Skip to main content


Johnsonism: it’s “always someone else’s fault”

Boris with Carrie: never to blame. Rebecca Fulton/Downing Street/Getty

Isn’t it funny, says Marina Hyde in The Guardian, how nothing is ever Boris Johnson’s fault? We learned this week, for example, that he tried to secure his then mistress, now wife, Carrie a plum job as his chief of staff when he was foreign secretary. For many people, this will confirm the suspicion that their “golden boy” has been “captured and turned bad by a woman” – that his many political problems stem from his bothersome wife. Well, sorry guys, but that’s total rubbish. The reason Johnson is an “immoral, grasping and chaotic dignity-vacuum” is because that’s what he’s always been. He is by miles the more powerful half of his marriage. So if he tried to get Carrie a job or got a Tory donor to cover their gold wallpaper bill, it’s on him. No one else. Just him.

Johnson’s refusal to take responsibility for any of this has created “a government in his own image – one that ricochets between blame-shifting and clean-up”. So, of course, the rail strikes are really Labour’s fault, “even though they’ve been out of power 12 years”. Of course it’s all the lawyers’ fault that the government doesn’t have a “working immigration policy”. Of course you can’t be expected to know your own Covid lockdown laws. Ponderous commentators often muse about what “Johnsonism” really is. For me, the definition is blindingly simple: “It’s always, always someone else’s fault.”