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  • Reece Bithrey

Boris Johnson As Prime Minister - Is He The Right Man For The Job?

(Picture Credit - BBC)

Another day goes by, another day closer to the 31st October - the extended Brexit deadline.

Enter Boris Johnson stage right to No. 10, his hair blowing in an unruly way, with thumbs held up reassuringly.


This is the man to lead the country forwards, or backwards, dependent upon your perceptions. A man whose track record is the most topsy-turvy thing since Labour's stance on Brexit.


Before all of the Brexit brouhahas, mishaps as Foreign Secretary and "postbox" comments, Johnson rose to prominence through appearances on Have I Got News For You as a guest host in 1998. Following this, he became associated with the upper-class bumbling persona that he purveys to this day amongst mainstream society.


It's this personality that we all associate Boris with. The unintelligent toff who doesn't have the faintest idea about major political decisions. Such gestures as the flamboyant arm movements and the pronounced false starts in his speech exude this sense of incompetence and as time has passed, more and more people have jumped on the 'Bash Boris' bandwagon as I'll coin it. The way I see it is that this is down to both narrow-mindedness and an increasingly polarised society.


With the ascension of people like Jeremy Corbyn, the electorate flock to this new breed of Labour with the CND campaign in full swing once again and a 'Green Industrial Revolution' needed, as he coins it.


Whilst I'm in support of the idea of a 'Green Industrial Revolution' and the idea of being carbon neutral (it's something that needs to be done), having the figurehead of this 'revolution' be Jeremy Corbyn seems a little out of place. Granted, Boris doesn't look much better, but let's face it, Corbyn already appears unelectable. That's the bottom line.


To view Boris in the way that mainstream society does would be unfair. Yes, his involvement in the 'Vote Leave' campaign a few years ago was ghastly, along with compatriot Michael Gove and the hand-waving, combined with the stuttering does make Johnson seem a little uneducated, but it's all down to public perception.


Indeed, his upper-class ramblings do make him seem somewhat indecisive, but as a politician, society shrouds this far-right persona around Boris, which is, in some ways, untrue. He sums up his ideology in the following quote:"I am free-market, tolerant, broadly libertarian (though perhaps not ultra-libertarian), inclined to see the merit of traditions, anti-regulation, pro-immigrant, pro-standing on your own two feet, pro-alcohol, pro-hunting, pro-motorist and ready to defend to the death the right of Glenn Hoddle to believe in reincarnation."


Some elements of what is said above can be questioned, especially the "pro-hunting" line of thought. To most, fox hunting is an outdated and archaic practice, designed to please the 'old guard' of Britain - the types who live in well-kept manors with hired groundskeepers. People would question his "pro-immigrant" stance, with his involvement with the 'Vote Leave' campaign and Eurosceptic journalism, hailed as "fake" by some, during his early days at The Daily Telegraph.


Personally speaking, I was rooting for Jeremy Hunt to become Tory leader - his ideas surrounding Brexit seemed orderly and well-thought-out, especially his 'Ten Point Plan'. The idea that he'd slash Corporation Tax down to 12.5% appealed greatly due to the fact we need to, as a nation, kickstart industry once again and encourage more FDI as time passes. Uncertainty doesn't do anybody any good, so, with a clear plan, such as Hunt's, it could have made life easier.


Alas, we've ended up with Boris, who has stated that we will leave the EU on the 31st October come hell or high water, Deal or No Deal. This has to be the most talked-about policy of Johnson's, especially given the support for taking No Deal off the table, myself included. Judging by the forecasts from institutions such as the Bank Of England, the immediate effects of leaving without an agreement with the EU wouldn't be the best idea.


As Mayor Of London, he has a pretty good track record, with the homicide rate pretty much halving from 22 per million to 12 per million as one standout. In the area of transport, his legacy can be felt with the abolishment of the 'bendy bus' and the introduction of the 'Boris Bike' has proved to be ingenious as they continue to be popular all around London.


His ascent to the front-bench of the Tory party after resigning as Mayor Of London in 2016 led to the position of Foreign Secretary, which would prove to be a questionable appointment. It was fraught with controversy with inappropriate and ill-willed comments, like that of Johnson suggesting that the 2018 World Cup being hosted in Russia was comparable to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin during the time of Nazi Germany. In addition, his comments surrounding the Libyan city of Sirte and stating that it could become an economic success like Dubai was marred by his comment of "All they have to do is clear the dead bodies away". The chronicle of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary is one that his supporters would wish to forget and may act as a marker for his tenure as Prime Minister.


Indeed, it is fair to say that Boris is enacting his policies as soon as possible when he stated that there would be another 20,000 police officers on the streets over the next three years, double Labour's offering a couple of years ago. According to some sources, recruitment is already underway so, if all goes to plan we should be having safer streets with an increased police presence, combined with the greater stop-and-search powers that the Conservatives have promised. Despite Brexit being top of the agenda for some time, there are still other prevalent issues that need to be addressed, such as the knife crime epidemic and also the shambolic Universal Credit with a crooked system that fondles society's most disadvantaged for the money they so desperately need.


So, is Boris Johnson the right man to lead Britain? To some yes; others no. He's a bit of a controversial figure, especially with some comments that have been made in the past, but to his supporters, it shows he's a risk taker, perhaps a little too much for my liking. Whilst a No Deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the economy according to a lot of sources, if it's the only way leaving the EU can be done, we're stuck with it and shall see what happens - maybe Britain will just sink, or somehow, maybe we'll swim.

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