THERE’S little left of Britain’s international reputation – and what remains is being swiftly beaten to death by Party-Boy in Number 10.

Overseas, we’re a joke. What makes it worse is that Boris Johnson, at least for now, isn’t going anywhere. That, really, says it all when it comes to British democracy. So, the laughter just gets louder. The foreign press asks "is this how Britain falls apart?" or "is Britain a failed state?" ... the answer to both, it’s said abroad, is "yes".

"Look at the state of them," other countries think, "what a sad, daft bunch of masochists to keep that loser in power."

The disgrace which Mr Johnson continues heaping on Britain is just the latest in a long line of destruction and shame that he and his predecessors have tarred the people with: in the last 20 years, our leaders took us into two wars – one illegal – and lost both; they let bankers destroy the economy then made us pay through austerity, driving God knows how many into early graves, and blighting the childhoods of millions. Whether you’re for or against Brexit, nobody wanted the hatred and idiocy which unfolded through Tories mishandling the entire self-harming saga. We’ve had empty shelves, fuel queues and Europe’s highest number of Covid deaths.

What’s left to praise in Britain? The ruling class has created a nation fit only for mockery.

Britain is falling apart. Scotland teeters ready to leave; support for Irish unity grows; the Welsh independence movement is on the march. A royal is accused of sex crimes. Nothing works: our schools, hospitals, transport and police are on their knees.

Read more: The British establishment is collapsing before our eyes

We’re like some awful 21st century version of Austria-Hungary: a dysfunctional family clinging together in a collapsing house, because nobody yet has the guts to get up and leave. With cosmic absurdity, Brexit even put a border through Britain, down the Irish Sea.

People notice this abroad. We’re a joke, and it’s not because of us – you or I; it’s because of the sociopaths who have led Britain.

Here at home, we concentrate on the tiny picture: whatever today’s scandal is; abroad, the rest of the world simply sees a laughing stock become ever more absurd, a declining power cannibalising itself.

Mr Johnson is embarked on "Operation Big Dog". Operation Harakiri more like. It’s a plan to find some underlings willing to be thrown to the wolves for the repeated breaking of Covid rules at Number 10, with drunken parties while ordinary people did their duty during pandemic, or mourned their dead.

Operation Big Dog ... It’s pathetic. Comic. Mr Johnson is a gnat, a zero – there’s nothing "big" about him except his destructive ego. This is a strategy thought up by a man with the power to wage war. Shame on us for even allowing this creature near public office.

Sue Gray

Sue Gray

Shame on us also for believing that Sue Gray, the civil servant charged with investigating the Covid rule-breaking parties, will hold Mr Johnson to account. He. Is. Her. Boss. Would you knife your boss? She’ll draft some jargon-laden prestidigitation that condemns "Downing Street culture" but allows Mr Johnson to escape retribution.

The Tories won’t finish with Mr Johnson until after May’s local elections. When he tanks the party, then he’s done. After May, he can be used to soak up all the sins of the Tories and then dispatched. There’s no point ending him now and leaving a new leader to take the electoral pain in May. They’ll want a fresh start.

In the interim, we’ll have to contend with Mr Johnson’s pitiful ruses to deflect and misdirect. It’s already started with more culture wars – this time targeting the BBC, using the military against refugees crossing the Channel, and ramping up cheap patriotism around the National Anthem on TV.

The world sees this too: a country grovelling to royalty, while the Government plays dangerously with xenophobia and dismantles one of the few British institutions still respected overseas. We’re a nation where millions would happily stand in the street to watch princesses drive by in golden coaches. What hope do we have of calling the power of political elites to account?

To look at Britain now is to see a nation where, frankly, the rule of law no longer stands as before. Police won’t investigate you if you’re rich and powerful if you’re accused of sex crimes or Covid offences, but if you’re an ordinary person, God help you at the hands of the boys in blue. Leaders refuse to quit over misconduct which would finish an average citizen’s career.

Mr Johnson is even prepared to strip away most remaining Covid protections to keep himself in power. The "Plan B" restrictions under UK rules are set for the chop. How many people will that kill, from a Government whose Prime Minister was happy for bodies to pile high in the streets? How many people suffered and died unnecessarily during the pandemic because of the endless lies and corruption from Mr Johnson’s Government?

Read more: We know how Johnson will react: deflect, deflect, deflect

How on earth did it take so long for a majority of Britons to see that Mr Johnson is unfit to hold any public office let alone the greatest?

I only half-joke when I say that if you step back and consider what Britain is right now, there’s darkly comic whispers of the German movie Downfall in the air: with its mad parties amid ruin, the leader cowering in his bunker (poor Mr Johnson has to isolate this week, we’re told, as a family member has apparently tested positive for Covid), and a search to find someone willing to die for "Big Dog". And of course, there are those waiting in the wings for their brief taste of power once the PM is gone. For the Tories, that’s all that really matters: clinging to power, personal enrichment, and scrambling over the corpses of anyone – including the British people – who might get in the way.

So here we are: an international joke. Primary school children are laughing about the UK Government. We’ve long disgraced ourselves on the world’s stage, now we’re just a pitiful punchline: the drunk at the party you feel sorry for. Mr Johnson has shown that Britain’s done. We’re a busted flush. It’s over.

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