There’s a story to be told yet about why Boris Johnson resigned so promptly the day after having won the Referendum vote — his pathway to being the next Prime Minister almost certain. Michael Gove’s blunt statement to the press that Johnson was “not a team player” was a blow, but surely not as devastating as all that. Far worse things are said in politics. Johnson could have shrugged it off and carried on as he was — the favourite.
It has been hinted that it’s something to do with the party that Johnson held for ‘close friends’ on the evening beforehand. Gove was not invited. Was Gove piqued that, having been at Johnson’s side for three months as they campaigned, he was no longer being considered as a “friend’? Or was something said or done at the party that Gove was told about the next day by a fly on the wall?
Otherwise, it’s all very strange. Gove is usually described by those who know him and work with him as being kind and courteous. For him to turn against Johnson so brutally was out of character and might mean that something more serious provoked him. Perhaps we’ll learn about it when memoirs are written.
Trivial though these sorts of events are within the larger scheme of things when serious decisions have to be taken about the economy, people’s jobs and so on, the electorate is learning as never before that their leaders have feet of clay and are far less professional than they need to be. All this is part of the increasing loss of faith in present parliamentary systems in the advanced countries and why civil services are quietly becoming more powerful.