A statement on Boris Johnson
When I first joined the Conservatives, I did so because of the people I encountered. I met professional, optimistic, hard-working individuals who spoke about politics as public service and a privilege.
The more I read up on the history of the party, the more I realised that it embodied the same values I do. A small government that gets out of people’s way yet protects the most vulnerable. The freedom for an individual to swing their arms as much as they like, so long as they didn’t hit someone else. It stood for personal responsibility, both for one’s own future as well as to the most in need. Conservatism, as I see it, puts service to the taxpayer as the ultimate duty.
The actions of Boris Johnson and the report of the privileges committee reveals something very key. Boris Johnson is not a conservative.
Whilst somewhat embellished and over the top, the report is clear that Johnson lied to the public. He took taxpayers for granted and operated with a sense of entitlement. I have never felt comfortable with Johnson heading the party and I am glad that he has now stepped down.
Johnson’s actions have tarnished the reputation of respectable Conservatives across the country. Hard working local councillors right up to diligent cabinet members. When campaigning in local elections, I had more people speaking to me about Johnson’s parties than about local policies.
He was a distraction, and he has led the party to ruin.
I have said all along, the best thing that Johnson could have done would be to stand at the steps of Number 10 and give a list of all events that took place during Covid. He should have taken ownership and the public may have then forgiven him. Instead, he spun a web of stories.
Whilst a man of many failings, Johnson did still do some good. He got Brexit done and he prevented a radical left-wing Corbynite government. There is no great conspiracy against Conservatives, Johnson’s own moral failing, his arrogance, was his downfall.
This last month, and the forthcoming by-elections, will be an important lesson for Conservatives. We must return to our roots, to grassroots campaigning and to getting on with the job. We must recognise that none of us have the ‘right’ to be elected officials. You may be a Councillor for 1 year or an MP for 20, you are still junior to the electorate.
As the Conservative party rebuilds, we must do so by looking back to Burke and Wilberforce. We must not fetishise the successes of Brexit and embrace nationalism. We must dedicate ourselves to public service, to defeating poverty, to enabling success.
Only then will Conservatives remain in power.
What is done in the dark will come to light. The fruit of the light is goodness, righteousness and truth. As Edmund Burke once said; “The fate of good men, who refuse to engage in politics, is that they will be ruled by evil men… the hottest fires in Hell are reserved for those who remained neutral in a time of moral crisis”
Babylon is burning. We must let it fall. Only then can we build something better.