After the Party
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It’s as if Britons are girding for the hangover that is sure to follow the end of the heady, chaotic government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Everyone is wondering what will happen to Britain and the ruling Conservative Party after the departure of the blonde, clownish premier who took the country out of the European Union with Brexit and stirred controversy for his flouting of coronavirus pandemic rules and other scandals.
Johnson said he will step down in September after major cabinet ministers resigned their office in protest against how the prime minister handled allegations of sexual misconduct against a lawmaker, the BBC reported. He is expected to remain in office as an interim prime minister until the Conservatives, who won a parliamentary majority in the 2019 elections, pick a new leader.
Their job will be tough. Johnson ruled not only with an electoral mandate but also one involving Brexit, the New Yorker explained. Whoever follows him will need to deal with solving or mitigating Brexit’s many negative side effects while lacking the larger-than-life personality that Johnson brought to his job.
A slew of Tories want to replace Johnson, Axios reported. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is now leading that race, wrote Bloomberg. Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt is running a close second, however, even though her campaign got off to a rocky start when they released a botched campaign video on Twitter, noted HuffPost. Sunak has made his share of gaffes, too, especially in relation to his self-professed addiction to Coca-Cola. Meanwhile, his wife has made headlines because of her lack of British status and overseas income, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, inflation in Britain is more than nine percent, a 40-year high, according to CNBC. Food and energy costs are soaring. The economy is widely expected to tip into recession later this year. Johnson’s successor will likely need to unleash a distinctly non-Conservative wave of spending to help people maintain their living status or else the party’s rule could be jeopardized.
Writing for CNN, world affairs columnist Fida Ghitis believed that Johnson’s fate held lessons for voters everywhere who support populist causes and bombastic leaders. Their antics catch up with them sooner or later, she said.
In contrast, Palm Beach Freedom Institute President Paul Du Quenoy said he would miss Johnson and his antics. “In a globalizing world that seeks to sacrifice national sovereignty to shady international institutions, BoJo struck back by extracting his country from the European Union,” he argued in an op-ed in Newsweek.
Johnson helped shape his country and the world. Now everyone else is dealing with it.