The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who rode into the office on the slogan "get Brexit done," has been booted out after three tumultuous years at 10 Downing Street. His shenanigans throughout his tenure frustrated his colleagues, armed his opponents, and bewildered the public.
Despite the mass exodus of members of his cabinet over the past few days, PM Johnson fought till the bitter end but failed to keep the top job of government. He utterly failed to capitalize on the historic 80-seat majority in parliament, instead pushing through ill-conceived policies that were considered increasingly leftist.
PM Johnson delivered on his promise to wrench Britain out of the European Union, but on little else. Britain is in disarray after Brexit. There is little clarity on the country's trade relations with Europe or the Northern Ireland protocol. Businesses and Brits continue to suffer, and there are no fast or easy fixes.
While those who supported the decoupling expected Britain to turn into a business powerhouse sans the chains of EU regulations, that's far from the case. PM Johnson's scheme to raise corporate taxes to 26% and payroll tax by 2.5% to fund the National Health Service, as the country is facing a 9% inflation, found favor with very few. His ideas to boost investment in the country's north did not get off the ground, instead drawing flak for its income redistribution policy. Many also blame his push for net-zero carbon ambitions, green taxes on fossil fuels, and untimely push toward renewable energy without a clear-cut policy as adding to the woes of the public.
Many scandals rocked the Prime Minister's office, and they never ceased. Allegations of corruption and cronyism dogged him. The journalist-turned-politician was found to have flouted pandemic-induced protocols and was caught lying about it multiple times. The tipping point was his move to promote Chris Pincher to the position of chief deputy whip, despite facing sexual harassment allegations. The Conservative party's embarrassing defeats in two by-elections held last month had already made it clear that his massive mandate had eroded substantially.
Mr. Johnson's accomplishments may be few but are nonetheless noteworthy. After the public referendum, he took a firm stand and made Brexit happen. PM Johnson steered the country through the pandemic and weeks of unprecedented lockdowns. He was a vocal and consistent supporter of Ukraine and often coaxed other European countries to do more to fight the invasion.
While economic troubles and ill-conceived policies lie at the root of his truncated term, his duplicity and many scandals eroded credibility within his party and amongst the Brits. While some of the public may have excused the harsh economic conditions as a consequence of world affairs outside of PM Johnson's control, his dishonesty irked the majority. His attempts to subvert the truth and mislead the parliament seriously affected his chances of staying in office.
Prime Minister Johnson leaves the office in a bigger mess than when he took over. Post-Brexit, Britain is yet to find its feet. Continued ambiguity may deliver a different outcome should Scotland hold another referendum. Matters need to be settled swiftly and amicably to ensure peace in Northern Ireland. Pandemic recovery is a long road that requires a clear economic vision and strong political will.
PM Jonhson's exit is a lesson for all elected leaders. Getting elected to the office, no matter how large the mandate, is only the first step. Delivering on promises, maintaining credibility and high morals, and implementing effective policies are necessary to stay in office. Else, as he so eloquently said, "Them's the breaks."
Related on tippinsights website: Timeline Of Tory Scandals Under Boris Johnson
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