Rise of the Useful Idiot

How did we get here? The highest levels of Government seem rife with incompetence and corruption. And the leaders fiddle with themselves while Rome burns. And we put up with it, because seriously, what’s the alternative?

Chief among the Useful Idiots must be Boris Johnson. Look up Useful Idiot in the dictionary, you will see his face. And then punch it. His idiocy has a long track record. His mishandling of Brexit (in that he supported it at all); A cause I don’t think he believed in. He wanted to raise his profile outside of London in advance of a run for Tory leadership, and the Brexit campaign was useful. It allowed him to connect with disaffected Labour voters who would otherwise dismiss him as a Posh Twat. His shamefaced look when the result was announced spoke volumes.

He went on to win the Tory Leadership and the Keys to No10 on the promise of delivering Brexit. In the end he copied Theresa May’s homework and delivered it as his own. There were and still are gaping holes in the deal (the Northern Ireland question?), but BoJo waves it off with a “Come back in 10 years, it will all be great.” Well, the Brexit vote was in 2016 and ratified in 2020, so the clock’s ticking, Boris.

To be fair, Boris could not have seen the Pandemic coming. No, wait, he could have. Doctors on Wuhan and in the WHO were sounding the alarm in 2019. Other countries were closing off flights and locking down while BoJo waited, skipping COBRA meetings about the coming crisis. He laid down strict rules for the public, with harsh fines as punishment. He then partied through the lockdowns and allowed those close to him to flout the rules without consequence.

Boris has weathered accusations of sexual misconduct, rampant misogyny, influence peddling, nepotism, cronyism, and, of course, incompetence and yet he’s still Prime Minister.

How does he do it? He has mastered the art of the Useful Idiot.

Boris Johnson has survived a vote of No Confidence and a multitude of scandals because no one else wants the job. From the Public’s point of view, all the other senior tries are just as if not more corrupt than Boris. From the Conservative Party’s perspective, Boris is useful. He is a lightning rod; a target for all the rotten fruit the public and media can throw. Everyone focuses on him, while they discreetly continue their dirty dealing.

And now Boris has a useful Idiot of his own: Deputy Whip Chris Pincher. The Right Honourable Member of Parliament has admitted to groping the members of two men at a Private Members club.

(The entire preceding paragraph sounds like a double entendre. Whip, Pincher, private members; it’s a bad Monty Python sketch).

It wasn’t an isolated incident. Boris knew his character when he appointed him to Deputy Whip. “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature” was BoJo’s response. But he hasn’t fired him or asked him to resign. Partly because he can’t afford the humiliating defeat a by-election would bring. Partly because he wants the press to attack someone else for a change. (It’s not working, the news is still about what BoJo knew and why he hasn’t done anything about it.)

It’s not good for a country to be run by a idiot, useful or otherwise. There’s no leadership. All the Ministers are running their own fiefdoms, furthering their own agendas, lining their own pockets. No one is looking at the bigger picture, or looking out for the interests of the people. So problems like the wealth gap, the wage gap, the cost of living crisis, the energy crisis, the housing crisis, the education crisis, the healthcare crisis, unemployment, underemployment, etc are not addressed until they reach crisis point and can no longer be ignored. At that point, any government solutions are merely a bandaid on a gaping wound.

But until then, the Idiot reigns.

It could be worse, though. What if the Useful Idiot turns on his creators?

Enter Donald Trump.

Definitely an Idiot. Useful might be a stretch. Like Frankenstein’s Monster, if they never put in the brain. During his candidacy, even in the early days of his presidency, the Old White Men of the GOP thought they could control him. That he would be out in front, connecting with the rednecks, drawing all the attention while they quietly advanced their goals and shored up their power defiance of all progress. It worked, to a point. Mitch McConnell appointed hundreds of Judges, all of them so conservative they object to universal suffrage as dangerously progressive. But they quickly lost control of their pet idiot, if they ever had it to begin with.

Trump had slogans, but not policies. He wanted power for power’s sake. He went along with the Republican Agenda when there was no reason not to. Until he lost the election, and Trump was not going to play nice anymore. It went from “The Republican Party featuring Donald Trump” To “The Donald Trump Party; formerly known as Republican.” Do you know what happens when the Idiot takes control?

The January 6th Insurrection. The mob of idiots armed with pitchforks, flaming torches and zip ties were following the Monster rather than attacking him.

So what’s the solution? How do we cope in this Directorate of Dickheads? Maybe, just maybe, we should stop electing them. Really, any Old White Man should be barred from holding high office. They are too focussed on preserving the past, rather than fixing the present or preparing for the future.

Perhaps we might give the women a try?

Women have always had to work harder and be smarter; to be twice as good just to be considered equal, and now all that repressed skill is reaching a critical mass. The people speaking truth to power are the woman. In the US, the most vocal and effective politicians are women. They are educated, eloquent and PISSED OFF. Stacy Abrams, Katie Porter, AOC, Elizabeth Warren, Ilan Omar, Rashida Talib, Ayanna Presley, even Liz Cheney, republican though she is, are not afraid to call out the Idiots when they see the need. In the UK, Deputy Labour Leader Angela Raynor repeatedly gets the better of BoJo at PMQs, former Conservative MP Ruth Davidson owned the stage at the Brexit debates. People are even looking a lot more generously at Theresa May’s time as PM. It was nice to have a PM who at least tried her best.

Boris is just trying not to trip over his own feet.

And Failing.

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