“Boris Johnson has always seen himself as above the law. For years he has been arrogant, narcissistic, and frankly dangerous, yet too many were pulled in by the circus act and the consequences were sadly desperate.”
By Ian Lavery MP
It is difficult to overstate the importance of last week to the health of our democracy.
The vote on the Privileges Committee Report that conclusively found Boris Johnson guilty of misleading parliament drew the battle lines between those willing to allow our democracy to be exploited for their own personal and political gain, and those committed to upholding public standards and the right of law.
Boris Johnson has always seen himself as above the law. For years he has been arrogant, narcissistic, and frankly dangerous, yet too many were pulled in by the circus act and the consequences were sadly desperate.
His incompetence and apathy throughout the pandemic led to thousands of avoidable deaths and the policies his government pressed forward with threw thousands more into poverty while accelerating the process of eroding our civil rights and liberties.
The arrogance to break his own lockdown rules time and time again while millions of hard working people suffered to keep one another safe is, despite framing himself as ‘one of the boys’, symptomatic of the feeling of superiority his class hold over the rest of us. This is achieved by being completely sheltered and out of touch with the reality of how tough life has become for so many ordinary people up and down the country paired with an indifference and callousness on the rare occasions they are forced to confront it.
It is important that parliament voted through the report and Boris Johnson was found guilty for his behaviour. As he screeches about fake news and a ‘kangaroo court’, inspired by his great ally across the pond, we are once again reminded about the threat he poses to our democratic norms that have been brewing for decades.
But he is not the only one implicated by this report. Sadly, the vast majority of Conservative MP’s chose to abstain on last night’s vote. In doing so they showed the same lack of respect to the public who followed the lockdown rules closely and sacrificed so much to keep one another safe throughout the pandemic. I advise everyone to take some time to look at which MP’s voted for this report to be approved and who chose to vote against or abstain.
The report in question decisively shows that Boris Johnson was a liar. Anyone who voted against this report or abstained should be happy to explain with evidence why they believe this not to be the case and justify their view to all those who lost so much during such a difficult time while the former PM and partied the night away.
This includes the Prime Minister himself Rishi Sunak, who did not bother turning up to the debate or vote on Monday evening. In doing so, Sunak once again put his own political interests above those of the country, preferring to avoid further damage done by rogue Johnson loyalists rather than lead from the front to do the right thing no matter how inconvenient it may be.
This is not long after approving Johnson’s honours list, which handed cosy honours and peerages for those who helped him mislead parliament and oversee a disastrous period for our country as a whole. Some of these people will not sit in the House of Lords for years to come, with significant powers to stall legislation and frustrate our democratic process.
But it should now be clear that this is not a concern for the Conservative’s. Whether it is Boris the clown or Rishi the respectable banker, both sides of the Conservative coin will always put the interest of themselves and the party before the country and it is time we gave them what they deserve at the ballot box and wash the Tories away for good.
- Ian Lavery is the MP for Wansbeck, you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
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