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Editorial: 'Inept Johnson has set a new benchmark for epic failure'

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If Boris Johnson has done nothing else, he has given us a new benchmark for epic failure. Stock picture

If Boris Johnson has done nothing else, he has given us a new benchmark for epic failure. Stock picture

Getty Images/iStockphoto

If Boris Johnson has done nothing else, he has given us a new benchmark for epic failure. Stock picture

If Boris Johnson has done nothing else, he has given us a new benchmark for epic failure. He has also left us with an indelible case study on the destructive force of unchecked ineptitude when combined with uncontrolled arrogance. Had he hired demolition experts he could not have done a better job of bringing the roof down on his own head.

Inside two months of "taking over", he has comfortably eclipsed Theresa May's hitherto unassailable position as the greatest political bungler of the age. In scope and spectacle, his record is now unprecedented. Not only has he managed to get unlawfully shutting down parliament amid the gravest political crisis since the war on his record, he also has the mortal sin of lying to the queen to atone for.

If Bonaparte was right that history is a lie agreed upon, Mr Johnson and his team appear to have come unstuck on which one of their plethora of untruths they might coalesce around.

Within two months of taking over he has also disastrously split his party, lost his majority and sacked some of his best ministers. At any other time you would expect a prime minister to walk the plank.

His dismal political future is of little interest in its own right, but with so much riding on Brexit the catalogue of mis-steps will have to be reckoned with.

Most damning of all, after all the desperate brinkmanship and dancing with danger on the cliff-edge of Brexit, he has actually driven the campaign to leave backwards.

Brussels reacted with exasperation and bewilderment to the ruling. As EU Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt noted, Brexiteers can never again brand the European Union anti-democratic.

"At least one big relief in the Brexit saga: the rule of law in the UK is alive and kicking. Parliaments should never be silenced in a real democracy."

As BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman wrote yesterday: "Be you ever so mighty, the law is above you - even if you are the prime minister."

Mr Johnson was quoted as saying that the ruling was another effort to frustrate Brexit.

Such bogus, self-serving nonsense smacks of alarming delusion, especially so late in the day. For the Supreme Court ruling was solely about sovereignty and the separation of powers.

This latest humiliating defeat puts Mr Johnson in an even more desperate position.

Having locked himself in chains within parliament, he must now fix on how to fashion an election. Cornered and shredded of credibility, he is in a death race to pass a deal through parliament by October 19. Risible though it may be, he appears intent on reinventing himself as a people's champion, railing against a mean-spirited Brussels ogre intent on clubbing down the legitimate claims of his nation to escape its gnarled grip.

It must be hoped the constitutional head-butt from Britain's Supreme Court may yet jolt him back to re-engaging with reality, and the machinery of democracy, instead of brazenly by-passing them.

Irish Independent