Boris Johnson is in a blind panic – not good for a prime minister and a country’s leader. The comical sight of Johnson stamping his feet and toys in the air, and demanding an immediate general election, is risible and even, in some way, tragic.
Traumatised by the brain-washing to which he was subject at Eton, like the rest of these pitiful Bullingdon Club individuals, Johnson possesses an outrageous sense of entitlement and omnipotence – “The world will bend to my will, just by virtue of my demanding it!” is their deeply ingrained but wholly deluded belief system.
Johnson is desperate and beside himself to have an immediate election because he and Dominic Cummings know they can only win one on a divisive Brexit ticket. If the Tories were to fight an election based on their calamitous policy record since 2010, they’d be comprehensively buried – hence the desperate, hysterical “chicken” abuse being thrown at Corbyn for not colluding with Johnson’s only conceivable route to survival.
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Could Boris Johnson ignore the law?
The very idea – mimicked, of course, by the supine “Destroy Corbyn” right-wing media – that it is Jeremy Corbyn who’s “a chicken”, is as laughable as it is a beautiful example of psychological projection (and highly disturbed individuals are chronically subject to pathological projection, of course). For Johnson is the chicken – and a demented, headless one at that: telling any lie and bullying anyone in sight he think he needs to, in order to get his way.
We may be about to break a long-standing record for the shortest tenure prime minister ever – ie George Canning (1827), who was PM for just 119 days. Praise be if this unenviable record is about to be broken.
A pyrrhic victory against Boris Johnson
The passing of the act to require Boris Johnson to seek a three-month extension to Brexit from the EU is a pyrrhic victory for opponents of no deal. The tussle to seek an extension will only help Cummings pitch Johnson as “the people” against parliament in the campaign. The key fact is the Conservatives’ continuing 10 per cent lead in the opinion polls, meaning they will return to power with a fresh electoral mandate for no deal. They will immediately revoke the act and pass legislation to cause us to leave the EU unilaterally long before the extension has expired.
The underlying cause of our leaving with no deal and the resulting damage to our country will have been the unelectability of Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn.
Jail for the PM
Compared to dying in a ditch, a spell in prison will be a cheap and relatively easy sort of martyrdom for Boris Johnson to make his point. He won’t care if valued British conventions and sensibilities are trashed in the process.
Punching above our weight
The Iranian oil tanker saga shines a troubling light on what passes for British diplomacy. (“Iran says tanker last seen off coast of Syria has reached its destination, and oil has been sold.”)
It started with John Bolton’s request that Britain seize – hijack is more appropriate – an Iranian oil tanker that had, so we are told, stopped at Gibraltar for provisions. The pretext was, believe it or not, a dubious extraterritorial interpretation of EU sanctions on Syria. We dutifully sent in the Royal Marines. Our prize was none other than Trump’s “ambassadorial” tweets as well as Iran’s copybook seizure of British-flagged Stena Impero. As for the EU, nothing but silence concerning Britain’s high-handed seizure. The EU-27 were upset by Britain’s unilateral action given their desperate efforts to preserve the Iranian nuclear deal. They nevertheless kept quiet for fear of upsetting Washington. The unwieldy EU remains shackled to the lowest common denominator when it comes to policy. Isn’t Brussels supposed to be a major international player?
To cap it all off, Britain blinked first. It released the Iranian tanker, having secured a meaningless promise from the Iranians that the tanker would not proceed to Syria. The tanker predictably ended up in a Syrian port. On its way there, the captain was offered a sizeable sum by US authorities to divert the tanker to a ‘friendly’ port. Such bribery amounts to piracy.
So much for Britain’s espousal of a rules-based international order.
Breaking up with British Airways
I’m in no position to evaluate whether or not British Airways’ offer to its pilots is fair. What I do know is that as a passenger, I gave up on them years ago.
When I travel, I need the help of a wheelchair. When I did fly BA, I always felt I got an insincere welcome and minimal offers of assistance. By contrast, when I fly Virgin Atlantic, the staff are universally welcoming and are always willing to help me in any way they can. Frequently on VA, I’ve been told by the flight attendants that now they know I need help, I should just push the bell as often as I want.
I’m not so disabled that I can’t do lots of things, but the contrast between the welcome I get on BA and the one I get on VA speaks volumes. So I gave up on BA years ago. I still think this is a shame, but there are just so many and better alternatives now.
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Road traffic laws
Perhaps your leader writer could look at the road traffic acts; it is and has been for many years a criminal offence to drive onto land not forming part of the road (amended to exclude driving over the pavement to reach a parking space within a few yards). While it is punishable by a small fine, it could still be punished by disqualification without limit of time, endorsement of driving licence and forfeiture of the vehicle involved.
I suggest that it would only need one well publicised conviction and sentence for a dramatic reversal of common practice.