I was getting my hair cut some years ago when the barber told me about his beloved homeland Iraq, specifically the bloodshed and chaos that blighted it following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
“You don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone,” he smiled.
Indeed, I thought as he held up the back mirror.
The same applies to the current frenzy over “Partygate”. Heaven knows I have detested Boris Johnson for all the right reasons. In my first contribution to TCW, I called the Prime Minister a clueless weakling, destroying our country on behalf of Maoist crackpots.
I opposed the lockdown from the very beginning. I did not wear a mask and I refused the vaccine. I saw my loved ones when I liked, where I liked.
Anyone who claimed that Boris Johnson was a secret libertarian imposing the restrictions “reluctantly” was automatically blacklisted in my controlled opposition register.
But I’m saying this now, for what it’s worth: Boris Johnson should stay in office.
Anyone who cherishes freedom should be terrified by the prospect of him leaving. There is much to forgive him for, and he has yet to repent. But this is a beggars choosers situation and we must be pragmatic.
Who would replace Johnson? Swayne? Walker? David Icke?
Well, one can dream, but realistically Johnson’s replacement would be a yes man like Dominic Raab, or worse still, a seething tyrant like Michael Gove, or perhaps some careerist who doesn’t know anything about anything, like Liz “our Baltic allies in the Black Sea” Truss.
Rest assured, whoever comes next would be quicker to reimpose restrictions when the next “public health crisis” arrives, and the threshold for declaring a crisis is low.
They won’t care about ethical considerations or the lack of scientific evidence. They will refuse to think and outsource their brains to the quacks at SAGE.
The few journalists who scrutinise them will only get unresponsive, evasive answers. If Julia Hartley-Brewer were to ask them, “what’s 2+2?” they would reply “we are looking at the data.”
What we are witnessing now is a classic regime change attempt, where the powers that be remove a dictator for all the wrong reasons, long after he has done his worst, and only after he finally softens up.
As with Libya and Iraq, the condemned tyrant is subjected to selective moral outrage, whilst equally guilty tyrants elsewhere are happily tolerated, providing they fall in line with the wishes of the international order.
Ultimately, Johnson rejected tyranny in 2021. We owe this principally to the resistance from courageous British citizens, rebel MPs and civil rights organisations like Big Brother Watch and Together, and they are the ones who deserve our thanks, not Johnson.
But we should keep in mind that Johnson was also under huge pressure to impose longer, harsher restrictions on our lives. When normal life was restored in England, every other country in the Western world (including Sweden) doubled down on public health tyranny.
The dopey First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford famously called England an “outlier” among nations, as if that was a bad thing. Had England not been an outlier, it’s possible that the British Isles would be muzzled and segregated. Now, every corner of these islands is free, including the Republic of Ireland.
And this is precisely why so many in our political and media establishment want him out.
It’s obvious from the fact that Partygate was kept secret from us for more than a year, then leaked only after Johnson handed back our freedoms.
It’s obvious from the fact that Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon is always so easily forgiven for her repeated rule-breaking. She introduced vaccine only passports. She prolonged mask misery. She crippled businesses with capacity limits. So removing her for not wearing a mask in crowded indoor settings would not benefit the enemies of freedom.
Nothing good will come from removing Johnson, but plenty of bad things could. I would suggest writing to libertarian MPs like Steve Baker and David Davis and telling them that their calls for his removal are a dangerous folly.
Don’t take it from me, take it from Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who said this in February:
“Boris Johnson has lost the moral authority to lead the country. If there’s another emergency where he has to call on the public to make sacrifices, he doesn’t have that authority.”
Indeed, that is the biggest danger to Britain, someone who has that authority. No one should have that authority.
As for those complaining, “It’s not fair, I followed all the rules!” well, more fool you and frankly, shame on you.