Many people in Britain are appalled by the idea that Boris Johnson is now prime minister. These same people look at the Conservative party and wonder how they could have inflicted this on both themselves and the rest of us. They want to understand the thinking behind this move. I think I’ve found a way to explain it: Johnson becoming PM represents the collective thinking of the Tories having descended to what can only be described as a Palaeolithic level. Many Conservatives have escaped from this mode of thought, but not nearly enough of them.
The Tories that have been captured by BoJo are almost literally thinking the following: Boris Johnson is an enchanted wizard. He has magical powers, like a superhero or a Greek god. He can do things no mortal can; fix problems beyond the scope of humans. He is going to use these magical powers to sort Brexit out. When he does, the problems of the last three years will instantly disappear, like waking up after a nightmare, and the Conservative party will be both united, in one piece and wildly popular.
In this mode of primitive thinking, Brexit is like a wild beast that is terrorising the tribe. It takes the shaman to vanquish the danger and bring peace back . Of course, this rubs uncomfortably against the idea that Brexit is a wonderful opportunity to make things better, but strangely this has mostly been dropped by Tories anyhow. No, Brexit is a beast that must be slain by magic because nothing in the physical plane can do so; to keep talking about Remain as an option is to ignore the beast and allow it to live.
I can imagine most Tories reading this think I’m talking total nonsense. When you engage in theologically based belief, any third party questioning of that thinking seems slightly mad if not full on bonkers. But I would ask Leaver Tories the following questions: what is it about Boris Johnson’s track record to date that suggests he more than anyone else can get a favourable Brexit result? What is it in his plans that makes you think he knows what he is doing on Brexit? Why do you insist on talking about “getting this done and moving on” when one, Brexit is supposed to be great and two, we know that whatever option is taken other than just Remaining, it will take years if not decades to sort out the vital details, the new trade deals and the legislation in parliament required?
The only way to slay the mythical beast Brexit has become is to Remain. Only, that probably destroys the Conservative party, at least in the short to medium term, so that’s out. At that point, all you have left is magic.