The much-awaited report into Downing Street’s illicit lockdown gatherings has been defanged by the intervention of the Met Police. The establishment will always protect their own. Only the working class can deliver real justice.

The much-awaited report into Downing Street’s illicit lockdown gatherings has been defanged by the intervention of the Met Police. The establishment will always protect their own. Only the working class can deliver real justice.

Promising to shine light on a string of lockdown-breaking parties held in Downing Street during the pandemic, some had suggested that the Sue Gray report might deliver a knockout blow against Boris Johnson and his scandal-ridden government. 

Instead, what has been released to the public is a Whitehall whitewash: nine pages of vague, general statements that omit any mention of the names of those involved, or of the specific events under investigation.

The anticlimactic nature of the report is due to a direct request from the Met Police who, upon launching their own belated investigation, requested that Gray – a senior civil servant – make “minimum reference” to any specific (potentially incriminating) details.

The Met has reported that they are in possession of over 500 pages of material and 300 photographs, demonstrating the extent of the potentially damning evidence that has been covered up.

Police corruption

Met police

Far from investigating any breaches of the law by Johnson and his team, the truth is that the police have been brought in to help cover up the sleaze and corruption of the government.

The Prime Minister’s strategy is clear: lean on the police; throw dust into the eyes of his critics; and kick this scandal into the long grass, in the hope that the rising anger – both within his own party, and from the public – can be dissipated and derailed into safer channels.

This is also the thrust behind the recently announced ‘Operation Red Meat’, including cuts to BBC funding, as well as the ongoing sabre rattling with Russia over Ukraine.

The Met, meanwhile, are only too happy to help Number 10 with this plan. After all, this is just the latest episode in a long history of police corruption and leniency towards the establishment

The police have denied that their intervention has impacted proceedings in any way. But it is clear to ordinary people that the stench of cronyism and corruption in the establishment has become overwhelming. 

The fact is, the police exist to protect the same capitalist system that the Tory Party represents. This is the real reason behind their sudden desire to step in and delay any genuine inquiry into Johnson’s wrongdoing.

And for the same reason, the outcome of the Met’s investigation (if any) will most likely be nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Save Big Dog

In an effort to deflect the blame and placate Tory backbenchers, Johnson has been quick to announce ‘sweeping’ changes to how Downing Street is run, starting with the sacking of several key advisors and officials.

Coined ‘Operation Save Big Dog’, this is a clear attempt by the Tory leader to sacrifice a few incidental scapegoats in order to save his own skin.

The serious strategists of the ruling class, meanwhile, hope that such measures can be used to tame the maverick, untrustworthy PM and clip his wings, so as to ‘bring order’ to Downing Street.

It should not be forgotten, however, that exactly the same tale was spun when former chief advisor Dominic Cummings was sacked. The scandals, we were told, were the fault of one rogue advisor, who had sullied the otherwise pristine reputation of the Prime Minister. 

But even with Cummings gone, the scandals have continued to come thick and fast: the Paterson affair; the Greensill lobbying case; and cash for curtains to name just a few examples. 

What this makes clear is that – rather than being the fault of this or that advisor leading the party astray – there is a far deeper rot within the party, starting with ‘Big Dog’ Boris himself.

Sinking ship

cummings boris downing street 1

Johnson’s obfuscating tactics, meanwhile, have not completely subdued his opponents.

With new #Partygate revelations emerging every day (no doubt drip fed with the help of Cummings), rebellious Tory MPs – including a number of senior Conservative figures – are still speaking out against the Prime Minister, calling on him to resign. One, Christian Wakeford, has even crossed the floor and joined the opposition.

The motivation of these backbenchers is clear. They have not been overcome by a sense of moral justice. Boris Johnson has always been a liar, a crook, and a charlatan.

These same MPs were more than happy to support Johnson when he was winning 80 seat majorities and dominating opinion polls. Their recent outrage represents nothing more than rats fleeing a sinking ship.

Rumours of an impending leadership challenge continue to circulate – although most of the potential candidates are unwilling to publicly declare their interest in the position, lest they be accused of treason.

But regardless of who sits at the head of the party, the corruption that permeates the rotting edifice of the Tory Party goes far deeper than its leadership

Whatever decision these Tory MPs now make will be wrong. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

Allowing Johnson to remain will keep the party on its current course of degeneration and demise. A leadership challenge, meanwhile, could tear the Tories apart, as the various factions exchange blows and squabble amongst themselves in full view of the public. 

At the same time, a new leader would be faced with an impossible task: turn around the slump in the polls; unite the different tribes and diverging interests within the party; and gain the support of the frenzied ‘hang-em, flog-em’ membership – all whilst remaining free themselves from the accumulated baggage of scandals and sleaze. 

Considering the current selection of leadership hopefuls – such as Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, and Michael Gove – it is clear that such a leader does not exist. 

At root, this decline and fall of the Tory Party is a reflection of the decline of British capitalism, which the Tories exist to politically represent.

The former far-sighted strategists of capital have become a den of Little Englanders, rabid racists and reactionaries, and ‘swivel-eyed loons’. A change of leader would be no better, therefore, than rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Overthrow their system

Despite what Johnson may hope, the anger and revulsion towards the establishment caused by #Partygate will not dissipate in the darkness of a police inquiry.

In the final analysis, the driving force behind the chaos in government, splits in the Tory Party, and discontent amongst the working class is the deepening crisis of capitalism itself. 

Neither Johnson and the Tories nor Starmer’s Labour have any solution to this crisis.

The working class is suffering from an immense squeeze in living standards, with surging inflation coming on top of a decade of brutal austerity and attacks. And this cost of living catastrophe is fanning the flames of the political crisis engulfing Downing Street. 

This seething anger towards the establishment is already being reflected in the class struggle. Workers are increasingly turning towards the industrial front; and there has already been a leftward shift in key trade unions.

No amount of official inquiries or reports will quell this indignation. After all, where is the justice for the 150,000 people killed by this reckless government during the COVID pandemic? Or for the countless cases of shamefaced corruption?

Justice cannot be provided by senior civil servants, the police, or backbench Tory MPs. We cannot trust the various pillars of the establishment to hold each other to account. The rich and powerful will always close ranks and protect their own.

Only the movement of workers and youth can redress the crimes of the ruling class: not through empty gestures or shallow reforms, but by overthrowing the system that has allowed the Tories – and the capitalist class they represent – to enrich themselves at our expense.