Because my dogs, Sia and Bubba, insist on getting me up by 5:30 in the morning this time of year, I was able to observe the final hours of Boris Johnson’s life as Prime Minister, on the BBC. OK, I know he didn’t actually resign as PM, but he’s toast and everyone knows it. I watched a parade of Tory MPs (members of Parliament for those who don’t follow British politics) stand in front of microphones and explain why they’d finally had it with Boris. It was astounding how uniform the explanations were. They almost all cited his dishonesty. Yes, fellow Americans, the Conservative Party in Great Britain fired their leader for being dishonest.
One could be forgiven for thinking of the Tories as Britain’s Republican Party. They love the rich and the military just like our Republicans. Sure, being British, they come off as far less tacky and sleazy than their American counterparts, but they are cut from the same cloth. So when they elected their own version of Donald Trump back in 2019, no one had a right to be too surprised. Had Boris been willing to have his hair styled and cemented into place with chemicals, and have his body sprayed orange, they could have passed for cousins. Intellectually they were not a match. Boris is the author of a biography of his hero Winston Churchill as well as many other books of nonfiction and fiction. He is a literate man. So the comparison with Trump doesn’t carry into their respective intellects.
But the lesson of today is that there’s no longer any similarity between the Tories and the Republicans. The Tories, almost unanimously, yanked their support from Boris because he was loose with the truth. The Republicans lick the boots of Trump who the whole world knows is a liar. As long as his lies deliver the base votes, they will worship at his hideous shrine in Palm Beach. I wonder how many Republicans watched the spectacle this morning from #10 Downing Street, and felt ashamed?