The candidates: Is Boris Johnson really worthy of being prime minister?

‘Poodle’: Boris Johnson is left at the door while EU politicians make the big decisions in this cartoon. Is that the kind of prime minister we want?

I’ll answer that question straight away: Probably not.

Theresa May has announced her resignation, and the launch of an election procedure for the leadership of the Conservative Party (and the prime ministership of the United Kingdom), starting on June 7.

Several prominent Tories have thrown their hats into the ring but, while they may be popular in party circles, that does not make them ideal national leaders.

In fact, some commentators are saying previous incumbents, like Mrs May and David Cameron before her, have poisoned the prime ministerial chalice so badly that it is a mark of stupidity to want it.

Take Boris Johnson, currently in pole position. Many Tory MPs – especially Brexiters – think he is ideal to take the UK out of the European Union.

But is he really, when he is facing a private prosecution for misconduct in public office, over his false claim in the slogan that the UK gives £350 million to the EU every week, “let’s fund the NHS instead”?

His lawyer is arguing that the claim was not attached to his work as a member of Parliament, but an easy counter-argument is that – as an MP – he should not mislead the public with false information.

Martin Fletcher in The New Statesman is fairly uncompromising in his verdict on Mr Johnson, saying if elected he would be “the least-qualified prime minister of modern times”… to face the “gravest crisis since the Second World War – a crisis of which he was a principal architect”.

He wrote: “Johnson’s only ministerial experience consists of two dire years as foreign secretary – a stint memorable for his gaffes, gratuitous insults, guff about creating a “Global Britain” and constant undermining of Theresa May.

“As London’s mayor … “Boris Bikes” were Ken Livingstone’s idea, the Thames cable car and ArcelorMittal Orbit tower were expensive flops, and his ultimate vanity project, the aborted Garden Bridge, cost £53m without a brick being laid.

“Before that, Johnson served briefly as shadow arts minister, but was fired by Michael Howard, then Tory leader, for lying about one of his extramarital affairs.

“He is a congenital liar, serially disloyal, untrustworthy, irresponsible and hopelessly chaotic – as David Cameron, Michael Gove, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, his former wives, and many others know only too well.

“He has shown an almost criminal disregard for Britain’s economic well-being (“Fuck business”) and for Northern Ireland’s fragile peace (he once compared its border to London’s congestion zone). He has no core principles beyond the advancement of one B Johnson, and the idea that he is motivated by a desire to help others is laughable.

“Nor is it easy to see how Johnson could negotiate a better Brexit deal than Theresa May. “We have blinked. We have baulked. We have bottled it completely,” he complains of the government’s efforts since 2016. We need to be tougher, he insists. To threaten a no-deal Brexit and to mean it. To force Brussels to blink first.

“That is pure fantasy. Johnson is abhorred throughout the EU, which he once compared to the Third Reich. Europe’s leaders would know, moreover, that parliament remained overwhelmingly opposed to a no-deal Brexit. There is no way they would make concessions to Johnson that they denied to May. It is doubtful they would even agree to reopen negotiations, let alone extend the Article 50 deadline once more.

“Johnson’s fundamental problem is that the have-your-cake-and-eat-it Brexit that he promised voters in the referendum was never remotely attainable. If, heaven forbid, he becomes prime minister he will finally be exposed for the snake-oil salesman that he is, but the country will have paid a grievous price.”

Watch Mr Johnson squirm as his past behaviour was raised in an interview on the Marr show last week:

Would you like more? Here:

Yet Mr Johnson is front-runner to be prime minister because of the tribalism of ‘Little England’ Tory Party members. What will that do for the United Kingdom?

That’s not much of a future.

No wonder so many people are calling for a general election – to purify the well, in a manner of speaking, and try to return some integrity to British politics.

It is a convincing argument – unless you’re a Tory. They won’t accept the evidence until they have caused another disaster.

We’ll know the name of that disaster by the end of July.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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1 thought on “The candidates: Is Boris Johnson really worthy of being prime minister?

  1. nmac064

    Put quite simply Johnson, both in his private and “professional” life, is a thoroughly incompetent, dishonest and untrustworthy slob.

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