To-day’s announcement by Boris Johnson of his intention to seek a second term as Mayor of London will be welcomed by many Londoners and come as a huge relief to the current leaders of the Conservative Party. A recent discussion of the question “Should Boris return to Parliament ?” prompts a well-wisher to offer —
For some time a popular, although little organized, movement has been proposing the adoption of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, as leader of Conservatism in the u.k. Let us first consider the reality of the situation.
Some years ago David Cameron, either off his own bat or at Mr. Johnson’s suggestion, stood for election to leadership of the Conservative Party (c.p.) ; his period as leader of H.M. Opposition was reasonably successful and, as 2009 drew to a close with a general election just six months away, the c.p. looked set to take power, after thirteen years, by a margin that brought to mind the days of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
Mr. Cameron however, although enjoying general popularity, espoused many ideas decisively unpopular not only with swing voters but even with the core supporters of the c.p. : most of all the subjugation of the British parliament to the profligate and unaccountable European Union (e.u.) and — in line with the vast majority of the scientifically illiterate body politic — the supranational anthropogenic-global-warming fraud.
On May 7, when the votes had been counted, the consequences were clear : as the electorate had come to realize just how close these critical policies of the c.p. were to those of not only the Liberal-Democrats but even the retiring Labour administration, the vital marginal support the c.p. had enjoyed at the turn of the year had evaporated.
The beneficiaries ? The U.K. Independence Party ; perhaps the British National Party ; in all likelihood, however, the greatest winner of the lost ballots was the ‘none of the above’ party. I suspect even the Liberal-Democrats benefited from the fact that there was nothing to choose between them and the c.p. in the two most important matters before the British people. (“The Conservatives are no different from the Liberals : might as well let the Liberals have a go. They can’t do any worse, can they ?”)
Labour, despite having presided over the most disastrous phase of British history since the Civil War, managed to turn its own vote out ; despite their strenuous efforts, c.p. workers — under the burden of the product they were having to sell — could not match their opponents’ performance.