I don’t like Boris Johnson, just in case any of you were in doubt about that. I don’t like his example to my great grandchildren. I don’t like his lying. I abhor the lifestyle he enables the media to print about him. He comes a close second to Trump in my dislike of today’s international political figures. I don’t think I could ever have brought myself to vote for Boris. The alternatives were indeed poor. Now there are literally no alternatives, both other credible leaders having resigned or been tipped out of Parliament. Jo Swinson has my sympathy, but the LibDems really needed someone very visibly brutal if they were to make headway. Corbyn has no sympathy from me at all.
I don’t like Boris Johnson but he is going to be UK Prime Minister for some time and he has been given a mandate by the voters to ‘Get Brexit Done’ – a clever if mendacious phrase. If he manages to make the next stage of it so boring that the media won’t report it, he will succeed, at least in the eyes of the voters. There are enough other crises brewing in the world to provide him with the necessary cover. There is, however, a curious phenomenon about power, especially when it is so well secured. Enough power brings its own strategy with it.
The promises Boris made during the election campaign will not go away. A period of heavy spending with lavish publicity can be anticipated. They want sweeties, they get sweeties. I am not against such a strategy. I think the UK has been left behind in many areas and struggles to keep up in some of its best achievements for lack of investment. Infrastructure is one example.
Sensible governments recognise that the minute you have invested in infrastructure you have two financial duties – to prepare for the further investment contingent upon it and to maintain it by updating the investment you have just made. In Britain there is a habit of heaving a sigh of relief after major infrastructural investment and forgetting these two vital points.
The British Prime Minister has another job to do. He must further educate the electorate about income and expenditure. Corbyn has done this to a significant extent. Strange how such a disaster can make for so much learning, but we always say mistakes are the best teachers. If he is successful in bringing this lesson home even further, Boris Johnson might be reelected in five years time, even possibly in ten.
The trade relationship with the rest of the world will take some establishing but it is not impossible that a good working arrangement with the EU and renewed connections with the USA, post Trump, could make for a viable basis for Britain’s application to rejoin the EU in six or seven years time. Whether that will be a good thing will depend on how the EU sorts itself out and how the EU’s clout with Russia is developed. The EU is not strong at present but it is there. Strengthened and more cohesive it can be a major force for good in the world.
There were aspects of Margaret Thatcher that I didn’t much care for. She was, however, effective for the time she was PM. Her power was considerable and she didn’t learn that it could be taken away even by weak ministers. Boris had some pretty tough lessons right at the start of his premiership. He fell a couple of times which was good for making him aware that he isn’t Churchill. He made a good decision about the Election and its theme. He is rewarded with considerable power. If he handles the next stage well he could end up being a great Prime Minister.
Boris is more intelligent than Trump, has good aspirations for Britain and has been given all the ammunition he needs to make a difference.
I wish him well and ask him to think of the next but one generation and what their role models should look like.
Because, for sure, he is going to be one of them.