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Today Boris Johnson has been elected leader of the Conservative party, and tomorrow he will be crowned Prime Minister.
I’m a lot more optimistic about Boris than many people seem to be. On Brexit, certainly, I think he’ll do the right thing — not least because all the other options have been exhausted.
But I’m also prepared to be disappointed.
So which will it be? Bold Boris or Useless Boris?
Problems - Order - Destiny
We’ll know soon enough. Here are some of the problems he’ll need to tackle successfully in order to fulfil his Churchillian destiny.
Brexit-in-name-only won’t be enough. Theresa May tried and failed several times to get that one through and the people weren’t having it. Boris has committed to leaving the EU with or without a deal on October 31st. And if he doesn’t it will be career suicide.
Sign - Boris - Amber - Rudd - Cabinet
The first sign we’ll have that Boris is going to fail is if Amber Rudd appears prominently in his Cabinet. Look, Boris: I understand your desire to be liked and you fear of going out on a limb, but as Tim Stanley argues so persuasively here, now is not the time to compromise by reaching out to your enemies and bringing them into the One Nation fold.
That’s what the parliamentary Conservative party has been doing since Thatcher; that’s why it has failed so dismally — too many closet Lib Dems and Greens have been promoted at the expense of actual Conservatives. There is plenty of sound talent out there: Liz Truss; Priti Patel; Steve Baker; Esther McVey; Andrew Bridgen; Owen Paterson and, of course, the matchless Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Spoil - Thing - Holdovers - Regime - Everything
Why spoil a good thing by rewarding holdovers from the discredited old regime who despise everything you stand for and who are only sucking up to your now because their miserable livelihoods depend on it.
A senior Conservative minister once complained to...
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