Like me, Mark Steyn we can have confidence in Boris Johnson’s desire to be regarded as a Man of Destiny and a historical figure of note:
Like Boris, Theresa May schemed and maneuvered for decades to reach the top spot …and, by the time she pulled it off, she’d spent so much time and effort on the scheming and maneuvering that she had no idea of what to do once she got there. Boris is likewise invested in himself, but, having reached the finial of Disraeli’s greasy pole, he doesn’t intend to be just the latest seat-filler. Mrs May wanted to be prime minister; Johnson wants to be a great and consequential prime minister.
Does that make him a philosophical Brexiteer? Doubtful. In the 2016 referendum, he considered the Leave and Remain choices in terms of what served his interests. To favor Remain meant supporting David Cameron, the de facto leader of the cause, and consigning himself to being a mere gentleman of the chorus. Whereas, if he chose the other side, his star power would make him the face of the campaign. He expected the Remain guys to win, and himself to have done himself a world of good with the Tory base come the next leadership election. Instead, and at least partly because of him, Leave won, and the chaos of the last three years began.
Something of a similar head fake is going on right now. A threatened “no deal” departure on October 31st is supposedly being touted by Boris just to force the EU into re-negotiating Theresa May’s floppo “withdrawal agreement”. So M Barnier and his backstop boy Leo Varadkar are insisting that’ll never happen, and it’s the May deal or nuthin’. Let them huff on. My view is that the whole re-negotiation thing is a feint, and Boris actually wants to leave with no deal. He wants a clean split – and the UK reborn as a sovereign nation, no ifs or buts. Whether he wants it because that’s his preferred public policy or because it cements his place in history is unimportant if you happen to believe, as I do, that that’s in the best interests of the United Kingdom.
Greatness beckons, Boris.