“Many of us assumed that Boris was the One Nation Tory who ran London,” says a centrist Conservative MP who backed him for the leadership in 2019. “Unfortunately, we’ve learnt that this was just a persona to win London. We’ve learnt that this was not the genuine Boris.”
Boris Johnson has united every Tory faction – in anger at him
I had an interesting conversation the other day on Twitter with someone making a point about his concern over climate change.
I have long been of the opinion that to get the mass of voters behind tackling climate change, it is best not to talk about climate change. Many of the measures to address climate change are free standing, they are worth doing in themselves, even if Man Made Global Warming were not happening.
What is not to like about placing promoting energy efficiency at the heart of one’s energy, environmental and building policy, if it will create jobs and cut energy bills? Some of the jobs created may even be good, if your ideal is a job in a manufacturing firm on the shop floor.
Very much President’s Biden’s centrist approach.
That clearly appalled the chap with whom I was conversing. The moral argument needed making. I chose not to point out that his chances of winning that case were unlikely and that, even if he did persuade the sceptical of the existence of climate change it did not follow that they would necessarily support measures to actually tackle it.
Intriguingly, he felt that Labour under Starmer, captured by centrists naturally, was downplaying the issue whereas Johnson, who cannot think Green without blurting out bunny hugger and other such twaddle on the record in front of the world, was the real Green New Deal.
Setting aside the serious manner in which Labour started to tackle the issue when last in office, the sled dog hugger Prime Minister scrapped Labour’s plans for ever tighter building regulations that would by 2016 or thereabouts have required all new builds to be zero carbon in terms of emissions.
Has Johnson spoken of reversing that decision and more importantly, given that much of our housing stock for many decades to come has already been built the serious need to retrofit properties to make them more energy efficient?
If he has, I missed it.
The flim flam man is very adept at persuading chaps like my interlocutor on Twitter that he is one of them.
Johnson persuaded enough (middle class?) liberal voters in London to vote for him, twice (!), to make him their Mayor. You would have thought the evidence of his first term in office would have proven that Johnson’s rhetoric that had first won them over was mostly hot air.
Con artists, the world over, will tell you that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true. And the victims of cults and swindlers have a tendency to be brighter than the norm. It is also said that one may not diddle the honest.
Johnson in 2016 persuaded around 600,000 similar voters to that London mob to vote for Brexit and just get Leave over the line. Had they voted the other way then it would have been a dead heat.
Cummings is adamant that had Farage been front and centre of the Leave Campaign then those 600,000 votes would not have been won. Arguably, Farage would have not just repelled those voters, but put even more off voting Leave, too.
And had Corbyn, who has a lot more in common with Johnson than some clearly believe, openly voted for Leave …
Farage is not as gifted as Johnson in the art of the long game. I cannot imagine estate agents ever coming out against Johnson in the way they did against Farage in Thanet at the 2015 General Election.
Farage as your MP, the realtors warned, will negatively impact on the value of your property.
Johnson’s capacity to make the idealistic believe in him is quite a skill, especially when the reality, as is proved by his time as Mayor of London, is quite the opposite of the promise.
Of course, Johnson is not a liberal, in any sense, as is evidenced by the content of his various columns in The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator and The Times over around two decades.
But who mostly reads them? Johnson pitched his product adroitly to their relatively small readerships. Few who might take umbrage over Johnson’s unpleasant opinions are aware of them. I would hazard a guess that many of those semi-mythical Red Wall voters would find some of them hard to stomach.
Tom Newton Dunn is convinced by a chat he had with a rude mechanical Oop North, during the 2019 General Election Campaign, that Johnson’s lay ’em and leave ’em approach to relationships with the opposite sex is a vote winner amongst the Red Wall.
51% of the electorate are female. And, odds on, most folk, male and female, are not enthralled by Johnson’s caddish behaviour.
It is noticeable that it is certain male journalists who not only find little of which to disapprove about Johnson’s personal life, but clearly rather envy it. And, as is quite often the case in such matters amongst columnists, they believe that they are a representative sub set of the opinion of the wider population.
Radicals and progressives should note that when Johnson’s opinions on Hillsborough became widely known it hurt his brand with those whom it is now claimed he has a special connection.
Johnson is vulnerable. The personal is the political, but dull, worthy dogs like Starmer prefer not to descend to highlighting the damaging, personal foibles of their opponents. Did he never as a lawyer use a witness’s character against them, if in doing so it would work in the favour of his client?
I imagine many a voter nodding in agreement when Cameron at PMQs upbraided Corbyn for looking scruffy.
Johnson offers such moments all the time, but Starmer as is his wont, as he has proven frequently since becoming Labour leader, prefers to watch the ball sail by.
He lacks the killer instinct.
The Tories are the most successful political party in Western European history.
They are not carnivores, but omnivores with a taste for blood.
Johnson exploits the herbivore tendencies of middle class liberals. Their desire above all else to be on the moral high ground.
David Lloyd George once said something along the lines of you may keep your principles shining bright and not get them on the levers of power or tarnish them a little, get them on the levers of power and do something.
I voted for Sir Keir Starmer QC for Labour leader, I think the honour and the hard earned qualification are assets with most voters, as being the best of the bunch. There being no street fighter amongst their number.
When will Starmer stop playing by Marquis of Queensberry Rules and take off the gloves?
Johnson’s Tories are not playing by any recognised rules and they stopped doing so a long time ago.