It’s now almost certain that Boris Johnson will become our next Prime Minister. The Tories believe he possesses a kind of magic, and to a certain extent they are right. He has already turned the opposition Labour Party into an opposition of lists.
We list his gaffes, we list examples of his incompetence and we list evidence of his laziness. The problem with lists is that they lack precision and focus. Without lifting a finger, Boris Johnson has reduced us to a squawking rabble, unfocused and ineffective. He plays the left like a circus master poking a dancing bear.
Imagine Tracy from Basildon standing in a polling booth, choosing who to vote for. What does Tracy most want from a government, and what is she least concerned with? Like any typical voter, she wants competence from a political leader. Competence is everything and this is the great vulnerability of Boris Johnson, because he has none. This is where we should concentrate our fire.
What is Tracy not so concerned with? She recognises that Labour are an earnest bunch of people, and they are worthy types, but is she really looking for an earnest, worthy politician? She admires those qualities, but it’s not what she will vote for. In fact, the political correctness makes her quite nervous.
Tracy might frown at some of the gaffes Boris makes, but when she sees Labour’s ferocious attacks on his language she actually warms to him, not us. This is what I mean when I say that Boris baits the left. He knows what he is doing. His remarks about “letterboxes” and “piccaninnies” were carefully judged to provoke Labour and prompt attacks.
Boris Johnson is currently popular. Increasingly popular as the Tories rally around him. The British people are looking forward to a new Prime Minister. I believe they like his colourful language as it helps him get his point across. They vaguely remember something about a garden bridge but are happy to hear him boast of his achievements. They are giving him the benefit of the doubt.
They are yet to fully realise that he is a charlatan, an incompetent and a liar. They believe him and all the Tories who argue that a man like him could deliver a Brexit that Theresa May was incapable of. They believe that he is going to wave his magic wand and end the Brexit nightmare – and this is his biggest weakness of all, as he is the one walking into the bear pit without a whip. He has set his own trap, and all Labour has to do is spring it ready for his bumbling foolishness.
Brussels has no intention of renegotiating, especially not with him. Within months of Johnson becoming Prime Minister, he will be humiliated. Because Labour has adopted such a scattergun approach, he could overcome the Brexit failure by arguing that he was elevated too late to turn the events around. He will blame the MPs, in the same way that Theresa May failed to do so, but this time he will have the whole Conservative Party joining him in the desperate attempt to keep their leader’s reputation unscathed. He may well get away with it. That is what they are relying on.
Labour must concentrate their attacks on his incompetence and his lies. The man is deceiving the British people with his false promises. Everything that Theresa May did was at his and his colleagues’ bidding. They instructed her to negotiate by brinkmanship without a goal. Today he is repeating the same strategy and must be exposed.
We need to concentrate, not dissipate, our forces. We must aim at his weakness and ignore his bad language. We need to attack, attack, attack. We must ensure that the British people see that this crisis is of his own making.