June 30, 2016

"This is not a time to quail, it is not a crisis, nor should we see it as an excuse for wobbling or self-doubt..."

... but this is not a moment for him to step up to the task.

Boris Johnson has concluded that he can't be the one to succeed David Cameron and lead the UK through Brexit.

Consider Theresa May, the home secretary:
Ms. May has been occasionally likened to Margaret Thatcher, the former Conservative prime minister, as they both came from humble roots. “I grew up the daughter of a local vicar, and the granddaughter of a regimental sergeant-major,” Ms. May said. “Public service has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.
Many people come from humble roots, but she's also a woman, but it takes more than that to be Margaret Thatcher. Good luck, though.

There's also Michael Gove, whose decision to seek the job seems to be what provoked Johnson to withdraw.
Mr. Gove, who was unpopular in his previous cabinet post as education secretary, has been a close friend of Mr. Cameron. The prime minister’s aides have been widely reported as seeking to block the rise of Mr. Johnson, who only backed “Leave” at the last minute, even though Mr. Cameron had promised him his choice of almost any job in the government to back “Remain.”

21 comments:

Tarrou said...

I wonder if NPR will do a retraction for their shameful hit piece on Johnson, making the whole leave campaign out to be his personal vehicle to the prime minister's spot.

Hagar said...

The Great Maggie is a high bar, but Theresa May definitely is a strong person.

sykes.1 said...

In as much as the leave faction is essentially a fringe group in Parliament, how does someone supporting leave become Prime Minister? How does the process of leave actually start?

As noted in Samizdata, the real pressure to leave is Nigel Farage and the UKIP. If the British elite manager to nullify the leave referendum (which they can do legally), Farage will be the Prime Minister in a year or so, and the UKIP will replace the Tories and many Laborites. But that is a long way off.

Fred Rawlings said...

The framework of government in England bodes well for some kind of good resolution for this. Of course my investment banker friend in London is dismayed, as well as Cambridge friends.
The whole thing boils down to one thing.

Inviting Immigration is not an Economic Stimulus Package for a country. It can have good or ill effects but it leaves out one thing.

WHERE ARE THE GOOD JOBS.

Hagar said...

Immigration is one thing.
Invasion is another.

Hagar said...

Also issuing regulations for the angular curvature of bananas that can be sold.
No to mention making selling any item by English units a crime punishable by law.

AprilApple said...

You guys want Obama? He's corrupt, he's petulant, he knows nothing about actual economics, and he uses intimidation tactics against his political enemies while his minions cheer. - No you say? I understand.

Michael said...

Althouse:

I clipped and saved to my Evernote quote notebook that very quote from Boris. Very Churchillian. He will be the PM in due course.

Mattman26 said...

Johnson "only backed 'Leave' at the last minute?" Not sure what "last minute" means in NYT-land, but Johnson was a forceful voice for "Leave" at least throughout the intense final weeks of the campaign, notwithstanding that all the right people knew that "Leave" could never pass.

And of course the fact that he stood for "Leave" notwithstanding Cameron's offer of any job he wanted . . . that should get scored as a good thing, right?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I really like the way British politicians speak.

But if I were British, I'd probably hate it.

My cross to bear.

madAsHell said...

Maybe they can find a transgender store clerk named Misty...

exhelodrvr1 said...

Her family history of public service is almost as good as Hillary's!

AReasonableMan said...

This is probably the smart play for Boris. Let someone else take all the flak from the EU and Brexit. And, when they lie dying in the trenches, then step over them to take the leadership.

Sebastian said...

"I wonder if NPR will do a retraction for their shameful hit piece" Not, umm, really, right?

"Maybe they can find a transgender store clerk named Misty." Not sure about nationality rules for PM, but UK could do worse than Misty May. I'd take Kerry Walsh Jennings for Prez over here, and the special relationship would get really special.

rehajm said...

A scorecard of UK politics to help out the Yanks

JAORE said...

"Also issuing regulations for the angular curvature of bananas that can be sold."

Thank God that can't happen here in the Home Of The Free.

21 USC section 333... make it a crime to sell fruit cocktail if > 20% of the pineapple sectors have an outside arc of more than 3/4 inch.

The Founding Fathers would be so proud.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, all politics is personal in more ways than one, and this is definitely one of those ways. Cameron was two years behind Boris at Eton, they've been linked together for a long time, and Team Cameron can't abide the disloyalty.

Sounds a bit like Jeb and Marco, doesn't it, at least at the level of personal dynamics. Unlike Jeb, Boris took the measure of the situation, determined he couldn't win and bowed out. No doubt there was more to the calculation that he couldn't win than the enmity of Team Cameron, but that was clearly a big part of it.

So, good for Boris in not staying in and dividing the Tory electorate for no real purpose. Now, it's just a matter of whether he throws his support to Gove, or stays neutral for a while. (Another parallel to the Jeb and Marco dust-up, assuming that Gove's own ambitions were part of Boris' calculus leading to his pulling out.)

narciso said...

Its house of cards classic, with a touch of Trollope's the pallisers.

dwick said...

"...but it takes more than that to be Margaret Thatcher"

Althouse channeling her inner-Lloyd Bentsen for us...
(i.e., "You're no Jack Kennedy")

Nancy Reyes said...

I am not familiar with this person, but I believe in the British class system that a grocer is looked down upon as working class, whereas a victor is a gentleman.

mockturtle said...

Vicar, yes. This is true, and a grocer, or any small businessman, is working class.