He has never recognised the imperative of truth

On this same day (stretching over many time zones) Boris Johnson also had his arse handed to him.


If Boris Johnson does nothing more, his name in history is already inscribed as the man who lied so hard he nearly broke the constitution. He certainly broke the law, as definitively interpreted by the supreme court today. Any leader with respect for the responsibilities that come with high office, and capable of shame, would immediately resign. Nothing in Johnson’s record suggests he is such a person. He clambered to Downing Street over the wreckage of his own former beliefs, ruined friendships and betrayed relationships. He has never recognised the imperative of truth, so takes no instruction from it now.

The new pinnacle of Johnson’s career as a peddler of falsehood is his claim that parliament’s suspension earlier this month was procedural – a conventional legislative reboot ahead of a Queen’s speech to set out a new domestic agenda. No one believed him. His own ministers struggled to hold the line, blurting out the true motive, which was to limit MPs’ control over Brexit. By unanimous verdict, the country’s most senior judges ruled that prorogation did indeed have the effect of “preventing or frustrating” the legislature in pursuit of its constitutional duties – passing laws, holding ministers to account and, crucially, representing the public in Commons debates. The court noted that those functions were uniquely urgent, given the proximity of the Brexit deadline. The stymying deed had to be undone.

I always did wonder how that could be a legitimate thing to do, so I’m glad to learn that it’s not.

4 Responses to “He has never recognised the imperative of truth”