Andy Richardson: The people of this country want politicians they can trust
Baddiel had this to offer about Boris Johnson’s ignominy: ‘The intense row over boos is essentially an admission that politics in this country is now panto.
Baddiel found himself on the receiving end of a quick-witted response from the Twittersphere: “You would know how to boo. You’ve probably done this your entire career. But he was onto something. We live in an age where spin and presentation trump politics and skill. The downgrading of public standards under Boris Johnson came at a time when he stole most of the tricks from Trump’s playbook. As Mumsnet subscribers have told us, he is a habitual liar who cannot be trusted.
Seeing him get booed can be a turning point. Although often likened to a greased piglet and although capable of using tricks to avoid and escape disaster, he is unable to quell the instincts of the general public. And though his PR machine is honed, it can’t suppress the sound of a man getting booed because he’s hated, suspicious, and unpopular. The verdict was simple: you lost the locker room, boss. People have had enough.
Even disinformation minister Nadine Dorries couldn’t make the boos go away. The woman accused of selling Channel 4 in revenge over a beef with a newsreader, who falsely claimed 96% backed her while 96% opposed and who falsely claimed Channel 4 received public money when she was not was one of those taking us for fools. Most people don’t stand up for their kids the way Dorries stands up for Johnson. When kids are wrong, decent parents say the same. It’s how they learn.
The problem for Boris is that the chorus of boos came from “his” people. Flag-waving and cheering Britain-enthusiastic Royalists cheering on William and Kate, Charles and Camilla are Boris Johnson’s main supporters. On the contrary, they were.
Now, like so many others in the UK, they are discouraged by his lack of confidence.
It’s not just the fact that he partied and knew what was going on – it’s the fact that he lied and lied and lied afterwards.
What if he was lying at a party, what else don’t we know?
Boris was the politician who got votes others couldn’t get. Here in the Midlands – as well as in the North – he rammed into Red Wall voters, convincing them that everything would be fine, that he would push through Brexit, that £350million a week would go to the NHS.
Some of those voters can’t or won’t accept their mistake – but that’s not what worries Tory MPs who will decide his fate. They are concerned with a much simpler issue. If traditional Tory voters in North Shropshire have turned against Boris Johnson, what about True Blue constituencies with far smaller majorities?
While Boris may still have the winning touch in some Red Wall seats, those seats come at a much higher price as Labor and especially the Liberal Democrats dig into territory once considered hallowed.
Simply put, voters who embrace a nation’s conservative values don’t want to lie.
They want someone they can trust, someone who won’t offer us imperial measures in a cost of living crisis, someone who has enough skills and competence to handle domestic issues and someone who won’t say he didn’t know about parties when he was at their house.
The reaction to Boris Johnson could not have been in starker contrast to that received by Her Majesty The Queen. A uniting force – rather than a dividing force – the nation came together during a happy weekend of parties and celebrations. Stability, wisdom, common contact; these are the characteristics embodied by a sovereign whose sense of fun led her to shoot music videos with Paddington Bear while Boris Johnson was booed.