Forum Message

Topic: Boris's Dilemma
Posted by: Gordon Southwell
Date/Time: 02/09/19 20:49:00

After today's events I'm sure most people are as confused an uncertain about what is going on in UK politics as I am. Things are happening at such a pace it is difficult to keep track. 

To make sense of it I thought it might be an idea to step back from the febrile atmosphere of news coverage of events and try and simplify what is going on.

To start this it is probably best to accept from the outset that Boris Johnson has no guiding principles. That is meant as an observation rather than a criticism. Before opting to support Leave he laid out both sides of the argument and says he agonised over which to choose. That wasn't because he would have been persuaded by the strongest argument, he wanted to pick which would be best for his career.

Boris has cultivated the party membership since he started in politics and, far more than any other Conservative politician has recognised that this is where true power lies within the party. Once he became leader it is now almost impossible to remove him as he will always have the backing of the membership.

Getting close to the party rank and file has also made him well aware of their views and he was quick to realise they were unremittingly Eurosceptic. That they generally leaned that way was well known but he picked up quickly that since the referendum they had become obsessed with the issue beyond any other to the point that they would willingly compromise the economy or the Union to get Brexit.

This meant that he knew any chance of him not becoming leader would be eliminated by him being the most unreservedly pro-Brexit candidate for leader. Right from the start he laid out his stall and effectively eliminated Dominic Raab who had previously outdone him for unbending Euroscepticism.

However, this meant that he need to make pledges such as an unbreakable commitment to leave on 31 October.

Having become leader he had to face the problem of his inadequate majority in the House which meant that any meaningful legislative programme was impractical even without Brexit.

The normal solution would have been to call a general election but he faced the problem of another inadequate majority  that by which he holds Uxbridge and Hillingdon. If the Brexit party actively contests the seat and the Remain parties form an effective alliance he would probably lose.

Therefore he needs to fight the election with some sort of pact with the Brexit party in place. The problem is that they are unlikely to stand aside unless he commits to a very hard Brexit as a campaign platform which his MPs may be unwilling to support. Assuming there is an election on 14 October cabinet would probably want him to say they would go for a negotiated deal without the backstop which the Brexit party say is not Brexit.

This probably explains his confused and fairly pointless statement today. It would appear that the legislative challenge to 'no deal' Brexit is likely to work otherwise he wouldn't be threatening MPs with a loss of the whip. He now faces the choice of accepting an extension and missing the 31 October deadline or calling an election but he can't put no deal back on the table as a policy stance.

However, an election would be an incredible roll of the dice. There are so many variables but the most likely outcome at this stage seems to be a Remain coalition with some chance that Boris may lose his seat. Of course a lot could happen in the meantime but Boris is essentially saddled with a policy stance that might appeal to his party's members but is unpalatable to the broader electorate. He probably recognises the chance of losing is high.

On the other hand toughing it out as PM and reneging on his commitment to leave by 31 October even under duress may end his political career. Even he would have to consider resignation. 

Neither of theses choices are particularly palatable for him but at least he has a dog now to give him some comfort.

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Boris's Dilemma02/09/19 20:49:00 Gordon Southwell
   Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 10:10:00 Tricia Arbuthnot
      Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 10:41:00 Andy Jones
   Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 10:53:00 Leslie Bailey
      Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 11:23:00 Andy Jones
         Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 11:33:00 Leslie Bailey
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 13:24:00 N V Brooks
               Reply03/09/19 14:12:00 Gordon Southwell
                  Re:Reply03/09/19 14:36:00 N V Brooks
                     Reply03/09/19 14:50:00 Gordon Southwell
                        Re:Reply03/09/19 15:15:00 N V Brooks
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 13:25:00 Simon Hayes
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 14:54:00 Peter Chadburn
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 17:37:00 Paul James
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 17:41:00 Paul James
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma03/09/19 18:25:00 Simon Hayes
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma04/09/19 00:56:00 Leslie Bailey
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma04/09/19 09:32:00 Simon Hayes
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma04/09/19 10:19:00 Leslie Bailey
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma04/09/19 12:12:00 Paul James
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma04/09/19 15:39:00 Peter Chadburn
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma04/09/19 19:20:00 Leslie Bailey
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma05/09/19 10:35:00 Paul James
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma05/09/19 11:45:00 Peter Chadburn
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma05/09/19 12:16:00 Paul James
                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma05/09/19 15:19:00 John Bergin
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma05/09/19 16:10:00 Simon Hayes
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma20/09/19 23:01:00 Brian Conneller
   Re:Boris's Dilemma05/09/19 18:21:00 Martin Cain
      Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma06/09/19 00:34:00 Leslie Bailey
         Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma08/09/19 17:46:00 Peter Chadburn
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 08:35:00 Simon Hayes
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 09:13:00 Graham Weeks
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 10:51:00 Leslie Bailey
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 11:38:00 Paul James
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 11:39:00 Paul James
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 11:40:00 Paul James
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 11:41:00 Paul James
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 12:00:00 Simon Hayes
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma09/09/19 18:15:00 Peter Chadburn
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma10/09/19 10:33:00 Leslie Bailey
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma10/09/19 13:03:00 Philippa Bond
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma10/09/19 16:24:00 Paul James
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma20/09/19 16:29:00 Andy Jones
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma20/09/19 17:55:00 Peter Chadburn
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Boris's Dilemma24/09/19 13:29:00 Simon Hayes

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