I read an article by Tom McTague in The AtlanticThe Atlantic yesterday. The subject was Boris Johnson. The title was ‘Minister for Chaos’ and the argument was that Johnson knows exactly what he is doing.
It a thesis that I can accept. I do not think Johnson is anything like as chaotic as he wishes to appear. I am also quite sure that he does think he is trying to impose radical changes on the UK. The question is what is the change that he is trying to impose?
It is English. And it is intensely nationalistic. It is by corollary intensely anti-Scottish, Welsh and Irish. It is not just indifferent to the interests of those nations and people: it seeks to suppress them as the last colonies of England.
It is racist. The anti-woke messages may be wrapped in the claim that taking the knee is pro-Marxist and anti-police, but no one believes that. Anti-wokeness simply represents a demand that people have the right to be racist, because that is what the Tories want to be. It’s deep in their DNA, after all.
It’s sexist. Johnson’s own indifference to the women he uses sets the tone for that. And the Party gleefully follows.
It’s corrupt. Not only is there indifference to the law, as evidenced by everything from a stated willingness to break it internationally, but there is also a willingness to simply ignore it when it comes to using public funds to advance the private interests of friends of the government. The logic is clear: the reason to be in power is to use the machinery of state for private gain.
It is indifferent to people. The excess Covid deaths and the continual refusal to heed evidence on Covid - permissible maybe in a Twitter trill, but utterly irresponsible in a government minister when done time after time - is the clearest evidence of that. Grenfell and so much else just adds to the evidence.
It has no interest in equality. The plans to cut universal credit, whilst remaining indifferent to taxing the gains arising from quantitative easing on the select, largely Tory, parts of society that have benefitted from them is evidence of that.
It hates the state and what it does. There would not be the chaos in the justice system, education, health care, social care, local government and elsewhere if that was not the case. This is death by a thousand deliberate cuts.
It is antidemocratic. Its aggression towards The Good Law Project is evidence of that.
It loathes the rest of the world. What evidence is required after Brexit and aid cuts?
It is indifferent to climate change. The evidence is that we are hosting COP 26 and have no significant climate change programmes in place. The government is in denial.
It simply seeks power. The channelling of money to Tory seats - and the blatant promotion of the idea that if you want to get ahead you have to vote Tory is the clearest evidence of that.
This,nthen, is a machine to perpetuate the power and gains of a few at cost to everyone else. And Johnson’s ability to appear chaotic and disorganised whilst ruthlessly pursuing this agenda of social indifference and destruction was a gift to all who wanted to share the spoils from the havoc that he is creating.
But there is nothing about chance in this. It is all very deliberate, from the racism onwards. It is designed to cause hurt. It is designed to divide. It is intended to cause offence. And it does because some are callous. Some think they gain. Some are delighted that their base instincts may be expressed. And those some will seek to perpetuate this, which a divided opposition lets them do.
I do wonder how long it will be before the left see that there is a bigger narrative of opposition to create here. Until it does Johnson gets his way, imposing hurt on so many in a fashion almost unknown for so long in British politics, but still by deeply callous design nonetheless.
One day this nightmare will end. I have no idea when that day will be.