Being called a ‘great man’ by Donald Trump is akin to being told you have a ‘lovely way with a knife’ by Pol Pot.
Even so, whether we deserve him or need him, Boris Johnson has been confirmed as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
He won the Tory leadership battle with Jeremy Hunt with a margin of roughly 66% of the votes, with 92,153 in favour of BoJo and 46,656 opposed.
And so Theresa May will make her final Prime Minister’s Questions appearance today, before heading off for a natter with the Queen in which she will formally declare her resignation.
Johnson will then tag along behind, visiting Buckingham Palace and asking Her Majesty for her permission to form a government. He will then return to Downing Street where he will make his first public address, before later announcing the first appointments of his new cabinet. Whether that means he’ll end up browsing the IKEA catalogue looking for furniture is anybody’s guess….
We all have our political allegiances, and we’ll all have our perceptions of a man who can range from a well-educated thinker to an absolute dumpster fire, depending on who you listen to.
There’s no doubt that Johnson will divide the United Kingdom like never before – always a positive note to start your new job on – but will he be as bad as many fear in power? Or could he be the leader that the UK needs right now after years of rudderless premiership?
Here’s the man himself on a variety of hot topics.
One of the first tasks that Johnson will have as prime minister will be to get Brexit finally over the line, with October 31 the mooted divorce date.
A committed Leave voter, BoJo will leave no stone unturned in getting the UK out of the European Union….even if that means pursuing a No Deal arrangement, despite leading economists warning of the disaster that could bring.
The hope is that Boris, who is allegedly quite charismatic at times, visits Brussels after the summer parliamentary recess and can charm EU officials into some concessions that will ultimately get Brexit completed but with a trade agreement of sorts in place.
Or he might play up his Churchillian persona altogether and stick the Vs up at Angela Merkel and co – leaving us up the creek without the proverbial paddle.
Born in New York, raised in part by Turkish grandparents, schooled in Brussels….you might think that Boris Johnson has an open-minded view on immigration.
He has often spoken ominously of ‘control’ in terms of migrant numbers, telling us that ‘that’s what the people voted for’. The conclusion drawn is that he will rule the borders with an iron fist, and that any potential immigrants ought to have a strong old case to make in their bid for citizenship.
Johnson has at times spoken of an Australian-style points system, where skilled immigrants must prove they have the qualifications or experience to be able to gain employment in the country.
At least he can’t surely be as bad as Theresa May, a woman whose human rights breaches on immigrants are enough to make Donald Trump blush. Okay, so there are no children separated from their parents and kept in cages, but the emotional toil she placed upon well-meaning ‘foreign’ citizens in the pursuit of her net migration targets will take a long time to get over.
The new prime minister believes that austerity has dramatically reduced the quality of education in the UK, and he plans to reverse that process with a series of investments.
In June, Boris confirmed that he would pledge an extra £4.6 billion per year for the schools budget – roughly the amount needed to reverse the cuts of messrs Cameron and May, according to experts.
As a direct descendant of King George II, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that Boris has a bloodthirsty streak.
He opposed many in his own party when he supported the military intervention proposed by Labour’s Tony Blair in Iraq. He even voted against seeking approval from the UN Security Council before sending British troops into such a hostile environment.
And in 2015, Johnson was one of the most vocal supporters of David Cameron’s plan to bombard innocent families with air strikes in Syria.
Boris On….Climate Change
The new PM has a mixed bag of a record on the subject.
In 2016, he voted against a raft of measures which would have seen the UK’s carbon footprint greatly diminished.
But as the Mayor of London he did introduce the beloved ‘Boris bikes’ scheme, which got more people in the capital ditching their cars in favour of a more environmentally-friendly mode of transport.
Get Brexit sorted and I’ll pump tons of money into the NHS; that’s been Boris’s rhetoric for a while now.
Where these extra funds are coming from is anybody’s guess, although there are obvious benefits to more money being given to stretched medical departments in improving the quality of the care that they provide.
Make no bones about it: Boris will look to please his well-heeled followers and friends by reducing the amount of tax that high earners have to pay.
Indeed, he has already suggested that the 40p rate of income tax will be paid by those who earn £80k or more a year; up from the current £50k threshold. It’s a move which would cost UK coffers nearly £10 billion every year.
In contrast, he has voted for Universal Tax cuts for some hard-up families depending on their circumstances.
But he is a vocal critic of stamp duty, and there is the very real possibility that he will look to cut the amount of tax paid when buying a new home or scrapping the duty altogether, which would help to get many young families onto the property ladder.
Gay men are ‘tank-topped bumboys’, Muslim women dressed in burqas look like ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letter boxes’, while African tribespeople have ‘watermelon smiles’.
No, your Nan hasn’t been at the Baileys again: these are the views of your new Prime Minister.
Sadly, it’s a the kind of rampant homophobia and racism that will probably strike a chord with voters in our increasingly separatist and hateful society.