Knives out for Boris

Boris seems to be on the out. He might last, but a great deal of power is very much arrayed against him now. This will seem to absolve the Tory party of all sins, but its worth remembering that they enabled his behaviour and are very much complicit in the sordid state of the country.

I wrote this midway through the Summer and then promptly forgot about it. On reading it, I still stand by some of it but now it seems less clear cut that riot might happen, that the forces Boris engaged in will rise up. The answer to that question now is dependent on whether what happens in parliament is enough to satisfy the mob. It might well be too late.

I put this article here now, despite its lateness. Call it a pre-emptive political obituary:

Unaccountable Monsters

The Tory party aren’t fascist, aren’t authoritarian, not in the sense of a Hitler or Mussolini. There’s nothing planned about the actions they are taking. The things they are doing are reactionary and at its base rooted in a fear of the general population of the UK, who are incredibly placid lot until they begin rioting. No one “understands” the reasons the country burned in 2011 (sorry, why England burned). This fact should surprise us. While riots often have complex set of reasons for starting, we can normally attribute it to something, some kind of instigating incident. I don’t wish to downplay what happened to Mark Dugan, its more that the precise time line between his funeral protest march and the riots erupting in Tottenham is unsatisfying in its vagueness. It almost feels as if it just emerged, as if an atmosphere for violence suddenly happened.

What I learnt from that riot is the sense that a deeper, ungovernable being lives in the average Englishman, anarchic in its sensibilities. Its buried, beneath a placid, calm politeness, but its there, a vicious ugly kind of beast that resents the calm imposed upon it as a matter of sterilising powerlessness and would happily tear away at the structure of power, any power, when reminded that it exists. The spirit lives in chaos and derives a thrill from it. Democracy is meant to quell this power and manage it, but at all times, our rational rulers must be constantly terrified, exasperated, at this odd beast (Christ, why is the PR not working, why can’t we stage manage the fucks? God forbid you bleed in front of them. They will put the knife in with such glee. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing a man or woman with power topple).

Boris is riding that beast. It will inevitably fuck him. He lives a cowards life, or really one that is simply completely and totally afraid of being held accountable. You can see the real difference in the numerous leaders for their parties, who actually showed up to the election debates, who on some instinct, no matter how milquetoast they might be (I am looking askance at the squirrel killer here), or corrupt they might be (something chilling is happening in Scotland and quietly too. Its possible that the Tories are not what we should really fear. Or only fear.) understood that to not show up to a debate is to simple ditch the last pretence that we live in a democracy. That the basic notion of it is that people should see what they are buying first before they put their money down.

Not Boris, no, the man hid in a fridge. And it defines the direction of the party, influences its character. His cowardice has gotten into the party. He’s a pussyhole. Pussyhole Boris, to use the youth’s parlance. The party want all these police powers, because they are deathly afraid of being held to account, of any sort of imposition of reality. This includes crimes committed in the past. It includes taking any opportunity to fuck over people that are powerless, simply as a constant assertion and reminder that you have it. This is done even when its unwise even when instigation is not in your best interests. I’ll be frank, any sober practitioner of power would have seen what happened with BLM as a result of caging people in their homes for several months and simply let it be. The media aren’t particular capable of holding you to account about it, so why care? Instead the reaction is to draft laws that are far reaching, yet obviously created to stop that kind of behaviour. Which in a sense, simply allows your enemies to see you clearly as an enemy.

There’s a version of this reality, a version with Boris, who sees that CoVID is the perfect opportunity to come out a hero, and settle his legacy, soothe his ego (his main drive): take it all seriously from the start. Boot out anyone who fucks around and abuses the situation, play the deal straight. Everyone forgets about Brexit. Everyone forgets about the lying, the scandals, the obvious racism. After its over, the perfect opportunity to really do what he wants, riding on that goodwill. But that would require something like restraint and discipline and an ability to see beyond the current moment.

We live in a time of unaccountable monsters, men and women who rule us and engage in the worst excesses. Johnson is not an ambitious, visionary creature and it’s possible this is why an attempt to hang an ideology on him doesn’t work. He’s defined by his venality, by the fact that there are no consequences to his actions. Certainly we have neo-liberal, capitalistic politics, but that isn’t what Johnson believes exactly. I’m not even sure that’s what the Tories believe.

Expect more authoritarian choices, but above all expect more fear. More cowardice. I don’t think Johnson was against restrictions simply out of laziness or indifference, but because of the potential to enrage that beast. There is a very simple truth that there are not and were not enough police in this country to really enforce the lockdown restrictions. If the populace decided that they wanted to, they could have ignored them. In France and Italy, they had curfews, heavy handed policing, over the top restrictions. That was not a goer here. With each bit of restraint, you get more and more a population fed up and angry. These restrictions initially succeeded, largely because the population are trusting. But every time a scandal comes out, or every time it becomes apparent that Johnson has no plan, or every blunder that turns out to have killed a lot of people, that trusts disintegrates, people cease doing as you ask and then eventually turn on those in charge.

Johnson has played to the mob in the person, the bit of a man that wants chaos, that simply wants blind assertion of power against whatever is seen as overbearing upon you. He channelled that against the EU. But he knows he’s made his alliance with the demon and its binding is on him. By its nature it will drag him down. Its impossible to say if anything that’s happening in the country will lead to a riot. But he’s forsworn the protections that a normal democracy confers on its leaders. When people believe that there is some chance of accountability, they acknowledge that this thing we call Parliament, this thing called the Westminster bubble, has the right to prop up and dispatch its own. When they cease to believe in it, which in the end comes to ceasing to believe in democracy, they’ll take matters into their own hands. The end result will not be pretty, what ever it comes to.

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