Just because I believe that Boris Johnson is the best hope of saving the Conservative party from total destruction, bringing about a full, swift Brexit, and averting a Venezuela-style Marxist tyranny under Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t mean I think he’s going to deliver.
I correctly called out the Theresa May disaster when I wrote, shortly before she became PM, ‘Better a Cocker Spaniel as Prime Minister than Theresa May.’
Now, I’m putting my marker down for Boris. He won’t be as bad as May — no one possibly could — but I still reckon he could prove a massive let-down.
So does the doyen of political correspondents, the Sun‘s Trevor Kavanagh.
Worryingly, Boris has surrounded himself with Mrs May’s most loyal Cabinet supporters — ministers who connived, and failed, three times to get her botched deal through Parliament.
He is listening to staunch Remainers like Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He is taking advice from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay who, for all their Brexit credentials, willingly dipped their hands in the Chequers blood. They each have a CV to protect.
Bearing in mind Boris’s pathological craving for popularity, allies are also alarmed by the sudden support of old cronies and arch-Remainers David Cameron and George Osborne.
Yes. I feared this might happen. Boris has many strengths — wit, charisma, sex appeal, recognition factor, fluency, charm — which is why the Conservative grassroots are going to vote him leader and why he was recognised all along by pollsters as the only candidate who could beat Corbyn.
But having known him for years I’m well aware of his weaknesses: his lack of ideology and his desperate need to be liked.
The combination, as Kavanagh is hinting, could prove fatal.
There has always been a positive case for Boris: that he’ll do what he did as Mayor of London and delegate to proper conservatives while he just gets on with the business of making jolly speeches, getting stuck on zip wires, generally being Boris.
If he puts people like Jacob Rees Mogg, Liz Truss, Priti Patel, Steve Baker, and other small government, free market ideologues in charge of things then we can look forward to a golden era of prosperity and liberty. This still might happen. It’s what Nigel Farage meant the other day when he told me he could certainly work with “Bold Boris”. It would be the first time since Margaret Thatcher that the country wasn’t being run by liberal-left, Europhile, Davos-style globalists: like manna after years in the desert.
But there’s no way on earth any of this is going to be achieved if Boris starts associating himself with the tainted has-beens of the Ancien Regime. That way disaster lies.
Boris: UK Must Leave EU on Oct 31st to ‘Prove Putin Wrong’ About Liberalism https://t.co/0akyRQ8ptU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 1, 2019