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The 'master of boastful bluster' becomes First Lord of the Treasury

July 24, 2019 2:00 PM

Bullingdon boy handed the keys to wreak havoc on the country's economy

'Britain deserves better than Boris Johnson" says new Lib Dem Leader Jo Swinson.

By Jon James

A country long admired for its governance, stability and sense of fair play and an ability to expose the machinations of mavericks, adventurers and liars has just handed the keys to No 10, to the UK's own modern day Don Quixote, a man who has spent a journalistic lifetime 'tilting at EU windmills'. An individual, so obviously unsuited to the task of Prime Minister that we can only conclude that Brexit fatigue, the national obsession with reality tv shows and government by social media has been embedded into our political system.

Having demonstrated time and time again his lack of grasp of the simplest detail, thrown insults at foreign leaders, shown a disregard for common decency in his language and utterances towards fellow citizens, regardless of gender, religion or sexuality, 'thrown our Ambassador to the US under a bus" and wasted London taxpayers millions, the next Prime Minister falls to ' *a man who parted company with honesty some decades ago'.

To quote Rafael Behr writing in Prospect magazine June 21st 2019

'Boris Johnson is a master of boastful bluster His ministerial record and his private life are punctuated with wanton disregard for everyone besides himself. The man who is almost certain to be Britain's next prime minister has a maverick reputation, but his adventurousness is the slippery, devious kind that outsources real danger to others. When it comes to his own fortune, Johnson is cautious, even cowardly'.

Boris Johnson*'Britain is on the cusp of a constitutional crisis of epic proportions' *

('Jonathan Lis* also writing in Prospect magazine June 26th 2019*)

The very same Parliamentary arithmetic which has already disposed of one PM now awaits another even with the backing of the hardest of Brexit cabinets. Boris Johnson may feel emboldened as he tries to confront the EU and a Parliament dead set against No Deal, but with a slender majority of two, (hopefully further reduced by a by-election defeat next week in Brecon & Radnor) he has little new political support in his locker, to take to the EU even with the DUP's support for not pushing social reforms in NI.

So even with a default NO Deal as his new threatening negotiating position it is unlikely that the EU will wish to renege on their commitments and support for peace in Ireland and the non-negotiable Single Market rules and reopen the Withdrawal Agreement and Backstop. Added to that, having spent decades denouncing the EU and all its parts through the pages of the British press, the last remnants of any credibility as an honest broker surely flew out of the window during his period as Foreign Secretary.

As a known maverick he may still feel that he can play 'fast and loose' with the parliamentary timetable or test the water for proroguing Parliament to see No Deal through to Halloween. Whilst he maintains that Brexit will precede a now seemingly inevitable, early General Election, the arithmetic may not stack up given a better disciplined and organised campaign for a 'confidence vote' by opposition forces combining with hostiles on the reformed Tory backbench.

Even then as a sworn opponent of a Peoples Vote or a further Referendum, the man with his head full of 'magic and adventures' could determine that he alone could get away with misusing a General Election to get his Brexit through with a single issue short campaign.

Would the man who has waited a lifetime to become 'King of the World' give up the crown so easily gambling on a public vote and then possibly having to sharing it with a likeminded maverick? Of course he may have to turn to using smoke and mirrors' if he has to to retain power.'

As Liberal Democrats, we can compare and contrast the positive vision for an outward looking United Kingdom based upon liberal values, fairness and openness and playing our full part in Europe as offered by our newly elected leader Jo Swinson. We can only hope that this Prime Minister doesn't leave the poorest in our country desperately clutching onto the bottom rung of a post-Brexit failing economy.

Oh, how far our country has fallen...

Note: Don Quixote his head was full of magic and adventures fights windmills that he imagines are giants. ... No sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished.