Boris Johnson, it’s time

There’s an ancient and still-observed tradition in British politics of falling on one’s sword. When then Prime Minister David Cameron gambled and lost by holding a referendum on Brexit, he hadn’t foreseen the disastrous outcome and resigned as a result. Theresa May’s premiership ended in resignation when she failed to achieve a way for the UK to leave the EU supported by Parliament.

Now Boris Johnson is facing arguably the worst of several scandals since his short premiership began. Reports emerged recently that Christmas parties were held at 10 Downing Street and other government buildings and at the Conservative Party’s headquarters at the end of 2020, all while the rest of the country was living under severe government-ordered Covid-19 restrictions. Johnson issued brief and infuriating non-answers to direct questions put to him in Parliament and by the press, saying only that there was no Christmas party and “no rules were broken.”

Then a damning video was leaked. Senior aides are shown mocking the narrative that there was no Christmas party and effectively confessing that social distancing was not followed. Johnson was forced to do something he almost never does: apologize. But it was a short-lived apology that included his ignobly throwing his aides under the bus and maintaining he wasn’t at the party.

Technically he wasn’t. But he certainly knew about it. A recently leaked photo shows Johnson hosting the Christmas quiz party at 10 Downing Street last year while breaking Covid-19 restrictions. In the photo Johnson is pictured maskless on a screen where he is seen in his office sitting close to two other maskless people and reading out questions.

Meanwhile in the rest of Britain, where real people who don’t enjoy special privileges live, the nation suffered through a lonely Christmas indeed. Those who didn’t live according to draconian government strictures were subjected to official importunities and threats of fines and even imprisonment.

  

All of which is to say political hypocrisy doesn’t exist only in America, and it’s not made even marginally more palatable when enunciated with an English accent. Boris Johnson’s penchant for pathological lying is every inch as infuriating as Trump’s was. Johnson is a man who seems constitutionally incapable of telling even the tiniest truth. More to the point, it’s time for Boris Johnson to stop lying to himself and resign. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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