Down, or down and out?

It’s a ship that will continue to take on water and is likely to founder and disappear for ever

I rarely make any political comment here on JHM, largely because I don’t want to annoy or alienate a significant fraction of my readers. This blog is about other aspects of life.

But sometimes events demand some sort of response. This is such a time.

The Conservative party is in a state of confusion right now. The parliamentary party is clearly rejecting Boris Johnson as leader and Prime Minister, and the electorate is hugely critical of the party (recent byelection results illustrate that).

I believe two things need to happen as soon as possible.

First, the party must find a way to remove Johnson from his leadership position in the next few days or weeks, and they must elect a new leader and form a new cabinet and all the government machinery that goes along with that. So much is self-evident.

Secondly, they must call a general election as soon as possible.

They will need to do that because giving senior cabinet positions to people who supported Johnnson’s leadership for such a long time, knowing that he was – well, let’s say ‘a bit dodgy’ – is not going to pass muster with the general public. And it’s hard to see how a new government can be formed without including a significant number of tainted heavyweights.

Johnson has tarred himself with his own brush, but in the process he’s managed to splash quite a few of those around him with black marks. Not that they didn’t object to his behaviour, but that they supported him as Prime Minister for such a long time. I understand the difficulty, nobody wants to be the first to climb, suicidally, out of the trenches.

Somebody wrote recently that the sinking ship has abandoned the rat. Very witty, but it’s still a sinking ship. It’s a ship that will continue to take on water and is likely to founder and disappear for ever.

We need a new government, whether Conservative or otherwise. The electorate needs an opportunity to replace any MP they regard as tainted and untrustworthy. Two years is too long for a seriously damaged party to continue in power. Only a general election as soon as possible can remove the remaining spots and streaks of tar.

Most, including the crew, agree that we need a new captain, but we also need a new ship.