By Jack Meredith @PoliticalWelshy
It is quite apt that this piece’s title is a paraphrased quote from Edmund Burke, often regarded as the philosophical founder of conservatism.
Remaining silent at a time when truth to power must be spoken is often the catalyst for corruption to take hold, embed its toxic roots and create something so diabolical.
In the context of an institution, it can have the knock-on effect of keeping the silent in an uneasy state of complicity – speak up, and risk losing everything you have garnered so far, damn yourself while also acknowledging that you benefited from the corruption. Stay silent, condemn others to the corruption, and allow its toxic roots to strengthen and grow until they can no longer be removed without doing away with the institution entirely.
And this is why it is so apt to reference Burke; this is the situation Conservative MPs find themselves in.
It has no lie that the Conservative Party has placed many of its electoral hopes upon the character that Johnson portrays. To many across the country, he isn’t Johnson, Mr Johnson or Prime Minister – he is “Boris”. He created an “every-man” figure that relates to the common person in the street (despite having studied in Eton and lived a life none of us could ever imagine!).
It seemed like a great idea at first; pinning their hopes upon “Boris” won them a landslide in the 2019 election, helped them convince the British people that they could “get Brexit done” and had the power to vote through whatever legislation they wanted.
And then, as it goes with every tale too good to be true, reality hit hard.
He is currently overseeing a cost of living crisis, with the options to implement a windfall tax and cut VAT to lessen the impact on citizens being rejected – by himself and his government. Asylum seekers arriving in Britain are being sent to Rwanda. The right to freely vote and the right to protest are being infringed upon. Inflation has hit a 40-year high, reaching 9%. The “oven-ready deal” Johnson promised on Brexit had expired, with the plan to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol rejected by both the EU and US.
And, of course, he is the first sitting Prime Minister to have broken the law. This is a fact that no matter how much Boris Johnson would like to brush under the carpet, isn’t going away anytime soon.
While so many sacrificed seeing loved ones, some for the last time, Johnson broke lockdown rules and held illegal parties in 10 Downing Street.
What has been the response from MPs, to everything that has so far transpired? Have they held a vote of no confidence, kicked Johnson and his allies out of the party and reformed top-to-bottom?
A flurry of “no confidence” letters here, the occasional television interview calling on Johnson to resign there – but no action. The threshold needed to trigger a vote of no confidence has yet to be met, and the MPs that make their grievances public continue to serve under the Prime Minister.
They stay quiet, while evil triumphs.
Jack Meredith is a prominent political activist found on twitter, tiktok and often writing for the Lib Dem Voices- his social media is linked at the top of the article.