It is common knowledge that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (Boris’ full name) has invariably fantasized and envisaged himself in Number 10 as the British Prime Minister. But, perhaps now, perhaps now it is time for the blonde joke-smith who has developed himself as almost primarily a celebrity and secondarily a politician to let go of his dream. Johnson’s hopes to become PM have taken a substantial, gargantuan and detrimental hit at the direct consequences of being publicly stabbed in the back.
Oh Boris, where has it all gone wrong?
Boris lead a 52% to 48% victory in leaving the EU, but did it all go entirely as planned?
Or was it just a publicity stunt for Johnson to raise his profile? Did Johnson invariably ever conceive that his side could be victorious and that the UK genuinely would leave the EU? We will never know. But one thing we do know is that Johnson did not capitalise on the victory in the way that many expected him to do so.
In Johnson’s first statement posterior to the referendum he stated that it was absolutely not essential to trigger Article 50 anytime soon. Which is a little odd considering he campaigned so hard for Article 50 to be triggered so the UK could consequently detach itself from the EU. Further he noted that it was imperative for the UK to remain in the single-market. However, in response an EU diplomat stated that it was simply not feasible for the UK to remain in the single-market without being part of the EU by announcing “you cannot have your cake and eat it.”
A victory that should have strengthened Johnson has only plagued him and left many questioning whether he has alternative motives.
Betrayed, deceived, mislead, bluffed and double-crossed are how some have described Michael Gove’s treatment of Boris Johnson, but one thing that is for sure is that Gove has supported Johnson’s claims to be PM right until the last minute before turning his back to announce his own quest for leadership.
Gove had always insisted that he would support Johnson should he run for Conservative leadership and Gove has also always maintained that he himself was not interested in the top job. Three weeks ago Gove went on record by stating “The one thing I can tell you is there are lots of talented people who could be Prime Minister after David Cameron but count me out.” Yet in a week where leaked emails started to suggest that perhaps Gove was not whole-heartedly committed to supporting Johnson he announced on Thursday morning that he will be running for leadership himself.
Not only did this inevitably remove Gove’s own support for Johnson, but with him Gove took some of the essential support that was backing Johnson for leader and instead used it to support himself.
Johnson had no option but to come out and withdraw. Referring to the leadership Johnson said “having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament….. I have concluded that person cannot be me…”
In under a week Johnson has gone from the 5/2 favorite to be the next Prime Minister to not even being in the race. Outmaneuvered and ill-calculated Johnson is instead further away from number 10 than he ever has been.
Perhaps it is fitting to reference a quote from Johnson’s personal idol Winston Churchill “politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.”