Has Boris Johnson just become a dictator?
Tories: Boris Johnson miscalculated
Boris Johnson has gone too far and sooner or later it will cost him the post of British Prime Minister. He will not be forgiven for what he did to the Conservative Party on Tuesday. There will be an aftermath that he cannot win.
How can a prime minister miscalculate his choice of advisers and his policies so that, less than two months after taking office, he loses the core of the most important and most experienced politicians in the party and thus deprives the party of the basis for its existence? The Conservative Party is a people's party, a "big church" as its members like to describe it. She should One Nation Tory Party There is room for all conservatives in the country, for staunch rights, liberals, for all who believe in democracy and the constitution and who respect the voice of the people, namely parliament.
What a sign of poverty that Johnson has to be asked a few weeks after taking office in parliament whether he actually intends to comply with the constitution and the law? How did it get to the point that the party with which Churchill fought against dictatorship and for democracy put his grandson outside on Tuesday evening?
Vendetta against the liberal-free spirit
Not only the parliament, the people, Europe, even the world stage are horrified, they no longer recognize British politics. The MPs - and rightly also members of the Tories - oppose Johnson closing parliament just to scramble through his policies. A policy of no-deal Brexit for which he has neither the mandate of the people nor the mandate of parliament. And this by a prime minister who was not even elected by the people and who takes advice from fanatical technocrats who want to enforce their theory of politics with threats, brutality and a vendetta against the liberal-freedom spirit in the party.
But Boris Johnson overestimated himself and underestimated the task of his office. He once formulated the sentence: "Religion, laws, principles, traditions - all of these are just crutches that you use on your own, stumbling path." You can see the result now. In parliament on Tuesday, Scottish MP Ian Blackburn accused him of already acting like a dictator. Even more biting was the criticism of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the conservative chairman of parliament, who lolled on his bench like a Roman emperor - and that in the British House of Commons. "So contemptuous, as if there was nothing more boring than listening to our debate here," snapped the leader of the Greens, Caroline Lucas. Rees-Mogg's behavior is symptomatic of how much the power of this government has gone to the head - and in such a short time.
The critics have to go
But Boris Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings have miscalculated. Johnson did not expect that the most powerful critics in the party would come up against him so quickly, so numerous and so consistently: the former Treasury Secretary Philip Hammond, with whom Theresa May had her difficulties because he was unshakably against in her cabinet fought Brexit and the hardliners; former Justice Minister David Gauke, who for 14 years never once voted against the Conservative government in parliament. And yet he is now thrown out of the party in which Rees-Mogg is in charge, who has broken parliamentary group discipline more than 100 times.
Kenneth Clarke is no longer allowed to run in his constituency: the oldest MP in the House of Commons who has served prime ministers from Thatcher to Cameron as minister for more than 35 years - out of the party. Nicolas Soames, the grandson of Churchill, who in an interview with Johnson on Tuesday wanted nothing more than a credible assurance that the government is seriously looking for a solution with the EU - out of the party. Dominic Grieve, former attorney general who accepts the people's vote, says that so much has happened in the past three years and that people know so much more about the consequences of Brexit that there should be a second referendum. All of them, 21 MPs, voted for law to prevent Johnson from dropping Britain out of the EU without a treaty. And now they have to go.
Johnson miscalculated. He hoped, of course, that the insurgents would give in, be intimidated by the threat of expulsion, or succumb to his charm. But Johnson lies too much and has gambled away trust, including in his own party.
Party destroyed, trust gone, opposition strengthened
Cummings may even have thought that it would be easier to rule when the resistance members were removed from the party. It will not bother him that the party is bleeding to death that the Conservative MP Phillip Lee switched sides to the Liberals in parliament on Tuesday, as several MPs have done recently. Part of his concept is to forge the Conservative Party into the Brexit Party on the assumption that this will help in the next general election.
But he also miscalculated. The distrust of Johnson and him has grown so great that fear of the government even plays into Jeremy Corbyn's hands. Corbyn, who was painted by the conservatives as the terrible picture of a possibly dictatorial, socialist public enemy, can suddenly be celebrated in parliament as the savior of democracy. He can polish up his image, can almost statesmanlike calmly take the side of morality, while Johnson gets confused about the sentence that he will respect the constitution and the laws. Suddenly, Corbyn is the one fighting for the vote of the disregarded parliament that prevents Johnson from running undemocratic.
There are observers who believe that everything is a great plan by Cummings and that everything is by design. Johnson finally got his election, won, overturned the law that forced him to extend the deadline, agreed with the EU and whipped his deal through parliament - always with the threat that otherwise there would indeed be a no deal. But he destroyed the party beforehand, lost confidence and strengthened the opposition - not exactly the best starting position to rule the country successfully.
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