The Debatable Land #24: Things Fall Apart
Shed no tears for Boris Johnson and none for the Tory party either. They knew what they were doing and they did it anyway.
An unbecoming end
A resignation speech is an easy one to give. Even those folk mightily pleased to see you gone are willing to make some allowances for the circumstances in which the resignation address is given. The requirements for a successful farewell are not exacting: show some humility, a little knowing humour, a nod to history and the great responsibilities of office, and, perhaps above all, depart with a certain stoic grace.
These are by definition moments of failure but also of reckoning. They offer a kind of catharsis, a collective exhalation of breath and a gathering sense that, however much they may have failed in office, departing ministers - and especially departing prime ministers - have at least done their utmost to rise to the challenges of the role they have held. Gordon Brown and David Cameron and Theresa May each passed this test. Boris Johnson, alone amongst recent prime ministers, spectacularly failed it today.
It was all so beastly and so unfair. He had been for…