JP Floru is a Westminster Councillor, Senior Research Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute and writer of Heavens on Earth – How to Create Mass Prosperity
Boris is the new Thatcher, I was going to write first. But no, he will not resemble any Prime Minister past or present. The last ten years have nonetheless shown that he shares a number of characteristics with the Truly Great politicians we have enjoyed. Boris is his own person, he has the charisma to pull it off, and he has strong political convictions.
It is these convictions coupled to charisma which will ultimately catapult him into the category of the truly great rather than into the category of the safe pair of hands. Everyone who has ever been to hustings or to a selection meeting knows: It is the inner fire of conviction which makes the difference. Only this can enthuse an hostile electorate to land the Conservative Party successive landslide victories – just as The Great Lady did.
And he has proved that he can do it. He was elected in a socialist city not once, but twice. He did not do this by becoming a socialist or by trying to turn our party into something that it is not. He will do so again when he leads our party to victory in a general election. Take stock, MPs and parliamentary hopefuls: Boris will make it happen. Tellingly, this idea came not from me, but from a friend who is an A-list media personality but sadly Labour. Somewhat intrigued by the Conservative Party’s inability to pick a winner, this person asked me: “But what about Boris Johnson? He would wipe the floor with us (Labour)”. This was before Boris became Mayor of London!
Is Boris a PR product? It has often been suggested that his mannerisms, gaffes, and even his trademark name are the product of Boris inventing Boris. That the bumbling is not bumbling. But there is a difference between Boris and other well-known politicians who have been accused of the same. Boris invented Boris himself and is not prone to changing his course according to where the wind blows from. To a certain extent the Boris persona is set – it has not really changed in the last ten years since he came onto the stage. The gentleman is not for turning.
In our angst infested climate where politicians are shivering with fear at the thought of saying something even remotely controversial, Boris says it as it is – and pulls it off, too. Look for example at how he dares to be the only politician in Britain to say that the right immigrants add something positive. That is not the utterance of a man brain-swapped by spin doctors or focus groups or the Minority of the Week. That is statesmanship: daring to take an unpopular view, explaining it, and winning the debate against the odds. Well this immigrant likes it – and there are a lot of us to win over.
Look at how yesterday at Bloomberg he told us that even if we leave the EU we will be fine. Because large parts of the population out there actually trust Boris, this statement is of huge significance. Up to now it was not clear how the referendum would turn out. Scaremongering will be the most effective campaign technique of the “inners”. Boris could have joined the traffic jam of politicians bleating gooey cliches about renegotiation and “in Europe but not governed by Europe”. But he did not do this: he went the extra mile and said something no serious frontline politician has said before. Is there anybody out there who believes that come the referendum, the fear-brigade will win against Boris’s optimism?
Here are ten reasons why Boris stands head and shoulders above the other politicians, and why he will make a great Prime Minister:
Would Prime Minister Boris please all the libertarians and all the small c conservatives and all the wets in the Conservative Party? Of course not. One takes the rough with the smooth. But on balance it’s all there: a Conservative majority for the foreseeable future; beliefs which will bring economic prosperity for the many; and the end of twenty years of boredom in the national political arena.
Ladies and gentleman: Boris’s return spells a lot of fun. Do you smell the excitement and hope in the air?