Should he Stay or Should he Go?  

By guest contributor – Nick Eriksen

Boris Johnson once proclaimed that he was a great fan of the punk rock band The Clash (I kid you not) so he will certainly know their single Should I Stay Or Should I Go.  As he ponders this very question, the options before him are bleak, as the very apposite lyrics explain: “If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double”.  But how has the-man-who-would-be-world-king (that was his childhood ambition) come to such a sorry pass?  Just over two years ago he was the conquering hero who had won a general election and had an overwhelming parliamentary majority of 80.  He had demolished Labour’s ‘Red Wall’, had taken the UK out of the EU (well, not quite, but more on this later) and had achieved an “epoch-making political realignment” which, it was blithely assumed by political commentators, meant that he would not only walk the following general election but probably even the one after that.  But if, as Harold Wilson once said, “a week is a long time in politics”, then two years is an eternity, and now, with one scandal after another, with police investigations following official enquiries, and with more and more letters of no confidence being sent by Tory MPs to Graham Brady (leader of the Conservative Party ‘1922 Committee’ who will hold a formal vote of all Tory MPs on Boris’s leadership if he receives 54 such letters), many question whether Boris Johnson will still be prime minister by the end of the month.  

Boris believes he is the blameless victim of a leaks and briefing war by his erstwhile adviser Dominic Cummings, whom he compares to Shakespeare’s scheming and deceitful Iago to his tragic Othello.  Given his support for mass immigration and amnesties for illegal immigrants, let’s just hope that Boris does not take this analogy too far and don a ‘blackface’ – he has enough troubles already!  It is certainly true that Cummings has a vendetta against him, and this is not a man you want as your enemy, with David Cameron describing him as a ‘career psychopath’.  But the stories that Cummings is leaking are hitting home for two reasons: firstly, because they are true, and people feel justifiably aggrieved that while they were forced to obey the appalling, idiotic, police-state, lockdown restrictions (which have now been calculated to have only reduced deaths by a negligible 0.2%!), Boris, his wife Carrie (to whom we shall return) and the staff at number 10 were enjoying themselves partying.  Voters do not like to be laughed at and treated as fools.  The argument that Johnson’s critics are hypocrites because most of them flouted the rules too, just doesn’t wash.  While I suspect it is true that most people did indeed break the rules when they could, they did so because they realised the stupidity and pointlessness of the restrictions, but Boris Johnson was the one who wrote the rules and who imposed them on the rest of us, so he is therefore the one person in the country who cannot be excused for breaking them!  

The other reason these accusations are having such an impact is simply because the media has nothing positive to write about instead.  After two years as PM, with a commanding parliamentary majority, what exactly has Boris Johnson achieved?  Nothing.  What popular policies has he introduced?  None.  How many promises has he kept? Zero.  But “Boris Got Brexit Done!’ his simple-minded supporters scream at me whenever I dare to question his achievements.  But did he?  The 2019 Conservative manifesto stated (in bold!) “We will keep the UK out of the single market, out of any form of customs union, and end the role of the European Court of Justice.”  But the UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the latter is still tied to all three of these EU institutions as a result of the treacherous Northern Ireland Protocol devised and signed by Boris Johnson himself.  So he has deliberately failed to deliver the Brexit he promised us. The result of Boris’s resolute refusal to revoke the reviled Protocol and end his betrayal of Britain and his failure to free Northern Ireland from the clutches of Brussels and Dublin has resulted in the instability that we can see there now.  

To digress for a moment, some English nationalists are contemptuous of the benefits of the Union with Northern Ireland (and Scotland and Wales too, for that matter) but they are wrong.  United, the UK is stronger than the sum of its parts.  The argument that these regions are economically burdensome would see us separate from not just these regions but swathes of northern England too, leaving us no more than an offshore Luxembourg – wealthy, but globally insignificant and unable to defend ourselves or our national interests.  Besides, it is not just in Northern Ireland that the evidence of Boris’s humiliating capitulation to the EU can be seen.  Just ask Britain’s fishermen, who have to watch helplessly as EU fishing boats continue to pillage our waters.  Or look at the billions we are still paying Brussels, years after having nominally left the EU.  No my friends, Boris did not ‘get Brexit done’;  it was us, the British people who voted for him and trusted him, who were ‘done’ – done up like kippers made from the herring taken from British waters by EU fishermen and then sold back to us while they laugh at our alleged ‘sovereignty’ and the (broken) manifesto promise to take “full control of our fishing waters”.  

But Boris has not only betrayed Britain over Europe, he has also failed to keep his manifesto promises in other areas too.  On the very first page of his manifesto Boris gave us a personal “guarantee” that “We will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance”.  Like the rest of his promises, this one wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.  National Insurance is going up by 1.25 percentage points in April.  This represents a 10.4% increase for most people (who will see their NI rate rise from 12% to 13.25%) and is just another hammer blow following a series of price increases created by Boris Johnson’s fanatical and insane obsession with ‘net zero’.  It is the demented pursuit of extreme environmental idiocy that has led to domestic fuel prices escalating out of control.  The government may claim that the net zero commitment was in the manifesto, but the truth is that this merely committed the UK to a “target of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”.  Last year, out of the blue, Boris went bonkers and pledged to “decarbonise the UK’s electricity system by 2035”.  Bringing forward this net zero commitment by 15 years is as irrational as it is inane.  The UK’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions is less than 1%, and that of our electricity system is even more minuscule and is hardly noticeable.  Compare that to China’s approximate 30% share of global greenhouse gas emissions – and rising!  So the pain and cost to the UK of completely decarbonising our electricity system by 2035 is utterly pointless.  It just makes each and every one of us poorer, destroys our industries and makes us reliant on imports from countries that hate us.  It is hard to imagine a more stupid policy.

And what of the manifesto promise that the government would “control immigration”?  The never-ending flotilla of boats full of migrants seeking to enter the UK illegally has demonstrated what a grotesque lie that was.  The government has not turned one single boat back – despite promises, hollow as usual, to do so – and the Border Force has changed its role from protecting Britain’s borders to acting as a taxi service helping anyone and everyone who wishes to come here.  The flood of migrants has been so huge that the government doesn’t even know where to put them all, and has resorted to placing them in four-star hotels across the country, at a cost of over £1.7 billion a year.  But hey, what does Boris care – it’s not the government’s money, is it?  No, it’s yours.  

‘But what about covid?’ some of you will be asking.  And indeed – what about it?  Boris Johnson has tried to use this as a ‘get out of jail’ card, but in truth the response to the pandemic was wrong-headed in almost every respect.  The vaccine roll-out, the bit where, ironically, the government had least involvement, was the only moderately successful element of what was otherwise a textbook case of the cure being worse than the disease.  It would take another full article to go into detail how the government blundered like a bull in a china shop, destroying the economy and overturning centuries of hard-won liberties. And even the most generous observer would be hard-put to explain why those ministers who were not involved in the response to covid – basically every minister apart from the PM, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health (when he wasn’t canoodling with his bit on the side) – could not have got on with delivering in their areas of responsibility.  The truth is that it wasn’t covid that was responsible for the government’s incompetence – it was Boris.  Boris has failed to deliver on every single promise he has made to us, from fighting wokery to defending freedom of expression, from controlling left-wing judges to changing the BBC licence fee, from revising the Human Rights laws to keeping the ‘triple lock’ on pensions to protect their value.  A ‘Boris promise’ is like a mayfly, that dies within 24 hours of emerging.  And like a mayfly, whose sole purpose in its short life is procreation, so it seems with bed-hopping Boris, who has managed to sire at least seven children (or maybe more, the number is in doubt) from at least three women (or maybe more).  At least he seems to be good at something.  

Having toiled so hard for the ultimate prize, finally grasping it in a bright but all-too-brief flash of hope and glory, only to waste every opportunity afforded to him and finally to lose it (probably!) in ignominious shame, Boris’s prime ministerial reign certainly has a distinct whiff of Shakespearian tragedy about it – but his latest squeeze, Carrie Johnson, is much more redolent of the ruthless and ambitious Lady Macbeth than Othello’s innocent bride Desdemona.  Her most common sobriquet however is ‘Carrie Antoinette’, and she does indeed share many traits with Louis XVI’s ill-fated consort, such as her extravagant tastes (her refurbishment of Downing Street with gold wallpaper cost over £112,000) and her love of partying (it was she who allegedly organised the lockdown-breaking birthday party where Boris Johnson was “ambushed with a cake” as Tory MP Conor Burns said – or ‘let him eat cake’ as Carrie Antoinette might have said!).  But the most reprehensible resemblance between them is her interference in politics.  She calls officials, texts ministers and it is reported that “Former Downing Street insiders report feeling Carrie could make her husband change his mind, sometimes overnight, on an issue they thought was already agreed.  The prime minister would also tell aides that if he didn’t take a particular course of action, it would anger his wife.”  The combination of a demanding, scheming wife and a weak, uxorious husband is never going to end well, but when that husband is the prime minister this is not just a family problem but a national one.  It is widely reported that Boris Johnson hired and fired staff at Downing Street at Carrie’s behest, including, of course, the sacking of Dominic Cummings, after which it’s claimed she held yet another party where she played Abba’s hit The Winner Takes It All.  Is it still so funny now, dear?  

Which takes us full circle to where we started: the fallout from Boris’s illegal parties and the question of whether he should stay or go.  Each to their own, of course, but I cannot see the point of keeping a prime minister who is intent on betraying the country, breaking his every promise and making us all poorer.  ‘I’ll change!’ Boris is now promising Tory MPs.  But he won’t.  As a former editor of the Spectator magazine, Boris will know that it is named after the original publication of that name which was co-founded in 1711 by Joseph Addison, who like Boris was a writer and a politician.  And as he famously remarked: “Men may change their climate, but they cannot change their nature. A man that goes out a fool cannot ride or sail himself into common sense”.  


  1. The Prime minister has lost the confidence of the public and most likely his own Party.. Should he survive he must start delivering on the promises that got him ( and the Conservatives ) elected the country DEMANDS it.
    Immigration, education,health, economy and brexit MUST be solved then and only then will the voting public forgive ” partygate and all the other ‘ distractions ( particularly in the red wall constituencies).
    Do not squander the Majority you have and let ” captain Hindsight and the Liebour Party return to government
    The Conservative party need to back or sack Boris but then they MUST get on with running the country in the manner that most want .

  2. I too, am angry at the failings we have all seen and experienced but the Nick Ericsen’s article requires some objective comment.

    I am one of the ‘simple-minded’ people who said that Boris Johnson ‘got Brexit done’, to whom Nick Eriksen refers in the above article. It’s a step too far to call me a supporter, but the truth is that he did get Brexit ‘done’ – an imperfect Brexit certainly where the Northern Ireland Protocol is concerned.

    There are some short memories here.
    Cast your minds back to when Theresa May led a Minority Conservative Government. We nearly lost Brexit completely thanks to Labour, led by Corbyn, aided and abetted by Starmer in what would have been the greatest democratic betrayal of all time, Theresa May was tied in knots by Tory Remainer traitors such as Anna Soubry, Labour (including Starmer) who tried to scupper Brexit completely and by Brexiteers themselves who were dissatisfied with her version of Brexit. It was an impossible situation. There was only one Brexit but there were many versions of it depending on which tribe you came from. Then after Johnson replaced May, he was effectively locked in Downing Street and wasn’t allowed to call a General Election without the say-so of Corbyn due to the laws that Cameron had passed while in Coalition with the Liberal Democrats, led by Clegg. So let us allow Johnson some credit for getting an imperfect Brexit ‘done’, once he had achieved his majority. There is still more to be done.
    It sure wasn’t going to get ‘done’ with anyone else in charge, so be careful what you wish for.

    Next; Covid. The Government were slow off the mark at the outset when it seemed that the Government were in complete denial of what was happening. Remember, the Cheltenham Festival and the football match at Anfield early in 2020 which spread the disease. We then had Johnson stating that it was an Englishmen’s God-given right to go to the pub. Well maybe; Johnson had to be told by the experts in no uncertain terms that the Government needed to change track otherwise Covid related deaths would exceed hundreds of thousands and they were probably right. Your god-given rights are worthless when you’re six foot under and pushing up the daisies. Johnson also was in Intensive Care with Covid. Poetic justice?!!
    Regarding the Parties in Downing Street; it all looks bad and is bad, but consider this. The facts have not yet been fully established for two reasons: a) Jenny Come lately, Cressida (Common Purpose) Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has pulled the rug from under Sue Gray’s Report into Downing Street Parties at five to midnight and a shortened version was presented instead, pending the outcome of the Met Police Enquiry.
    b) The effects of the Parties during the lockdown are not quantifiable and nobody knows if anyone was harmed or caught Covid because of it.
    c) Bad though it is, it is infinitesimally small compared to what Blair got away with during his premiership with his illegal war in Iraq and his ‘sexed up’ Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and his millions of immigrants and his sidekick Lord Levy with his Cash for Honours/Questions. Police Investigations came to nothing. Lord Levy was seen and heard boasting outside 10 Downing Street after it was announced that there would be no further action. How very convenient.

    I am not angry about the Downing Street Parties, because they are the ones who look stupid, not me or us.
    We socially distanced, we wore our masks, we obeyed the lockdown rules, we washed our hands, we followed the guidance. we got our jabs, we took our lateral flow tests. WE DID THE RIGHT THING.
    Meanwhile, Downing Street partied away not realising that people with ‘ulterior motives’ and armed with iPhones were filming from behind curtains with malicious intent. It has come back to bite them.
    On the other hand, he is entitled to have a birthday cake presented by his wife on his own patch.

    I tend to forgive him about the Covid mistakes.
    What is unforgiveable, is the utter and complete failure over immigration and the cross channel migrant crisis accentuated by the absolute lie about ‘taking control of our borders’. The utter and damning failure to stop boat after boat after dinghy after dinghy landing on our beaches. The utter and damning failure to return migrants seeking asylum who have travelled through dozens of safe countries to get here and be accommodated in 4 Star Hotels at a cost of £millions of our money. A total of 10 have been returned at the latest count over two years.
    Despite all their promises to turn back the boats, they have backtracked just as we expected. The promises were made to attract headlines.
    What is even more damning is it doesn’t even generate a murmur of discontent by Tory backbenchers, because I’ll tell you what, they don’t care!

    Should he resign, or should he stay?
    I don’t know. The Tory Party will have to decide. They will look after their own interests, not our interests or the national interest. They’re damned if they do and they’re damned if they don’t.
    The Tories at present are in complete disarray. It would be nice to say ‘Long may it continue’. The problem with that is that it harms the country and harms our national interest.


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