DELINGPOLE: Boris’s Brexit ‘Suicide Vest’ Metaphor Was Perfect


The crumbling, decadent, intellectually and morally bankrupt regime of failed Prime Minister Theresa May has declared total war on Boris Johnson.

Nothing is now off limits, apparently — from his complicated private life to his use of metaphor…

The Remainer establishment’s below-the-belt attacks on Boris’s domestic affairs are ugly but understandable: all is fair in love, politics, and total war.

But what are risible beyond measure are its attempts to suggest that Boris is unsuitable for office because of his colourful use of language.

Alan Duncan is, in case you hadn’t guessed, a craven loyalist to the dying regime. (If this were Downfall, I guess that he would be something like Doenitz’s most junior bottlewasher.)

Actually, though, Duncan’s contribution to this debate has been unwittingly helpful to Boris’s cause.

What it does is set out, very clearly, the battle lines of our times.

Do you want to live in a world where people are free to say what they want — unconstrained by the constant nagging fear that someone, somewhere may choose to be offended, and seek to weaponise that offence, as a result of a colourful phrase you used here or a risque joke there?

Or do you want live in the world of Alan Duncan, Hillary, Bernie, the NeverTrumpers, the Remainers, the European Union, the BBC, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe?

If it’s the former, then supporting Boris — and characters like Boris — is a no-brainer.

And it really isn’t one of those issues where there can be any room for fence-sitting.

Let me show you an example of the kind of craven fence-sitting I mean:

Tell me someone, anyone, how Montgomerie’s insertion of that phrase “Boris’s choice of words today is very poor” improves his argument.

It doesn’t, of course. It’s the purest virtue-signalling.

“I may be a conservative, but I’m not one of those horrid conservatives who believes stuff strongly or expresses it forcefully. I’m safe — you can like me! — because I’m bang in the middle. A moderate,” it says. Or rather yelps, piteously, like a chastised foxhound pup.

Worse, though, it does the bad and counterproductive thing that squishy, apologetic conservatives are forever doing: it concedes territory needlessly to the forces of darkness and totalitarian intolerance.

Without requiring the anti-free-speechers to make their case, it simply takes it as a given that politicians (or journalists, as of course Boris also is) should refrain from using metaphors which are in any way dramatic, stirring, vivid, combative, or capable of offending a professional-offence taker.

Here is what Boris said, in an article for the Mail on Sunday:

Now under the Chequers proposal, we are set to agree to accept their rules – forever – with no say on the making of those rules.

It is a humiliation. We look like a seven-stone weakling being comically bent out of shape by a 500 lb gorilla. And the reason is simple: Northern Ireland, and the insanity of the so-called ‘backstop’.

We have opened ourselves to perpetual political blackmail. We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier.

And there is Tim Montgomerie — not just a Brexit-leaning conservative but a professional journalist, for heaven’s sake — effectively conceding the opposition’s laughable and threadbare point that, oh yes, there is a certain kind of intemperate language which it is inappropriate for a politician/journalist to use.

Get a grip, man! Get a grip all of you centrist, testicle-free sell-outs who think that pre-emptive surrender is any way to deal with an implacable enemy for whom destroying free speech is the primary tactic.

Seriously. What kind of journalist — someone whose very livelihood depends almost entirely on his ability to weave words, to exploit the richness of language, to seduce the reader with tropes and allusions and flights of fancy — would wish to endorse a world where pungent, visceral, dramatic phraseology is now to be rendered off limits?

Also, by the by, what the hell did they teach Montgomerie at Exeter University? OK, so he read Economics and Geography — but did he never (what with his early interest in politics and all) do a bit of background reading?

Does he imagine, perhaps, that in the run-up to the English Civil War — or in the days, when, say, John Wilkes was romping through the House of Commons, all the politicians used delicate, mimsy, watered-down, offence-free language in order to prevent them getting their points across too effectively?

So there it is.

Go, Boris! And don’t let the eunuchs grind you down.

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