We are always faced with contradictions. Paradox is frustrating. Nevertheless, reality is littered with inconsistencies.
On the one side it’s often said that: a leopard can’t change its spots. Meaning that basic habits become so ingrained that changing them becomes all but impossible. Parts of a person’s personally are so deeply set that it’s difficult to imagine them ever being any different.
My Dad would occasionally say: you can’t teach and old dog new tricks. When I was younger, I used to find this annoying. It’s the kind of phrase that is used to avoid trying a new way of doing things. You could say it’s innately conservative with a small “c”.
These homilies run parallel to the general notion that everyone can change. It’s the Christian call for redemption. That all of us can choose a different path. That we have autonomy. Just like Scrooge we can wake up one morning and transform our lives.
What makes the difference is a matter of character. That’s a quality that is established over a long time. It’s the sum total of past actions. It’s the mark that a person has left on the world.
Now, the idea that Boris Johnson will change, or can change is for the birds. In the current crisis of trust in senior Conservative politicians, the defenders of those in power are trying to be contrite. These people are in fact reluctant or unwilling to change habits or long-held beliefs. In reality, they are hunkering down based on the ways and means that got them power in the first place.
This is a morning for proverbs. Johnson is a bad apple. Can you imagine any parent saying to their child – I hope you grow up to be like our current Prime Minister. Will his method of governance be taught in schools as the right way to do thing? I don’t think so.
People expect a British Prime Minister to be accountable for their actions. It’s a role of great importance in the life of our country. In the face of deliberate misconduct, intentional recklessness, or even criminal activity Members of Parliament must be answerable.
The negative consequences of Johnson’s actions are having repercussions throughout society. This Prime Minister does not meet basic standards of behaviour expected of a person in a premier leadership role. It is time for Johnson to step aside. He must go.