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Is the party over?

Mike McCartney

12th December 2021

Is the party that never was the 'event' that finally blows the current PM off course?

In all the debate about PM power, like, for example, Cabinet appointments, presidential styles, the use of SPADs, kitchen Cabinets, spheres of influence, and so on, we have to bear in mind what former PM Harold MacMillan said when asked what the greatest challenge facing a political leader. His reply? "Events, my dear boy, events."

In an excellent piece of journalism, the BBC Political Editor, asks if this is when 'Planet Johnson' is finally going to implode:

"Planet Boris is the strangest place in the world - no rules apply," a cabinet minister told me a few days ago as they marvelled at the strangeness of the current political universe.

Events had been disastrous, they admitted, yet they seemed sure at that moment that the prime minister's ability to defy any normal political gravity would see him through.

But then, on Tuesday night, a video emerged showing aides joking about a Downing Street event last Christmas as Britain was in lockdown. The humiliating leak engulfed No 10 in a fresh crisis that shows no sign of easing.

So this weekend it is worth asking if "Planet Boris" might actually, finally implode?

Read Laura Kuenssberg's fun article here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-...

Not to trivialise the potential fact that a potential cover up of a party having taken place during lockdown, it does seem remarkable that this is the issue that has gained such a great deal of traction.

In the Guardian, there is a useful overview of Boris Johnson's record of truth stretching:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-...

Therefore, in comparison, it does seem surprising that the crisis engulfing the Johnson premiership might come down to whether or not wine with served with the nibbles at an after work do?

Will Johnson survive? There is a fair chance he will, because realistically, where are the alternative leaders?

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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