After going through the motions of a contest, the Tory leadership election - open only to a small and select electorate of party members - has come to a close, and as expected, Jeremy Hunt (the former Culture Secretary) has put up a valiant fight, but has been beaten by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, for whom the line between truth and fiction is merely another of life’s minor inconveniences.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
With the question of Britain’s departure from the European Union still unresolved, Bozza’s inability to apply himself to the real world matters, and matters as never before. He cannot just lie his way out of a tight spot, as he did so often when Mayor of London. Nor can he respond to his more persuasive friends by throwing a few tens of millions of taxpayers’ cash at them, as he did with Jo Lumley and the Garden Bridge.
There can be no grand and stylish gesture, as there was with the New Bus For London, which is most definitely not a Routemaster. This white elephant cost more than comparable vehicles, it was too heavy to carry its maximum design load, the objective of combating fare evasion was not met, and the inadequacy of the buses’ air cooling system did not endear them to passengers. It was a colossal waste of money.
There were other colossal wastes of money: the Arcelor Mittal Orbit, the water cannon, the lamentably poor deal which gave West Ham United the use of the London Stadium as their new ground, the Thames Cable Car which now has no regular users, the study for a Thames estuary airport that was never going to be, all are symptomatic of a politician easily distracted by the bright and shiny, the grand gesture.
Sadly for Bozza, Britain does not need distraction right now. Sterling is on its way down the pan, Brexit is driving jobs out of the country even before the event, economic uncertainty means investment decisions are being put off, and even he must know that the reality of all his bluster about what he can get the EU to agree will turn to dust as soon as he sets foot in Brussels. He’ll get no change out of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, either.
So the question has to be asked, as Bozza is declared the winner of the Tory leadership election by a margin of two to one, is this: what is the point of his being there? What is he going to achieve that Theresa May could not? He can’t sort Brexit by splashing out on a new bridge or a new bus. He can’t unite his party by brandishing a brick, or a kipper, in front of Conference. He can’t unite the country by lying through his teeth.
What the rest of the world sees
Bozo The Clown - and that moniker is too flattering by half - has the backing of around 0.2% of the electorate - the Tories who voted for him. Even if MPs, pundits, and the wider public are prepared to overlook the serial lying, the serial philandering, the inability to apply himself to inconvenient things like work, the serial ineptitude - see under Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - and the obscene selfishness, the sad fact is that he is not up to the job.
July 23, 2019 is a date that, for the UK, will go down in infamy, a date when the party of Government put a clown in Downing Street, someone who has no more political gravitas than the late Ken Dodd. What a day, missus! What a day!
But look on the bright side. After Bozo fouls up the country, the only way is up.
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