Friday, 26 June 2020

The matter is closed

This week, the media have been reporting that the PM is “under pressure” to sack Robert Jenrick following revelations about the minister’s role in granting a planning application in order to save a Tory donor millions of pounds. A few weeks ago, the same media claimed that he was “under pressure” to sack his chief aid following the infamous mobile eye test and breach of lockdown rules. But expecting Johnson to feel in any way pressured over the dishonesty of those around him is wholly unrealistic. This is a man who harbours a deep sense of resentment over the fact that he was himself sacked from two jobs for dishonesty, and that’s not indicative of a man who thinks that dishonesty should be in any way punished.
Someone who has lived his whole life believing that normal rules are for other people and that he is entitled to do whatever he wants is hardly likely to sack someone else for a similar offence. Applying the ‘normal’ expectations of what a PM should do in such circumstances is to misunderstand the man. When the world king declares a matter closed, it is closed. For those wondering just how badly a minister in Johnson’s administration has to behave to get sacked, the answer is obvious: act honestly, stand by your principles and say what you think. There are no signs of any minister being likely to qualify in the near future, not least because anyone meeting that description would never have been appointed in the first place.

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