Goodbye Boris: After three years in office, Johnson was formally dismissed by the Queen today. What is the legacy of the “Brexit Over” politician?
The Daily Star is a newspaper on the tabloid side of the British media spectrum. Often with distorted and sometimes vulgar stories, he was expected to be in the camp of newspapers supporting the well-known populist Boris Johnson. But the Daily Star doesn’t think much about Johnson and his government. For him, the outgoing prime minister has always been just “Bozo the clown”.
Days after it was announced that Johnson would leave in July, the star took the front page headline: “Bozo. His Legacy Is Full.” Below that was a list of 35 – empty – items, except for three:
- “He has a cute dog”: This is a reference to Dilyn, the Jack Russell Terrier that Johnson bought for the 2019 election campaign.
- “Beautiful wallpaper”: A nod to the very expensive and shady financed interiors of their Downing Street private flat.
- “Good at organizing parties”: As is well known, the many celebrations held in the seat of government in times of lockdown were one of the main reasons for his downfall.
There’s really nothing to add to this cover of the Daily Star when it comes to Johnson’s political legacy. Or maybe yes? Brexit, what about Brexit? He managed to do this.
For Johnson, siding with the anti-EU in the 2016 referendum was once a conscious power-political decision, and his calculation actually paid off when he entered Downing Street. After the referendum result proved very difficult to implement, it ran a successful campaign in 2019 with the slogan “Finish Brexit”.
So Johnson kept his word here. The only question is whether this Brexit is also what its supporters imagine it to be. The real negative consequences of Brexit for the British economy – experts agree on this as well as their pre-referendum warnings – are currently still hidden behind the consequences of the Corona crisis and the Ukraine war.
There are few signs of promised Brexit benefits
So far, little has been felt about the promised benefits of breaking free from the shackles of Brussels. Instead, the experience and willingness to work of EU citizens who meanwhile left the country are lacking in many professions. The fishing industry, which was hoping for a renaissance, is now even more sluggish.
And the persistent disagreement that London has fueled over the grueling Northern Ireland Protocol does not even give rise to any hope of constructive cooperation between the UK and the EU.
Other announcements by the Johnson administration, such as the promise to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, should also be carefully considered. On closer inspection, only five are actually new hospitals – the rest are just renovations or additions. And even these will seldom be completed in eight years.
Corona zigzag course
Given the two great challenges of the recent past, Johnson can only give a mixed report at best. Great Britain still has the highest number of corona deaths in Europe, this is due not only to the miserable management of the health system and the hesitancy to take quarantine and other precautionary measures, not just in the opinion of those affected.
Downing Street, on the other hand, repeatedly refers to the success of the vaccination program. They were really important at the initial stage, but later the United Kingdom was overtaken by other nations, so it can be assumed that the early and rapid initiation of vaccines only prevented worse things from happening.
decline in political morale
As for Ukraine, the British government is also following the tried-and-tested method in which the constant repetition of positive things will eventually become effective. Indeed, many Britons believe that their country is leading the rest of the world in supporting the Ukrainians. Johnson visited his friend Volodymyr Zelenskyj three times. In the end, this pandering seemed almost embarrassing.
A legacy of the Johnson era will certainly occupy the kingdom for a long time: the decline in political morale as a result of numerous attacks on parliamentary autonomy and the independence of the judiciary.
In retrospect, it seems downright grotesque for a country that never tire of bragging about its democratic tradition to allow itself to be so seduced by someone who acts so openly to all the rules of Trump populism. Despite all the lies, some conservative voters choose to keep Johnson in office.
Boris Johnson reached his goal of becoming prime minister three years ago. He did very little. Boris Johnson was certainly not a Winston Churchill – the great role model he even wrote a biography about.
I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.