Boris be­ing Boris is bad enough but fail­ing to stop him is even worse

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - POLITICS - By Mandy Rhodes OUR NEW COLUM­NIST

The sym­bol­ism could not have been starker.

Pho­to­graphs last week of the first sec­re­tary of state, Damian Green, and the Mo­ray MP Dou­glas Ross, showed them at Find­horn to wel­come new en­gines for the Mo­ray In­shore Res­cue boat.

With Green un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the cab­i­net of­fice into al­le­ga­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual ad­vances and of stor­ing pornog­ra­phy on an of­fice com­puter and with Ross hav­ing fi­nally had the whis­tle blown on his MP’s ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties on the foot­ball field, Theresa May’s gov­ern­ment is well over­due a life raft.

We are at a piv­otal point in Bri­tain’s his­tory and with the eyes of the world firmly fo­cussed on our with­drawal from the EU, May pre­sides over a joke of a gov­ern­ment split down the mid­dle over Brexit and with each one of her min­is­ters op­er­at­ing to a sep­a­rate agenda.

With two min­is­ters gone in a week, oth­ers un­der scru­tiny over their sex­ual or fi­nan­cial be­hav­iour, ev­ery day just brings an­other threat of scan­dal. Loy­alty, trust and com­pe­tence are three words that ap­pear to have lit­tle cur­rency round the Cab­i­net ta­ble and with May too en­fee­bled to stand up to her rogue op­er­a­tors, she is faced with a team of free­lancers who seem­ingly op­er­ate with just one plan in mind – their own.

And as ever, it is Boris John­son who epit­o­mises the depth of dys­func­tion at the heart of May’s gov­ern­ment.

His ac­tions are fre­quently de­mean­ing, point­less and boor­ish but only un­der­line the fact that 18 months on from the EU ref­er­en­dum, we are still be­ing steered in a dan­ger­ous di­rec­tion by the same self-serv­ing, self­im­por­tant, for­mer public­school boys that led us into an EU ref­er­en­dum cam­paign.

Vince Ca­ble de­scribed them as ‘re­liv­ing their dor­mi­tory pil­low fights’.

John­son isn’t some harm­less ec­cen­tric that in a past life would have been mar­ried off to some un­wit­ting for­eigner who con­fused his ill-judged lo­qua­cious­ness for the prized foibles of up­per class breed­ing, he’s our for­eign sec­re­tary, he was the chief cheer­leader that led us into this Brexit dystopia.

John­son rep­re­sents us on a world stage and frankly, he’s not fit for the job. He makes jokes out of global tragedies, pokes fun at for­eign hosts and in­sults na­tions but his lat­est in­ter­ven­tion could cost a mother, im­pris­oned in Iran, her free­dom.

That isn’t some school­boy gaffe, it is in­con­ceiv­able of a diplo­mat and should cost him his job. But it won’t. Boris has con­tin­u­ally tested May’s met­tle and found it want­ing. He came out tilt­ing at wind­mills at a sen­si­tive time in the Brexit process and his ar­ro­gance then was only com­pounded by her stark in­abil­ity to deal with him when she dis­missed it as “Boris, be­ing Boris”.

No sur­prise then, that he’s just car­ried on be­ing him – she’s given him that li­cence.

And no won­der, Priti Pa­tel felt em­bold­ened enough to go on a bus­man’s hol­i­day to Is­rael and to hell with the con­se­quences. She had learned from the master.

Boris John­son

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