Saturday 11 August 2018

To The Utter Ruin of Both

After centuries of despising the Highlanders, the Stuarts eventually fell back on them. As the saying goes, "to the utter ruin of both."

Boris Johnson managed to be elected Mayor of London twice. He holds nothing that remotely resembles a socially conservative view on any issue. He has been known to voice the Classicists' cliché that Christianity overthrew a superior civilisation.

And he did little, if anything, more than toss a coin in order to decide whether to treat the readers of the Daily Telegraph to his article that advocated a Leave vote, or to his article that advocated a Remain vote.

In the end, he turned up to the Leave campaign at the last minute in order to claim the credit, even though the areas that had swung the referendum had in fact done so as a rejection of everything for which he stood.

We had already had Thatcherism In One Country for 29 years and under all three parties, ever since the Callaghan Government's turn to monetarism in 1977. That was why we voted Leave. And Leave won because we voted for it.

Since then, Johnson's career has imploded. After a spell as the worst Foreign Secretary in living memory, he and David Davis resigned from the Cabinet on the same day.

Yet within 36 hours, no one was even pretending to have cared. Johnson's resignation speech was delivered to a mostly empty chamber, and he had to make do with being flanked by Nadine Dorries.

But then along came an article in which the references to letterboxes and to bank robbers had no connection to the main point, but which have had their desired effect of making everyone remember that Boris Johnson existed.

The most important consequence has been verbal and physical attacks on Muslim women.

The concentration, however, is on the reaction among the kind of people who most certainly could not be elected Mayor of London, who most certainly do not believe that everything started to go wrong at Milan in AD 313, and who never had any doubt which side they were on when it came to the EU referendum.

He is not one of them. He cares no more for them than he does for Muslim women.

The consolation is that they are of no real use to him, since they cannot deliver him the Leadership of a Conservative Party that is permanently controlled by their enemies, and since they cannot begin to deliver him victory at a General Election.

At the last one, UKIP took 1.8 per cent of the vote and won no seats, while a Conservative Party that had decided to dig out grammar schools and foxhunting lost its overall majority, leading to a deal with the DUP that entirely abandoned the principle of austerity.

Like most leading Conservatives, Boris Johnson has always despised the Right. But he has now fallen back on them. To the utter ruin of both.

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