Scandal, sackings and sleaze – 

Is this Boris Johnson's legacy?

Words by Sam Drury


Photography by

Peter Summers via Picture Alliance/Associated Press
19.07.2022 5 MINUTES

  • Boris Johnson arrived to a Downing Street in turmoil, with a nation more clearly divided than ever – and decided to make it worse, for his own profit.

  • After a long list of scandals, his reign as Prime Minister has finally come to an end.

  • What lasting damage did he do to the editorial society?

Boris Johnson’s unceremonious sacking as Prime Minister has finally come after 1,078 days of a floundering campaign to ‘Get Brexit Done’, scandal and a string of affairs. 
The once columnist turned panel show plaything leaves behind an unsurprising legacy, like many leaders before him.
It is a legacy that will see him remembered as primarily interested in the plight of his friends and the 1%, over the wellbeing of our larger population, culture and the safety of those in desperate search of asylum.

A career built on scandals, viral provocations, and self-interest

Boris arrived to a Downing Street in turmoil, with a country divided more clearly than ever between left and right.
Just like President Trump, Boris sought to harness nationalist hunger and for a young person living in the UK and Ireland, he made it even harder to connect with the hierarchy in this country.
Following the collapse of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership in 2019, many young people who hoped for societal change, were back tapping on floods of news articles dedicated to reporting the seemingly daily errors of our new leader.
The media has continually reported on Boris' outbursts in search of viral moments, be it through negative criticism or positive sentiment.

By the time he was firmly in the public eye, Boris had already been involved in a number of extra-marrital affairs and he described the LGBTQ+ community as “tank-topped bum boys”.
In a 2002 article for The Telegraph he said Africa should return to colonial rule and called the population of Congo “flag waving piccaninnies”.
His humanity continued to show while he was London Mayor, allegedly stating “f*** the families” of the victims involved in the 7/7 bombings… In the very city he was charged with stewarding. Not to forget describing women wearing burkas as looking like “letter boxes”.
And to top it all off, he initially denied the potential devastation Covid could cause, bellowing he will continue to shake hands and then brokering deals that awarded almost £2bn in contracts to firms recommended by Tory MPs and ministers.

Entertainment trumped truth

The dark side of the editorial society has thrived on the blurred lines between fact or fiction over the last ten years, window-dressing Boris' statements accordingly to fit their tone of voice.
Boris, like Trump, has successfully fuelled this editorial society with outbursts throughout his career – in return, the media brought him the oxygen he desired from both left and right.
Armed with his dishevelled, non-plus appearance that is supposedly manufactured, and his entertaining delivery of opinions and information, Boris has managed to escape many scrapes before and during his time in number 10, solidly maintaining his status as a big headline grabber.

As I say, none of this sleaze and shameful self interest is really that surprising looking back on the career of Boris Johnson.
Presiding over more than 175,000 Covid deaths while partying with his Tory chums, The Pincher Affair, backing a party member watching porn in parliament, and his flat out refusal to sack Dominic Cummings are all clear indicators he was not fit for office – and we should have known that before he even set foot in number 10.
And finally, in his desperation to cling on to what influence he has left, he is doing the very thing he criticized Gordon Brown for.
I guess some can try and explain away all of these ‘moments of poor judgement’ from this great leader, everyone makes mistakes, right? But, as his power has grown, his sense of responsibility has diminished to the point of distain for those he governs.

Infamy was Boris’ core aim, which he achieved.

However, infamy was also his downfall.

Meanwhile, President Trump remains a leading voice in US politics, despite reluctantly relinquishing the key to the Oval Office.

I’m sure we’ll see the soon to be ex-PM back on the telly in no time, I’m sure GMB is looking for a shiny new, unfiltered star following Piers Morgan’s exit.
But get a good PR team first Boris, spend all that cash you took from work people, you’ll need it.

Boris’ time as PM is done, and we can hope the time of serving the interest of top brasses should be over now too.

Should Boris' rise and fall act as a warning for future political commentary in the UK and across the world? Can we regulate the editorial society, and help it avoid falling into the same trap of selling controversy, instead holding those in power to account?


About the author

Sam Drury is a Social Editor at Looping London, working on the BMW International account. Sam comes from a print journalism background, which he studied at Nottingham Trent University. After graduating, he worked as a reporter for a number of newspapers in Essex, UK, including The Echo, Colchester Gazette, Thurrock Gazette, Maldon and Burnham Standard and Chelmsford Times. He had a keen interest in hard news and community matters, which led him to covering a lot of crime and local politics in the region. Sam later joined Reach Nationals as a Social Media Editor, working for The Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express and OK! Magazine. While he was no longer writing content for the most part, the role still maintained his interest in current affairs. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Sam Drury tried to work with the reporting team to post content that was truthful, however, also maintained hope in their community during a terrible time.

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