You can’t miss it, the hair. Blonde, unruly, almost bed hair. A fitting mane for a man who has been accused of being erratic and a bit unruly himself. In spite of that, and perhaps because of it, Boris Johnson will possibly be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom.
He bears striking similarities to another British PM. He has close ties to America (he was born here), is a politician who got his start as a journalist, a former cabinet minister, a Conservative, and is considered of biting wit and withering sarcasm. If he does grab the top slot he will do it over the political corpse of a person who appointed him to high office.
All, very much like Churchill.
Also like the man who saved the West, he does not cater to the mob. His career at the best written and edited English language magazine in the world, The Spectator, proved that well enough. Like many writers of this tendency, I place myself in that host, he writes for himself and not for the baying dogs of egalitarianism. This provokes charges of posh snobbery, pretentiousness, pedantry, and editorial arrogance.
Well, I can’t speak for BoJo, but if I’m guilty of those indictments and still produce pieces that I can live with, that make me laugh, and that I can comfortably show to my friends, then it’s worth it. Writers who write for the hive and not for themselves betray their individuality on a sacrificial pyre that will only burn, not give warmth. As such, the slobbering masses can take a powder. I just don’t give a farthing.
Johnson’s time as a scribe, and his so-called “gaffes” while in office, attest to his refusal to dumb down and solely play to the crowd. He’s smart enough to know that he can’t be off-putting. However, he realizes that in a political world largely made up of synthetic mediocrities, an individual will stand out and gain respect from many people who want a leader, not merely a sock puppet playing to the latest electoral fads.
He has a crowded Tory field to overcome to be PM, like Trump did in his GOP run for the White House. Some of them like Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsom are no palookas. Johnson is also a fan of the president and it’s a mutual admiration society, as both saw the June 2016 pro-Brexit vote, a campaign that Johnson led, as a harbinger of popular sentiment on this side of the Atlantic. It was. Interestingly enough, Bill Clinton saw the same thing and tried to inform his spousal unit of it. To no avail.
Whether Boris Johnson gets his good news in early July depends on several things. First there’s a winnowing of contenders by votes of Conservative members of parliament. Then the last two standing go to a vote in front of the about 100,000 paid-up party members nationwide. That supposes that everyone else doesn’t drop out before it goes to said party members. That’s the way the soon-to-depart Theresa May got the job. In all of this timing is a crucial matter. Thus being a frontrunner now may not benefit Johnson, as early frontrunners many times get knocked off soon because of their enhanced target exposure.
Though I think the tousle-haired Johnson has been so far smarter about timing than during his last run at PM. Since then he’s also in better shape physically, reformed his hair a mite, and has nabbed himself a winsome 30-year-old PR babe galpal. If he wins, both the UK and the U.S. will be better off for it and the clever entertainment factor in British politics will skyrocket.
Per the amusement quotient and transatlantic benefit, again, quite like Churchill.