The Trouble with Boris

Wednesday 27th March

Although this comes a bit late in the day, after the Eddie Mair interview and the BBC2 documentary (though it was more a celeb-gawp) ‘The Irresistible rise of Boris’ I. like almost everyone else in Britain am to a degree fascinated by Boris.

It is a bit like wondering from our wintry shores why the Italians keep on voting for Silvio Berlusconi, or why Bill Clinton’s star never waned after Monica Lewinsky, or even why the Lib-Dems ever got rid of Charlie Kennedy.  There have always been maverick characters in politics, and the public tend to love them.  After all, your average serious politician is boring as fuck.  Who can really get excited about Ed Milliband, or Cameron or Clegg or Osborne.  They are adept and evasive at interviews, and are all career politicians and almost interchangeable.

So what is it about Boris?  He can be ruthless and is a known liar and serial womanizer, but somehow this simply makes him more appealing.  It is as if he speaks above the political world to ordinary people, and even if, when you analyse what he says, it is more often than not lies or hyperbole or exaggeration, somehow you fall under the disarming spell and ignore the words.

The great debate of course is whether he will be the next leader of the Tory party, and eventually Prime Minister.  You never know, and after all the Tories did go completely against all form and elect Maggie as their leader, but I feel circumstances are against him.

Firstly, there is no vacancy, and despite all the gossip, Cameron will lead his troops into the next election, come what may.  Then there three possibilities.  Victory – either outright or as part of Coalition 2, in which case he is still leader.  Defeat in which case he will probably resign, or stalemate in which neither the Tories or Labour have a workable majority, in which case he may continue as a minority aministration for a while. If he resigns and Boris is not an MP he can’t stand as leader.

But even if Cameron does go at some time I think that Boris has peaked too early.  Like Heseltine before him he was the natural successor who got by-passed.  If you really want to know who will be the next Tory leader look at the next generation and people like Grant Shapps.  They are happy to wait maybe ten years before making their bid to be both leader and PM.  Boris may find that he is simply too old when it come to it.