On the 24th of June Britain voted to leave the European Union turning Westminster into a confused, gibbering chaotic mess as they watched David Cameron resign without triggering article 50, leaving the next Conservative Leader a dead man/women walking. A week later madness still reigns supreme with most of the Parliamentary Labour Party losing its mind and the rest of it waiting gleefully for the Chilcot report. Across the benches, the Conservative Party are having a leadership election that resembles a left-winger’s darkest nightmare, consisting of Stephen Crabbe, Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox, Michael Gove and Theresa May. But where is Boris? Boris Johnson, the figurehead for the Leave campaign, the saviour of Britain from European immigration, the man who was expected to replace Cameron, and yet he backed out at the last second. Why?
Maybe Boris Johnson is a coward. Cameron failed to trigger article 50 leaving that responsibility and the responsibility to deal with the ensuing mess of legislation, Scottish and Irish independence, trade deals, a potential recession, immigration, Gibraltar, the asylum seekers in Calais, all while running a divided country on the brink of a financial meltdown. Any one of those crises will be enough to make a prime minister resign let alone all of them. Boris would have been screwed from the beginning and he knew it, you could see it on his miserable face after Cameron announced his resignation. If Johnson became Conservative leader and therefore PM, his rule would have been short and his political career obliterated.
But I don’t buy the argument that Boris Johnson, after the political manoeuvring and campaigning, would give up on the top job so easily. Michael Gove has replaced Boris as the leave campaigns sacrificial lamb being dragged to inevitable slaughter, after what he did to my education I will enjoy watching it happen with a bowl of popcorn. So far, Theresa May seems the most likely to win as the other candidates are seen by the public and the conservative party as utterly incompetent. Unlike Gove, Theresa May has not been the centre of a crisis and is presenting an argument for pragmatism, one nation conservatism and ‘social reform’, placing herself on the liberal side of the Conservative party. She will inevitably face the crises that Boris is attempting to avoid and will most probably be forced to resign as a consequence. And right on cue Boris’s obnoxious face and blonde hair will pop up to replace her, positioning himself on the right of the Conservative party, blaming May for the crises while secretly taking advantage of the fact that she’s cleaned up his mess. That, I personally believe, is Boris Johnson’s machiavellian plan to avoid the minefield Cameron left him. If I’m wrong, then the man is a coward who got smashed at your party, lied about the amount of alcohol he was bringing, projectile vomited all over your living room, and then left without volunteering to clean it up.
Of course, this is not inevitable, the progressive left in this country need to unite in order to ensure that the Conservative party are pushed out of power and the Blairites in the Labour Party need to suck it up or leave. We the people deserve a better future, and if we want that future we need to take advantage of the fact that the Westminster bubble has been torn apart by Brexit shrapnel.