Boris Johnson: Just Another Sellout? | Lewis Bates
Boris Johnson is a controversial figure. He is certainly adored by some and hated by others. He has had a promising career, from Journalist to Prime Minister, certainly an impressive feat. Some say he is a breath of fresh air that is finally going to implement the people’s will; he implemented Brexit after years of May’s disappointing and grueling premiership.
For many years now there has been a natural distrust of the government, something which Boris is in the process of overturning. The simple question is, can this man be trusted and is he really any different from any other treacherous politician? I think his track record has just highlighted his populist nature – he is a leader lacking of principles, one whom will back down to mob rule no matter the cost, as long as he gains from it.
Boris has continuously used rhetoric, intended to provoke and gain support of the mob in a populist manner: for example his comments regarding the burqa, “absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes[JS1] ”. This tactic has been employed by Boris on many occasions – in a similar manner to Trump in the US. The real question is whether Boris genuinely believes what he says. Its very unlikely he does; Boris has a history of openly supporting multiculturalism – he was the Mayor of London after all. These comments were a strategic decision to expand his support base and his renowned level.
It has been a long time since Britain has had a leader with genuine principles whom won’t backdown to mob rule and will defend them until it is no longer possible. Boris Johnson is just another leader lacking in principles. He has consistently voted to scrap Trident and replace it with a new nuclear weapons system and yet he has recently been silent on the issue – and why? Perhaps it is an odd coincidence or perhaps, he has since revoked his stance due to the mob voicing strong anti-scrappage sentiments and demonising Corbyn for doing so, rhetoric often endorsed by sections of the Conservative Party itself.
It is a worrying thing when the British public begin to enshrine trust into a leader that will implement anything and push any rhetoric that will further his career; it is slowly but surely chipping away at the age old British natural distrust of the government, regardless of which party is reigning currently.
His decision to allow Huawei Technologies Co. to help the UK government build the 5G network is indeed a worrying development. It was a decision that was based on economics but certainly not principles, as he knows full well the security concerns regarding the company’s links to the Chinese state – notorious for mass surveillance. This poses a severe threat to the British public as it could potentially allow a foreign state to spy on its citizens. This decision economically looks like a positive one for Boris as it will be built cheaper than any other company can offer; however the security concerns should absolutely outweigh the economics of the situation. Boris will likely continue to plough through, because his image is his main concern: he wants to satisfy the mob with cheap and efficient deals rather than educate them and actively voice his concerns, which any rational leader would have.
Then we must look at his disastrous handling of covid-19. His initial approach – which attempted to encourage those most at risk to self-isolate for a two-week period – was vastly different to his current approach of a nationwide lockdown. Why is this? Demands for lockdown continuously increased day-by-day with more and more pressure mounting on him to once again enforce the will of the masses, which resulted in a rather hasty lockdown being implemented with abysmal planning, and police causing havoc after being told to “enforce” the lockdown, however they pleased. The police have received unparalleled powers and exploited them to a great extent with endorsement from the state, such as Derbyshire Police uploading a video of drone footage recording and stalking a law-abiding couple walking their dogs in the Peak District.
Perhaps lockdown has set the norm indefinitely now for police to actively use drones to “keep the peace” and keep tabs on law-abiding citizens – a major threat to our individual liberty. This is not me advocating for, or against, lockdown but is an outstanding example of how quickly Boris can change his tune, abandon his principles and give into demands – a true populist.
Boris has indeed shown his lack of ability to govern based on principles and facts but has instead opted for governing based on popular demands at the time, even if those demands have negative consequences in the long run for the daily lives of the average joe. It has not even been considered what the consequences of this lockdown will be and Boris has made no effort to preserve British liberty in this time, which could result in a permanent effect of lockdown.
Photo by BackBoris2012 Campaign on Flickr.