William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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BORIS, WE HARDLY KNEW YE – Boris Johnson has resigned as Britain's prime minister.  A man of many faces and moods, he was a superb friend of America, a well-read man of letters, and a defender of Western values.  He was also an undisciplined eccentric, consummate partygoer and occasional jerk. 

He was finally brought down because his own Conservative party turned against him following a series of embarrassing scandals.

Some compared him to Churchill, also a flawed man.  But Churchill was a key pivot in the Allied victory in World War II.  Johnson was never handed such a grand canvas.  From Fox: 

Boris Johnson announced plans to resign as prime minister of the United Kingdom on Thursday in a tumultuous end for a government that once enjoyed a strong democratic mandate.

Johnson’s roughly three-year tenure ended in disarray after he threatened a standoff with his party and a possible general election following the resignation of 42 ministers who deemed his position "untenable." He says new leadership is "clearly now the will" of Parliament.
Johnson hopes to remain in a caretaker position as his Conservative Party elects a new prime minister, a process that may take roughly two months.

"I have appointed a new cabinet who will serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place," he said. "When the herd instinct moves, it moves."

Conservative ministers declared that they had lost confidence in the prime minister after news emerged he had elevated Chris Pincher to the powerful role of deputy chief whip despite allegations of sexual misconduct.

But it was not the only scandal that Johnson’s government had to wrangle with. It was merely the final one that ministers could tolerate, bringing an end to his sole ambition and goal in politics. 

"Boris Johnson’s place in history is assured given his stewardship of Brexit, vaccine rollout during the COVID-19 crisis and staunch defense of the free world in Ukraine," Alan Mendoza, co-founder and executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, told Fox News Digital. 

"His personal foibles were known to all before he came to office and have always been part and parcel of his offering. They will not affect the reality that he has got the big calls right and has always confounded his critics in doing so."

The prime minister also had displayed Churchillian support for Ukraine during the Russian invasion, earning him plaudits at a time when he otherwise struggled for positive press. The highs and lows of his run to the leadership — and his eventual fall — will ensure he remains a figure of enduring fascination and interest in both British and global politics. 

Johnson rose to prominence as a political columnist for The Daily Telegraph and later editor of The Spectator before winning the election to Parliament in 2001 as the Member of Parliament (MP) of Henley. He won the election for Mayor of London in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. During that time, he enjoyed a healthy public image as an affable man of the people. 

COMMENT:   And of course he might be back some day.  Churchill lingered in the political wilderness for decades before being called to the prime ministership in the early days of the Second World War. 

The priority now is for Britain to find a prime minister who will keep the Conservatives in power. 

July 7, 2022