As I write, it is 1am. It is currently apocalyptic outside.
With a torrential downpour acting as the percussion, the night’s sky is a symphony. Regular, pallid illuminations of the garden act as a melody, with the alarmingly frequent forks of jagged lightning skimming across the sky serving as dissonant frills to an already jarring tonality.
The thunder, rolling in and out from far and near, serves as an unwilling timpani.
Two things could have caused such a malevolent force across our national clime.
- Cthulu, Beelzebub, or Hades themselves have risen, turning these fair green lands into their playground;
- Or Boris Johnson finally became Prime Minister.
Lol, it’s deffo number 2.
And actually, Boris deserves to be Prime Minister – a superb orator, someone who commands loyalty and respect from those around him, and someone who is, despite everything, trying to mobilise Britain with something that has been lost for quite some time now…
And yet I find myself watching the storm outside, worrying for the mental fortitude of the dogs downstairs, and finding myself falling on the side of the critics.
It boils down to one, all-encompassing and yet unanswerable question:
How does Boris make us survive the storm that, once forewarned, is now finally falling upon us?
Route One: The Masterplan
Boris is, as he has himself confessed, someone who believes that bravado and courage are more important than having a clear-cut plan. He is also someone who is more than happy to put the interests of a career, and the long-term, over what is arguably right.
This is, after all, the man who wrote two columns for the The Telegraph in 2016 – one in favour of Remain, and one in favour of Leave. He only chose the latter mere hours before the result was announced.
But underneath it all lies an extremely intelligent man, make no mistake. The hair, the bluster, the bonhomie – it is all a calculated plan to be the acceptable face of conservatism to a nation that lurches in and out of support of it.
Perhaps his claims during the election campaign were merely a mask. Perhaps his claims of leaving on October 31st “come hell or high water” are merely a ploy to strike fear into the hearts of the EU.
Perhaps there is an ace in his sleeve. Perhaps there is a get-out-of-jail-free card that is yet to be played.
But many, far more intelligent people than this humble writer have yet to see it. It is unlikely that there is an angle that no-one else has seen yet.
But you never know.
Route Two: The Boris Factor
There is no denying that Boris is a force of nature.
This writer has even experienced it himself.
In 2006, I attended a debate that he was on the panel for. When questions were opened to the floor, I asked him, “Do you think that your political success is because of your appearances on Have I Got News For You?”
This was in front of around 600 people, many of them also prominent politicians, and the question sparked a murmur in the room (and suddenly made me need to urinate very urgently).
However, he simply chuckled and then gave his answer, all the while making welcoming, non-threatening eye-contact with me. He even cracked jokes which were warmly received by the room before him.
I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t listen a word he said – it was like being under a spell of joviality and warmth and I just found myself smiling and nodding.
But back then, I was but a mere teenager, acne-ridden and wide-eyed. The EU are not teenagers, nor are they acne-ridden or wide-eyed.
They are hard-nosed negotiators, who have the backing of an entire continent of trade and political security. We are an island, with waning power, and a distinct lack of self-awareness concerning our empirical past.
Boris might have charmed me, but I cannot envisage a time where he would have Ursula von der Leyen in the palm of his hand.
Route Three: The Ritual Sacrifice
King Boris will never fall on his sword.
However, his refusal to do so may prove to be the tipping point.
To watch any documentary about Boris recently is to see a man who is desperately insecure. According to widely-shared accounts, he has always been a man who believes that he deserves different treatment to those around him, for he knows better.
And yet, for a man who knows better, he has chosen to take the poisoned chalice of the Tory leadership at the time where it is less wine than it is pure arsenic.
He knows that Parliament will block no-deal. He knows that Parliament will block prorogation. He knows that Parliament will block anything he does, and he knows that his majority will soon be down to just three.
A majority to pass a white paper on the idea that “Kicking Kittens Is Wrong,” but little else.
The fact of the matter is that Boris will, more likely than not, come to realise that his timing was nothing short of catastrophic. His premiership will come crashing down around him as he realises that his promises of leaving on October 31st will eventually be proven to be lies; that he cannot be a One Nation Conservative while he panders to the ERG; and that a divided nation will not unite under him in these apolitical times.
In short, Boris is fucked.
A man who has always dreamed of becoming Prime Minister has chosen the worst time in history to do it. In a matter of weeks, his bluster and bravado will make way for pleading and pandering. His plans will fall to ashes, he will be forced into a General Election, and God only knows what will happen then.
Or, if fortune favours him, he will lead us into a no-deal Brexit. And it will be on his shoulders, and his alone, if the damage done to our economy is as bad as the warnings say.
The King Is Already Dead.
Long Live The King.
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