Defence minister is caught on camera spilling the ‘unspeakable’ beans about Boris Johnson

Tracy Keeling

Defence minister Ben Wallace has been caught on camera saying the ‘unspeakable’ about Boris Johnson.

Since the PM’s decision to prorogue parliament, he’s insisted that he’s only doing it so he can move forward on his “very exciting agenda” for the country. But many people suspect that’s not the case at all. Instead, they believe he’s trying scupper MPs’ involvement in the final stages of Brexit.

That’s not something he and his ministers have been willing to admit out loud, though. Until, that is, Wallace was caught on camera effectively saying the same thing. Oops.

“You know, politics”

The BBC broadcast the footage of Wallace speaking to French defence minister Florence Parly:


In the exchange, Wallace accused parliament of being “awful at saying what it wants”, but “very good at saying what it doesn’t want”. He then goes on to say that:

So, you know, eventually any leader has to… try

He concedes that he doesn’t know what the outcome of “it” will be and breaks down laughing. He continues, after regaining his composure, saying “[inaudible] politics”. Later in the exchange, he then appears to explain why “it” had to happen:

we’ve suddenly found ourselves with no majority and a coalition and that’s not easy for our [political] system.

Taking us for fools

The government has since argued that Wallace “misspoke” in the conversation. Clearly he did. Because the minister did the unspeakable: he gave credence to people’s suspicions. He suggested that Johnson has done “it” – the proroguing of parliament – due to the precarious position of his minority government in regards to Brexit. Furthermore, Wallace’s behaviour suggests the cabinet thinks the whole thing is funny:

Well, the people aren’t laughing. And they’re not fools either. The jig is well and truly up.

Featured image via screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. Just imagine what cats the fool ‘Gav the Chav’ would have let out of the bag if he were still at Defence. Fortunately for Johnson that oik is ensconced at Education which nobody much cares about these days.

    2. What is really sinister about this is his blase attitude and his sub-adolescent giggling over the hint that this suspension of parliament may go much further. He is saying: “Look, we’re in trouble because we don’t have a majority so we’ve shut down parliament for a bit. Maybe we’ll shut it down for a bit longer. Wouldn’t that be a laugh?”
      No one should be in any doubt: these people are contemptuous of democracy, of the people and are arch-narcissists, in the Trump mould. Democracy will not survive if it is put into the hands of people who don’t take seriously the rights of the common folk. It is not a mere mechanism for elevating people to power. It is responsible citizenship. It means all of us rising to our duty as citizens. For Johnson, we are just a gaggle of floppy dolls he can kick around as he likes. Any British citizen who today is not worried about whether she or he will still be living in a democracy in a couple of years has not understood. These people are lost in the fantasy of their own absolute entitlement. Giving them power is like giving your car keys to a five-year-old.
      And Wallace is wrong to say ours is a winner-take-all system. That’s what referenda deliver. Elections produce governments and oppositions. When oppositions function properly, executives can’t do what they like. What Wallace betrays here is precisely the Tory grandee fantasy that if you win an election, you are a dictator. And Johnson, with a majority of one and no mandate from the people is behaving as if he’s the world king he dreamed of being when he was three. Of course, he is three, emotionally. His intellect is developed. He can read Seneca in the original. But his emotions are back in the nursery, like his good friend and mentor Where’s-my-dummy Donald.
      This is what you get when societies descend into narcissism. Humanity has taken a wrong turn. Is there a way out? Only if we, the grown ups, show the children there are rules of good behaviour and they can’t get their own way just because they want to.

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