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Delingpole: Boris Johnson Fluffs His Donald Trump Moment

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Boris Johnson speaks at a Conservative home fringe meeting on day three of the Conservative Party Conference on October 2, 2018 in Birmingham, England. The former Foreign Secretary makes his Brexit speech to the Conservative Home fringe meeting audience today. This is seen as a …
Christopher Furlong/Getty

BIRMINGHAM, England –Have a look at the video I filmed earlier of the queues to see de facto Brexit leader Boris Johnson at the Conservative Party Conference.

They did not queue up for that hour, I suspect, to listen to the speech Boris Johnson actually gave.

It wasn’t a bad speech: Boris is articulate and never boring.

And he made some good points.

He got one of his biggest rounds of applause when he used the most popular phrase of this Conservative conference: “Chuck Chequers.”

There were some great, classically Johnsonian flourishes:

“It occurs to me that the authors of the Chequers proposal risk prosecution under the 14th century statute of praemunire, which says that no foreign court or government can have jurisdiction in this country.”

and (on Corbyn’s red peril)

“Surely we can take on this Tony Benn tribute act and wallop it for six.”

And there was plenty of other sensible, solid stuff on conservative principles (the kind of thing so many current Conservative MPs seem to have such difficulties defending — or even understanding) and on his alternative plan for Brexit.

You can read the full speech here.

The crowd left happy, but not fulfilled. This, they had hoped beforehand — well I certainly did, and so did the woman walking next to me as I left — was going to be the breakout moment: the one where, to rapturous applause, Boris Johnson finally launched his leadership bid to topple the dreaded Theresa May and end the Conservative Party’s period in this mire of squish.

Instead, how did he end it?

Why, only, by wishing feebly that the Prime Minister could be persuaded to change her mind on Chequers and return to the more robust, less EU-compliant Lancaster House proposals on Brexit.

“Yeah, that’ll work!” we all didn’t think to ourselves as we trudged towards the exit.

Because of course it won’t. That bloody intransigent woman Theresa May is not going to budge an inch from her stupid Chequers plan, which everyone hates and which won’t deliver any kind of meaningful Brexit, thus consigning the Tory Party to future electoral oblivion.

And what’s now clear is that none of the leading Brexiteers — not Boris, not Jacob Rees-Mogg — is prepared to launch a leadership challenge that could either kill Brexit or put Jeremy Corbyn into 10 Downing Street, or both.

No doubt they have sound political reasons for behaving in this cautious way. But it’s not how revolutions are won. Boris Johnson — or indeed his fellow Etonian Jacob Rees-Mogg — could so easily be Britain’s Donald Trump and lead us all to Brexit and to glory.

But not at this rate they won’t.

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