THE FALL OF DEMOCRACY - (as predicted by Aristotle more than 2000 years ago)

If the EU don’t get him the media will! Boris Johnson is on a slippery slope according to media headlines. It is hard to remember a day when media coverage was not focussed on some negative Bo-Jo issue.

That staff held a party at 10 Downing Street last year, the Prime Minister’s official residence and office is, assuming the allegations are true, scandalous.

A respected journalists’ magazine this week praised media reports of “an apparently pandemic rules-breaking party” - note the careful language - which “…follows extensive revelations throughout the last 12 months centring (sic) around dodgy lobbying, government hypocrisy and other corruption from across the media”.

So what have EU news services been focussing on rather than Boris? One thing that struck me in the past few days was the sentencing of France’s minister for small and medium-sized enterprises to a six month suspended sentence for failing to declare a savings scheme worth €171,000.

Reports were plentiful that the EU is concerned that US President Joe Biden might undermine Europe’s security in his talks with President Putin of Russia. Reports continue that the disquiet came on the eve of the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy "…meant to strengthen the world’s free democracies and help defend them against increasingly aggressive authoritarian regimes, such as Russia and China".

One report went on to say that an alliance is only as strong as its weakest member stressing that “the EU has a problem”. It stated: “According to Freedom House Hungary is no longer a democracy, Poland is about to go down the same path, and democracy in the Balkans is eroding because of Chinese and Russian influence. What’s worse, the NGO has repeatewdly pointed out that the EU is not doing enough to stop the 'stunning democratic breakdown'.”

Another report from a forest on the Polish border with Belarus highlighted migrants trapped in freezing conditions and carried description of how they were being beaten, told to strip, and then had their clothes set on fire.

According to another report, France’s President Macron who takes the Presidency of the EU on January 1st wants to promote “a Europe that protects” a,s the report suggests, “some liberal countries fear a protectionist Europe”.

Other reports focus on the rising costs of fuel and gas and rising living costs in general. It seems that EU citizens are finding it increasingly hard to cope with these rises and in that they are not alone. Living costs are also increasing at an alarming rate in the UK. Behind the party crisis ordinary people have to pay their bills and live, a factor that could be mentioned in the media much more these days.

What does the UK have - a party last year that makes front pages under crazy headlines. That responsible adults should not have been partying during a lock down while citizens were forbidden to visit relatives is emphatically the case - assuming that the media reports are accurate. That Boris Johnson was culpable even though he was not present is inescapable.

I have searched and searched but can find no comparison with the party obsession in the EU media. It seems that while politicians break the law in the EU and others fear for the future of democracy and the economy the issues I have listed appear far less important in the British press than that Christmas party.

Boris Head In Hands

That the UK government will fall seems inevitable. Someone will take over the Conservative leadership but how long will they last, given the wide ranging sleaze and corruption allegations that have dominated the media for so long? And so, we should ask, what will happen to the British economy when Boris resigns?

It is the job of the media to hold governments to account. Not to bring governments down in frenzies. I am not in any way condoning the actions of people who should have known better. In my view the police should have been called at the time and should be conducting a proper investigation now - rather than the media. If Boris really is as bad as he is presented then there should be a general election.

The situation has inspired me to a poor attempt at poetry:


Oh Boris you are such a twit,

We are determined you should quit.

We care not for proper news,

Only to shape the public’s views.

If we treat you like a clown,

It will not be long before you’re down.

Oh Keir, now you have taken over,

Don’t think your job will be in clover.

If you so much as drop a cup,

Then you will know that all is up.

We’ll rubbish you as we did Boris

And won’t let up ‘till you leave office.

As said above: “What next?” Be concerned.

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Chris White

Chris White

Chris White is a former UK national newspaper journalist and was the founder and editor of a magazine focussed on EU affairs.

Now writing for EUToday, Chris has his own column, 'Chris's Corner'.

Chris is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, a professional association for journalists, the senior such body in the UK and the oldest in the world, having been founded in October 1884

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