Monday (January 31st): Boris Johnson’s “Partygate”

Boris Johnson (Bojo) United Kingdom
Boris Johnson

Name? Boris Johnson

Westphalian identity? British

Age? 57

Why is he in the news? The UK government has published a redacted version of an eagerly awaited report on claims of lockdown-breaking parties at the office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 12 of these parties are now being criminally investigated. The Sue Grey “Partygate” report claimed that there were ‘failures of leadership’ within the Johnson government

Why do we care? Boris Johnson spoke to the British parliament earlier today and apologised to the British people for the lockdown-breaking parties but showed no sign of resigning as some in his party and the opposition demanded. He vowed to exchange members of his wider circle to assure the government could be trusted. However, he made sure to highlight his achievements over the past years instead of outlining any actual changes. 

Why should you care? This does not impact your life. If anything, this highlights the problems with the type of politician Johnson is; instead of discussing policies that will impact societies’ positively, the media and parliaments are busy discussing the personal integrity of their leaders. You should care 6/10 about this shift in attention. 

Who else cares? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Remember lesson number one in foreign policy? When any leader wants to distract from domestic problems they make a big move internationally. So did Johnson when he vowed to send “biggest possible offer” of troops (900 to be exact) to support NATO in Estonia. Putin will not care for the troops as they are a mere political display, but he will care about his meeting with Johnson soon, just as Johnson himself who seeks to look strong against Putin. 

Any further comments? This report was published exactly two years after the UK officially left the EU on January 31st of 2020. Ironically, that was also the topic of our second daily update ever. Johnson made very sure to highlight his personal Brexit success in response to the allegations.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator