Boris has become the Norma Desmond of the Tories & wants his last close up. He could wreak havoc & destruction on Europe
1 Sep 2015 at 08:39
Over the next few months prepare to see more and more of George Osborne and less and less of David Cameron. We are witnessing a seamless passing of the mantle of power. By the time 2020 arrives there would have been no need to be a year or so’s introduction to the electorate. By then they would have visualised George as the man waiting in the wings. He would look like a Prime Minister simply because he has been allowed to. And yesterday’s delightfully cynical announcement of a £500m investment in Faslane was just the beginning.
Most commentators thought that Cameron was mad announce that he would not fight another election as leader of the Conservatives, but it was a shrewd move. The golden rule in British politics is that the favourite to win the leadership of any political party rarely does. Butler, Whitelaw, Healey, Heseltine, Davis and David Miliband bear painful witness to that. They lost for a whole range of differing reasons and different circumstances, but in the eyes of the chatterati they were all front runners.
What we are witnessing with the Tories is almost unique. A Prime Minister is anointing his successor in actions rather than words, which shows the personal trust that they have built up over the years. It could have been the easiest thing in the world for Cameron to have ditched Osborne as Shadow Chancellor when the going was rough with mad financial journalists baying for his blood. Rather than take the traditional route of allowing aides to brief against him Osborne moved into the same office as a public and personal demonstration of support.
All this Osbornisation (well, it’s hardly Osbomania) is driving the other leadership contenders nuts. Boris will become the Norma Desmond of the Tories refusing to accept that his political looks are fading and is no longer good box office. But he is demanding his last close up Mr. De Mille and will soon get it soon; Europe. The wailing of sirens and hooters should be reverberating around Number 10. This is when Boris will be at his most dangerous. This is his large chance for the big one.
Watch Boris very closely. Borisologists should scrutinise every word that he utters. Nothing is as it seems. He will feign loyalty to Cameron, but he is the Galileo of the Conservative party in that he is convinced that the political universe revolves around him. He will be invited by mischievous producers to pronounce on Europe in the hope of tempting him to depart from the script. The script? You must be joking. Not a chance. Keeping Boris remotely on message is like trying keep an alcoholic away from the beer tent. The first test will be how he votes or what he pronounces on government money being spent on ‘promoting’ the EU which has become something of a fetish for the Amish wing. The dilemma is whether you give him a proper job before the referendum campaign begins in the hope that collective responsibility might just keep him on side. But then there is the risk that he would do a Heseltine and resign.
So the perfect storm for Boris would be for a NO to remain in the EU vote. The architects of the the YES campaign, Cameron and Osborne could not possibly stay on. An guess who would accept the crown?
So whose side will Boris be on during the referendum? Why Boris’s of course! And you thought that Jeremy Corbyn will have problems. Yet the trail of Tory destruction wreaked by Boris on manoeuvres is Corbyn’s best hope of winning in 2020. It seems unthinkable at the moment. But……….it’s always the unexpected, unexpected. And the Johnson tanks will soon be trekking towards the perfectly manicured lawns of Numer 10 and 11.