People have still not understood the new British PM. Yes, he may still act the fool – probably his way of dealing with boredom, or vulnerability. But the last eight months have shown him as no joker. Instead Britian may have found a brutally focussed politician, an ingenious and independent political thinker, and a leader capable of welding a new coherence of purpose where before had been confusion and misdirection.
Brexit was never more than a stalking horse for power. Once elected, Boris, with a few decisive and bold moves, has changed the political landscape of the nation. A simple mantra – “Just get it done” – an appeal to the country’s sovereign history, the take over of the UKIP message and voters, and , his one piece of luck, the easy destruction of an enfeebled opposition – these were followed by banishing the prevaricators and nay sayers from his party, and launching a refreshed regional awareness and accountability. Throughout Johnson had the skills to communicate well. His speech against racism and ante semitism in particular was a moving statement of solidarity. He has emerged as a PM with grip.
ISo despite the chattering classes, it is unlikely he is going to be overly worried about negotiating with the EU. The devil may well be in the detail – but that is some way off, a different day and a different context. His first imperative is to get out, build his base at home and start developing the platform for a new Britain. He has the Universities, he has the City of London. And as he well knows the EU is facing a very different set of issues – Europe is in crisis, fighting for its very survival. Enlargement let in new nations with nothing like the economic strengths of the original and founding members. These new nations (Poland, Hungary, Romania, Greece as well as Italy and Austria) are moving away from the disciplined rules based world of the EU to populist, polarised and despotic leadership. Climate change, poverty, and the threat of further immigration has fuelled the sense of systemic anarchy – the EU is facing a crisis of economic and domestic disparities that threaten to break it apart. If ever they needed the steadying support of the UK, its business, economic and social stregths it is now. This may well be a good time to be negotiating with them.
Boris Johnson has changed the pace in Britain. He has a mandate and clear strengths to build upon. His timing has been inspired. Britain may indeed have found a new leader of real stature – it is going to be worth watching.
Have a good day, James