In Washington, the subject is impeachment. In London, the subject is implosion. And the leaders in both capitals are looking for someone else to blame. Andrew Rawley writes:
Very often, what matters in politics is not how you play the game, but how you place the blame. No one knows this better than Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. His career would have been terminated long ago did he not possess a talent for wriggling out of responsibility for his behaviour in both his personal and political life. The biographer of Margaret Thatcher, Charles Moore, who once employed him as a journalist, sometimes refers to Mr Johnson as “the greased albino piglet”.
We are now entering the most intense round of the Brexit blame game. For three years, Remainers have pointed infuriated fingers at Mr Johnson and the other frontmen of the Leave campaign for flogging a bogus prospectus that Brexit would be a painless “piece of cake”, not never-ending agony. Since it cannot be the Brexiters’ fault that their promises have not been fulfilled, they must find someone else to blame and that would be intransigent Europeans, obstructive parliamentarians, quisling civil servants and meddling judges. With less than a month to go before the Halloween deadline, and an election hovering on the horizon as well, the issue of culpability is going to become even more fiercely contested. We approach the endgame of the blame game.
Boris Johnson finds himself in a bind of his own making:
He has repeatedly declared that Britain will be leaving, with or without a deal, at the end of October, “come what may”, “whatever the circumstances”, “do or die”. Repeats of that pledge, delivered under the slogan “Get Brexit done”, won the loudest applause during his speech to last week’s Tory conference. Except that the Benn Act, passed by parliament in September, makes it illegal for him to pursue a crash-out Brexit and requires him to ask for a further extension in the event that there is no agreement. How does the greased piglet wriggle out of this one?
In Washington, the text messages which were delivered last week to three committees of the House of Representatives were the 21st century version of Nixon's tapes. Donald Trump will howl, blaming everybody but himself for his impeachment. And Boris Johnson will squeal like a greased piglet, blaming everybody but himself for his implosion.
Self destruction is in the air.