I do not begrudge Boris Johnson his moment in the sun. Those election results were remarkable for a whole range of reasons. In an alchemy way beyond my comprehension, this old Etonian with as much emotional intelligence as a tub of cold pot noodle who thinks that monogamy is something his desk is made of, has managed to portray himself as not just a man of the people, but a man of the working class north. No slick PR machine could have achieved that. They would have laughed in his face. It was sheer brute force of his personality. It is not a personality that I admire or even like, but for the moment this man can do no wrong. And it is a waste of everyone’s time to predict when the stardust will turn to rust. If the Conservative Party had a lasting logo it would be Adapt or Die. It is at its most effective when it transforms into a power winning machine with more regenerations than Doctor Who. They have now regenerated into the bizarre lovechild of Maynard Keynes, Beveridge and Mr Macawber. Brexit, love it or loathe it will be with us for the foreseeable future. It is no longer a relevant debate. The Big State has been reborn. The EU is in existential crisis and is terrified that right wing nationalism will infect the continent. If only they had listened to David Cameron…..
But what really won it for Johnson was delivery. The vaccine roll out is verging on the miraculous. The multi billion pound jobs rescue package could never have saved every job but has been a popular success. The economy is beginning to boom and unemployment will probably not return us to the horrors of the seventies or eighties. Soon pubs and restaurants will be on a roll. There will be pop concerts, there will be parties, the sun will shine and soon people will be flying off to foreign parts. People will taste freedom again. And here lies the problem. The biggest enemy of the Conservative party has always been complacency.
Johnson must hit the ground running. He must reshape his government into a competent delivery machine. With a few exceptions cabinet is an incompetent disgrace. Most are there through acts of ‘loyality’, that delightful fantasy that all politicians pretend exists.
The Prime Minister is now in the post powerful position that he will ever have. He could appoint Daffy Duck as Home Secretary and get away with it. He mustn’t squander his political advantage which will be fleeting. He doesn’t need Patel, Jenrick, Mogg, Eustace and that whole pack of hopeless jokers whom the public despise. They have served their purpose. As has co party chairman Ben Elliott. For God’s sake get rid of them. It’s time for the Night of the Long Knives. But does he have the courage? Will his almost Freudian desire to be loved outweigh the blood sacrifices that will need to be made?
I doubt whether Johnson reads the writings of Buddha, but….
‘Do not dwell on the past do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment’.
This is Johnson’s moment. Delivery, delivery, delivery. Get Delivery Done.