Fears Grow Over Potentially Hazardous Johnson Premiership
Johnson, leading with 114 votes in the Tory leadership contest, could be the first ever favourite to win amidst concern surrounding the preservation of the constitution and respect for the press.
The launch of Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign seemed laced with a sinister feeling after Sky’s newly appointed Chief Political Correspondent – complete with distinctive black hair, red lipstick and an accent regular folk are used to hearing – was met with booing and hissing after asking a question regarding Johnson’s previous use of controversial language when describing the appearance of some Muslim women.
This reminds one of a Trump rally, in a country which now systematically demonises the press as it has split into firm anti and pro Trump camps. In good old reasonable Blightly, we like to think that American hysteria will not take hold of our ancient and supposedly more dignified political modus operandi. Although, this hubristic outlook may yet be proved wrong, especially if the already almighty gulf of frustration and disassociation between the electorate and our precious political institutions continues to grow.
Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC has a similar experience to Rigby when questioning Paul Nuttall at a UKIP event during the 2017 General Election campaign and was hissed at by Labour supporters when putting a question to Jeremy Corbyn in 2016. She was even accompanied by a security escort during the 2017 Labour Party Conference. It seems that hostility directed towards the press is increasingly distributed from across the political spectrum, perhaps the most comical being that of rather irate fellow at the launch of, the now eliminated, Esther McVey’s campaign.
Comical is the direct antithesis of this present situation, however. If Johnson wins this leadership election, he could choose to utilise this feeling and become a full blown populist. Another titan to meet the challenge of the potential giant of the Brexit Party. Indeed, fear of the latest latent rise of the Farage personality cult and the threat of a potential Corbyn administration after a total obliteration of the Tories at the polls has filled the Boris bandwagon to same extent as a bus into town on an extremely stormy day. His launch was attended by committed followers and those who are not fully convinced but are already predicting a Johnson victory.
Before his launch, his announcement of new tax cuts for some of society’s richest by increasing the 40p threshold from £50,000 to £80,000. The treasury has warned that it would cost around £10 billion pounds if implemented and it would be funded by funds set aside for No Deal preparations, even though he has insisted in keeping the option of walking away from negotiations on the table. This policy would only exacerbate and slow recovery from a widely predicted (by economists) recession. This plan may sound barmy. That’s because it is.
Another equally baffling suggestion is his refusal to rule out proroguing parliament in order to force through that No Deal to make sure we leave by the 31st October deadline. This bizarre expression of King Charlesian temerity has been met with fury from Rory Stewart, who has stated that a beleaguered parliament would ‘bring him down’ and meet even if the doors are locked in order to try and oust a PM who had recklessly deployed the most potent and dangerous affronts towards the very institution he claimed to be taking back sovereignty for. It would certainly be an unprecedented move with regards to contemporary British history, and would be one of the biggest tests of legislative versus executive power since the Civil Wars.
Of course, this may all be vastly overestimated, and there is also a chance that his premiership may be starkly similar to the stoic, but in the end one large dramatic failure, tenure of his predecessor. This is due to the fact that there is still a need for the uncompromising DUP and the overall parliamentary arithmetic will remain the same – the Tories will not risk a potentially catastrophic General Election whilst the unpleasant odour of the Brexit question still lingers in the corridors of the Palace of Westminster and the nostrils of Leave voters – and the EU has reiterated the nil possibility of renegotiation in regard to the withdrawal agreement. All of this as the deadline for Britain’s EU exit is much closer than it may seem. This dragged out leadership contest may prove to have wasted extremely valuable time, something warned against by Donald Tusk after the latest extension was granted. Johnson’s tenure may soon prove to be anti-climactic.
Nevertheless, Johnson’s frankly chimerical plan to take on those 27 EU nations by holding them to ransom with £39bn of debt, his sometimes inflammatory and misspoken language – which has offended and landed people in prison – and sweeping policy changes have civil servants and permanent secretaries quaking in their boots. Informal planning meetings are now underway as the nation’s bureaucracy prepares itself for a potential constitutional storm. Like non-metaphorical storms, this one also has a name. It’s called Boris.