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This is why you should be laying Boris as next Tory leader/PM

July 13th, 2017

Video: Boris Johnson being by Eddie Mair a few years ago, the interview did not go well for Boris.

The Spectator have a great piece by James Forsyth about the next Tory leadership contest

Boris, though, has had it even worse than most frontrunners. His problem is that there are not one but four groups who have it in for him. The Cameron/Osborne gang will never forgive him for ending the career of both their king and their dauphin, and they are determined to stop him claiming the crown. Their desire for vengeance blinds them to the fact his liberal Toryism means he is closer to the Cameron project than nearly any of the other contenders.

The second lot are the Tory Europhiles who blame Boris for the referendum result. Then come the May ultras, who regarded Boris as the most immediate threat and so put him in the frame for leadership in order to make him an obvious target. Then there are the men of government who are offended by his unconventional path to one of the great offices of state; I am told that Philip Hammond is ‘obsessed by Boris’. It is little wonder that even the Foreign Secretary’s friends have been reduced to declaring that ‘every-one’s out for Boris’.

Not all of Boris’s problems can be put down to referendum bitterness or tall poppy syndrome. In many ways, he is not helping himself. He is still making too many unforced errors. His spectacularly bumbling Eddie Mair interview was harmful because it played up to the clownish stereotype of him that his opponents want to present. Boris’s ministerial enemies claim, unfairly, that he is shambolic both in cabinet and on the international stage. When Boris mucks up a media appearance, he makes these distorted reports seem more credible. His timing has been off too. His team’s intervention on public sector pay infuriated Tory MPs because it looked like he was jumping on the bandwagon, putting his own interests ahead of the party’s.

Boris’s Falstaffian coming-of-age moment is overdue. Even those Tory MPs who are well inclined towards him want some sign that he has put aside childish things, that he is surrounding himself with serious people. Yet Boris cannot bring himself to say ‘I know thee not’ to some of the less impressive characters who have attached themselves to him in the hope of preferment. That’s an admirable kindness, perhaps, but a great flaw in a politician.

At the same time, Boris needs to get to know his colleagues better, given the tactical voting that will be organised against him. He will need the support of 106 Tory MPs to be sure of making it to the final round. But as one of those who knows him best observes, Boris doesn’t make friends — he receives offers of friendship. The result is he remains a stranger to far too many Tory MPs. When he recently made an appearance on the House of Commons terrace, parliament’s prime spot for summer socialising, it was the first time that most MPs had seen him there.

The whole article is fascinating about the next Tory leadership contest and why the timing of it is so crucial to the chances of so many. As someone who is laying Boris Johnson for the second Tory leadership contest in a row, there maybe a bit of confirmation bias for me, however given the head of the National Audit Office’s intervention in the Brexit debate today where he warned ‘the Government could come apart like a chocolate orange’ this makes me think this a time for a serious politician, and that rules out Boris.

As an aside, this intervention makes for damning read for David Davis with the head of the NAO revealing ‘that David Davis’s Brexit department failed to show him a plan for how leaving the EU will work, despite his requests, and could only offer a “vague” explanation as to why it was unable to.’  

If Brexit descends into a mess then I’d be laying anyone who was involved with Brexit as it appears those charged with delivering Brexit lack the vision, the wit, and managerial ability that God gave pistachio nuts.

TSE