asked every Bexley Conservative Councillor if they thought Johnson should go.

Outgoing Councillor Val Clark said it was none of her business, Cabinet Member Sue Gower came up with the rather odd response that the Nolan Principles forbade comment and Councillor John Davey said No.

Mayor James Hunt and Councillor Andy Dourmoush (Longlands) said he would have to go if found guilty by Sue Gray’s report. No one else responded.

My much older friend Elwyn Bryant asked his newly elected MP the same question. “Should the Prime Minister resign forthwith?”

Elwyn never had much luck writing to his former MP James Brokenshire. If he got a reply it would be evasive and if he phoned for an appointment all the slots would be filled which he would then exploit by getting his friend Peter Gussman to phone a moment later and find appointments were easy to come by. It is Elwyn’s fault obviously. No one should ask a politician a really awkward question and refuse to be fobbed off by wishywashy answers.

Elwyn tends to contrast Brokenshire with his experience writing to a local Councillor. Alex Sawyer came round to his house for a cup of tea and a chat, but I digress, what did Louie French have to say about his boss?

Louie sent Elwyn a gracious letter explaining his position; sympathy with the population in general who had suffered so much and lost loved ones, as he had himself.

TweetWe have already seen that Louie is a man of his word (Tweet to the left) and his letter confirms that he will continue in that vein.

“It angers me greatly that those who set the rules are now alleged to have not been following them. Like most of the country, I find myself waiting to read the outcome of Sue Gray’s independent inquiry, which I understand could be as soon as this week and will be followed by a statement in Parliament from the Prime Minister. Once all the facts have been established and if wrongdoing is proven, I expect to see disciplinary action taken straight away so that we can move on as a country and deliver the people’s priorities.”

Louie is a good man isn’t he? Perhaps he will follow in his predecessor Ted Heath’s footsteps and rise to the top. Andy Dourmoush or James Hunt for Council Leader too.

Can I forgive Boris Johnson? Probably not. Fantasy land… refund all the Covid fines and ditch Carrie might show some contrition but one will not happen and the other will take another year or two.

Buoyed by his relative success in getting an answer, Elwyn has asked Louie his views about the alleged blackmailing of MPs by the whips. Maybe Louie will wait until he has personal experience of it. Can’t be long now.


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