This week Johnson created a lasting link between Starmer and Jimmy Savile. There’ll be people with no interest in politics whose inner voice, at the next election, will remind them of it. They won’t recall the detail but it will be enough to put them off voting Labour.
Even the most fulsome apology from Johnson and his immediate resignation wouldn’t have changed that. There are some things for which an apology isn’t enough. And he never apologises anyway.
Today Chris Patten described the party he once loved as a moral vacuum. Maybe he’d listened to Greg Hands tell the world he’s not paid to have an opinion on the matter. Maybe he’d heard Tory MPs line up to tell us we need to move on.
Maybe he’d listened to any interview given by Jacob Rees-Mogg, James Cleverly, Nadine Dorries or Michael Fabricant over the last few years.
Whatever the cause, he was spot on. People who began their political lives with morals have chosen to discard them. So far in are they that they won’t even realise that’s what’s happened. And we’re not talking about a handful, we’re talking about hundreds.
I’m fed up with hearing craven MPs tell us Johnson deserves one last chance. I’m fed up with hearing that ‘Boris delivers’. I’m fed up with anonymous briefings from Tory MPs about what a disaster Johnson really is.
I’m fed up with seeing Theresa May being described as an elder stateswoman when she appointed a man unfit to be in public life to the role of Foreign Secretary, a move guaranteed to diminish the UK in the eyes of the world. I’m fed up with being gaslighted day in day out.
I’m fed up with being force-fed a daily diet of the latest Conservative Party disgrace. I’m fed up with hearing Tories talk about the party rather than the country they govern. I’m fed up with being daily diverted from what is happening in the world, and what really matters.
I’m fed up with all the flags. I’m fed up with people who profess their loyalty to the Queen while countenancing a man who lied to her. I’m fed up with all the fake patriotism from people who bring disgrace on their country.
What we are witnessing is abject cowardice. A refusal to accept that our leaders and elected representatives should be held accountable. An abdication of all sense of morality. Each one of them who has let it get this far without speaking out should hang their heads in shame.
I was once told by a troll that my leitmotif was my loathing of the Conservative party. They were wrong. My leitmotif is my loathing of what the Conservative party has become.
Of course other parties lie. Of course other parties contain unpleasant individuals. But they operate within the rules. They don’t go out of the way to appeal to the worst side of human nature. They are not a threat to our very democracy.
How long can this go on? My worry is that it can go on a great deal longer. And with each day we remain ungoverned by people without a moral compass, and with sheep on the Tory backbenches, we sink further and further into the abyss.