Boris Johnson’s greatest flaw is that he wants to be adored – but if he is to be a great PM he has to upset people

Boris Johnson’s greatest flaw is that he wants to be adored – but if he is to be a great PM he has to upset people


AS Boris Johnson sees his working majority reduced to just one, it is hard to believe that Brexit will soon be over.

But before very long, this country will either be independent and free, forging new trade alliances around the world, or Brexit will fall at the final hurdle, parliamentary arithmetic will make Brexit impossible, Article 50 will be revoked, and we will stay in the EU after all.

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Boris Johnson needs to realise that pleasing everyone all the time can be pulled off if you’re a media star, TV personality and a maverick MP, not when you’re Prime Minister[/caption]

But one way or the other, it will be done — and quite soon.

Then the Prime Minister — Boris Johnson when and if he delivers Brexit — will have to decide what kind of country we are going to live in.

Johnson’s greatest flaw is that he wants to be adored. Even on the bitterly divisive subject of Brexit, it feels like Boris believes he can win the country round with his bumbling charm and bushy-tailed optimism.

This trick of pleasing all the folk all the time can be pulled off if you are a media star, TV personality and a maverick MP. But it is much harder when you are Prime Minister.

The PMs who are most loved are the ones who are also the most loathed — Margaret Thatcher is the obvious example.

And there are some tough decisions waiting down the post-Brexit road that will make it impossible for Boris to please everyone.

Beyond the deafening debate around Brexit, some hard choices are already dropping into the BoJo in-tray.

WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY IS BRITAIN?

For example, do we want to live in a country where the law is applied differently to the rich and powerful than it is to everyone else?

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland proclaims that suspects accused of sex offences and serious crimes should remain anonymous until charged, but only if they have a reputation to protect.

“Let’s say you are a reputable businessperson accused of fraud,” the Justice Secretary told The Times.

“Your good name is going to be undermined by this mere accusation. There might be a meritorious case for anonymity.”

DJ Paul Gambaccini, who was arrested but never charged in a 2013 sex offences probe, welcomed the Justice Secretary’s comments.

And, of course, we all react with horror when an innocent man such as Paul — or Sir Cliff Richard, or the blameless victims of lying paedophile fantasist Carl Beech — are falsely accused and have their lives wrecked.

PA:Press Association

Robert Buckland claims that anyone questioned over serious crimes like rape or fraud should remain anonymous until they are charged – but only if they have a reputation to protect[/caption]

But the Justice Secretary seems to be recommending a society where the law is not applied equally to everyone, regardless of status and reputation.

“Not Government policy,” says a Downing Street spokesman.

But should it be? This is the Government’s Justice Secretary talking.

Do we risk travesties of justice where the innocent are falsely accused in the pitiless glare of publicity, which the Justice Secretary understandably wishes to avoid? Or do we want the rich and powerful remaining anonymous behind expensive lawyers?

I understand why an innocent man such as Paul Gambaccini would believe that suspects should remain anonymous.

But do we really want the rich and powerful, who may not be innocent, to be able to buy anonymity?

It is not a simple or easy call. And you can’t please everyone.

TIME TO MAKE THE HARD CALLS

Boris Johnson has made a great start as Prime Minister. But if he is going to be a great Prime Minister, then he is going to have to start upsetting people.

And I truly wonder if Boris has the stomach for that.

As an MP for a constituency on the Heathrow flight path, Boris swore he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” if anyone ever attempted to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Now he is Prime Minister, and the economic case for a third runway is irresistible, listen to him dither.

Boris is no longer gung-ho about laying down in front of the bulldozers while seeming very reluctant to actually rule out a third runway.

But if Boris remains in Downing Street, then he will have to start making these hard calls.

Oh, Boris! It looks like Brexit might turn out to be the easy bit.

The backstop won't happen

NOBODY in the UK wants to see Ireland suffer.

We are bound by history, geography and blood.

Millions of Brits have Irish blood that we are immensely proud of.

Yet Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has acted like an enemy of the UK, enthusiastically assisting the EU to wreck Brexit.

But No Deal would be bad news for everyone – especially the Irish, where it is feared more than 100,000 jobs could be lost.

Varadkar should be doing everything within his power to help the British find a solution to the hated backstop, an EU con to reduce the UK to a colony of Brussels.

The backstop is never going to happen.

So little Leo should be helping to find a solution.

And stop being Brussels’ little green lapdog.

Devilish Angels killjoys

VICTORIA’S Secret has cancelled its annual underwear fashion show.

The knickers giant says that it is working on an image overhaul and will be back at some point in the future. Well, maybe.

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Victoria’s Secret shouldn’t apologise for the fact it sells sexy lingerie[/caption]

But when I heard the news I thought of the Miss World contest, which was prime time family entertainment when I was growing up but then found itself out of favour.

The Miss World contest still exists but it has been banished to the margins of our cultural life. And Miss World was once as big as Strictly.

Then it was suddenly a bit off to have good-looking young women standing around in swimwear, high heels and a fixed smile as Sacha Distel serenaded them.

I remember flour bombs thrown by furious feminists at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. It was never quite as merry after that.

KILLJOY SPIRIT

In the Eighties, the Miss World contest relaunched itself with the slogan “Beauty with a Purpose” with emphasis on personality, intelligence and social conscience – Mastermind in skimpy swimwear.

But the glory days were numbered. There is now more chance of the BBC showing live cock fighting than a Miss World contest.

Victoria’s Secret is a victim of the same killjoy spirit.

But no matter how woke, enlightened and progressive it becomes, Victoria’s Secret will struggle to get around the undeniable fact that it is a firm that flogs sexy lingerie.

Perhaps it should stop apologising.

There's only one place to Go-Go

ACTOR Jason Momoa – best known as Aquaman and leader of the Dothraki hordes in Game Of Thrones – turned 40 this week.

And whenever I see Jason’s glowering features and his moody, beardy mug, I can’t help thinking that one day they will make a film about George Michael to rival Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody.

And when they look around for their leading man, there will only be one place to Go-Go.

Cassettes on the comeback

CASSETTE sales have hit a 15-year high.

What next? The return of the fax machine, Sony Walkman and VHS videos?

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Apparently cassettes are on the rise, personally not even Kylie Minogue could convince me to buy one[/caption]

If you are going to get into retro technology, then make it vinyl. You know, something good.

But the album success of long- established stars such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue and newcomers like Californian teenager Billie Eilish have resulted in cassette sales of 36,000 already this year, a backlash against digital products, which you can’t fondle, touch and clutch to your heart.

But cassettes were awful. Clunky, fallible, difficult to use.

I am not sure if even Kylie could sell me a cassette.

Not even if she was wearing her gold shorts.

Strictly will make Saffron

AT this point of the summer, it is traditional for hardcore Strictly Come Dancing fans to complain that they have never heard of any of the alleged “celebrity” names confirmed for the new series.

YouTube star Saffron Barker? Me neither.

Instagram

Like many people, I have never heard of upcoming Strictly contestant Saffron Barker[/caption]

But then this time last year, none of the old folk had heard of Joe Sugg.

Never underestimate the power of traditional media.

Apparently Saffron, 19, has millions of followers who hang on to her every utterance about lifestyle, fashion and homewear.

I have not even heard of homewear. But I would bet my last euro that soon the entire country will have heard of young Saffron Barker.

Stellar Mellah

KHADIJAH Mellah, 18, became the first jockey at a British racecourse to wear a hijab when she raced at a women-only event at Goodwood.

And she won, despite never sitting on a horse before April of this year.

PA:Press Association

Khadijah Mellah made history by becoming the first jockey to win a race at a British racecourse while wearing a hijab[/caption]


Khadijah hopes she will “open up doors” for other female Muslim athletes.

She will certainly broaden the minds of everyone else.

'Climate conscious' celebs

RICH and famous and thick as mince, virtue-signalling celebrities including Prince Harry and Katy Perry bowl up at a Google event in Sicily to fret about climate change.

How predictable that the self-righteous simpletons enlisted 114 pollution-puking private jets to fly to Sicily.

I do wish the Greenerati would shut their pious cakeholes.

With their laughable hypocrisy, they are giving the most noble cause in the world a bad name.

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