Friday 26 July 2019
Last month, Leave.EU’s chairman Arron Banks wrote to members, encouraging them to back Boris Johnson for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Almost a year on the from the launch of our Blue Wave campaign, it was time to make the Conservatives conservative again by electing a leader with a vision for Brexit dignifying of the British people, not degrading them.
The only Brexiteer in the run-off was talking the right game and deserved the benefit of the doubt. Boris went onto thump his rival Jeremy Hunt with 66% of the vote, the 30,000 Blue Wave Tories accounting for a third of his tally.
Over the next few days, Britain’s new prime minister took an axe to the cabinet, then the Commons and finally the kleptocrats in Brussels, now reeling at how they’re going to undo the mess they made with Theresa May. Boris is shaping up to be more than the PM we’d long-hoped-for.
The new prime minister immediately set about crushing Remainer hopes. He would not be simply putting lipstick on May’s honking pig of a withdrawal deal. 17 cabinet ministers were fired with a purge of similar proportions occurring among the backroom staff. The new guard – or rather old guard from Boris’s referendum days with Vote Leave – were in, the Remainers out.
“This increasingly has a feel of disaster…this hardline team is not going with the lipstick strategy,” said one dismayed Tory MP. A disaster for the likes of him, a triumph for the 17.4m.
While more of the new cabinet members voted Remain than Leave, and both Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan are among them, the throne and the power behind it is heavily stationed in the Leave camp with No Deal preparations ramping up under Michael Gove. Philip Hammond is gone.
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The next day Boris appeared in the House of Commons to pump in the gallons of optimism allowed to seep out under Mrs May.
Any concerns he was going to fudge the pledge to leave the EU by October 31st, “do or die”, were reassuringly obliterated.
“I and all ministers are committed to leaving on this date, whatever the circumstances, and to do otherwise would cause a catastrophic loss of confidence in our system,” he told MPs at the dispatch box on Thursday.
“It would leave the British people wondering whether their politicians could ever be trusted again to follow a clear democratic instruction.”
Boris also did what Mrs May should have done every Wednesday for the past three years, lacerating her Majesty’s supine Opposition. Jeremy Corbyn was literally squirming as Boris laid into him for four whole minutes with one scathing indictment after another, an absolute must watch – you can view it here.
Later that day came the big phone call to Jean-Claude Juncker. Naturally, the Guardian emphasised Juncker spurning the no backstop or no deal ultimatum delivered by Bojo, missing the point entirely. Juncker was always going to take a firm stance, this is only the first round after all.
The point is that Boris actually stood up for the nation after years of Theresa May putting us down. It’s why the Remainer elites are in a suicidal frenzy over the possibility of – heaven forbid – Britain leaving the EU with her sovereignty intact.
A nervous-looking Leo Varadkar repeated Juncker’s nonsense. Meanwhile, Michel Barnier circulated a letter to the Irish Taoiseach and his fellow EU27 leaders calling for calm, a sure-fire sign that panic is setting in. As it well should. Yesterday, it was reported German manufacturing is going into “freefall”, the oncoming recession there will take the rest of the continent down with it.
In less than 48 hours, Boris did everything we had the right to expect from a Brexiteer prime minister, the leader we expected when the 2016 referendum pushed the reset button on the insipid governance characterizing British politics from Major and Maastricht onwards. Instead, we got Theresa May, the worst of the bunch, a Remainer with absolutely no vision for a better Britain.
In his first three days in office, Boris has shown Farage-like leadership and purpose, drawing inspiration from we the British people.
“Since I was a child I remember respectable authorities asserting that our time as a nation has passed, that we should be content with mediocrity and managed decline. Time and again, by their powers to innovate and to adapt, the British people have shown the doubters wrong,” said Boris during Thursday’s session in the Commons.
Boris is restoring the nation’s confidence. For that alone, he deserves our gratitude.