Tuesday, July 23, 2019

With Johnson, either way you lose

That was a typically bombastic and hyperbolic speech from Boris Johnson, newly elected as leader of the Conservatives. Frankly, it's what the right in politics have come to expect, a bit of fire, a lack of clarity and vague ambition. The fight of their lives indeed.

I think it's entirely plausible that the collapse in the Conservative and Labour parties could lead to something dramatic happening in our politics.

There are two big challenges facing him, both of which have the potential to frustrate the upper limit of his ambitions. The first is the rallying call for Brexit. I think he's captured the right tone to attract the significant Brexit at all costs vote there. The bigger test comes when, or if, Brexit happens, and it won’t be possible to position it as anything other than a betrayal.

I think his election has clearly struck a certain amount of fear into Labour and Tory strategists. He’s positioned it as the fight of his life, the smirk against the scowl of Corbyn. Two deeply unattractive parties, equally deeply unloved and led by divisive men.

See what I did there? Doesn’t change a thing, really. Copied and pasted, vague on detail, basically I’ve winged it. Consider it a tribute.

He has started as he means to go on, underestimating not only those in Europe and Dublin he needs to  negotiate with, but his political opponents a home, and the scale of his task.

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