Sunday, September 1, 2019

Boris Johnson shows the steel and U.K.'s Tories soar in the polls - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

Johnson's stellar capacity to use power has unified Britain, and at just the right time for it.

Not too long ago, Britain's Tories were in the loo, poll-wise.

In a July 21 story headlined, "As Brexit looms, the U.K. Tories fight for survival," NBC News reported:
After almost 10 years in power and 185 years in existence, its voters and members are leaving in droves to support the upstart Brexit Party. A fractious leadership battle has been defined by who can talk the toughest on Europe — a union Britain has been part of for half a century.
And don't think this wasn't the conventional wisdom on all sides - as these stories here and here signal. As wildly opposed as those organs' political lines are, the stories they all put out could have been written by the same person. The Economist put it, quite Britishily, this way, last June 13: "The question is not who will lead the Conservative Party, but whether it will survive." 

Welp. Not anymore. Here's The Sun scarfing up the real story:
BORIS Johnson's gamble to shutdown Parliament has paid off as the Tory's lead over Labour has almost doubled in just three weeks, latest polls have revealed.
The boost comes after the Prime Minister announced his decision to prorogue Parliament for nearly five weeks next month in order to deliver Brexit.
The shock move was approved by the Queen, leaving just days for a possible vote of no confidence in Boris, or for rebel MPs to pass a law to push back the Brexit date.
And latest polls has seen the Tory's lead over Labour almost double in three weeks since the decision.
Suck it up, doomsayers. Rule, Britannia! What's fair to say here is that something has changed, and that change is the one change that really matters, that of the new personality influencing events. 

Britain has a new leader, Boris Johnson, its last-ditch gamble on the man with the slightly wild and unexpected personality who seems to have understood the stakes and recognized the kind of power that was needed to correct it. He's acted ruthlessly on Britain's far-left oppostionists and obstructionists and the British voters are throwing their support to him in droves. Turns out that's exactly what Britain -- and its old Tory party -- really needed.

According to the Sun:
More than half said they were happy with the PM's decision to prorogue Parliament for nearly five weeks next month - and four in ten were "extremely happy".
A poll of Sun readers described the decision as brave, decisive, excellent and fantastic. Others said they were ecstatic and delighted to hear the news.
Nearly three quarters of the 630 respondents said they thought it was more likely now that Boris would finally be able to get us out of the EU by October 31.
What it shows us here is that Johnson is a power player - and a risk taker, and a man with a general-like use of strategy. Johnson's stellar beginning came of his step to first neutralize the leftist clown show at home, taking quite a risk to get the Queen to shut down parliament, and now he's amassing the national unity needed to slay the dragons Britain faces abroad as it tries to extricate itself from the European Union morass. This is one hell of a good beginning.
Conrad Black, who follows British affairs closely, has written a superb explainer of how Britain's power structure works and how Johnson has showed significant genius in using it to bend the 'arc of progress' (as Obama likes to say) toward the will of the British voters. Not surprisingly, his party is now soaring in the polls. Black begins deliciously, and his piece just get better and better:
No one in this country should underestimate the significance, for Canada and the world, of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ingenious measure for assuring the end of the crisis of immobilized government that has possessed the United Kingdom in the past three years. In 2016, 52 per cent of a heavy turnout of British voters chose to leave the European Union. The minority voted to remain — there was no option on the ballot for a compromise. The stark choice was selected by former prime minister David Cameron, because he was convinced that there was no chance that Britain, whatever its level of grumbling, would choose to “crash out” of the association with Europe in which the political elites were comfortable.
The British are the wrong electorate to bluff with such an artificially polar choice. The European Union has had the habit of simply ignoring negative votes in member countries and of waiting for the national governments to frighten their populations into reconsidering their rash decisions. This was what happened with the French, the Danes, and the Irish, and on the second try, the Unionists won. But those votes were not on such fundamental issues, and the negative votes were against the wishes of the incumbent governing parties, and no other European country has such an extensive history in worldwide activities or is as geographically insular as Britain.
This is amazing. The Tories are back. The British really are going to get what they voted for when the voted to leave. And now they have a leader who knows what he's doing. Small wonder he and his party are now soaring. Good job, Boris!
Image credit: Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of detail from an image by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General // CC BY-SA 2.0

Monica Showalter


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