Boris Johnson 2
Boris Johnson’s duplicity over Brexit was visible time and again. It appears, his entire rationale for supporting Brexit was a power play. He saw it as his route to 10 Downing Street. If he wins the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, he’ll have been correct.
Britain’s Conservative Party base has always had a soft spot for Boris Johnson – the favorite to become the nation’s next Prime Minister. As the only candidate who could have beaten Labour’s Ken Livingstone in liberal-left London, the party has much to appreciate in Johnson’s electoral indefatigability. But real Brexiteers–more concerned with the nation leaving the European Union than the future of the Conservative Party–are rightly more skeptical.
At a glance Johnson appears to be at least a moderate conservative. He talks a good game on sovereignty and individual liberty. But his words are far louder than his actions.
In policy, he was a centralizing and socializing London Mayor more concerned with carbon emissions than conservatism. He trashed London’s historic skyline with glass and steel, destroying the known built-environment as Londoners had known it for many decades–all in the name of corporate growth.
His record over his personal life and his career is scarcely better.
Johnson has lauded his own pro-immigration credentials (he does a lot of self-lauding) going so far as to demand an amnesty for illegal immigrants to Britain. He has had four affairs, two of which have led to abortions. He recently left his most recent partner to embark upon a relationship with a former Conservative Party staffer 24 years younger than him. That relationship is also on the rocks after police were called out to his apartment in London following a loud argument between the pair.
In all aspects of his life, Johnson is a conniving flip-flopper. No two issues make this clearer than his approach to Brexit and the election of President Trump.
Johnson was famous for leaving it to the very last minute to decide if he would campaign to Remain, or campaign to Leave the European Union. Certainly, his personality was a boon to the Leave team when he finally made his decision. He did so, however, without conviction.
A few months after the vote in 2016 it was revealed Johnson had actually written two articles on the subject, in case he changed his mind at the last minute. The Independent website reported Johnson had penned a letter for publication claiming Britain remaining in the European Union would be a "boon for the world and for Europe".
It appears his entire rationale for supporting Brexit was a power play. Johnson saw it as his route to 10 Downing Street. If he wins the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, he’ll have been correct. His duplicity over Brexit is visible in more than just these letters. He also voted for Theresa May’s failed Withdrawal Agreement, which he once called “vassal state stuff”.
On Trump, his duplicity is arguably worse. President Trump has heaped praise on Johnson in recent months, most likely because he looks a little, and sounds a little like the U.S. President.
But Johnson has not been equally kind to Trump. Speaking ahead of the U.S. election in 2016, Boris called Trump “clearly out of his mind, said displayed “stupefying ignorance” and called him “unfit to hold the office of the President of the United States”.
But what is Britain’s alternative?
Now the Conservative Party’s Members of Parliament have whittled the selection process down to just two candidates, the Tory base faces a choice between at least a notional Leaver in Johnson, or a Remain candidate (like Theresa May) in Jeremy Hunt. Hunt, perhaps a more stable steward of the nation, would be nothing more than another state stalwart against the will of the people as expressed in June 2016.
This is why while Johnson’s name elicited a cacophony of boos during the big Brexit Party rally on the run up to the European Parliamentary elections, he still stands the best chance of inheriting the keys to Downing Street in less than a month’s time.
What likely happens from there is yet another failed round of negotiations with the European Union, and a probably refusal from Johnson to lead the country out on “no deal” (World Trade Organization) terms.
This means he’ll need to fight a general election to change the make-up of parliament, to try and get a different deal through the House of Commons. By then, the Conservative Party base may already have run out of patience with him.
Waiting in the wings as always? Enter Nigel Farage.
Raheem Kassam was chief advisor to former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage. He is currently the Global editor-in-chief of Human Events.