Opinion: Now is the time to move on and get on

prime minister boris johnson

Boris Johnson's "Partygate" behaviour was despicable, says Liz Nice - but she argues it's time to move on. - Credit: PA

I am moving house today.  

My beloved old house is piled with boxes, my stress levels alternate between "don’t speak to me!" and "give me a hug" more or less concurrently, and I have never felt so tired in my life. 

Yet, I am writing this. 

"Why?" asked my ex-partner, who is no doubt thinking that I could be better employed cleaning out the kitchen cupboards. 

"Because I promised I would," I replied. "And in journalism, that’s the law.’"

After the predictable eye roll, he said: "I didn’t think we worried about laws in this country any more?’"

Bearing in mind said stress levels, it took me a moment to engage my brain. 

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"Oh," I said, eventually. "You mean Boris.’"

Still Partygate lingers on. I heard Sir Keir Starmer going on about it again yesterday in the House of Commons and found myself, though rarely, if ever, a Johnson sympathiser, thinking: "How much longer are you going to keep telling him off for the same thing?"

Johnson and Sunak

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have both received fixed penalty notices from the Metropolitan Police - Credit: PA

Don’t get me wrong. It is despicable that our prime minister ignored his own rules, while families across the country were making heart-breaking sacrifices that kept them apart from their loved ones. I’ll say it again: despicable. A disgrace. 

But we know this happened now. The point has been made, repeatedly, the fine has been paid, profuse apologies have been uttered and Boris, unless carried out of Downing Street kicking and screaming, is not going to go.  

We will have the opportunity to get rid of him at the next election so can we not leave it at that? Tuesday’s parliamentary session had the air of a school master enjoying the caning session a little too much. Hectoring falls on deaf ears after a while; mockery, if only Starmer could manage it, has a far greater effect.  

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer responds to a statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to MPs in the

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been scathing about Boris Johnson and Partygate. - Credit: PA

A prime minister who didn’t really understand his own rules is hoist by his own petard, no? So he will be fully punished in due course. Meanwhile, for all our sakes, forgiveness is under-rated. It makes the person on the receiving end wish they had done better and hopefully do so in the future; while the person who is unforgiving hurts only themselves.  

I speak from experience.  

My ex-partner and I are moving out of the house that has been in my family for 60 years today, having been separated for four years. 

During that time we have lived with what’s known as a "birds-nesting arrangement." The children stayed in the house, and we took it in turns to be with them.  

Various legal paths were explored to endeavour to officially enact our parting but, in the end, we managed it ourselves. In my experience, the legal process only fuels conflict and empties pockets. We discovered that our secret weapon was, after all, time. 

Four years ago, we could not be in the same room. Now, we part as friends and committed co-parents who will continue to share our time with our children equally.  

Of course, there are regrets. I feel heartbroken to lose the home which has been part of me all my life.  I fear, often, that I have let those around me down.  

But, in the end, we came up with a solution that works for both of us. The driving force has been about getting what we all need, rather than exactly what we each want.  

In the wider world, what we all need now is to leave Partygate behind and get on with the job of living.  

Things have been unimaginably difficult in the past two years and being angry about something that has happened already will only slow us down. It can’t be reversed.  

I say to other friends who are divorcing or splitting up: "Don’t waste time mud-slinging, it only makes things so much worse for you and everyone around you. Just give it time." 

I also say: "Nothing will be resolved exactly when or how you want it to be, but it will, eventually be resolved." 

Time is coming for Boris so we really don’t need to.  

Let’s just move on and get on. That’s my law.