Giving up the Foreign Office could ultimately be the smartest decision Boris has ever made.
Since the announcement of the Brexit referendum, there’s barely a day that has gone by where Boris hasn’t been discussed. He’s a frustrating figure, often completely incompetent in whichever role he gets and yet still there is a strange fascination about him. He is the counter-argument to the idea that the public wants substance over style, because Boris has certainly never offered substance.
This can be witnessed by how he chucked in his job at the Foreign Office. After appearing to finally support May, he backtracked and complained about the direction of Brexit and cited that as his reason for quitting. The most important part of his resignation though was what was left unsaid: his own plan for Brexit.
The reason for this absence was because Boris, like every other hard Leaver, simply does not have a plan. There is no plan for Brexit at all. But that really doesn’t matter. Boris was never having to deliver Brexit. He was just the Government’s global mascot, who they could fly out when he was getting too annoying and bring back as soon as he inevitably insulted foreign diplomats.
“Boris, like every other hard Leaver, simply does not have a plan”
Boris may have lost a nice post but that means nothing to his long-term plan. Brexit will inevitably make the UK worse off. But much like Corbyn, by not being a part of the Government that is implementing Brexit, Boris will always now be able to say that he could have done it better than May – even if he’s never given anyone any reason to believe this.
This gives Boris the best platform for whenever the next General Election rolls around. It might not be for some time yet. There is unlikely to be a vote of no confidence, the Tories know that Gove who polls highly within their ranks is hated by the electorate and Leave don’t have a coherent policy to topple her. The best case for Leave is to give May a headache every day until her time finally runs out – after Brexit is done. Ambitions right now are coming before the country, that much is clear and Leavers have long since known how to make a career out of complaining about the status quo and presenting how they would do things better. Give it enough time and people will forget the gaffes, the outrage of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and start to think that maybe Boris could have done better than the stumbling May. Boris is a master at shouting directions from the sidelines. That’s been the majority of his political career. Unlikely as it may seem now, don’t write off his chance of being the next Tory leader just yet.
If you enjoyed reading this article, we’d appreciate your support, which you can offer by buying Stand Up a coffee here.