27 March 2023
Boris Johnson: Endgame
Boris Johnson’s endgame is nigh. On Wednesday 22 March, he made a shambolic appearance before the Privileges Committee. We were told by a senior political journalist that you can tell when Johnson is in trouble – he gets a haircut and wears a suit properly. Whilst this might have been the case on Wednesday, it did not hide the desperate, indignant display of a man, still the boy described by his Eton Housemaster in 1982. “I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the obligations which bind the rest of us else."
His primary defence was that my advisers told me to do it. That it was simply impossible and essential for him and his team not to meet in the cramped 18th-century Downing Street house. He didn’t even get to eat the cake, just salad; and no one sang him Happy Birthday! That it was important for staff morale, to thank them for their hard work.
Johnson must think that we are all idiots. It was staggering that he was so stupid as to allow an official photographer to record illegal activities. However expensive and expert his lawyer was, the tissue of half-truths and disregard for the rules HE was setting, and most people in the country were doing their best to follow, was evident. He allowed a culture of rule breaking, entitlement and irresponsibility to flourish at No 10. The disregard for the thousands who were denied the opportunity to see or say goodbye to loved ones, friends and colleagues was palpable. It was all about blaming everyone else but himself.
Boris Johnson should have done the honourable thing, but you cannot expect decency from an indecent man.
So why does this farce matter? Why do we have to listen to this man anymore? Because if he has knowingly misled parliament, it matters. Because any desire he harbours to plot a Churchillian return needs to be quashed. But he has run out of road as few of his supposed supporters bothered to vote with him against Rishi Sunak’s Stormont Brake. Whatever and whenever the Privileges Committee decides – The BoJo Show is hopefully an endgame.
We believe the real legacy of Boris Johnson’s Premiership is that it fundamentally changed the fabric of our country and society. The decay now infecting our corridors of power is destroying our democracy. We have to bring in systemic change that will enable integrity, honesty and fairness in our politics and restoration of the moral fibre of our country and society. This is the purpose and focus of the True & Fair Party.
The Windsor Framework was a watershed in UK / EU relations and appeared to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol issues. It delivered a sense of renewed good faith and trust in which both sides could operate. Not only has it improved relations with the EU, it has also improved relations with the US, and internationally.
But the Parliamentary vote on the Stormont Brake threatened to derail the deal, mainly due to the DUP and ERG. What transpired was a whimper from the Windsor Framework whiners and the vote passed through the House of Commons by a massive majority of 515 MPs for and 29 against it. This is a huge win for Sunak and the government, and a huge loss for Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Priti Patel, Iain Duncan Smith and the DUP. Sunak appears to be sailing on a much calmer Conservative sea. But whilst the Windsor Framework closes one chapter, it opens another.
The DUP's real angst is having to serve with Sinn Fein. But without an Executive in place at Stormont, the extra £130m announced (not thought to be enough) in the recent Budget cannot be spent on public services. The simple fact is, the majority of people in Northern Ireland support the Windsor Framework and want a practical and functional relationship between EU markets and the UK markets. The DUP’s attempts to hijack this process for other reasons is hurting people.
With the DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson telling the Commons that he cannot commit to the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the next chapter is restoring power sharing at Stormont on a stable, sustainable basis with cross-community consent and consensus. This appears unachievable in the near future.
The Casey Report – Met ‘institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic’
In the aftermath of the rape, kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, Baroness Casey’ was appointed by the Met to lead an independent review of the culture and standards of behaviour of the Met Police. Her report published this week is not just another hard hitting police report, it was utterly damning saying the Met could no longer be trusted due to systemic and fundamental failings’. After a yearlong investigation into the Metropolitan police, the Casey Report exposes an institution rotten to its core. She found a complete lack of accountability for police officers that abuse their powers; racism, sexism and homophobia are rife, both within the police force and outside relating to their methods of policing local communities. Londoners, especially women and girls, and people from all/any minority group can no longer feel safe in the streets of London.
The report reveals that officers who were black or Asian were much more likely to raise grievances than their white colleagues, with these complaints often putting a target on their backs. When these complaints were made, often nothing was done, and no action was taken, letting the perpetrators get away with racial abuse. Baroness Casey specifically highlighted the appalling state of the grievance procedure in fuelling a culture of unaccountability and an environment of injustice. Furthermore, she highlights a ‘resistance to difference’, whereby an environment of bullying is prevalent.
The big five findings were:
- women have been abandoned by the Met with sexism rife and not even hidden.
- rape has been ‘legalised in London’ due to the number of cases investigated being so low. An ‘endemic culture of disbelieving victims and a ‘toxic work environment for women’.
- Damage limitation is the prevailing goal with good leadership substituted with PR and spin.
- The elite units were amongst the worst. There is a deeply troubling and toxic culture in the specialist firearms unit, known as MO19 with ‘men holding competitions to see how often they can make their female students and colleagues cry’.
- Discrimination is rife. A Sikh officer had his beard trimmed as a joke, a Muslim officer had bacon put in his shoes and one in five lesbian, gay and bisexual officers and staff experienced homophobia at work.
The police are supposed to protect our communities, prevent bullying and be trusted to keep us safe. Casey’s report evidenced the Met Police in a cycle of corruption and unaccountability. An institution rotten to its core, in need of radical change, with vastly improved accountability and transparency as a priority.
For the sake of the people of London, there has to be urgent action. On our website, we outline a few top line reforms such as special rape and sexual offence units. We also believe the Met Police should be split up.
This week we launched our new Blog section and have already published two blog posts from members on the collapse of SVB and the proposed new age. Please have a read and get in touch if you are a member and can submit an expert posting on a topical issue.
True & Fair In the News
True & Fair leader Gina Miller was recently invited to appear on Jeremy Kyle's: Kyle's Cabinet and Piers Morgan Uncensored talking about Boris Johnson's Partygate hearing, BBC's social media review and, other news topics. Clips of these interviews can be found on our YouTube channel and at the links below.
True & Fair with the Public
The True & Fair team were recently out in Trafalgar Square, on budget day, during the NEC strike and teachers protest for fairer pay. We interviewed and filmed teachers to hear what they had to say on the new budget. You can find out all of the interviews that we did on our Twitter page or click the image below.
Have a great weekend,
The True & Fair Team