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Bojo shown door while our bozos overstay welcome

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson felt the wrath of many of his colleagues when they walked out on him, the writer says.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson felt the wrath of many of his colleagues when they walked out on him, the writer says.
Image: Carl Court/Getty Images

A prime minister has fallen from grace, in another sordid chapter of sex intrigue that engulfed the Tory leadership.

What brought Boris Johnson down was his denial of the sex allegations against a senior Tory member.

He thought it could be brushed under the carpet in the time-honoured English way; he made a fundamental error and lied to the House of Commons. Rumours were rife within Tory circles of groping and sex adventures. These whispers were amplified in the media. It was an open secret that MP and senior leader Chris Pincher was a serial groper and sex predator.

When revelations began to emerge about sex and “partygate”, the storm broke into a deluge driven by sex, there was a deep, dark context of Tory rank treachery.

In British society, the public gets excited when powerful figures are caught with their “pants” down. Today, Tory disarray is being mirrored by Labour consolidation. It is an almost certainty the Labour party will win the next general election.

As resignations mounted, Johnson, hitherto unflappable, began to flap like a wet hen. His days in office were numbered. A culture of scandal had engulfed his premiership.

He was aware as far back as 2019 that Pincher was a sex fiend. MI5 and MI6 must have briefed him about a predator lurking in the corridors of power. Appointing a sexual offender as a deputy chief whip is tantamount to treason.

Max Hastings, Boris Johnson’s former boss, described him as a “gold-medial egomaniac, a man of remarkable gifts, flawed by an absence of conscience, principle or scruple”.

History will remember Johnson as a failed liar. His tenure as foreign secretary was a disaster. History will also remember him for his cruel comments about Libyan deaths during the civil war.

The rumours about Pincher had become so destabilising that he was forced to make a Commons statement. A pathological liar, whose standards of probity were sent tumbling.

A glance at British politics, from the Profumo scandal to Johnson, reveals a political class that makes us see all too clearly the concept of shame has almost disappeared from public life. At least in the UK politicians are shown the door for their wrongdoings, unlike in SA where lawbreakers are elevated to demigods.

Farouk Araie, Actonville, Benoni

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