The … Unforgivable Mistake of Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, may be forced to resign for what is considered an insignificant issue in many parts of the world: he may have lied to Parliament.

Johnson attended a 100-person party in the prime minister’s office garden on Downing Street, which was banned by his government as part of the measures for fighting the coronavirus.

He declared, “I’m absolutely categorical, nobody said to me, ‘This is an event that is against the rules’… When I went out into that garden I thought that I was attending a work event.”

However, Former Johnson aide Dominic Cummings has said he is willing to “swear under oath” about warning him that if he attended the party he would be violating the coronavirus measures. The party took place in May 2020.

In addition, the night before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021, the Prime Minister attended a party of his office staff.

The next day the Queen was sitting alone in the church so as not to violate government measures for social distancing.

Johnson apologized to the Palace for this: “I deeply and bitterly regret that that happened… I can only renew my apologies both to Her Majesty and to the country for misjudgments that were made, and for which I take full responsibility.”

Ministers of his government took the opportunity to state that if it turns out that he had misinformed Parliament, he should resign.

Johnson has made a number of similar mistakes during his years as prime minister. But this mistake, many argue, is different. It is much more serious. It has to do with the institution of Parliament.

The hypocrisy of behaving as if the rules apply to the masses but not to people in power has caused anger, disbelief, and ridicule that will be difficult to overcome. Politicians and journalists are ‘smelling blood’.

Perhaps these events, which matter mainly in the Anglo-Saxon countries, leave the rest of the world cold and indifferent. Their eyes have seen such things millions of times and therefore are not particularly phased nor impressed.

But it is also a hope and a confirmation that respect for the truth and the intelligence of the people is still valid, and that politicians who violate the norms, in at least in some countries, pay a high price.


To the Editor: I recently had to apply to the Greek Consulate in Atlanta for the issuance of a power of attorney.

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