The Prime Minister resigned in much the same fashion as he had ruled over the country, full of lies and self-delusion, observes Otto English

History will recall, that when the end came, the naked Emperor was still insisting that he was fully clothed.

The subtext of his disingenuous resignation speech, delivered outside Number 10 at lunchtime today, was as subtle as the £840 a roll wallpaper that decorates the walls of his soon-to-be departed flat. 

There was but one truth according to Boris Johnson and it was all his. Nothing was his fault. 

He had done all he could to stay on to deliver the 2019 mandate of the British people but ‘the party’ had turned against him. They didn’t get it and they had decided, quite wrongly, that he should go. They failed to see how much he was delivering. The ‘herd instincts’ of Westminster had moved like Shakespearean plotters against him. He had fought to stay on, not out of greased piglet-headedness but because it was his ‘duty’ to do so.  

He said he was ‘immensely proud’ of his achievements and went on to list them. They included the lie that he had got Brexit done, the lie that the country had reclaimed the power to make its own laws, the lie that he had given the country the fastest exit from lockdown and the lie that he had ‘led the west’ in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. 

He could have added some truths: the fact that his delayed response to the seriousness of the pandemic contributed to 181,000 COVID deaths, the reality that his disastrous Brexit strategy has left the UK, cut loose and friendless with the slowest growing economy in the G7 and a hit on GDP of roughly £100 billion a year.

But Johnson doesn’t do truth, any more than he does humility, self-reflection or the keeping of marital vows.

THE BORIS JOHNSON SHOW: PART 1A Role on which the Curtain Never Falls

Otto English

Those who care about this country and its people might afford themselves half a sigh of relief that he is soon to be gone – but this catastrophe is very far from over. 

The Clown King, enabled by his Cabinet of fools and his allies in the print and broadcast media leaves a legacy of havoc. The disastrous consequence of the mishandling of the pandemic and the inane self-destruction that is Brexit will resonate for years, if not decades. 

We were told that it would be fun to have him at the wheel but by putting Johnson there the Good Ship Britannia has been driven straight onto the rocks. 

There is a certain poetry in Johnson’s Clownfall. The man who came to power aping Churchill has resigned precisely two years and 348 days into his tenure, a length of office shared by one Neville Chamberlain.

There is poetry too in the rumblings that he will be ousted before the timing of his own choosing.

There is poetry in the schadenfreude of his end. 

But there is nothing to celebrate about the legacy of this unscrupulous man, his venal party and the loathsome politics that and his cavalcade of fools have visited on Britain.

The morally bankrupted journalists and commentators who enabled him deserve our utter contempt. 

The Conservative Party that put him in charge, knowing his flaws but believing it didn’t matter because he would ‘win’ elections deserves to crumble to its end. Their collective political extinction should be the deserved outcome of this mess. 

And it cannot come soon enough.

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