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Readers’ Comment Special: Your verdict on the Boris debate


Yesterday’s debate on TCW between Kathy Gyngell and Michael St George on whether Boris Johnson had succeeded or failed in his resignation speech produced so many interesting comments that we are publishing extracts from several.

Malcolm wrote:

He kept his powder dry to use when the time may be more propitious, and that may well be after the backbenchers who would currently support her have had the summer to digest what will almost certainly be a continued and perhaps even dramatic decline in the ratings for the party under May. Nothing seems to concentrate the minds of MPs, with a few honourable exceptions, more than the prospect of either losing their seats or being relegated to an enfeebled position on the opposition benches.

The only certainty is that unless she is replaced before long, May will succeed, intentionally or not, in destroying not just Brexit, and with it the Conservative Party’s prospects for a generation at least, but possibly faith in our democracy itself. The stakes really couldn’t be higher.

39 Pontiac Dream wrote:

I don’t trust Boris at all. It took him ages to work out which side of the Brexit debate he wanted to be on and in the leadership campaign, he capitulated and stepped down when Gove decided to stand. For him, the Brexit debate was about having maximum impact and publicity and, as far as the leadership campaign showed, he obviously doesn’t have the strength you need to lead.
No, for Boris, it’s all about Boris.

ScaryBiscuits wrote:

Boris has maybe not shown as much moral courage as TCW would have liked but he has still shown a great deal more than anybody else in the parliamentary Conservative Party. For all his faults, and there are many, there is now nobody who could beat him in a leadership contest amongst members. The challenge Boris has is getting his fellow MPs to allow him to get that far. Many hate him not just for Brexit but – much more so – out of jealousy, for making them look leaden in comparison.

milford wrote:

I agree with St George, he’s biding his time until a grass roots revolt brings her down. May’s emerged as a Common Purpose NLP trained stooge doing their globalist bidding, that’s why she doesn’t care a fig that we all know she’s been batting for the other side for the past two years.

Paul Whitehouse wrote:

Stubbornness can be a virtue (as with Churchill). Stupidity can never be a virtue. Stubbornness and stupidity combined will always be a disaster. That is what we have with May.

Harley Quin wrote:

‘Be prepared to walk on broken glass’. As my old mum used to put it: ‘a hide like an elephant’.

Androsupial wrote:

It’s interesting that people can watch the same speech and form different views of it. I thought Boris looked nervous, and his delivery seemed hesitant. On content, yes, he nailed the contradictions in the PM’s approach to Brexit . . . but he did not set out a step-by-step alternative pathway. Maybe that wasn’t the occasion.

tom moncrieff wrote:

I agree with the second opinion. The numbers are not yet there to challenge. May would win and Brexit would die. All that Brexiteers could do then would be to split from the Tories. This is not yet the time. Also, he who wields the dagger rarely wears the crown. Vengeful Remain MPs would never forgive Boris for being the assassin. He must step in as saviour, not wield the knife.

Better to have May return from Brussels in the autumn with either nothing or another dog’s dinner. Better for the polls to plunge, then let the 48 letters go in. Do it then.

Scaroth wrote:

Michael St George has it. As a classicist, Boris took the Mark Antony method in seeing off an opponent rather than Geoffrey Howe’s hand grenade, by praising May’s stance in her Lancaster House speech of 18 months ago, then proceeding to enumerate the manifest ways in which she has subsequently betrayed it. May is finished: after Chequers, it’s more a question of who will succeed her. It is by no means certain this person will be Boris, but it’s far more likely now than it was before – and I reckon he’ll make it.

mark wrote:

Yes, he did flunk it – and deliberately. Because he was afraid that if he went for the kill, some nonentity (like May!) would come out of the woodwork and get the top job. It was all down to tactics.

SeriouslyChristian wrote:

‘Winston Churchill had obduracy and principle. Mrs Thatcher had principle and conviction. Mrs May just has obduracy.’ Exactly right, the problem is that her obduracy coupled with her incoherent ideology (‘progressivism’) make her an extremely dangerous Prime Minister who will never understand why her policies fail and her brute-force obduracy won’t make them work!

John Fannon wrote:

To paraphrase Mr Tumnus, it’s always May but never springtime.

Don Benson wrote:

I think Boris got it about right in his speech – he didn’t need to go on about how rotten Theresa May is, the whole country already knows that. But he should have given full vent to the greatness that lies dormant in the British people and done a far more uplifting sales job for a free sovereign nation, over the heads of the MPs and direct to the British people. Probably no one else could match his ability to do that.

So, having somewhat pulled his punch in his resignation speech, I think he now needs to finish the job by addressing the British people directly in frequent (daily if necessary) speeches which rekindle the vision of the great future that awaits them if they regain the full sovereignty which was wickedly seized from them over 4 decades ago. It’s the stuff of real leadership, and the contrast with Theresa May would be blindingly obvious. Time for a nationwide tour once again, Boris!

Bil the Little Englander wrote:

I knew as soon as JRM gave her an honourable way out on Monday Boris’s speech would be a damp squib and that the Conservative Party would totter on with her. I really think they still don’t get how politically damaged she is in the country.

Damaris Tighe wrote:

Just wanted to say – what an interesting group of BTL commenters we’ve got now at TCW! Enjoyed reading all the posts.

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