Johnson the liar and bully who led a lying and bullying party

Everyone always knew that Boris Johnson was an entitled liar and a bully who has never taken responsibility for his behaviour at any point in his life. Now it’s official, the Commons Privileges Committee has published a damning and brutal report which finds that not only had Johnson lied repeatedly to Parliament but he also held Parliament in contempt, undermined democracy, and was complicit in a campaign of abuse and intimidation directed at members of the committee.

Johnson is the first British prime minister who has been found by MPs to have deliberately and repeatedly misled the House of Commons. The Committee found that his repeated offences were so egregious, offences for which Johnson continues to refuse to accept responsibility that it recommended he be suspended from the Commons for ninety days, a sanction which would have triggered the recall process meaning Johnson would also have become the first British prime minister to be recalled by his constituents and voted out of Parliament. That was an indignity too far for the immensely vain and entitled Johnson. Johnson had received prior notice of the committee’s findings but rather than face the humiliation of being censured by the House and the prospect of a recall by election which would almost certainly have seen him booted out by his constituents, Johnson flounced off in a furious and petulant huff, resigning as an MP.

The committee recognised that its proposed ninety day suspension of the former Prime Law Breaker was rendered purely theoretical by his cowardly decision to run away from the verdict of MPs, so the committee has proposed an additional sanction, to remove the former member’s pass from Johnson. This pass is normally given automatically to all former MPs, and allows them unfettered access to the Parliamentary estate where they can meet with serving MPs and government ministers. It is this pass which makes former MPs so valuable to lobbying companies, giving them a potentially lucrative source of income after leaving Parliament. However Johnson’s offences are so serious that the committee has decided to make him persona non grata, no longer welcome in the halls, meeting rooms and bars of Westminster.

Since resigning as an MP he has since continued to rant about the committee, denouncing it as a “kangaroo court” and insisting that the committee is “talking tripe.” In his angry and self-pitying attempt to make out that he is the real victim here and his continuing refusal to accept that he has done anything wrong he merely confirms that the committee’s assessment of his was correct.

This is a man who was never fit for high office yet this serial liar and bully was repeated defended and enabled by the Conservative party. Sunak may now be one of Johnson’s many political enemies, but he too was one of Johnson’s most prominent enablers for years. The Privileges Committee has a Conservative majority but this report is not merely damning in its findings about the former Prime Minister, by implication it is damning about the entire Conservative party which supported, promoted, and enabled him for so many years.

The Commons will vote on the report on Monday, don’t be surprised if Rishi Sunak suddenly discovers that he has a ‘pressing engagement’ which requires him to be far far away from London. Although most Conservative MPs are now fed up with Johnson’s antics, he still retains a cult like following among the Conservative grass roots and some Tory MPs will be afraid that if they vote to uphold the report their local Conservative association may take steps to deselect them as Conservative candidates. So likewise don’t be surprised to see mass Conservative abstentions on the vote. Even now the Tories are still too gutless to stand up to Johnson, and the frothing British nationalist quasi fascists of G Beebies ‘News’ are still defending him, making excuses for him, and platforming his lies. Despite everything, they still don’t understand the meaning of the term complicity. Democracy doesn’t die in the dark, it dies under the bright lights of a right wing ‘news’ channel.

Boris Johnson is a liar and a bully who led a party for which lying and bullying are what pass for policy and principle. He might be gone now and might have suffered a political savaging from which there can be no coming back, but the deceitful mendacious Conservative party which he shaped in his image is still very much a cancer on the body politic.

There are few areas in which the lies and deceit of the Conservative party are more starkly apparent than the way in which they have treated Scotland and the devolution settlement.

A new report from the Scottish Government on the impact of Brexit on the devolution settlement has set out the Conservative Government has used Brexit as an excuse to undermine the devolution settlement and to by pass and undermine the Scottish Parliament. The paper sets out numerous instances of the British Government introducing legislation or taking measures which have a direct impact on devolved matters. Since 2016 nine laws have been passed by the Conservatives at Westminster which ignore the Sewel Convention which states that Westminster “will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent” of the devolved legislatures. Prior to the 2016 EU referendum there were no breaches of the Sewel Convention, since then the British Government has been doing so increasingly often and increasingly blatantly.

One of the key commitments of the anti independence parties in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and one which was critical to them winning a No vote in that referendum, was the promise that the Sewel Convention would be made legally binding. However since then the Conservative government has obtained a UK Supreme court ruling that writing the Sewel Convention into the Scotland Act was without legal effect, and the Conservatives have been growing increasingly brazen in their contempt for the Sewel Convention. Today’s report from the Scottish Government finds that the British Government no longer feels that it needs to pay any heed to the Sewel Convention, which is – or rather was – a fundamental principle underpinning the entire devolution settlement. If the Westminster Government can feel that it is able to interfere with the powers of the Scottish Parliament at will then the entire purpose of devolution is rendered impotent.

The Sewel Convention is dead. Scotland has been lied to by the British parties. Labour does not propose to do anything to alter this lamentable state of affairs if it gets into power. Voting Labour does nothing to protect Scotland from a Tory party for which lying and bullying are guiding principles, it merely gives us a brief respite under a Labour party which can only get elected by aping Tory policies and methods. Only independence can protect Scotland from British nationalist deceit.


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