Communication, Revitalisation, Reinvigoration – Why the Conservatives must back Boris │ Joshua Ellis
I can recall a great sinking feeling watching the exit poll at ten o’clock on June the 8th 2017. After campaigning for the snap General Election across two counties in the heart of England, as a 19-year-old I had failed to realise or did not want to believe that the Conservatives would lose their already slim majority.
Hindsight really is a wonderful thing.
In the aftermath of that night I had to consider why Jeremy Corbyn had done so well despite all odds – and then it hit me: we Conservatives on the doorstep had only one thing to offer, only one thing to say; “Brexit”. No great optimistic look to the future, nothing to change and to better this country just that vote for us and we would deliver Brexit – oh yes, and provide “Strong and Stable leadership”. Whereas Jeremey Corbyn had mustered great enthusiasm amongst his grassroots, engaged a whole generation of young people, but most importantly offered something to the people. Rightly or wrongly, deliverable or not, he had tapped into the hope that things would change.
For years now the disenfranchisement between the membership of the Conservative party and those at the top has been growing. Indeed, it was the threatening vote of no confidence by Conservative Association Chairmen at an unprecedented meeting which made the ground beneath Theresa May’s feet begin to wobble even more. A broken party, a disunited party does not win elections, to fight to win, whoever is leader must energise the membership and give them something to believe in, something to fight for to have hope in, I believe that man is Boris Johnson.
Name me one other Conservative politician who has the same recognition with the public than Boris. He has unrivalled capability to be instantly recognisable to the public. His record speaks for itself, winning two mayoral elections in a traditionally Labour-voting city and running an executive well, not only shows that Boris is a proven winner but capable too. When Boris speaks he cuts through all the surrounding political jargon in an age of 24 hour news and can speak to those who are not political junkies who do battle on various social networking sites but to men and women who have to juggle everything that goes with modern life and the challenges they face.
Boris’s part to play in the 2016 referendum showed that, undoubtably, people took note when he spoke and as to which side he chose. His inherent belief that Britain can not only do well but prosper outside the European Union is the same optimism that he can bring to the position of Prime Minister. I am not talking about nationalism but about quiet patriotism, a belief that Britain and her people are still proud of who we are. This is the optimistic forward-looking notion that this country’s best days lie ahead, it is the hope that we conservatives must use to counteract the talking down narrative of Britain by Jeremy Corbyn. It is Boris who is best to communicate that we still believe in this great outward looking country of ours.
The Conservatives face a battle on two fronts: support that is collapsing; and mistrust in the Conservative party over failing to deliver Brexit. As the polling suggests, Boris is the only candidate who can win back voters from the Brexit Party and the one best placed to take on Jeremey Corbyn as a charismatic leader of the party who connects with the public. If people like one thing about politicians, it is when they speak their mind and are not afraid to do so. This iron determination for Boris to fight on behalf of Britain must not be underestimated – and as the European Elections showed, ambiguity is the loser. Making it clear that we are prepared to walk away without a deal but with the optimism that Britain can still succeed should bring a different angle to any negotiations with the European Union.
At a time when voters, through no fault of their own, are looking to the extremes because of the failure of the Conservative Party to deliver Brexit – or, similarly, voters become so disillusioned with politics in this country that they will just turn off. Boris has the ability to re-establish and ignite those feelings in a constructive way. Give the people something to vote for and they will do so; a clear choice between a business friendly, patriotic proud Conservative party compared to the socialist, backward-looking Labour Party. With Boris as leader we will have in him a stoic force to be reckoned with who is not afraid to take the socialist polices of Jeremy Corbyn and fight them with free enterprise, social mobility and a clear plan to keep Britain a success.
Boris’s charisma with a humorous, human touch combined with an ability to communicate and uplift an audience to stir passion must be the Achilles-heel that can defeat Jeremy Corbyn. A true Conservative taking on a socialist has been done before, a warrior to unashamedly stand up for Conservative principles has to lead the party again. The battle of ideas that we thought was won has to be fought once more; we conservatives have to be ready for that with a leader who can take us forward into an election with the confidence of their membership.
Boris believes and has that confidence in the potential of the British people to go forward into a new age outside the European Union; he has the communication needed to connect with the people up and down this land; the ability to be forthright and optimistic. It is time that Conservatives form around a new leader, to back him in this patriotic vision and to let “this lion roar.”