Source: wechat official account: Bu Yidao has been authorized to reprint
Pen / Tiger knife & Sister Daodao
As the celebration of the Queen’s platinum Jubilee came to an end, Prime Minister borisjohnson suffered the most serious crisis since his election, and his position as prime minister was in jeopardy.
On the 6th local time, the British Conservative parliamentary group “1922 committee” announced that the vote of no confidence in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be held between 18:00 and 20:00 local time on the 6th, that is, from 1:00 to 3:00 a.m. Beijing time on the 7th.
“1922 committee” Chairman Brady said that the voting results would be announced “soon” after the voting.
If Johnson fails to win the vote, he will face stepping down.
The media generally believe that the most likely successor to Johnson is Britain’s hardline Foreign Minister for China, John trass.
No. 10 Downing Street has just issued a statement confirming this news.
“Tonight is an opportunity to put an end to months of speculation and let the government draw a line and move forward,” said a spokesman at No. 10 Downing Street. “Johnson will explain his views to lawmakers and remind them that there is no stronger political power than to unite and focus on matters vital to voters.”.
As we all know, the British Prime Minister is not directly elected. As the leader of the ruling conservative party, Johnson must have the support of Party members to keep his position as prime minister.
There are 359 MPs in the conservative party. If 54 MPs from the ruling Conservative Party submit a letter of no confidence in him, the conservative party will vote within the party.
If the prime minister fails to win the vote, the campaign for the new leader will begin.
The “1922 committee” confirmed that the number of mistrust letters received has passed the threshold of 54, and the voting will be held soon.
If more than 180 lawmakers voted against Johnson, Johnson would be out.
Johnson’s crisis stems from a number of “party gate” incidents involving No. 10 Downing Street during the outbreak.
Since the end of last year, the British media have successively exposed the inside story of illegal gatherings at the prime minister’s office during the epidemic, which is in sharp contrast to the daily life of the British people who need to strictly abide by the epidemic prevention regulations.
In may2020, the British Prime Minister’s office held a garden party with “drinks” in violation of regulations, and about 30 people were invited by Chief Private Secretary Johnson;
On june19,2020, the prime minister and the Minister of Finance attended a planned birthday party for the prime minister in the cabinet meeting room for half an hour, but both said they had no prior knowledge;
In April, 2021, two parties were held to see off the former employees;
In January 2022, the British Prime Minister’s office held a “Friday wine party”.
On May 25 this year, the “gray investigation report” which attracted great attention in British politics was finally fully released. Gray, the second permanent secretary of the British cabinet office, who was responsible for investigating the party scandal in the prime minister’s office, carefully described the details of various parties in violation of the anti epidemic restrictions in the prime minister’s office in his dozens of pages of report, singing K, fighting, red wine flying on the wall, and attached the specific photos of the party.
Different from the singing and dancing at No. 10 Downing Street, during the same period, Britain adopted strict blockade measures against the public and prohibited non family members from holding social gatherings.
Therefore, the release of the investigation report immediately triggered political turmoil and social discontent.
A real-time poll after the release of the “party gate” survey report shows that 59% of Britons think Johnson should resign, and as high as 74% think he lied on the “party gate”. The British people took to the streets to protest, accusing the officials of the prime minister’s office of having a party at the same time that the front-line workers were dying of COVID-19.
Reina, deputy leader of the opposition Labor Party, said in the British Parliament: “Johnson is really too bad to have potential criminal acts in Downing Street.”
Johnson received a ticket from the London police last month and became the first prime minister in British history to break the law while in office.
In fact, since the “party door” broke out, the news that Johnson faced the challenge of no confidence voting has become a constant theme in British politics.
The reason why the motion was launched at this juncture is largely related to the defeat of Johnson’s Conservative Party in the local elections in May.
Statistics after the local council election showed that the conservative party lost nearly 500 local council seats, of which more than 340 seats were lost in England. The Conservatives have even lost control of traditional vote houses such as Westminster, Wentworth and Barnett.
Before the local election, the British media generally regarded the election as a public opinion poll and “mid-term examination” for the Johnson administration at this stage. The disastrous defeat of the conservative party shows that the support rate of the Johnson administration is not optimistic.
Therefore, many members of the Conservative Party probably know that if they follow Johnson into the general election to be held before January 2025 at the latest, they will also be in danger of stepping down.
According to the analysis of British media, if Johnson fails in the confidence vote, it is considered that the two Conservative MPs who are most likely to succeed him are the finance minister Rishi sunak and the foreign minister Elizabeth truss, who is welcomed by grass-roots lawmakers.
Among them, the possibility of trass is considered to be greater.
As the second female foreign secretary in British history, trass is very popular in the conservative party. Her tough attitude towards China has made her more visible in British politics.
On the Taiwan issue, trass has repeatedly called for ensuring that “Taiwan has the ability to defend itself”, and even arrogantly proposed that NATO should “protect Taiwan”, making the most explicit exposition of the ambition of “NATO globalization”.
On the Xinjiang issue, trass repeatedly criticized China’s so-called “human rights violations”. On the eve of the visit of the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights to China, he called on China to allow Bachelet “unrestricted access to Xinjiang and thoroughly assess the facts on the scene”.
On the Hong Kong issue, she was also unwilling to be lonely. She not only instructed the British Foreign Office to issue the so-called “Hong Kong semi annual report”, but even tried to interfere with the Hong Kong judicial system, requiring British judges to participate in Hong Kong’s justice without being suppressed.
Trass, a former Minister of international trade, ignored the opportunities brought by China UK economic cooperation for the development of the two countries, called on countries around the world to “be tough with China”, also said that the WTO should refuse to recognize China as a developing country, and asked Britain not to rely too much on China for nuclear energy and 5g infrastructure.
It is widely believed that trass wants to “inherit Thatcherism and sound the drum of ideology”. In fact, since brexit, British foreign policy has been trapped in illusion and indulged in nostalgia for the long gone era. At that time, “Britain ruled the sea” and had the Empire of sunset, which could force other countries to obey.
Last year, trass declared in a think tank speech: “the British should not be tortured by the shame and doubt about the future brought about by the colonial history, but should be proud of their identity and position.” She also believes that British diplomats should be given more power to promote “Britain’s best business, culture and values of freedom, democracy and human rights” around the world.
But these exaggerated words have no realistic basis. The wound brought by brexit to Britain has not healed yet, and the COVID-19 plus the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has further torn this scar. Supply shortages, labor shortages, rising inflation, a huge impact on the service industry, soaring energy prices, and declining living standards are increasingly troubling this former empire.
After brexit, Britain is moving towards a foreign policy based purely on nationalism and imperial nostalgia, so it has lost its grasp of the country’s strategic reality or national interests.
Cuihongjian, director of the European Institute of the Chinese Academy of international studies, said that it should be said that the impact of the “party gate” incident on British politics is still fermenting, but there are at least two steps to go before Johnson steps down.
First, the members of the party “revolted”, and 48 Conservative Party members jointly signed, thus launching a no confidence vote in the party. This step has been taken. Second, even if there is a vote of no confidence, Johnson may not lose.
The last time was in 2018, the Conservative Party cast a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, the then leader of the party and British Prime Minister. At that time, Teresa may won 200 votes, more than half of the members of Parliament supported her, and successfully retained her position as prime minister.
Cuihongjian said that whether Johnson will lose depends on whether the conservative party can replace him.
As mentioned earlier, many media regard trass as the only candidate for British prime minister after Johnson. Trass’ high profile also seems to show the feeling of winning the game.
However, cuihongjian believes that trass may have been a little too conspicuous recently, which may not be a good thing for her. If there is competition within the conservative party, it is hard to say which party leader belongs to. Those who are in the limelight now may not be the last to win.
From this point of view, the risk of British government change does exist, but it should not be so urgent.
Cuihongjian further analyzed that Johnson and his government can be said to be a brexit government. After brexit, he and his government completed their mission.
However, Johnson was not content with this. He had high expectations for himself and always wanted to follow Churchill.
Seven years ago, when Johnson was mayor of London, he personally wrote the spirit of Churchill: how one can change history, which truly expressed his admiration and admiration for Churchill in all aspects, and tried to find his own projection in Churchill.
Just last month, Johnson quoted Churchill in his speech to the Ukrainian parliament, comparing the situation in Ukraine with Britain’s determination to fight the Nazis during World War II.
Obviously, Johnson didn’t want to go and wanted to stay.
The outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine gave him an opportunity to get rid of his domestic political dilemma. Along with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Johnson conducted political marketing again and again with a “surprise visit” to Kiev and a street show, trying to divert attention from the “party door” scandal.
However, the problem is not so simple.
Cuihongjian said that it should be said that the “party gate” is only a superficial reason for the decline in Johnson’s support rate. The underlying factor is that the UK has changed from brexit to normal governance and needs to achieve government change. In other words, Britain now needs a government that is completely cut off from brexit. If a brexit government continues to govern, Britain is likely to have “thunderstorms” from time to time.
For example, Northern Ireland.
Because of dissatisfaction with the “Northern Ireland Protocol” in the British “brexit” agreement, the Northern Ireland region was in a political impasse a few days ago, and the parliament stopped working.
In this sense, cuihongjian believes that the Johnson administration has a fresh-keeping period.
As for the length of the last fresh-keeping period, it still depends on the game within the conservative party.