Boris or Bust

BY JAMIE FOSTER

It is only a matter of time before Mrs May calls it a day and announces her resignation. Several of the big beasts of Conservative politics are positioning themselves for the leadership when she finally makes her announcement. With luck and a following wind it will go to Boris. He is the only politician with enough mojo to get the country excited about his leadership. He has the common touch and would be able to bring the Brexiteers in the country along with him. He is someone who believed in the Brexit project from the outset. We need someone as Tory boss and PM who feels Brexit in their bones, not a Remainer who is trying to come to terms with Brexit. Without Bojo mojo the Tories are well and truly sunk.

So if Boris becomes leader will there be a huge exodus of Remainers to Change UK? No. Dominic Grieve says he would go but – as he has shown in the latter years of a solid career – that would now be no great loss to the Tory Party. Others, like Prisons Minister Rory Stewart says he will wait and see what Boris does – a far more sensible approach.

Boris will not herald a massive swing to the right. Boris is too canny a politician to use the leadership to alienate large swathes of the electorate. He knows from his time as London Mayor how important it is to appeal to as wide a cross section of voters as possible. Boris is a pragmatist not an ideologue. The one thing he may do that would play badly with the Remainers in parliament is he may work towards a no deal Brexit. That would not be the disaster that it is heralded to be. It is more likely to be a short sharp shock to British politics which we would recover from quickly.

Change UK is likely to lose a load of their seats at the next election and aren’t a force in British politics to be concerned with. Like the Lib Dems they are a party that will prove that the Remainer vote is not easy to harness behind a cause. The Brexit Party is likely to be a more powerful political unit that will clean up at the European elections. The Tory Party’s best hope of dealing with the Brexit Party is to elect a Brexiteer like Boris to the helm. Boris would display a message to the country that he is serious about Brexit. The Brexit Party’s spiel about the Tories selling Brexiteers out wouldn’t go down as easily with Boris in the top job.

Boris is popular with the grass roots of the Tory Party and could help to reinvigorate the party. There has been a loss of morale over Brexit and the failure of government to get on with it. Boris could be exactly what is needed to revitalise the party. Ordinary rank and file members who have felt alienated by the May premiership could be brought back within the fold by Boris.

There is every reason to hope that Boris could win a leadership challenge. The party could rediscover itself again under his leadership. His mayoralty shows how good he can be in a figurehead position. His inclusive, common touch could do a lot to bring the country together. And he is what the Tories need to win an election. The only concern is that the Tories do what they did when they elected May and get it phenomenally wrong again. They are more than capable of messing up the leadership and ending up with someone who feels safer than Boris but is unable to deliver the extra punch that Boris can command. Such a mistake will usher in Corbyn. Unthinkable.

The country is in need of a leader that has Boris’ qualities. Genuine charisma, intelligence and a get up and go spirit are all there in spades. There is no point in listening to the whining of the Remain rear-guard. They will not be happy whoever ends up leading the party. Their entire raison d’etre is to be disappointed by the way things are going. Let them be disappointed that Boris is the new chief. Let him get on with the job of showing everyone that gives him a chance what he can do.

It is time that the Tory Party changed up a gear. They have become stuck in the quagmire of Brexit without a clear vision of how to get out. Mrs May’s premiership has been a flaccid affair without life and light. There is so much that Boris has to offer to provide a real answer to that. If only the Tories can see it and bite the bullet.

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