Saturday, 30 September 2017

Boris smells blood - Theresa May has always been a weak leader

"Several months before the general election, Boris Johnson returned to the Foreign Office after a meeting with Theresa May, flanked by her powerful joint Chiefs of Staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. It was clear to him who was in control – and it wasn’t the Prime Minister. “That’s modern slavery right there,” he told a colleague. More recently, he’s told allies that the disastrous general election result has left the Prime Minister a shell of her former self. Her mighty aides have been dispatched and the failed snap election hangs over every meeting. Her body language, he has told allies, is shrunken."

So begins an interesting article 
Gary Gibbon that suggests that Boris Johnson thinks that Theresa May will not last for the whole of this Parliament (I am sure that is right) and he has one last hope of becoming leader of the Conservative Party. I think he is in many ways not up to the job, had concluded that he'd be a disaster, but I have to say that he certainly would be better than Theresa May. 

Perhaps it's not such a bad idea.

She clearly did depend heavily on the advice of her two gruesome advisers, who behaved with extraordinary gracelessness to cabinet ministers and yet who were remarkably unfit for the role of eminences grises. This is evidence that she is weak and lacks the self confidence needed in a leader, something which is anyway all too clear.

This passage from the account published in The Times by Katie Perrior, who worked alongside Mr Timothy and Mrs Hill, of the 'painful' ten months when she was 'director of communications' in Downing St., tells us so much not only about Mrs May's curious relationship with these two people but about Mrs. May herself. 
"For two people who have never achieved elected office, I was staggered at the disrespect they showed on a daily basis. I never hated them. I felt sorry for them and how they measured success by how many enemies they had clocked up."
"Mrs May doesn’t need street fighters now, she needs people with charm and diplomacy to get her through the next few weeks and months."
Ms Perrior also revealed how Mrs Hill was slapped down by Theresa May on the day of the Copeland by-election - where the Conservatives pulled off a stunning upset by beating Labour - after she suggested Boris Johnson should be sent up to the seat.
"Fiona protested and the Prime Minister overruled her, saying: “Fiona, I’d like to know what the point of all this is. If Boris goes up there today, he will be in tomorrow’s papers and that will be too late. Anyone who knows anything about campaigning knows that", she said.
"The room fell silent. I wanted the floor to swallow me up. The prime minister had, for once, dared to raise her voice, a rare moment. Normally we would all sit there while Fiona would raise some bats-t crazy idea and not say a word. This one clearly had the Prime Minister rattled."
Boris at least seems to have some idea of where he wants to lead Britain. I like it that he said a few hours ago,
“There is no point in coming out of the EU and then remaining in rotational orbit around it. That is the worst of both worlds.”
If Boris has a chance to become Prime Minister it is before, not after, Brexit. But I don't think he'll manage it, if that is what he is trying to do.  On the other hand, he is no doubt sincerely worried that Theresa May is going to fumble the ball again and botch Brexit. 

So is everyone. 

All politicians operate on more than one level - combining principle and ambition. Boris is hated by people who hate him more because of his principles than his lack of them.


  1. I support the independence of the United Kingdom - not in "2021", now. However, even Mr Johnson has accepted "2021" (how that is a "two year transition period when we voted in 2016 is not explained). As for Mrs May - I have no comment I wish to make about Mrs May. I do not wish to think about Mrs May.

  2. When are you going to get it into your head that Boris Johnson is concerned only with Boris Johnson? His whole raison d'etre is the furtherment of his interests. I saw it at university and it hasn't changed.