You know it’s bad when even the Daily Mail starts calling out “corruption” in a Tory government—“corruption” being a polite word for the normalised plunder of the public purse.
Johnson’s institutionalised thievery has cost the taxpayer tens of billions of pounds. But even worse, lives have been lost. Examples include PPE contracts for ultimately unusable equipment handed to hedge funds and the track and trace programme that had no demonstrable benefit.
Yet, the scandals keep on coming: Owen Paterson, Geoffrey Cox, Grant Shapps, cash for honours, and now possible cash-for-cover-ups.
What did voters expect?
What did voters expect from Boris Johnson, a notoriously self-centred buffoon?
With the exceptions of Michael Gove, whom he appears to have hired under the “keep your enemies closer” principle, and Rishi Sunak, who seems to have been Dominic Cummings’s choice of Treasurer, Johnson the narcissist mainly stacked his cabinet full of individuals with apparently lower mental acuities than his own.
Johnson appointed Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary, a man whom as Brexit Secretary didn’t seem to realise the importance of the Dover-Calais crossing to British trade. Raab, the author of a book that argues against making housing a human right, is now Justice Minister. (Great review of the book here.)
Another appointee, Liz Truss, famously said as Justice Secretary that barking guard dogs could help to deter drones bringing contraband into prisons. Johnson’s reshuffle saw Truss moved from Trade Secretary to Foreign Secretary.
Northern Ireland Secretary and former Party Chair, Brandon Lewis, openly acknowledged that the Internal Market Bill would “break international law,” adding: “in a very specific and limited way.” (“Yes, Your Honour, I did steal that bike, but only in a very specific and limited way.”) Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was allegedly caught on the hot mic—with a camera pointing at him—apparently confirming that the illegal attempt to prorogue Parliament was—surprise, surprise—Brexit-related.
And on and on it goes.
Several words, not all them profane, have been used over the last couple of years to describe this government. “Chumocracy” and “kleptocracy” (rule by thieves) are two of the best, but they don’t quite hit the mark.
A word first used in 1644 by an Oxford preacher seems to best summarise what has happened to British politics: kakistocracy; Ancient Greek for rule by the worst and/or least competent.
With remarks like “let the bodies pile high,” it is not too far-fetched to say that Johnson could be a sociopath. We can plausibly argue that the Tory Party churns out leaders incapable of empathy (hence the MayBot), but at least previous regimes were efficient in their ruthlessness.
Kakistocracy is what happens when a country is run, not by mere sociopaths, but by idiotic sociopaths.