There are no staff left, but it’s okay, Boris Johnson is stronger than ever

So, a show of force from the prime minister. Four, no wait, make it five, the resignations of 10 Downing Street in a matter of hours were, we’ve been reliably told, proof that Boris Johnson is keeping his word by “refreshing” “operation number 10 “. , just as he promised to do.

In the Tory MP’s Whatsapp groups on Thursday night, there were panicked discussions about how best to turn around the mass walkout by almost all of Downing Street’s most senior staff. All members of such pro-Johnson WhatsApp groups must undergo a full shame-ectomy as a condition of entry, with most also agreeing to lobotomy.

Within a couple of hours, the country’s executive branch found itself without a chief of policy, a chief of staff, a director of communications, and the prime minister without his own top official. But this, we have been told repeatedly, if not reliably, is all evidence that Johnson is now in a “stronger” position. That he is already fulfilling his promise to change things.

It was not, to my knowledge, Johnson’s promise to make everyone leave in a sudden panic, long before replacements were found. But this did not matter.

Who knows, maybe firing everyone and blaming everyone but himself will turn Johnson’s fortunes around. Johnson, after all, has been made to look more than a little ridiculous, having to claim that there hadn’t been any party, wait, other than the one he went to, but wait, he didn’t know. it was a party, even after being at it. So it’s right and proper that the man who sent the email about all of that resigns. What Martin Reynolds, a politically neutral career civil servant, has now done.

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Jack Doyle, the director of communications, apparently handed out some humorous awards at some sort of Christmas party, which Allegra Stratton also quit for making a joke she wasn’t around for. So it’s only right that Johnson, with a heavy heart, should also accept Doyle’s resignation.

Dan Rosenfield, the chief of staff, also came out the door. It is the best. He was definitely the main problem. After all, he had been on the job for just over a full year, which began when the previous group of senior staff left in a pyrotechnic cloud of total chaos. Rosenfield was supposed to calm things down. Make it more professional. He was going to turn things around after Downing Street descended into a full-fledged civil war between Carrie Johnson and Dominic Cummings.

When all of that was resolved, in what is now the usual Johnson way, that is, everyone lost their jobs except him, that too, we were told at the time, had made him stronger.

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And then there was Munira Mirza, the Number 10 “policy chief,” who seems to have resigned in a sudden burst of moral righteousness, criticizing Johnson for his “smear attack” on Keir Starmer by Jimmy Savile. This, apparently, is the most harmful. That he resign after the publication of the White Paper Leveling Up, which has been two and a half years in the making and yet contains extensive passages on the settlement of the city of Jericho in 7000 BC. C., is mere coincidence. Seen from the outside, and on the evidence of the last two and a half years, it would seem that the loss of her political brain is probably the least of her worries.

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But what everyone can see, and so can he, in all likelihood, is that the problem might not be everyone around him. Having dispensed with his second full Downing Street operation in as many years, possibly, maybe, just maybe it’s Johnson himself that’s the problem. At the time of writing, some 20 of his own MPs have publicly declared that they have resolved it and have written the corresponding letter to Sir Graham Brady. At least that number is again believed to have been done by him in private.

The chances that the police investigation, and then, in theory, Sue Gray’s full report, don’t conspire to push that number over the threshold, seem very slim.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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