Boris Johnson has a tantrum as Privileges Committee confirms what we all knew

A protest sign depicting Boris Johnson as a clown. privileges committee
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The Privileges Committee have found that Boris Johnson deliberately lied to MPs about lockdown-breaking parties during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The committee, which probes breaches of House of Commons rules, found that Johnson was guilty of:

repeated contempts (of parliament) and… seeking to undermine the parliamentary process.

In a scorching report, the committee said:

The contempt was all the more serious because it was committed by the prime minister, the most senior member of the government.

There is no precedent for a prime minister having been found to have deliberately misled the House.

He misled the House on an issue of the greatest importance to the House and to the public, and did so repeatedly.

The committee is made up of a majority of Conservative MPs. They’re able to recommend sanctions on rule-breakers. However, MPs must vote to ratify the ruling. On this occasion, the committee chose to sanction Johnson with a 90-day suspension. However, in a characteristic fit of fuckwittery, Johnson resigned as an MP just days before the report came out.

Read on...

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“Kangaroo court”

Not only did Johnson quit as MP, he did so by claiming that he was stitched up by political opponents in what he called a “kangaroo court.” And, once the report itself was actually released to the public, he doubled down. He called the report “deranged” and the 14-month inquiry into his statements to parliament a “charade”.

He insisted that his attendance at the Downing Street parties in question was “lawful, and required” by his job. This sits in stark opposition to the fact that Johnson resigned as prime minister in the summer of 2022 after facing pressure over partygate and a string of other scandals.

Of course, in the wake of partygate the police fined Johnson and dozens of government officials for breaking social distancing laws which the government set to curtail the spread of coronavirus. Months of newspaper revelations about alcohol-fuelled gatherings caused widespread public outrage.

Johnson’s behaviour in relation to the Privileges Committee itself, however, came in for swift censure from the committee themselves.They said that his critical comments about the committee lengthened his suspension as they ruled that he was:

complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the committee.

We came to the view that some of Mr Johnson’s denials and explanations were so disingenuous that they were by their very nature deliberate attempts to mislead the committee and the House, while others demonstrated deliberation because of the frequency with which he closed his mind to the truth.

Revealing details of some of the report’s conclusions last week before it was published was also “a very serious contempt”.

Unrepentant as always

In an angry and lengthy statement Johnson showed, once again, that basic facts have little impact on his conduct. He wrote:

This is a dreadful day for MPs and for democracy.

Barring invasion from a Global South country coming to put us out of our misery and install democracy for us, what else does Johnson think is going to happen here? Now, let’s get to reactions from people who are likely sick of having to respond to Johnson’s constant bullshit.

Jeremy Corbyn, rather than seeing this as a dreadful day for democracy, urged reflection:

Biologist Kit Yates dismissed Johnson’s apparent fury:

Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu explained exactly who Boris Johnson is:

Amongst all the political infighting, scientist Christina Pagel pointed out something that will matter to many bereaved families:

Send in the clowns

Of course, Pagel rightly points out what this whole partygate business is really about. It’s one thing to have lying politicians – that’s sadly normalised in our political system. It’s quite another to have one set of rules for the public and another set of rules for politicians.

Johnson being the man that he is, he won’t take any of this with anything approaching grace or humility. The real death knell for our political system, however, is that clowns like him are exactly what you get from an elite system that privileges the moneyed few and appoints them to run the country.

There are plenty of politicians like Boris Johnson – more’s the pity.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

Featured image by Jannes Van den Wouwer/Unsplash

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  • Show Comments
    1. Will someone give the little boy who knows not how to brush his hair a damned good spanking! Said reward for being caught lying and lying and lying again should be administered every day for at least a year. A call for volunteers from the public as well as Parliament would be sure to provide enough strong arms to wield a suitable paddle, and more than a few carpenters to build replacements when they wear out. Unlike his fat ass and equally fat head.

      1. The trouble with this proposed remedy is that having been educated in a British fee paying school, Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson might derive sexual pleasure from it.

        Personally I would agree with Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, remove his entitlement to the lifetime ex Prime Ministerial allowance, pension, the whole shebang. The man is a disgrace.

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