Yes he still may act the fool – probably his way of dealing with boredom or vulnerability. But the last 8 months have shown him as no joker at all. Instead Britain has been introduced to a new brutally focussed politician, an ingenious and independent political thinker, and a leader capable of welding together a new coherence where before had been confusion and misdirection.
He never thought the Brexit deal more than a stalking horse for power. With a few decisive and bold moves he then changed the political landscape. A simple mantra – “Just get it done” – an appeal to Britain’s sovereign history, a take over of the UKIP message and supporters, and, his one piece of luck, an easy destruction of the enfeebled opposition. These were followed by instant banishment for the prevaricators and the nay sayers within his own party and then a refreshed regional awareness complete with ten new Freeports. Actions that only became possible post Brexit.
Britain’s PM had the plan, and he had the energy and decisiveness to implement it. Furthermore he had the skills to communicate it – his speech against racism was a moving and constructive statement of jewish solidarity.
Johnson in this mood is not worried about negotiating with the EU. Of course the devil will be in the details – but let them worry about that, it is anyway a long way down the line. That will be a different day and a different context. The imperative now is to get out – cut the cord, build his base at home, and develop the platform for launching a new Britain. He has the Universities, he has the City of London, he has a rich heritage of technology and R&D and of course he has the no less rich heritage of Britain itself and its thousand year history. Now with every new investment, every new partnership, every new regional initiative he will be shining a light on a different angle of the EU, on specific negotaitions and on Britain as an emerging force. And he will be doing this as he watches the EU fighting for its very survival.
Europe is facing a crisis of emotional and reckless populism, despotic and anarchic leadership and on going Russian meddling coupled with the immediate and interconnected threats of Climate Change, Poverty, and unstoppable Immigration. It is led by an untried team facing truly complex internal weaknesses in the very structure of the Union. If ever the EU needs allies, frankly needs Britian, it is now.
Boris Johnson has changed the pace. He has a mandate and clear strengths to build upon. His timing has been inspired. 2020 is the year he breaks through and Britain finds a leader.
Have a good day, James.