SO it looks like Boris Johnson could become Prime Minister. Dear reader, you can only imagine my delight, my excitement that ‘Boris’ will finally get what he wants and move into Number 10.
It was with this in mind that I watched the first part of that Thatcher documentary a few things stood out from it. Let me indulge in some compare and contrast between Thatcher and Boris.
First, were the adjectives used to describe Thatcher – conscientious, incredibly hard-working and determined. Thatcher said she owed everything to her father, who was university material but couldn’t go. This meant that he made sure Thatcher had every opportunity that he did not. When you think of Boris, do the words conscientious and hard-working spring to mind? Do you imagine Boris going the extra mile for this country? Do you believe ‘conscientious’ was ever written on his report card?
Second, one of the talking heads whose name escapes me pointed out that all the great leaders are referred to by their second name: Attlee, Churchill and Thatcher. I would add into that Lincoln and Reagan. Do you know how people refer to Boris Johnson? Boris. Keep that in mind.
Third, I noticed how slim Thatcher looked. She really was very slim in those very well-cut suits. But then self-discipline runs through her like a golden thread. This is what she was, this is why she achieved all that she did – her self-discipline drove her on. Self-indulgence was simply not to be tolerated.
Boris by way of contrast is a man who famously said he likes to have his cake and eat it. And by the look of him he does indulge in a little too much cake eating. Boris, with his lack of self-discipline, his lust and gluttony, will struggle to execute what is needed in Europe, namely to tell them we are out and they are going to have to live with it.
Now, I am going to say something here that for myself and Kathy is the worst insult we can level against someone, and this is that Boris Johnson is enough to make you a feminist.
Jacob Rees-Mogg backs him because he has ‘charisma’. Yes indeed, charisma is one of those words only ever used to describe men. It is that word that means that a man is usually held to lower standards than others, especially women. So, what if he is lazy, entitled, incompetent and self-indulgent? He has charisma, he is ‘one of the lads’ (if you are Irish) is a jock, (if you are American), he is Boris! Charming, charismatic, clubbable. Dear God, save us from these charismatic men. Do you think the Europeans are going to be beguiled by all of this charisma – get a bloody grip, people, we are not in university or an after-dinner speech at the Spectator now.
If I were to believe in a thing such as entitlement, Boris is it. He gets away with things few others can because you know, Boris is Boris. Whatever that means.
At this point in the game, I just want someone to wake me up when it is all over. Where are all the great leaders gone? Are they in the City? Are they in business? Does no one have a sense of duty any more? Great future leaders of Britain – your country needs you!
And before you ask, I think The Mogg should stand. He looks like the only vaguely competent one in there – at least they will take him seriously in Europe. The Mogg, or Liz Truss, who I can’t say I am a huge fan of, but passes the ‘not utterly disastrous’ test.
Finally, I will say this. I like a redemption story as much as the next person and if Boris pulls it together and we all start referring to him as Johnson because he is hard-working, self-disciplined, gives up the cake and the ladies, to such an extent that he can stir the good ship Britannia to safe open waters then I will be happy to be proved wrong. But I wouldn’t bet the house on it – old habits die hard.