Thursday, July 18, 2024

Boris v The Baroness: Copper's daughter is taking on the Johnsons


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Has Boris Johnson finally got his match? It may be coincidence, or it may betray something deeper in the personality of our former prime minister, but one cannot help but notice that his current twin enemies are intelligent, strong-willed women who have There’s a certain authority and depth of experience that, clearly, the old rookie has been able to take on.

Now in the news is a Baroness Heather Hallett, senior judge and chair of the Covid inquiry, who wants to see all his messages, diary entries and other documents to find out the truth about the government (in other words: Johnson’s) Epidemic response.

She has the power, granted by Parliament, to demand the Cabinet Office, Number 10 and anyone else be handed what she wants to see – no ifs, no buts, no exceptions, no quibbles.

So who’s the blonde bombshell grandee in this fine coral Styleshowdown? Hallett, 73, comes from relatively humble stock.

Her father was a highly successful police officer in the Hampshire force, who spent the war flying agents behind enemy lines. He ended up as an assistant chief constable – and Hallett’s early interest in the law was inspired by Dad’s library of books on crime and punishment, both factual and fictional. Both parents encouraged Hallett to believe she could do anything a man could. Her mother, a secretary, refuses to teach young Heather to touch-type, lest she one day be stuck in the typing pool.

Hallett’s background is therefore neither posh nor establishment; He is one of a generation of children who can take full advantage of a full, free education from a state grammar school. I dare say she’d probably be comfortable identifying as a feminist. She was the first in her family to go to Oxford, which she says she chose because it “sounded wonderful”.

She became a formidable force in the law, rising through criminal penalties at a time when the profession was more a bastion of malevolence than it is now. Early in her career she was approached sexually by more senior men, including a judge who, acting in a break in a trial, invited her to his room and volunteered to father a child with her. From.

Hallett is one of the legal geniuses chosen to take on the toughest assignments, including child abuse cases and inquiries into the 7/7 bombings, as well as effective pardons granted to terrorists during the Northern Ireland peace process also includes.

Magisterially, Hallett reminded those concerned that refusing to co-operate is a criminal offence. So, far from betraying Johnson (as he sometimes suggests), his old colleagues in the Cabinet Office are actually trying to stonewall the suspicious Baroness – to no avail. Obliged by the Civil Service Code to report possible criminal wrongdoing, he had already sent elements of the official chronicle of Johnson’s frolicking at Checkers to the police.

So Johnson is right to be apprehensive. There could be some serious embarrassment in store for Johnson when Baroness Hallet finally comes around to being published. Plus, there’s also the possibility that damaging, not to say salacious, details could leak in the meantime, as they do. Given what we know about Johnson’s proclivities, we can’t be sure whether he spent all his time at Checkers searching for first editions in the library, or collecting butterflies. Johnson pleads with Hallett to delay his work until he hires some lawyers who he feels are more sympathetic to his cause (as he sees it) than those appointed by the government. . The Baroness dismisses his whining. One wonders if he has something to hide…

However, that calculation is probably years away. Of more immediate concern to Johnson is the other “H&H” figure expected to evaporate rapidly in his firm, impartial hands – Harriet Herman Casey, a year younger than Hallett and another leading feminist. The Mother, a veteran Labor MP, former cabinet minister and former deputy leader of her party in the House of Commons who is now chair of the Privileges Committee, also denies falling for BoJo’s bluff.

She was strong when Johnson came to her committee and tried to get her out of trouble. She was not impressed and did not tolerate any of his nonsense. Like Hallett, he is not charmed or intimidated by Johnson. Neither of them is in the mood to be bothered by this very small number, which shrinks a little more every day as the facts about its chaotic premiere emerge.

Without any evidence, Johnson goes on with his invisible, Trumpian effort to portray himself as the victim of some vast establishment conspiracy, concocted by the so-called “blob”. He is also reported to be prepared to sue the government, surely a purely demonstrative, tactical move – and a desperate one.

Johnson is said to believe he is the victim of a “politically motivated stitch up”. Total rot. The fact is that it is Johnson himself who has found himself being compared to a tight end keeper because of his attitude and manner of behaviour. He is the sole author of his misfortune – in fact it is when his WhatsApp messages and memos come to light. No doubt some will be irrelevant to the coronavirus, but that is for Hallett and his team to establish – not for Johnson to say, nor for the Cabinet Office to reword items on his behalf .

Out of office, out of power, and left with few friends anywhere, even within his own party, Johnson relies on the remaining staunch devotees of his cult of personality to help him return to high office. What a low expectation. The likes of Priti Patel and Nadine Dorries may still be inexplicably captivated by his charms, as indeed is a substantial part of the Tory membership, for whom it seems no offense is grave enough to disqualify Johnson from their affections. Is.

For the rest of us, however, any enthusiasm for him or his cynical Brexit project has long since evaporated. The only good news for Johnson is that as of now, he’s almost lost the ability to shock us. He certainly can’t go much lower, even if he is voted out of Parliament. He ruined his career by his arrogance and carelessness. In time to come, Hallett and Harman will only draw attention to such abiding truths.