I was looking at a timeline of events (I think on Reuters?) last night, and it played out like an “Administration Drinking Game”.
Someone on Twitter observed that the UK taxpayer was required to contribute £250,000 in legal costs to Johnson’s defence, and it was such a strong defence that he was found guilty of five different types of contempt, but was only being investigated for one.
(The committee were so angry that it’s entirely possible they will conduct a follow-up investigation into his behaviour towards them and the people who enabled it, which will include a bunch of other Tory MPs who should now be getting worried.)
Oh it’s so much better than this.
The process in the UK is for the subjects of a report to receive an advance copy of the final findings in order that they can raise final issues. This ‘maxwellisation’ process is absolutely secret, the report is considered classified and cannot be disclosed by anyone. Johnson received his copy of the report a few days ago and promptly blurted about it to the media. This is a massive contempt of Parliament which is why the committee said that if he had not resigned he would have faced a 90 day suspension (and almost certain recall).
Johnson has today gone out and attacked the committee further - which is yet another contempt that will be considered by the committee.
And then the cherry on the icing on the cake - the committee had previously asked Johnson to hand over all of his private WhatsApp messages, it is believed he refused. However, just last week, he promised to hand all of them over to the separate Covid enquiry. The privileges committee considers that if he has handed over documents to the Covid inquiry but refused to pass them to the Commons committee that would be - say it with me now - a contempt of Parliament.
Right now Johnson is likely to lose his privileged access to Parliament as a former member of the Commons; there are also mutterings that he might be removed from the Privy Council which liaises between the monarch and Parliament; and the Opposition parties are calling for the removal of his annual allowance of £100k+ as a former PM.
All this and Johnson’s supporters in the Commons are making threats to bring the government to a screeching halt and begin a campaign for the constituency parties which select Tory candidates to deselect any Conservative MP who votes in favour of the Privileges Committee findings.
Oh and that’s before we get to the news that some of Johnson’s most voluble supporters in Parliament may themselves have committed contempts by dismissing the legality of the committee. And THAT’s before we get to ‘Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know’ Nadine Dorries who is throwing a massive hissy fit because she didn’t get the elevation to the House of Lords she (and pretty much only she) thinks she deserves.
All is normal over here on the right-hand side of The Atlantic.
Fortunately, we have Jonathan Pie:
It makes the unbearable weather more bearable knowing he is suffering.
But… It’s nice and sunny! Which definitely hasn’t sent everyonecompletely fucking mental. No sirree.
(I narrowly avoided 3 crashes driving to my daughter’s house and back yesterday that definitely would not have happened if it was cold and slightly damp, the way we like it over here)
But yeah, most British folk don’t do well in the heat. The smell of browning gammon from the pub gardens is also gross.
Lock him up.
Aren’t these the same people who are avoiding every chance at an election because they’d bleed seats?
Lying shit-stain is a lying shit0stain.
This is not exactly news
Still happy to see the back of him (for not, but hopefully for ever)
What a wonderful summing up of Boris from Jonathan.
I don’t quite grasp the severity and context of all this, what with being in the states and living through our own Brand du BS, but it is slightly heartening to see something as (relatively) harmless as a lie lands a politician and party in hot water. Grass definitely seems greener from over here.
They were having unsanctioned parties and gatherings while the rest of the country was required to be under lockdown, able to only meet in twos for important matters like attending to relatives. In effect, not abiding by the rules they set forth for the public.
Johnson misled MPs in Parliament, he then claimed that he believed he had been telling the truth at the time, the report reveals that he deliberately misled Parliament.
Since resigning, as an MP, he has committed contempt of Parliament.
Why yes they are!
Consistency and logic are not common in the modern Conservative Party.
Breaking these rules - that Johnson himself repeatedly reinforced in nightly TV press conferences - made people liable for up to £10,000 fines - for each offence. That’s how severe they were. People found guilty of these offences were pilloried by the press, police AND government ministers.
To give you an idea of the impact, one of Johnson’s parties was held on the day I learned from a doctor that my father was not going to recover from a sudden collapse and we had to decide whether to keep his life support going or not. My mother and I went to Truro to meet the medical team and we were only granted special permission to go in together because of the severity of the situation. We were not allowed to meet anyone other than the doctors and the hospital chaplain and had to wear full PPE equipment.
After his death, my brother flew back to the UK from Canada. He had to spend 10 days alone in quarantine grieving.
My father’s funeral was held a day before Johnson had another party. Unlike him, we were restricted to 20 guests, we were not allowed to greet them or thank them for coming. My dad came from a big family and had many work colleagues and friends - we had to exclude almost all of them. After the service at the crematorium we had to leave within ten minutes because there was another service coming in and mingling could not be allowed to happen. We left, there was no wake.
This happened hundreds of thousands of times across the country - including the Queen burying Prince Philip Donny forget. And there were much worse cases than ours - people saying goodbye over FaceTime or people dying alone with no one there to help them.
And all the time, this bastard was enjoying himself and lying and lying and lying. I won’t tell you what I want to happen to him because of the House rules - but he deserves to be financially and personally destroyed.
Sorry - long post.
There’s another fact about the case that sounds so cartoonishly evil that if you wrote it in fiction, people would dismiss it as a ridiculous plot point.
They held a bunch of these secret parties in December 2020, then announced a stricter lockdown which meant that people were not meant to travel to meet up. They effectively cancelled Christmas for a large swathe of the country while partying it up themselves.