News coverage of the Conservative leadership race this morning (June 17) is amazing – TV news types seem desperate to crown Boris Johnson a month before the result is announced… and he’s a complete and utter coward.
Where was he at the televised leadership debate on Channel 4 yesterday? Empty-chaired because he was afraid to face the public.
Where is he at the media press conferences today? Nowhere to be seen because he’s “too busy doing debate prep to be able to attend”.
He is the absentee candidate.
Clearly he and his team are terrified that his campaign will fall apart the instant it comes into contact with anyone other than compliant Tory-supporting press bods in the BBC and elsewhere.
The risk aversion of @BorisJohnson is something to behold. Every other Tory candidate is taking questions from newspapers, TV and radio in a 4th estate or “lobby” hustings. The only one who has refused such scrutiny is the one who still makes a living writing for @Telegraph.
— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 17, 2019
He is leaving it to other candidates – and ex-candidates – to state his case. And they’re doing it, for crying out loud!
Consider Michael Gove on the BBC’s Today programme, defending Mr Johnson’s appalling morals:
How important is morality in a new PM?
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) June 17, 2019
He continued: “I will happily defend Boris on this. There have been various attempts to to mount personal attacks against him and against some other candidates. I think that is wrong. Look, in the past, I have had my criticisms and differences with Boris. But I believe he is somebody who is capable of being prime minister.”
There was a slight barb, however: “But the key question is – who do we believe is the person with the best record in office, and the clearest vision for the future?”
That won’t be Mr Johnson, then! His vision for the future is to say whatever will get him into 10 Downing Street.
David Gauke, a soon-to-be-former cabinet minister if Mr Johnson wins, made this abundantly clear when he criticised the candidate’s latest unfunded spending promise, made in a column in the Daily Telegraph. After Mr Johnson promised to give every home in the UK access to superfast broadband by 2025, Mr Gauke tweeted:
If Boris wins, good luck to whoever becomes his Chancellor. It would be a noble act of self-sacrifice to accept the job. Who’d do it? 🤷♂️
— David Gauke (@DavidGauke) June 17, 2019
He’s backing underdog candidate Rory Stewart – alongside a rising number of other Conservative MPs.
Despite failed candidate Matt Hancock having declared for Mr Johnson, it seems his supporters are splitting between the absentee favourite and Mr Stewart, who is making a strong showing at every public event he attends. The contrast could not be clearer.
But Mr Stewart will never be allowed to test his version of Conservative government, and perhaps we should be grateful for that.
The groundswell of support for Mr Johnson is a rush towards political suicide by the Conservative Party as a whole.
Conservatism has been an abject failure and the UK will be better-off without it, so perhaps the rest of us should welcome him too.
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