Does Boris realign anything?

Boris Johnson looks to me like he might well be a very successful prime minister. He has an air of winning about him. He is annoying the lefty media but Ordinary People seem to like him. Using Facebook to bypass the media and talk directly to the Ordinary People ought to do him good.

He makes some good noises. He is positive about leaving the EU. He hires special advisers from free-market think tanks. Jacob Rees-Mogg is in the cabinet. He has promised tax cuts. He takes a dim view of social engineering sin taxes.

On the other hand he is not very much different from any other Conservative MP. He banned drinking on the tube. He wants to spend more money on police and get them to stop and search people. He admires Pericles in part because of his enthusiasm for infrastructure projects. He talks about jobs as if they were a benefit and not a cost. He wants the police to stop and search people. Amber Rudd is in the cabinet. He is into all that green nonsense. He goes on about how wonderful the NHS is. The British Ordinary People love all this (except possibly the green stuff (and Amber Rudd), though they tolerate it, believing it is somewhat necessary). One of the reasons the lefty media is annoyed is that he is promising to do things they like so that all they can do is moan about how it can not be afforded because of tax cuts.

We will probably get our no deal Brexit, no matter how much Boris says he wants to do a deal knowing the EU probably will not. It will probably work out just fine. Britain will probably bumble along pretty much as before and after a few years it will all be forgotten. But with Boris as a successful and popular prime minister there is a good chance nothing much radical will happen. Corporation tax will not be abolished. Unilateral free trade will not be declared. Swathes of regulations will not be removed. Laws will not be repealed. Hong Kong citizens will not be given British passports.

It will mostly be minor policy tweaks made to sound more exciting than they really are. Trending in a slightly more positive direction, perhaps, but ultimately politics as usual: mild conservatives vs. liberal democrats, irrespective of what party they are actually in. PMQs aside, a successful Boris turns out to be a bit boring.

Updated: 14th August 2019 — 2:40 pm


  1. PMQs aside, a successful Boris turns out to be a bit boring.

    BRExit aside, politics tends to be boring and essentially meaningless to the vast majority, which is why watching BBC Parliament is a very minority sport. Provided that Boris manages to evade the bear traps of knaves like Hammond (major and minor), Grieve, Bercow et al, then most people will be happy for him to continue.

    Once BRExit is delivered (by hook or by crook) on 31st October 2019 and provided the sky doesn’t fall in, Boris can probably look forward to a reasonable stint of being a centrist Tory in No. 10. We all know that he doesn’t give a fig for any particular policy or other and that being effective AND largely inoffensive will probably see him through.

    Very few people want to see another St. Margaret of Thatcher. She did what needed to be done when it was needed, but then she just got a bit tiresome. Nobody wants another Treason May either.

    It will be fine.

  2. “a successful Boris turns out to be a bit boring.”
    “It will be fine.”

    Could be. The peons may continue to roll out their 4 (or is it 5?) wheelie bins with various kinds of rubbish, and subsidized bird-whackers may continue to despoil the landscape, and the lines for NHS treatment may continue to grow longer, while the same old Oxbridge crowd fritter away their time in Westminster waiting for the next Davos conference. Could happen.

    On the other hand, it is also possible that enough of the 17 million people who voted for Brexit look at each other and say ‘Eh?’. They could get sufficiently annoyed about a return to the same old failure to deal with immigration or house prices or anything else that they do not obediently return to sham elections between Tory & Labour act-alikes — and then all bets would be off.

    Tough to predict. As PM Harold Wilson said so long ago — ‘A week in politics is a long time’.

Comments are closed.