There is a word for taking delight in someone else’s misfortunes – Schadenfreude. It is difficult to think of a more detestable character than Boris Johnson. A bona fide racist, homophobe, anti-Semite, Zionist, arch imperialist and warmonger, anti-democratic, contemptuous of the poor, sexist. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe this sociopath.
Johnson’s nearly 3-year stint as Prime Minister has been one unmitigated disaster. Brexit has resulted in political paralysis in Northern Ireland and a £20 billion drop in exports to Europe compared to 2018, some 12%.
But it is in the sustained attack on refugees and asylum seekers and democratic rights which marks this government out. The Police & Crime Sentencing Act, the ‘Spy Cops’ or Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, which allows government bodies to authorise law-breaking by undercover operatives in the UK. The other is the Overseas Operations Bill, which is gives state operatives a license to murder and torture. The new Public Order Bill continues the tradition.
The fact that Starmer’s Labour abstained on the first two demonstrates just how far to the right the Labour Party now is. The proposed Public Order Bill continues in the tradition of giving the Police yet more powers whilst whittling away at the right to protest and demonstrate such as for example locking on.
It even proposes banning people from taking part in demonstrations. The Serious Disruption Prevention Orders can either be made following a protester’s conviction or on application to a Magistrates’ Court from a Chief Constable of a local police force. You do not need to be convicted of an offence to be issued with one. Serious Disruption Prevention Orders encourage the expansion of police intelligence gathering on a range of social and political movements.
So there are no regrets at Johnson’s imminent demise. However there is no reason to believe that his successors will be any more enlightened. It is the lack of any serious socialist challenge to the present ruling class consensus which is most worrying.
Underneath the present crisis are the continuing tremors from Brexit and Britain’s role in the world. Johnson was of course happy to throw in British imperialism’s lot with US imperialism whereas his opponents looked to Europe. Except that in the current crisis of a proxy war in Ukraine the European Union has itself subordinated its foreign policy to the United States.
We can however enjoy the scene of the wretched corrupt Johnson twisting in the wind as his opponents move in for the kill. Let us hope that he takes Pritti Patel with him!
Keir Starmer of course has demonstrated how useless he is, even for a bourgeois politician. He is not only humourless and boring but he has no political antennae. The obvious reaction to 41% of Tory MPs voting against Johnson was to say he had lost the confidence of his own MPs (just 60 Tory backbenchers supported in addition to the payroll vote) and should resign.
What did Mogadon Man do? He said that Tory MPs should be condemned for their vote of confidence in Johnson. A complete misreading of the situation as tomorrow’s newspaper headlines will remind him. Even The Telegraph, Johnson’s old paper nicknamed the Torygraph for its loyalty to the Tory Party has called the vote a ‘Hollow Victory’ and said that it ‘’tears the Tory party apart’ and that Johnson’s authority is ‘crushed’ with ‘rebels circling to finish him off’.
The tragedy is that the Labour Party doesn’t have a similarly ruthless way of finishing off the tailor’s dummy who is currently leading it. If by some mischance Starmer were to become Prime Minister then his popularity and authority would decline at an even faster rate than Johnson’s as they share the same poisonous politics but Starmer lacks Johnson’s synthetic charisma. If Johnson’s aversion to the truth was seen as his major personal handicap we should remember that Starmer is no less the liar.
The 10 Pledges he used to win the Labour leadership election have been junked. Starmer also deliberately hid the fact that he was backed by an assortment of the mega rich including open Zionists and other racists. After all Starmer is a ‘Zionist without qualification’ and he has signed up Johnson’s agenda on NATO and Ukraine.
We should take the opportunity that Johnson’s imminent demise offers to strengthen our own opposition to the raft of Tory legislation in the offing.