Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Laura Perrins: Theresa May beats Boris hands down. So why do women swoon over this buffoon?


There are living, breathing women out there who believe Boris Johnson is a suitable person to lead this country as Prime Minister. There are women with responsible jobs and families to raise, who describe this person, pictured here, as ‘strong.’

I must admit I was choking on my rocket and Parmesan salad when I read this report by Mumsnet.

The report states “women are more likely to say they would back a Boris-led Conservative party”. This polling shows that Johnson’s “presence at the helm could create a strong lead among male voters, and squash Labour’s (huge) lead among women to zero”. This just baffles me. It really does. I expected more from my sisters.

Why, I ask, would women favour a “Boris-led Conservative party”? As an aside, I also ask why is Mr Johnson one of the few politicians routinely identified by his first name? Do you know who else was, as a matter of course, referred to by his first name, even on the Today programme – Saddam Hussein. Just sayin’.

Anyway, unbelievably I am told, “Theresa May would make no difference to a party’s support among both men and women”. Why – why would voters favour “Boris the Buffoon” over Ms May, the Home Secretary? (You will be waiting a long time before you hear the Today programme refer to her simply as ‘Theresa”)

Let’s just do a bit of compare and contrast – shall we? Theresa May is Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, one of the four Great Offices of State. Boris Johnson is Mayor of London. Mayor of London is equivalent to a cabinet position (I am told) but certainly is not equivalent to Home Secretary.

Theresa May is in charge of keeping this country safe. She does not sleep peacefully so that you can. She is in charge of keeping foreign terrorists out and stopping the home-grown ones from blowing us all up on Tube trains. Boris Johnson, on the other hand, likes to compare UKIP voters to people who have sex with a vacuum cleaner.

Boris Johnson would not be a strong leader. He would be an entertaining one, for sure, but if I had trust someone to protect me and my family from a bunch of knife-wielding jihadis I would not want Boris Johnson there. I want Mrs May.

I tell you what is strong. Strong is going into a conference hall packed to the brim full of coppers and ordering them to change for the good of country or she will do it for them. That, dear reader, is a show of strength. Bringing a brick to the Tory conference, as Johnson did, and threatening to lob it at a few Ukippers is not.

I am not saying Mrs May is beyond criticism. There is plenty to criticise. She should have sorted out the Rotherham rape scandal for instance, and I am no fan of her new State power grab in the form of anti-terrorist/thought crime measures. But that is the thing about being Home Secretary for this long – you have an actual record on which to be judged.

I will say it now. If Boris Johnson beats Theresa May in a leadership contest, it is the end of the world as we know it. It is a post-political world where personality is all and policy means nothing. It is a world where the voters favour style  – and that of the buffoon – over substance.

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