THE LEFT AND THE BORIS JOHNSON REVOLUTION
January 1st, 2020
Franz Wender Unsplash
You would have to be a hardcore leftie – or Nigel Farage – not to have given at least two cheers for the victory of Boris Johnson in last month’s general election. After the past disgraceful three and a half years, the ballot-box routing of the hard-left, soft-left and the globalist/remain establishment certainly had me purring. I am not a Boris believer but you would have to be churlish in the extreme not to welcome what appears to be new thinking in Number Ten after almost 25 years of Blairite/Cameroon, left-liberal, pro-EU managed decline.
It should not have taken as long as it did for someone in Westminster to work out that the wheels were coming off the new dispensation of amoral capitalism, neo-Marxist social and cultural policy larded with colossal, unsustainable immigration levels. June 23, 2016, was an enormous gun fired at an arrogant and complacent establishment. The blast was ignored. By the Brexit end-times of 2018/19 almost anyone with a brain could have jotted down a winning election strategy on the back of a beer mat. Yet it took all of those years of nonsense and the major disaster area of the May administration before the cornered Conservative Party relented and gave the job to Mr Johnson. Whenever one feels like trusting the Tory Party again, one must cast one’s mind back to the Phoney War period we have just passed through, where the Conservatives fervently hoped to hoodwink the public into a Brexit in Name Only (Brino) with large parts of the British media actively participating in the deceit. Yes, the party is under new management but, as with Labour, it would be foolish to forget old crimes. Alas, the public has short memories and Brexit will now rapidly slide towards the backburner of public consciousness. We must be vigilant.
Nevertheless, Mr Johnson has arrived in Downing Street with a splash and a sense of relief not felt in Britain since Margaret Thatcher arrived amid the interminable industrial squabbling and wholesale financial decline of Britain in the Seventies. Like Mr Farage, Mr Johnson has deviated wildly from the standard model of politician proposed by US and British spin doctors from Bill Clinton onwards: Mr Johnson and Mr Farage are not the smarmed down, tie-less, moisturised, low-fat, pluck-browed, smoke-free, politically corrected, skimmed milk politicians which received wisdom declared that television, and therefore by extension the public, wanted. On the contrary Mr Johnson and Mr Farage have paraded themselves as being as human as the next man or woman, and the public up and down the country have taken to that in a big way. To an extent they took to it in the demeanour of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in his early days in the post, until they realised that the old Islington Bennite had an economy-wrecking agenda and had given succour and specious defence to a ragtag and bobtail of Britain’s deadliest and most morally insane enemies.
The future pitfalls of any government are hard to predict with any exactitude but if Mr Johnson governs as he has campaigned it seems clear that a few years of dynamism and, dare I say it, fun are on the cards. Tanks on the lawn at the civil service and pot-shots at the BBC augur well.
Mr Johnson must look to the genius loci of Britain, which, despite the hectoring of the BBC and the broadsheet commentariat, is not partial to top-down managerialism, foreign interference in domestic affairs or indeed socialism. It is however, liberal – in the older meaning of the word – up to a point, and reformist, but very far from zealously so, particularly in the light of the onslaught of political correction these past two decades. Natural justice still holds sway with the public, and politicians who ignore this plain fact – as all prime ministers have to a lesser or greater degree for 30 years – will pay for it eventually. Mr Johnson, take note.
Will the Left give any thought to the events of the past few years and the boil-lancing cataclysm of the 2019 general election? Yes, but not in the way you might think, learning lessons etc. For the broad Left, encompassing John Major and Tony Blair all the way out to the raving Jew haters of Momentum, the lesson of the 2019 election will be that of the Brexit referendum all over again: democracy is a pesky, troublous thing and the more you can remove it from the public’s grasp the better.
Across thousands of dinner parties in modish parts of London in the years to come, the middle-class Left will seethe and plot, much as they did in the long Thatcher years. They will consider and perhaps snatch at new oily messiahs of the Blair variety, but as I said above, the public has been inoculated against such people, a protection I predict will last for some time. I predict they will target the young in an attempt to revive discredited ideas such as Proportional Representation. It will be desperate stuff.
The Left will not give up though, and it infinitely prefers devious manoeuvres to a fight in the open. It is important to remember that its soft power in Britain is enormous: it has the public sector, the professions, the academy and the media sewn up. When it has recovered from the stunning blow of December 12, I predict it will turn nasty. But however many ranting plays at the National Theatre and Royal Court are produced, however much BBC agitprop, staged NHS hysteria, anti-Boris ‘satire’ and Bafta-winning left-wing dramas appear in the coming years, there will be small voices in the most intelligent minds of the Left: if we couldn’t win the debate on Brexit even though we controlled the terms of that debate, then how will we overturn the Boris revolution?
Rex Varro is the pseudonym of a national newspaper journalist