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14 Jun, 2019 14:07

Boris’ tactic to become British prime minister is to hide the crazy

Boris’ tactic to become British prime minister is to hide the crazy

Boris Johnson’s tactic to become Britain’s next prime minister is to avoid journalists and the public so he doesn’t say anything stupid that ruins his chances. And hardly anyone appears to be angered by this.

Look, I don’t judge Boris for wanting to be leader. The perks are excellent; central London pad and a place in the country, driver, mobile phone and guaranteed retirement at Goldman Sachs – who wouldn’t want the job?

The people I judge harshly are those driving him towards Downing Street, his backers.  Would it be too much to ask that the man they want guiding the fate of 70 million people is competent enough to speak in public without sticking his foot firmly in his mouth? Much better to hide the incompetence until after he takes over.

It’s his advisers and supporters that history should judge, because in defense of Boris, he has spent the last few years publicly demonstrating how unsuitable he is to be prime minister, so if anyone still wants to vote for him, then the blame doesn’t lie with him.

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I admit, I used to look forward to Boris being in charge, I thought it would be a laugh. That was until he became one of the world’s most incompetent foreign secretaries, and it soon became clear that it actually wasn’t that funny to see him bungling around the world, thinking he could banter his way out of international crises.

As we stand, however, Boris replacing Theresa May looks as inevitable as death and taxes (at least under Boris the taxes will be less).

Nothing quite demands the suspension of disbelief like the current race to become the next leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, which currently brings with it the default perk of becoming prime minister.

One of the most popular tactics used so far by hopeful candidates is to offer eye-watering tax cuts to whet the appetite and wet the pants of the tiny cohort of aging wealthy types that will have the final say on who will win.

These are the kinds of promises which will be conveniently forgotten once anyone under the age of 70 who doesn’t have membership of a golf course gets to vote in a general election. Tax cuts for the wealthy are pretty hard to sell to anyone beyond those who will benefit.

It’s easy for the Tory rank and file to convince themselves that the next leader really will cut their tax bills in return for their votes, because whether it happens or not they’ll be just fine.  Or they’ll be dead. The average age of the run-of-the-mill active Conservative Party member is estimated to be around 72. The word ‘active’ is relative.

So we’re left in a place where a truly miniscule section of society will be choosing the next national leader. At most, 160,000 Tory members will decide who gets to move in to Downing Street next, that’s about 0.3 percent of the voting-age population.

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In normal times, a prime minister moving in to Downing Street under these conditions would be forced by their conscience to call a general election in search of political legitimacy. These are not the days of yore however, and this Tory party is petrified that they’ll be booted out by Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist soldiers in a national vote.

So the likelihood is that Boris will be Britain’s next man at the helm and we’ll be stuck with him for a couple of years. I hope there’s not a war, no one wants to see him find out just how much he isn’t Winston Churchill.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.