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.
— Richard Corbett (@RCorbettMEP) May 24, 2019
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.
It's a suicide run and it'll destroy whoever gets it. You might as well apply to ingest nuclear material.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) May 24, 2019
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:
This interview should tell you all you need to know about Boris Johnson, as Eddie Mair says "a nasty piece of work" pic.twitter.com/qPDwVy8o6L
— Giles Paley-Phillips (@eliistender10) May 24, 2019
Would you like more? Here:
12 of Boris Johnson's most calamitous mistakes and embarrassing gaffes https://t.co/ctdmxkywID
— Clare Hepworth OBE (@Hepworthclare) May 24, 2019
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?
On PM departure, Boris Johnson (or Raab) to be in post by end of July. The Chumocracy will be back in charge of the Tory Party with all of its arrogance & get rich quick privatisations. They’ll continue where Osborne left off. Handover happens on recess. Parliament powerless.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) May 24, 2019
Owen Jones is right – we are heading towards the lowest common denominator Tory politics. Whoever promises to throw out migrants or take more benefits off the poorest and tax cuts to the richest will win the Tory leadership.
— 🇩️avid 🇲️organ (@AJobTracker) May 24, 2019
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.
I can honestly say there is not a single Tory PM candidate that is fit to run our country and guide us through some critical times.
Not a single one of them.
Please retweet this post if you agree that a General Election *must* be guaranteed by any of them that want the job.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) May 24, 2019
There should be a #GeneralElectionNow – not another Tory coronation.
We've had 3 wasted years under #TheresaMay where poverty & inequality have risen, homelessness levels are a national scandal, food Bank use has soared & more.
— Ken Livingstone (@ken4london) May 24, 2019
It's time for a General Election 🗳️
SHARE if you agree 👇 pic.twitter.com/GDYWFgUEhV
— GMB UNION (@GMB_union) May 24, 2019
It's time for a change of direction. pic.twitter.com/JM9kz6ZMym
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 24, 2019
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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