How to reflect on the week’s national news? A tumultuous flurry of activity reached a peak not often seen. Mass media speculation saturated the bandwidth available. A collapse of support was expected but sequence of events was anything but certain.
Just for fun I’ll start with a metaphor. It was like a series of steppingstones to cross a turbulent and toxic river. Once the political will had been assembled to cross the river the course of events kicked off. Such a moment is difficult to define even if the outward signs were the first big Ministerial resignations. It took a couple of big beasts to take the risk on making the first steps.
The illusive steppingstones shimmered in the media spotlight. Some provided a workable path to the destination. Others appeared and disappeared as opinions were as plentiful as stars in the galaxy. At any moment the turbulent and toxic river could have consumed the whole enterprise.
In the end, step by step, “clownfall” happened. It’s a nice composite word that sums up the fall of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. At least it’s a break from the series of this “gate” or that “gate” sagas that were coined.
Going back to my metaphor, after all the stormy kerfuffle a lectern was erected outside Number 10 Downing Street. It’s as if a pontoon had been erected in the middle of the river. The PM nonchalantly breezed out of the imposing black door of Number 10. He then proceeded to pontificate about his great achievements and only grudgingly admitted that he had to go.
It might normally be expected that the moment had come to leave. Walking down Downing Street to pass through the gates, wave to the crowd and not return, unless invited. In a normal situation this would be the moment that the person designated as a deputy would take over and manage a transition period. That a line would be drawn, and the business of Government would continue under a temporary management. Not so.
We now have the bizarre and dangerous situation where a discredited man continues to hold the post of British Prime Minister. It’s as strange as it gets. Everyone knows that he is a lame duck leader holding up a lame duck Government. It’s barmy.
NOTE 1: Monday 18th July, Conservative MPs voted to keep the zombie Government in power. With not one Conservative MP breaking ranks to vote against Boris Johnson. Yet, all the candidates to replace him say they would never have him in their Government.
NOTE 2: Boris Johnson’s ‘disgraceful’ plan for 30 new peers | News | The Times
Well, don’t say I didn’t warn: Boris Johnson poised to go ahead with resignation honours list | Boris Johnson | The Guardian