Column: BYOB - Why Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to survive another party scandal

Bring your own booze. Those four words should be nailed on to Boris Johnson’s political tombstone right now.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:13 am
Boris Johnson (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

His grubby, lazy, selfish Government should not last a day longer after revelations of yet another party held in Downing Street during lockdown.

The head of this particularly rotten fish now has a stench that cannot be removed by yet another inquiry or a deliberately mumbled, semi-coherent response to the media.

Johnson presides over a Government without a shred of integrity or decency, and zero understanding of the anger that now engulfs it.

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In any other scenario, this would bring it down.

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He may not have written the email - doubtless the author will be sacrificed to ensure some distance between it and the Prime Minister (golden rule of politics: always find a fall guy) - but he cannot stand apart from it, or its staggeringly inappropriate tone.

Read it aloud, and, as you do, recall it was written when we were just 58 days into lockdown, completely isolated from family and friends, and coming to terms with entirely alien restrictions.

“Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

While Downing Street was looking forward to the most relaxing of summer evenings, May 20, 2020 saw us report on a further 15 related COVID deaths here in Fife, while rapid testing was set to start in care homes, resulting in yet more isolation for residents.

People across Fife were still adjusting to a socially distanced existence - separated from family, and unable to hold the hands of frail, elderly loved ones in care homes, and all living with a real fear of hearing that someone close to us had tested positive.

The fact that only around 30 or so people who got the email queried if it was appropriate to have a gathering tells you everything about those who didn’t and headed out the door.

They are Johnson’s people.

Their lack of empathy is shocking.

Their inability to grasp that the rules they helped to shape and enforce also applied to them should have us all shaking with fury.

Had this been a one-off, the anger might - just might - have dissolved, but this came just five days after there was wine and pizza in the gardens of Number 10, explained away as a working event, and we’ve already seen photos of others drinking late into the evening.

The culture Johnson presides over, and is central to, is obscene.

He cannot lead - I genuinely doubt he even wants to. It’s as if it’s too much bother.

Let him be taken down and removed from an office he was never fit to hold.

But before he goes, make him listen, one to one, to every single family who lost a loved one on May 20, 2020 while he and his ilk rummage in the fridge for a bottle of sauvignon.

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