It used to be said many years ago that Hugo Chavez was an "electoral phenomenon". In the opinion of people that weren't clued in and thought that elections in Venezuela were similar to those in the UK, Chavez's streak of victories were not only legitimate but proof that he had a unique appeal to the electorate.
The Conservative Party in the UK has its own Chavez, otherwise known as Boris Johnson. Like his Venezuelan counterpart, Johnson's brand of politics is to lie, at every step, about every issue. Lying is Johnson's definitive magic potion, whether as journalist, politician, campaigner, party leader, friend or husband. Lying is what he does all the time. The problem with it is that, eventually, reality catches up.
The Conservative Party knew very well indeed what they were getting when they chose Johnson as party leader. It can not be argued that Johnson's unmistakable character treat was, somewhat, missed by the Tories. In a country's whose society is peculiarly keen on classism, on keeping records, and on using the most trivial minutiae to remind people of their background and station, the Tories placed every last of Johnson's blunders and pecadilloes on the back burner.
The man who won the largest majority since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 victory was seen, like Chavez, as an "electoral phenomenon". Moreover, the radical wing of the Tory Party -in my opinion its majority- was and continues to be ecstatic over what they call "getting Brexit done". Not only was Johnson a central figure of the odiously chauvinistic Brexit campaign that ended up bankrupting the UK, but once in office he became Little Britain personified, threatening to rip international agreeements, appointing a posse of underlings and carpetbaggers that saw him as a worth-following Messiah. Just ponder for one second about the kind of person who can have respect, consideration and admiration for Boris Johnson. That would be his cabinet. That would be -in large part- the Conservative Party of the 21st century in Britain.
Now that Johnson has been forced to resign over a "newly found conscience" amongst Conservatives, we are led to believe that his underlings are not only different, but better. Never mind the fact that Rishi Sunak's only claim to fame is to have carried water for Johnson, believe or not, he is seen as a "worthy succesor". Same applies to the constellation on non-entities taking part in the Tory leadership race.
Us Venezuelans have seen this movie before of course. Everybody thought that nobody could be worse than Chavez. We then got Nicolas Maduro. Conservatives in the UK are at that critical devil that I know juncture. The leadership candidates, all of them, are nothing more than Johnson's pussilanimous sidekicks. They are not different. They are not better. They have no integrity, nor credibility beyond the party's converted. They have been lying for Johnson all along, which makes them as unsuitable for public office as their idol.
The UK is about to enter a very dark period. The Tories have demonstrated, amply, that the welfare of this nation is not their priority. Like Chavismo, the primordial consideration is to remain in power, whether that means giving the reins to someone like Johnson, or Theresa May, or David Cameron. The Conservatives haven't had a decent leader since Thatcher, and even that is questionable. They have no care for country, society, nor for the economy. As the monumental economic disaster unleashed by Brexit unravels, the Tories can never claim again only they can be trusted with fixing the economy. Their insular and retrograde mentality, in fact, have destroyed the UK's economy. It will be decades before it gets back to where it was or should be.
For Johnson, it was all in jest. Inconsequential. The leader behind the largest number of COVID deaths in Europe, breaking lockdown rules, Brexit, appointing a serial sexual abuser as party whip, lying to Parliament, allowing rampant corruption and gutting institutions has no remorse, neither do his sycophantic minions and party colleagues. The Tories are the scum of the earth, just like Chavismo.
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