Another day, another Cameron v Boris Europe spat. Cameron today has set out the “emotional” case for Remain, while Boris is apparently laying out the “liberal” case for Leave. That sentence leaves no further room for satire, so I will leave it there.
In arguing so vociferously for something a lot of Tories do not want, Cameron may well have made his premiership untenable for much longer, regardless of which way the country votes on June 23rd. There is an argument that if we vote to Remain by a large margin, say, north of 60% (which I still hold out hope for), he will be exonerated and everyone in his own party who is bitter about that result will just have to live with Dave for as long as he so chooses.
But I’m not so sure about that. Given how hard Cameron has gone in terms of laying out the case for Remain, he may have damaged his standing with the Eurosceptic portions of his party (i.e. most of it) irreparably. So what I’m saying is, if we vote to Leave, Cameron would have great difficultly remaining as prime minister, and if we vote Remain, Cameron would have great difficulty remaining as prime minister. As they are the only two possibilities, you can see where this logically leads me.
If Cameron steps down any time soon, the next leader of the Conservative Party will almost certainly be Boris. This means Boris Johnson will very likely be our prime minister shortly.
The horror! I know many on the Left will talk about how awful Michael Gove would be as PM, but at least Gove believes in things, even if they aren’t things I happen to believe in. At least Gove has ideas. Meanwhile Boris is a political blancmange: white, shiny, sugary, and little other than empty calories.
It is actually difficult to describe the full horror with which I regard a PMQs that has Boris Johnson being lightly interrogated by Jeremy Corbyn. David Cameron can talk all he wants about how leaving the EU would harm Britain internationally, but that would be minor at first compared to the international laughing stock we would rightly become with those two jokers being our supposed political leading lights.
I think our only hope is a really large Remain victory. Then at least the Tory Eurosceptics will be temporarily wounded enough to need to go away and have a rethink. Please, please then when the time comes for Cameron to make way prior to the next general election, let the next leader be anybody, and I do mean anybody apart from Boris. Owen Paterson, Peter Bone, even Phillip Davies – please anybody but Boris.
Richard Gadsden says
“I have never agreed with Michael Gove once.
We have fought on like seventy-five diff’rent fronts
But when all is said and done
Michael Gove has beliefs, Boris has none”
I only miss the metre at the very end, and you can Russify it as B’ris to make it fit.
Edward Wynn says
I have a bet on that there will eventually be a Trump/Corbyn summit. I am still on that track. Boris as PM would help.
Disagree: I don’t think Boris has enough support among Conservative MPs (and I think enough of them are annoyed by the publicity he got swanning around as Mayor while they put in the hard graft in parliament) to make it to the final two presented to party members.
My money’s on Gove (literally, a tenner of it) but I wouldn’t rule out Theresa May after her ‘I’m In but not really’ speech.
I always thought the result was immaterial to Boris’s ambitions as all that matters is that he has aligned himself with the majority of Tory members who will be voting in the leadership (As M says, only the MPs can stop him now by making sure he isn’t on the ballot).
I sometimes further think he is secretly undermining the leave campaign (a terrible initial statement when deciding for out, talking up Obama’s intervention for weeks beforehand, etc.) as he doesn’t want to be PM of a crippled country! 🙂
Depends how they vote for their new leader. Watching Trump in the USA leaves me thinking the same could happen here with Boris – and indeed has happened with Corbyn in Labour. We’re certainly in an era of charisma politics – no coincidence that Ruth Davidson did well in Scotland and Nicola packs a good punch in debates too. Who else for the Conservatives? Osborne’s carriage is harnessed to Cameron’s horse and Theresa May doesn’t appeal, but might be a reasonable choice for an interim leader. Gove, no, please no.
Their best bet is a rising star, but are there any? Steven Crabb would have to be the front runner on that score.
George Lee says
Worst possible scenario is Nigel Farage as PM.
If the Scottish referendum is anything to go by – after losing the EU referendum there is a massive surge backing UKIP from both disaffected Brexiters and a sizeable group of Remainers who want to be in the EU and give the EU a good kicking at the same time.
Not my idea of a good outcome. A good outcome for me would have been not to have had either referendum in the first place.