Boris Johnson’s Election Victory: Now He ‘Owns’ The Toxic Brexit Nightmare – OpEd


The only positive message that can be taken from the otherwise almost insanely depressing outcome of Thursday’s General Election — in which the Tories, under Boris Johnson, a lying and thoroughly untrustworthy philandering narcissist, secured an outright majority — is that Johnson now ‘owns’ Brexit, the toxic destroyer of the UK, and both he — and the fawning mainstream media that was so shockingly biased in his favour throughout the election campaign — will be unable to blame Britain’s slow, agonising and inevitable collapse on anyone other than themselves.

Elsewhere, there is no other good news to report about this election. The Tories won largely because traditional Labour strongholds in the north of England and in Wales swung their way, often for the first time in their history (although the results didn’t come out of nowhere). An additional factor that should be noted is the number of EU-supporting Tory voters who stayed faithful to the party brand, even though, under Johnson, the party has become unrecognisable, and is clearly fixated with inflicting a hugely damaging no deal Brexit on the country.  

And those swings occurred fundamentally not because of how credible or not Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s policies were, but because Johnson took one simple stupid message — ‘Get Brexit Done’ — and hammered it home relentlessly and successfully. While I and others groaned at its constant repetition, it did exactly what it was intended to do: to confirm to those who voted Leave in the EU referendum that all the faffing about was over, and that a strong leader would now deliver what they voted for. Further analysis will also show, I’m sure, that many who voted ‘Remain’ in 2016, also voted for Johnson and his sledgehammer message, because they too thought that it was long overdue that the “will of the people” needed to be respected.

To that extent, Johnson’s bludgeoning message was uncannily similar to the effect of Donald Trump’s simple and stupid ‘Make America Great Again’ message in 2016, and, of course, the similarities between Trump and Johnson, and their campaigning, are genuinely quite chilling, not least in their far-right leanings, and through the shared involvement of organisations engaged in massive voter manipulation online. 

But the bottom line of Johnson’s success is that he now has to deliver on his promise to ‘Get Brexit Done’, and that, of course, is a toxic time bomb. We know his intent — to flog us off to the US, making us a vassal state, with other cuts from the carcass of the UK distributed to China and the Gulf, and with Britain’s role as a global tax haven reinforced — a place where every super-rich scumbag from anywhere around the world is welcome to come and park their ill-gotten gains. 

Most of the above is, to be honest, business as usual for this shamefully corrupted nation of ours, but delivering Brexit is fraught with two particular problems for Johnson and Cummings and whoever else is on board with the Brexit project in his cabinet and his government of the deranged, the deluded, the obsequious and the cowardly: getting Brexit ‘done’ will take years, or, more probably, decades, and it will take some serious conjuring on the part of Johnson’s black propagandists to spin that one successfully. 

More significantly, however, the more we ‘leave’ the EU, the more fundamentally damaged our economy will become. There is, literally, no scenario in which the UK economy will perform better as we deliberately and pointlessly extricate ourselves from our intimate involvement with the largest trading bloc and most privileged club in the whole of world history, and it is impossible to imagine that Johnson’s Tory government will be able to paper over the effects of our certain economic collapse throughout the many years of certain decline to come — even given the traditional deference and newly-found stupidity of my fellow citizens who have been conditioned by almost the whole of the mainstream media and the British establishment to obey their masters’ dismal messaging in a largely unquestioning manner.

Johnson has more woes to come, of course — a war with Scotland, where he is instinctively more hated than any other English leader since Margaret Thatcher, and where his refusal to grant a second referendum is unlikely to proceed unchallenged, and the loss of Northern Ireland, which may well reunite with Ireland, fulfilling, via the insanity of Brexit, what the IRA were never able to achieve. 

And what of England? As I see it, unfortunately, England in particular is as deeply caught up in a civil war as it has been since that deluded referendum three and half years ago. This hasn’t, to date, led to inter-English fighting n the streets, but if Johnson’s delusional and insanely destructive Brexit is forced through, it would, I think, be foolish not to expect civil unrest to follow.

In conclusion, let’s also remember that what the lazy, complicit media are calling a “landslide victory” isn’t really any such thing. Johnson’s Tories gained 48 more seats than Theresa May secured in 2017, despite barely getting more votes than May did, and, although Johnson’s Tories have 365 seats, and all the other parties have only 285, they did this not by securing over 50% of the vote, but through just 43.6% of those who voted — and when non-voters are factored in, Johnson and his Tories have the support of just 29.3% of the total registered electorate. Most damningly of all, the participatory aspect of our so-called democratic system is so damaged that more people (32.7% of the total registered electorate) didn’t vote all all than voted for the Tories. 

Our political powerlessness in the face of complete indifference from the Tories will prevent it, but what we really need is proportional representation, so that fraudulent majorities, via our horribly biased first past the post ‘winner takes it all’ system, are no longer the political reality in the UK, and where no overall majorities for any party will mean that parties will have to learn to cooperate rather than endlessly being stupidly adversarial. As the Electoral Reform Society has been pointing out, it took just 38,300 votes for a Conservative MP to get elected on Thursday, while the Green Party, with 864,743 votes, secured just one MP as usual, the wonderful Caroline Lucas. How is that supposed to be fair?

Andy Worthington

Andy Worthington is an investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers). Worthington is the author of "The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison"

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