Boris’s Ceausecu Moment

by Ralph Berry

On Friday, 3 June, Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie came to the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral for the Service of Thanksgiving.  They were met with sustained booing from the crowd for the brief, 15-second period before they left their car and entered the cathedral.  I was at once reminded of the moment when President Ceausecu of Romania was addressing a large crowd in Bucharest’s main square.  The crowd started booing, and Ceausecu looked puzzled.  Surely they weren’t booing him?  But then it became unmistakable.   The TV footage was at once turned off, but the fact of very wide hostility was ineffaceable.

On the following day the Ceausecus fled their Palace and were soon arrested. They were both tried and shot on 25 December 1989.  From the crowd warning to execution took four days.

Now consider Boris Johnson.  After the Platinum Jubilee had come to its end, the political commentators turned to the great question, Boris’s future.  The rules state that a challenge to the leader of the Conservative Party must require the votes of 15% of the Conservative MPs.  That meant that 54 MPs must send in a letter to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.  The members are all backbench Tories and cannot be in Government.  Sir Graham has treated all such letters in the strictest of confidence, and has always made it clear that he will say nothing about numbers until the magic number was passed.  Though talked about there was no confidence that the Prime Minister would be challenged, and 54 letters is considered a high bar..

Yesterday morning, 6 June, Sir Graham announced that the 54 letters had been received.  He notified the Prime Minister on Sunday, 5 June, and they agreed that the election–which is open to all Conservative MPs, whether in Government or not–would take place the same day.  The Tories do not hang about when engaged in king-killing.  Voting in the secret ballot took place in Westminster between 6 pm and 8 pm, and ten minutes were enough for the count.  The result was announced at 9 pm.

This was a nominal victory for the Prime Minister, to nobody’s surprise for many voters are on the Government payroll.  But the members who voted against the Prime Minister was a staggering 148, far more than any had predicted..

Boris, ever the fighter, said on TV that he would carry on.  This cannot be for long.  When 148 members of the ruling party say that they do not support their leader, the end of the Government is in sight.  Boris Johnson is mortally wounded.  It has taken the Tories three days to accomplish what the Romanians did in four.


One Response

  1. Boris Johnson is a scoundrel, a political opportunist and an habitual liar. In the area of policy he has shown himself as devoid of ideas and as captive to groupthink as the politicians in our other political parties. And he should certainly take the fall for instigating the insane covid restrictions, pretending publicly that they were necessary and most of all for enabling the cruel legislation which denied so many ordinary people the opportunity to attend once-in-a-lifetime personal & private ceremonies such as weddings & funerals (aside from all the other absurdities of the lockdowns).

    But you have to credit Johnson for one thing: he is at least a bit human. At the very pinnacle of power, with access to the very best information about the raging covid “pandemic”, he and his circle partied regularly, ignoring all the preventative rules for spreading the “lethal” virus which ought to have caused most of them to die. These actions alone unwittingly betrayed what many of us knew from the beginning: that the entire covid drama was the panic-stricken reaction of a feckless political class; and that it was kept alive by disgraceful fear mongering drummed up by a pliant media; not to mention shameless profiteering by the pharmaceutical industry.

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