No-one can replace Boris | Oscar Yuill


Loath though I am to admit it, I think Conservative MPs should place their confidence in Boris Johnson. This is for all the obvious reasons but these can be boiled down to one: there is no one to replace him – no one remotely as popular, that is.

Of course, to judge by their policies it’s by no means obvious the Conservative Party even wants to be popular. If we were French, our response to the soaring taxes, idiotic green levies and pension raids to which we’re being subjected would involve the sort of weaponry we can’t even afford, namely petrol. But we are not French, as the Jubilee seems to have confirmed; and the Tories’ majority can’t fairly be attributed to anyone, or anything, but Boris. It is hard to imagine Priti Patel or Rishi Sunak winning much more than a primary school egg race.

Admittedly I am tired of hearing that Boris gets ‘the big calls right’. Those dying of unscreened cancers (or of boredom on NHS waiting lists) might beg to differ. Likewise with tax-savaged incomes. Taxes are a legal form of theft by which the useless steal money from the useful to spend uselessly. Don’t we know it. And then there’s the larger question – so seldom addressed – of what the point is of a Conservative Party that doesn’t conserve anything. Worse, it refuses to mend some of the damage done by past governments. With an 80 seat majority Boris could bring back grammar schools, Peelite policing, a world-beating train system and more.

But the Tories have at least the potential to change tack. Under Labour – hyper-progressive, anti-Semitic and stuffed with what Boris, to his credit, called ‘supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies’ – we stand to lose irrevocably more. If only for that, Boris must stay.


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