The North Shropshire by-election result illustrates more than the shortcomings of Boris Johnson. It reveals the tragedy of contemporary British politics in miniature.
It was never going to be difficult to topple Boris in a by-election in the aftermath of ‘Party Gate’, but the Tory candidate did not help matters. Neil Shastri-Hurst, a barrister-doctor, had been parachuted in from Birmingham.
There was the grotesque interview Shastri-Hurst gave to journalist Michael Crick, which is now available on You Tube. Asked repeatedly whether he considered Boris Johnson to be a man of honesty and integrity, Shastri stonewalled with a succession of ‘The prime minister has been very clears’ and ‘He has ordered an inquiry into the allegations’ followed up, for good measure, with a straight-faced ‘I am absolutely confident that the prime minister is the right man to do the job’, accompanied by choreographed hand signalling to demonstrate his sincerity. Theresa May could not have done better. To be fair, Shastri’s room for manoeuvre was severely limited as he was the official part candidate, but all the same, the robotic mantras were ill-judged.
All the local girl (indigenous white, Shropshire lass, blonde and blue-eyed to boot) had to do was make some obvious observations about Boris’s evident lack of honesty and integrity, and she was in. Never mind that she was an ultra-woke liberal who had previously called Priti Patel a Nazi for trying to stop the influx of boat people across the Channel, a useful humanitarian idiot serving those who have engineered the Great Replacement, the destruction through mass immigration and the ideology of multiculturalism of the indigenous culture of England. Never mind all that. She called out Boris.
This mirrors perfectly the national political debate. The choice offered the nation is between a load of corrupt Tories, who would asset strip their own grandmother for a quick profit, and who connive in mass immigration and the destruction of our nation; and a load of woke metro-liberals, who openly espouse the deconstruction of our national culture, but are not yet tainted with the corruption of those who hold office.
As for those who would defend our national culture, they were absent. The only non-conformist party was UKIP, and they gained under 400 votes. Two factors come to mind: the lack of a charismatic leader and the lack of a genuine alternative news channel. France has both in the form of Eric Zemmour (who makes Farage sound like Angela Merkel) and CNews. We need a charismatic leader, who is prepared to say the unsayable, and a billionaire alternative media magnate.