Stuck with Boris… for now – Freddie C
Unless you live underground (or simply don’t care about politics), then you would be aware that on Monday a vote of confidence took place in the House of Commons with regards to Boris Johnson’s Leadership. All 359 Conservative MPs took part in this vote, of which 211 voted in support of our Prime Minister. 180 ‘no’ votes were needed to remove Johnson from office but unfortunately for many members of the British public, they were 32 ‘no’ votes short. Having spent vast amounts of time analysing the comment sections under videos of Johnson declaring the vote of confidence ‘convincing’, it is safe to say that the general public do not reciprocate his feelings. For reference, in December 2018 when a vote of confidence was held regarding Theresa May’s leadership, she had 4% more support from her party than Johnson received on Monday and this was after she had lost the vote on her Brexit deal in the Commons by 230 votes.
To put my own views aside, I can certainly see why those who don’t support Boris Johnson are yearning for his departure. Not only is his Government not doing enough to support the British people when inflation is at a 40 year high (currently at 9%) but he has also severely broken the Ministerial Code over Partygate which he now hopes to ‘draw a line’ under. To add insult to injury, Johnson has also be accused of altering the Ministerial Code to ‘save his skin’. Number 10 has changed the ministerial code saying that it is: “disproportionate to expect that any breach, however minor, should lead automatically to resignation or dismissal”. It is safe to infer from the aforementioned instances, that Johnson has lost a lot of his legitimacy and is perhaps to not fit to run the country, therefore his victory in the vote of confidence is a travesty of British Politics.
From my ‘privileged’ perspective, I believe that removing Boris Johnson from office would be a disaster for the Country. I appreciate that I don’t bare the effects of the cost of living crisis as much as others which somewhat undermines my perspective, but to be honest, I quite enjoy playing the devil’s advocate. The only reason why perhaps I may be sceptical of his leadership, is that it could hinder the Conservative Party in the next General Election, as Keir Starmer’s Labour Party are becoming a greater threat in the light of current affairs.
I don’t think that there is a worthy replacement for Johnson within the Tory ranks at the moment. Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt are good within their respective roles but I don’t feel they possess the leadership qualities to be adequate Prime Ministers. Furthermore, I feel that Johnson’s success have instantly been forgotten and overshadowed by the mistakes he has made and the hostility that he currently faces from much of the public. He has done lots to support Ukraine and President Zelensky referred to him as an ‘ally’ when commenting that he is ‘happy he’s still PM’. In spite of inflation, a few weeks ago unemployment hit a 48-year low and our monthly GDP is back to pre-COVID levels. After weeks of pressure from the Labour Party, the Chancellor (Rishi Sunak) finally imposed a windfall tax on oil and gas firms to help the cost of living crisis, so hopefully those struggling will reap the benefits of that tax soon.
Frankly, Johnson should be held accountable for breaking the laws he imposed, but ultimately I am happy with the job he is doing and I am not too bothered that he had a drink with the people he was working alongside all day anyway. He was immense in ensuring that we didn’t suffer terrible loses during the pandemic, and whilst he didn’t make all the right decisions, I doubt anyone in the world could have.
What does this mean for the future?
To sum up, another vote of confidence cannot be held for the next twelve months, so for now you are stuck with him unless the Commons Privilege Committee find him guilty of misleading parliament. I highly doubt that the Conservatives will call a snap election any time soon because chances are they’d lose it. My bet is that they will wait for the 2024 General Election with the hope that the animosity dies down, but I feel that may be optimistic. For now, Johnson will carry on, business as usual.