The Knives Are Being Sharpened to Slay ‘Trump Britain’
By TruePublica Editor: It’s quite astonishing how the Murdoch (News Corp) owned Times and Sunday Times have turned against the Conservative leader, the cabinet and their acolytes quite the way they have. It is true to say that they never liked Boris Johnson – but they are going for the jugular as both they and many other commentators in the press can now smell blood. The metaphorical knives are being sharpened across the political sphere in London and the Times thinks it is now just a matter of time. Maybe even just a week away before the real blood-letting begins.
The Sunday Times this week really is telling and sets the scene. Their poll this week shows that 88 per cent of its readers think Boris Johnson is a bad Prime Minister. At the time of writing (4 pm), nearly 40,000 votes had been submitted.
Then it’s off to an article titled – “Has this experiment in celebrity government given us the most disreputable leader in history?” Written by former editor-in-chief of The Telegraph, Max Hastings pulls no punches.
“The hero of the Bullingdon Club, Houdini of the boudoir, the most implausible prime minister in Britain’s history is, at last, approaching the end of his piece of string… The issue is what was any sane person thinking, to suppose him an appropriate person to be our national leader.” Hastings goes on to point out that – Johnson is “a cavorting charlatan … foisted a tasteless joke upon the British people, who will not find it funny for long”. It doesn’t end there when he says Johnson is “the most morally debased leader Britain has had since the 18th century.” and that – “The experiment in celebrity government to which the Conservative Party committed us has failed and is seen by the world to have failed. The foremost task for a successor is to restore Britain’s reputation as a serious country.”
Another article, its front page lead, assumes that Johnson is quite possibly mad enough to go full-Trump and refuse to abide by the rules – “Boris Johnson has told allies that he is determined to cling on to power as he prepares to face a confidence vote as soon as this week. Friends say the prime minister is determined to stay in No 10. “He’s making very clear that they’ll have to send a Panzer division to get him out of there,” one senior adviser said. It’s ironic that this advisor uses German Panzer tanks as an expression of Johnson’s supposed resolve. Let’s be fair, BJ is no Churchill is he! This article also postulates that letters to the 1922 committee have reached close to the line – certainly above forty and that it may even be closer to fifty.
An inside source quoted in another article at No10 says: ‘So our new boss is a pro-Remain lobbyist who’s said the PM is ‘sexually incontinent’, ‘hugely divisive’, ‘destructive’, ‘dragging the country down’, and picked ‘wrong side’ in referendum’”.
The punches keep coming as three more Times journalists gang up in another article entitled – “Paralysed in No10, are the PM and his wife ready to let go? They report that a powerful political aid of Johnson has asked what it would take for them to rescind no-confidence letters to the 1922 committee. “In a message to one rebel last week, he asked: “What would it take to get you to rescind your letter?” The MP suggested that a knighthood might do the trick.” Nothing like a bit more bribery and corruption within the Tory ranks eh!
Here, The Sunday Times quotes from sources that ‘Carrie’ has had enough. “In spite of Johnson’s determination to hang on, three sources say Carrie Johnson has grown weary of the pressure on her, her husband and their children and has privately voiced the view that it might be better if he were to quit.”
The loss of Johnson’s most influential policy advisor Murina Mirza was highlighted as yet another lethal stab. “Colleagues compared her departure with the last raven leaving the Tower of London. A minister who has known the prime minister for years said: “If he’s lost her, he really is screwed, there really isn’t anyone left.” He paused and added: “It’s a bit like losing Carrie.”
On top of this lot, the article makes mention that Lord Ashcroft is bankrolling the publication of a new book (remember Piggate – where Ashcroft accused David Cameron of inserting his penis into a dead pig’s mouth as part of an Etonian right of passage) only this time its contents will only intensify the pressure on No10. The book, so says the article – “is expected to make claims about the extent of Carrie’s influence over No 10 policy. It also repeats allegations that she fiddled her expenses when she was communications director of the Conservative Party.”
SafeSubcribe/Instant Unsubscribe - One Email, Every Sunday Morning - So You Miss Nothing - That's It
One turn of the page and the next article attacks Johnson for co-opting disinformation and fake news. Its first paragraph reads – “The minister whose job it is to tackle disinformation could only squirm when asked about his boss’s predilection for spreading it. In the House of Commons the day before, Boris Johnson had included the name of Jimmy Savile in an attack on the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer — a conspiracy theory straight out of far-right circles online. Yet Chris Philp, the minister for tech and the digital economy, refused to condemn Johnson during his appearance before the digital, culture, media and sport committee on Tuesday. As John Nicolson, the Scottish National Party MP who quizzed Philp, asks: “If you can’t trust the disinformation minister to handle disinformation, who can you trust?”
“Revenge of the Maybot” is yet another attack on the hapless chaos ridden PM. “Rule-breaking, flimsy denials and claims of ignorance — the parties scandal might have been precision-engineered to offend Theresa May. It’s no wonder the former PM is on the attack and training her sights on the man who helped oust her from office.” This is a piece about how another powerful Tory has sharpened the knife, stabbed once and is about to go again to ensure a proper blood-letting leads to Johnson and his family vacating the flat above No10.
The article right next to Mrs May’s venting is entitled “Vengeful cabinet turns on plotter Sunak” which reports that – “Cabinet ministers have turned on Rishi Sunak, accusing him of plotting against the prime minister. Three members of the cabinet have said the chancellor should be sacked for disloyalty as Boris Johnson fights to save his premiership.”
The Sunday Times does not let up. Next up is an article about Lynton Crosby, the Australian elections guru who had masterminded four successive victories for his country’s right-of-centre Liberal party – and any other right-wing government prepared to pay him enough – ours included. The article primarily says – “The presence of Crosby and his associates will not be enough to save Johnson: the prime minister will have to navigate a Met investigation, the Gray report, a potential no-confidence vote and local elections in May to have any hope of survival.” Clearly, the view is that no matter how good the comms team are at such difficult navigation – no one is that good and Johnson is done for.
There are a spattering of other uncomplimentary articles. One criticises Sunak’s Covid loan scheme where billions ended up in the hands of crooks – who then used the money to create a bigger crime wave. Another highlights that the “Conservative Party’s deputy chairman is embroiled in a bullying row after five members of staff came forward with complaints about his alleged behaviour.” Then there’s the cartoon of the day with the office of No10 empty of, well anyone, except Johnson and Dillon the dog typing out his resignation.
Although there’s more (believe it or not), one reader writes to Letters to the Editor to point out that no matter how much you pay politicians things won’t get better because – “the problem is not money but the very limited pool of available talent.” However, Stan from Lanarkshire failed to point out that the real reason for the limited pool of talent is the febrile, nasty, brutal environment that politics has become. Who would subject themselves to it, certainly not many who would genuinely view public service as an honour, whilst at the same time worrying about the safety of their families?
The reality is that even the right-wing press has gone against Boris Johnson (other than a comic called the Daily Express). The Telegraph and Daily Mail certainly have. Even they can see the damage Johnson is doing and even they can see the big issues facing UK plc is not best served by clowns and fawning sycophants, (without mentioning that it was they who promoted him into such high office in the first place).
There are a lot of historical references to Johnsons’s demise. The night of a thousand cuts, creeping normality, the slippery slope, salami tactics and so on. It’s where Boris Johnson is right now.
The knives are out. In the end, be it now or later – he won’t survive it. If local elections prove to go against the Tories then another set of knives get sharpened. Johnson’s brand is about self-serving narcissism, corruption, nepotism, deceit and failure. He doesn’t have a compelling message to vote for. They want rid of him before he brings them all down. He is, as the FT editor says – as “incompetent as he is dishonest.”