After the damning report about parties and excessive drinking, there is nothing left of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson but a naked emperor, our chief news officer Saskia van Westhreenen writes.
Saskia van Westhreenen
Of all fairy tales is The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen perhaps the most beautiful. His story about the emperor who got no contradiction reminds us every day of the great danger of vanity.
Vanity is a trait that many people suffer from. But all too often there are chunks of it.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is someone who fits seamlessly into Andersen’s fairy tale. Not because he likes new clothes, but because he likes parties and other entertainment. Now everyone can make a mistake once, but Johnson made it very bad in his own country. His apologies can no longer be counted on one hand.
On Monday, the investigative report of top official Sue Gray was released. A few hours later Johnson was allowed to bow his head again humbly in the House of Commons.
The picture that emerges from Gray’s twelve-page report is disconcerting. The drink flowed freely at 10 Downing Street. The researcher refers to an ‘excessive consumption of alcohol’ during the sixteen parties studied. The Prime Minister may be pleased that further details are not forthcoming for the time being.
Gray concludes that Johnson’s leadership has been flawed. That’s putting it mildly. All things considered, his position has been untenable for weeks. Someone who spends his free hours with too many other people in corona time drinking and partying can no longer credibly ask the population to comply with the rules.
Gray also rightly points out the role of the employees in her report. After all, it wasn’t just Johnson who crossed the line. The entire entourage of the British Prime Minister lacked any form of countervailing power. Thanks to Hans Christian Andersen, we know that in the end nothing remains but a naked emperor. Then the fairy tale of Boris Johnson is over.
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