The measure of an MP is in how they respond when faced with difficult decisions.
By that standard, it seems most of the current crop of Tories are worse than useless.
It seems a significant number of them will not be willing either to support or oppose the findings and recommendation of the Partygate Inquiry’s report on Boris Johnson – for fear of upsetting various sections of their voter base.
The rationalisations are ridiculous.
Apparently, some are afraid that Johnson’s supporters will turn away from them if they support the report’s findings. But the report itself is extremely thorough and answers any criticisms of its methodology, meaning that its conclusions are as safe as they could possibly be. Anybody who still thinks that Boris Johnson is a pillar of integrity should therefore be considered wrong.
The job of an MP faced with voters who insist that Johnson has been mistreated is to explain that the inquiry was carried out to an extremely high standard and arguments against its findings are just wishful thinking.
And how do these MPs know what the majority of their voters are thinking, anyway? It isn’t even 24 hours since the report was published. Anything said by members of the public before that is now irrelevant; we have all seen opinion polls showing how the mood of voters fluctuates over time – and that they are especially shaped by major events.
Some MPs are upset at what they consider the harshness of the proposed punishments against Mr Johnson. But anyone who reads it will see that he brought these punishments on himself. Originally the sanction was to be a 10-day suspension from Parliament. This was extended to 80 days because of the extremely strong – and public – response that he made after he had received advance notice of the report’s findings. This was itself a serious contempt of Parliament.
Considering the facts of the matter, one is led toward the conclusion that these MPs are not so much concerned about what other people think of Johnson and the report’s findings – they simply don’t want to be part of any final decision on it.
Cowards, one and all. And that seems to include their second-choice prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who “hasn’t yet had time to fully consider the report”, according to the BBC, and has thus managed to avoid commenting on it.
This Writer is heartened to read in that same article the belief of Tory MP Tim Loughton – one of the few who have dared to put their heads over the parapet – that the result’s recommendations will “go through very easily next week”.
And with a general election looming ever-nearer, the choices these Tories make will be sure to affect not just Boris Johnson’s political future, but their own.
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