Boris Johnson must be stopped before he pulls the UK off the no-deal cliff edgeby Jonathan Lis / July 23, 2019 / Leave a comment
Greetings, Britain. Welcome to your worst nightmare. Life doesn’t always have a happy ending, and sometimes the most undeserving among us find success while other far more honest and capable people languish without recognition or reward.
Boris Johnson’s picaresque journey through the world of the media, politics and light entertainment, which this week stages its vaudeville climax on the steps of 10 Downing Street, represents a total indictment of Britain’s class system, structural inequality and insouciant decay. Only a country which revels in the latter could install as its leader a man so careless of the responsibility. An ego made flesh tomorrow becomes prime minister.
The Conservative Party today presents itself as a personality cult deep in the ecstasy of its own imagined power, but not everyone has turned up to the rave. The moderate Remainers who have not yet abandoned either hope or the whip must now make some decisions.
They may consider the character of the person who now assumes the most powerful position in the land. Johnson has based his entire career on not taking anything seriously. He became famous on a TV panel show because everything was a game: politics, his personal life, and as things turned out, the future of the country. He knew he could say anything because none of it really mattered, and the views of people who did think it mattered didn’t matter either. Becoming prime minister would simply be the final round in the most exclusive game of all. Ambition for the sheer hell of it: something to have accomplished without asking or knowing why.
They may reflect on the language he uses—about money to investigate child abuse “spaffed up the wall,” or women in burkas as letterboxes, or Theresa May “wrapping a suicide vest around the constitution,” and ask what kind of a person would seek to cause such gratuitous offence and why. They may look at the more outwardly humorous language as well. Why did Johnson, in his most recent Telegraph column, ask why we could land a man on the moon in 1969 but not resolve the Irish backstop in 2019? He is not a stupid man and would not have said something stupid for no reason. Why, before his premiership has even begun, would he have sought to enrage our closest neighbour by belittling its existential concerns and obscuring the political sensitivities?
Next, these sensible Tories may consider the national interest—specifically on a no-deal Brexit, the policy…