The media are widely reporting that Foreign Secretary and former London mayor Boris Johnson is ‘ducking’ a key vote takes place on the expansion of Heathrow airport. So great is his cowardice that he has even flown to Afghanistan to give him cover.
As London Mayor, Johnson pledged to lie down in front of bulldozers if necessary to stop the expansion. Fellow Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg said today that it was ok for Johnson abandon his promise – because he’s not mayor now, which speaks volumes about the ‘expedient’ Tory view of promises, no matter how flowery the language in which they are made.
But what fewer are pointing out is that Johnson’s unreliability and self-serving politics are not all that his ‘ducking’ is exposing. Johnson’s readiness to run for cover shows his lack of fibre – but also Theresa May’s utter weakness as leader of her party.
The Heathrow vote – in spite of Corbyn’s offer to make it a free vote – is being ‘whipped’ by the Tories to compel MPs and especially ministers to support the government’s position. Greg Hands resigned from his ministerial post last week in order to free his hand to vote how he wishes today.
But Johnson is not offering his resignation – and Theresa May does not appear to be demanding it.
a complete ‘lame duck’ of a supposed ‘leader’: toothless and barely daring to raise a quack of protest
Johnson’s freedom to do and say whatever the hell he pleases, with complete impunity – no matter how embarrassing – shows May’s status as a complete ‘lame duck’ of a supposed ‘leader’: toothless and barely daring to raise a quack of protest as ministers who theoretically report to her humiliate her again and again.
The lack of backbone of most Tory MPs mean that the government will probably win tonight’s vote in numerical terms – but Johnson’s ‘two-fingers’ to May’s authority means she has lost regardless of the actual count this evening.
The credibility of both ‘senior’ Tories is in shreds – albeit for different reasons.
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