The sinister nothingness of the anti-Boris rebellion

The sinister nothingness of the anti-Boris rebellion. By Brendan O’Neill.

There has surely never been such a wet, amateurish, self-serving uprising against a PM. Such a lame, hollow and pointless move on power. Such a conceited instance of politicians covering their own backsides and then having the gall to dress it up in the finery of a tyrannicide enacted for the good of the nation. The manner of Boris’s toppling offended me far more than anything Boris did.

As each Poundshop Brutus came forward, waving his or her letter of resignation written by an AI bot that had been force-fed every HR manual in the land, I knew this was no normal factional revolt. … This was more a herd than a faction, more a soirée of concerned individuals than a political revolt.

It is the nothingness of the anti-Boris rebellion that unnerves me. Some say it is a Remainer plot, the revenge of Tory Europhiles determined to drag our nation back to Brussels. But it clearly isn’t that. Part of me — despite my devotion to Brexit — wishes it was, for at least then we’d know what we are up against.

No political declaration has been forthcoming from this group that took down the PM. No statement of ideals. No commentary on politics or policy at all. Do they even know why they did what they did?

Each resignee essentially said ‘I have integrity and Boris does not’. It was all ‘Behold my favourable character’, rather than ‘This is what I and my political group will do once we seize power’. …

We know little of what this group thinks about Brexit, sovereignty, borders, the lockdowns, the woke assault on liberty and virtue, and whether a woman can have a goddamn penis, because they have said virtually nothing on these matters that cut to the heart of the governance and future of our country and our institutions. Instead they said ‘I am competent’, like a middle manager making his case to HR that he should be trusted to chair the weekly staff meeting. …

This is why scandal — or at least what passes for scandal these days — played such an important role in Boris’s downfall. Partygate, with its 10-minute-long consumption of a birthday cake in Downing Street during lockdown, and Pinchergate, in which former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher stands accused of having occasionally patted the buttocks of young men, are hardly Watergate or the Profumo Affair.

In the absence of ideological conviction and political contestation, accusations of unethical behaviour are the last remaining way to hurt one’s opponent and benefit oneself. …

Who is behind this? Who will benefit?

But just because the push against Boris had no leader and no decipherable purpose does not mean it wasn’t orchestrated.

This is where we come to the most chilling feature of this strangest of political takedowns — the role played by the media. As the old public realm has been denuded of structure and ideas, so the media have come to play an outsized part in shaping political discussion and even determining politicians’ fortunes. The media unquestionably stoked the anti-Boris revolt. First by blowing those daft scandals out of proportion, unilaterally decreeing that they were the most important issues in the land. And secondly by goading, subtly and perhaps only semi-consciously, each of the actors in the lonely faction. Indeed, the rebels’ letters of resignation were primarily aimed at the media. …

Call me old-fashioned, but I see little positive in the removal of a PM voted into power by 14 million citizens by disparate aggrieved Tory actors and a media establishment that understands us even less than politicians do. …

Did he have to go? Probably. Over cake and slapped arses? Absolutely not.

In cheering Boris’s demise the left is being incredibly short-sighted. For what we’re witnessing is not really a political event but the further unravelling of political life. The further corrosion of the public sphere. And the further empowerment of isolated technocrats and media operators.

Boris’s government ran out of steam, for sure, but the lonely faction that pushed Boris out doesn’t even have steam. It is more a void than a blob, more a manifestation of the end of politics than a political movement. Right now, steam, momentum exist only in the populist masses, among those who, through discussion and determination, made Brexit happen and now want wokeness taken down. It might be time for populism to assert itself again, against both the exhausted Boris clique and the sinister nothingness of its replacement. If there is hope, we know where it lies.

The 2nd smartest guy in the world is more conspiratorial:

Boris just wasn’t playing ball or moving fast enough for “Build Back Better”.

Alternatively, it was always planned that way in that Boris would be the useful idiot for the first part of The Great Reset only to be replaced by someone else for the next stage, the financial part of the reset. After all that is the ultimate end goal, the mother of all financial crashes ushering in a digital currency, social credit score system and thereby total control of the masses.

hat-tip David Archibald