boris johnson
Image: Flickr / Financial Times

Boris Johnson and his cabinet are the most incompetent in British history

It has been quite the week in Westminster.

On Monday, the Liberal Democrats announced that Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, had been elected to replace Sir Vince Cable as party leader. In her victory speech, Swinson mounted a blistering attack on Jeremy Corbyn’s “failure” to address anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, vowing to do “whatever it takes to stop Brexit.”

Twenty-four hours later, it was confirmed that Westminster’s other Jeremy had failed to upset the applecart in the Conservative leadership election. With a ratio of around 2:1, Boris Johnson defeated Jeremy Hunt to win the Tory leadership election, and thus guardianship of Larry the Cat, by an absolute landslide.

Mr Johnson’s victory speech was certainly quite the spectacle. The Prime Minister-elect vowed to become the United Kingdom’s “DUDE”, doubling-down on his commitment to Conservative Party members that he will deliver Brexit by October 31st, unite the nation, defeat Jeremy Corbyn, and – in a new pledge – “energise the country.”

Britain has entered the danger-zone. Our prime minister has committed his government to a “do or die” Brexit deadline of October 31st

As railway lines across the country strained under the heat of the nation’s hottest day on record, Johnson replaced Theresa May in Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon. By teatime, Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle had already broken Macmillan’s record: the country would awake to a new government.

On Thursday, as Boris Johnson addressed the House of Commons as Prime Minister for the first time, the new administration quickly demonstrated its true colours. Johnson responded to criticism of the Conservatives’ record on education policy in the Trumpian mould. The Prime Minister constructed an alternative reality.

Brexit nay-sayers across the country and Commons are unpatriotic “pessimists” who endanger our democracy. Only the Conservative Party can save us now… or so Mr Johnson would like us to believe.

Britain has entered the danger-zone. Our prime minister has committed his government to a “do or die” Brexit deadline of October 31st. Without the democratic legitimacy of a General Election, Boris Johnson has appointed the most controversial, right-wing cabinet in recent times.

Mr. Johnson finally has his hands on the levers of power, but he continues to dance to the tune of Nigel Farage

In 2017, Priti Patel was sacked by Theresa May for conducting her own foreign policy. Gavin Williamson was dismissed from cabinet earlier this year, accused of leaking sensitive materials from the National Security Council. Just eight months ago, Dominic Raab – while serving as Brexit Secretary – admitted to not having “quite understood the full extent” of the importance of the Dover-Calais crossing.

Priti Patel, Home Secretary. Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary. Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary. I could keep going, but I won’t. Never has this country been inflicted with such a dire cabinet.

In order to serve in the Johnson government, prospective ministers were required to join the PM in his commitment to leave the European Union “come what may” on October 31st. Mr. Johnson finally has his hands on the levers of power, but he continues to dance to the tune of Nigel Farage.

In the words of Simon Coveney, Irish Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson “seems to have deliberately set the UK on a collision course with the European Union and Ireland in relation to the Brexit negotiation.” As Coveney remarked, only the Prime Minister can explain why he is pursuing such an aggressive approach to the Brexit negotiations. I suspect, however, that Johnson’s race to the bottom is entirely about destroying the Brexit Party.

The EU has been clear from the start: the Irish backstop is non-negotiable, the £39 billion is non-negotiable, the integrity of the Single Market is non-negotiable.

The greatest political catastrophe of our time, and all because of a lie on the side of a bus

Of course, Boris Johnson wants the European Union to drop the backstop; say au revoir to the £39 billion that Britain owes; and undermine the integrity of the Single Market. The PM is entitled to his own opinions; he isn’t entitled to his own version of the truth. If Boris’ Brexit battalion have their way, the United Kingdom will nosedive out of the EU on Halloween. The greatest political catastrophe of our time, and all because of a lie on the side of a bus.

I refer you to the sixteenth line in Vossi Bop. Stormzy was right.

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