Boris Johnson is no fool
Sir, – Fintan O’Toole rightly draws attention in his column to Boris Johnson’s willingness to lie but I question the headline “Johnson is the fool who would play the king” (Opinion & Analysis, June 18th).
Mr Johnson is no fool; indeed, his intelligence coupled with his chosen image of jokey-blokey “Boris” are reasons to consider him dangerous. He gets away with things that no other politician could, defending vicious dog-whistle comments as “satire” or “plain speaking”. He has helped to foul political discourse through a calculated, if seemingly casual, conflation of truth and opinion.
Take him seriously! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Fintan O’Toole is right that Boris Johnson “was by far the most influential figure in the (Brexit) referendum campaign”.
He is known as the “Heineken candidate” because he can win over parts of the electorate that other Tories cannot reach.
Mr Johnson will almost certainly be the next Tory leader. He will surely call a general election shortly after being crowned British prime minister.
He’s ensuring his success in the Conservative leadership race by making an undeliverable promise. He says that Britain will definitely leave the EU on October 31st, either with a newly renegotiated withdrawal deal or through a no-deal crash-out.
However, Brussels has already made it clear that it will not change the substance of the deal agreed with Theresa May, and the House of Commons won’t allow a no-deal Brexit.
Therefore the ex-foreign secretary’s best chance of long-term success as prime minister is to use his undoubted personal popularity to try immediately to win a strong popular electoral mandate of his own.
Then he’ll try to muddle through and hope to hang onto the top job while somehow getting the UK through Brexit. – Yours, etc,