Boris Johnson needs to go full Trump.
When I floated this idea just now on Twitter I was surprised by the response.
The sooner Boris goes full Trump the better it will be for all of us. The current Conservatives are The Swamp
— James Delingpole (@JamesDelingpole) August 7, 2018
Yes, there were the inevitable virtue-signallers, leftists and malcontents declaring how racist and divisive and Islamophobic Trump was, or how slippery Boris was, or how evil I was.
What I hadn’t bargained for, though, was the large number of people who agreed with me. Strongly.
If you’re American you might not understand the significance of this. “Hey,” you probably think, “Doesn’t at least half the world think Trump is great?”
But while that may be the case in the U.S., it’s definitely not the story over here. All the UK mainstream media – even conservative imprints like the Mail, the Sun and the Sunday Times – are antipathetical to Trump, as of course is the BBC, so you rarely get to hear about his successes or his popularity back home.
So the fact that despite all the relentless anti-Trump propaganda people in Britain are still yearning for a taste of his bracing populism themselves is highly significant. It suggests to me that the leadership of Britain is ripe for the taking by anyone with the balls to run on a Trump-style revolutionary ticket.
Boris Johnson already has a lot of Trump-style qualities.
He has the hair. He’s a great communicator. He makes people laugh. He has the common touch. His bluff manner fools his enemies into underestimating him as stupid, when he’s not. He has a sense of destiny. He has the rare, Reaganesque gift of making conservative values sound likeable, desirable and common sense.
What has been missing, thus far, is conviction.
Boris has a reputation for blowing with the wind. Sometimes he has appeared to be in favour of mass immigration; sometimes against it. Ditto: membership of the European Union; drastic measures to deal with man-made climate change; military intervention in the Middle East; Donald Trump.
Personally, I’ve always had him down as a kindred spirit – a proper conservative who has been forced to play silly games because that’s what politics is like. But that could just be naivety or wishful thinking or the fact that I’ve known and liked him for years, ever since he invited me to Balliol’s Arnold and Brackenbury Society Dinner in 1985…
Boris has always had a Churchillian sense of destiny. If he wants to fulfil it, now is his best chance – while all the other candidates to replace Theresa May are still carrying on as though the rules of politics haven’t changed.
The rules of politics have changed: the Brexit vote proved that; Trump’s victory proved that; the various populist revolutions across Europe are proving that
What’s remarkable is how slow mainstream politicians in Britain have been to grasp this glaringly obvious point.
It’s why despite the signal given by the Brexit vote two years ago nothing in politics has changed: the people in the Westminster bubble, be they Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, Green or whatever, still think like a narrow, self-serving political elite preserving their own interests – and not nearly enough (if at all) of the people they are supposed to represent.
This is why Trump is such a breath of fresh air.
He promised on the election trail that he’d take the side of the American people over the Swamp – and that’s exactly what he is doing.
If Boris did something similar in Britain, he would walk it straight into Number 10 Downing Street – and save his country from the misery and oblivion of Corbyn’s nasty, ugly, anti-Semitic socialists to boot.
How can he do this? Easy. He’s just got to stop behaving like another politician and ask himself: “What would the Donald do?”
Here are a few pointers:
Prime Minister Theresa May, Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis, plus all the usual leftist rent-a-quotes have been demanding that he apologise for making light of the burqa. If Boris does so, he might just as well kiss goodbye to his chances of becoming Prime Minister. The vast majority of the country is with him on this. Why apologise when you are in the right?
Ignore The Haters
Here is an example of exactly the kind of person Boris should ignore.
Boris chose his words carefully. His aim was to appeal to a certain section of population. He has learnt from Trump that racism delivers popularity. Nothing but opportunism from an amoral but dangerous man who cares nothing about the thugs he empowers and the fear he engenders https://t.co/Iu9jOaEJdl
— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) August 7, 2018
One of the reasons the Conservatives have become so pathetically weak and why they are so widely despised is that repeatedly they have courted the good opinion of left-wing activists who will always hate them regardless of how many conservative principles they surrender in their pathetic bid to be liked. You’ll never catch Trump trying to suck up to Black Lives Matter or Antifa. To do so would, he understands, be not only wrong but also a betrayal of the people who most matter – his base. A worthwhile leader is never going to please everyone – so why pretend the idea is even possible?
The vision thing
Trump is on a mission to Make America Great Again. What’s not to like about that? It’s a particularly clever slogan because it implicitly rejects the prevailing “progressive” narrative that the only way forward is to reject the past. The use of that word “Again” is key: it looks back to a culturally understood period of historical greatness which has been lost and which must now be regained.
Britain was great once, too. Indeed it actually still says it on the side of the can – Great Britain.
Make Britain Great Again, Boris.
It’s your only hope of winning this one. Our only hope too.