“My chances of becoming prime minister are only slightly better than being decapitated by a frisbee, blinded by a champagne cork, locked in a fridge or being reincarnated as an olive.” – Boris Johnson to the Guardian in 2012
Seven years later, on July 23, Boris Johnson will be the leader to unite his fragmented party and deliver Brexit by Oct. 31. Johnson won 66 percent of the postal vote held among its membership. He will need to do so with a rather thin majority in the House of Commons, which entails backing from both sides to see a Brexit deal successfully go through parliament.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) August 1, 2019
Johnson has since began assembling his cabinet, which notably including the seizing of his decision to make Sky executive Andrew Griffith an adviser after leading the “Back Boris” campaign team in his own townhouse.
The aftermath of the announced results also included an event at Westminster where a montage was played of former Tory leaders; Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, where Johnson promised to, “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn.”
The Brexit in which Johnson championed and pushed for during his career will fall on his lap, with the applause from those of Donald Trump, his daughter, Ivanka, and Jeremy Hunt (his defeated opponent). Meanwhile, CNN instantly labeled the new prime minister a ‘Brexit-backing populist’— intensifying the current bipartisan nonexistence in postmodern political ideologies.
The consequence of the three year Brexit chaos still presents itself to Johnson; fractures throughout Parliament’s take on Brexit, major opposition from the other parties and European officials insisting that no major concessions will be made. Rather than seeking an extension, Johnson has also made it clear that leaving by Oct. 31 is “do or die,” risking the economic disarray of leaving without a deal.
Unlike Boris Johnson, currency markets don't lie… here's what they think of rule by a self-serving clique of elite, lying racists … my @NewStatesman piece here: https://t.co/dCa6ZJkuAP pic.twitter.com/ZSJ0kaDA2o
— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) August 1, 2019
CEO of DeVere Group, the world’s leading independent international financial consultancy, Nigel Green released a statement saying: “Boris Johnson’s impotency will likely be his secret weapon because all he has to do is do nothing to ensure a no-deal happens by default on Oct. 31. Then in early November, he will call an election being able to claim to have delivered Brexit. This will secure him votes from right-wing Conservatives and Brexit Party supporters, he will be capitalizing on a Labour Party with low poll ratings for its leader, and making Liberal Democrat opposition to Brexit and their call for a second referendum irrelevant as the U.K. would have already left the E.U. It looks set that impotency will define Boris Johnson’s premiership in the short to medium term. But being the impotent Prime Minister could suit him very well politically – and economically if his gamble pays off.”
However, Johnson was told by ‘Tory rebels’ that his strategy is destined for a ‘collision course with parliament’. Before Johnson was elected in, Philip Hammond and David Gauke both stated that they would rather quit the cabinet than serve under his ‘Trumpian rhetoric.’
Brussels greeted Johnson’s victory with a rejection of the incoming Brexit demands and a warning by the newly appointed European commission president. Ursula von der Leyen, who will replace Jean-Claude Juncker on Nov. 1 said both sides had a “duty” to deliver a deal as she offered her congratulations to Johnson on his victory, then swiftly mentioned the “challenging times ahead.”
Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Lithuanian health commissioner wrote in a blogpost published on the EU commission website: “It is a different Boris, of course, but there was something in the way of doing politics that was similar: many unrealistic promises, ignoring economic rationales and rational decisions. These decisions led to a new autocratic constitution and finally paved the way to Vladimir Putin. Today in Russia we have oligarchs, a pseudo-market economy, a regulated, governed pseudo-democracy.”
Is no deal for real? Either way, Boris Johnson's game of chicken needs to look credible https://t.co/UuAyctEbZk
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) August 1, 2019
The aftermath of the Boris Johnson win has sparked panic and uncertainty throughout Britain and the E.U. A mass social media trend of posting with the hashtag #NotMyPM started trending soon after opening up the debate to how populist leaders keep getting elected – if they are not favoured by the deemed masses.
During the three year Brexit hiatus, those in favor of leaving the E.U. are deemed the ‘experts’, yet they seem to agree on very little. Brexit and Boris Johnson are the anti-globalists’ biggest prize, to abandon the world’s most successful free-trade club by using curious voters and bending mainstream parties in half.
Populism is the trending postmodern political strategy, where a ‘charming’ leader somehow appeals to the masses. The framework includes ideas of socialism, nationalism, racism to explain the world and justify subjective policies. Populists argue that the world is a nasty place, and that we should all build walls to keep it all out. In the 70s and 80s, the oil shock that caused such recessions took the shine and pride off of the Western World’s back.
Then, developing countries emerges with low-costing manufacturing, causing even more jobs in the West to disappear. In today’s society, technology replaced manual workers in many fields, slowing economic growth even more, and stagnating wages. Since governments took credit for the post-war boom, they took blame for the slowdown as well. People felt deserted, and gave these politicians a chance to fix things, one policy after another.
Sadly, no one could not bring back the rapid growth of the post-war period. The 2000s Iraqi war and 2008 financial crisis led to a complete red flag in believing in political elites. This then created the perfect environment for populists to thrive. They tell us that the people to blame for the chaos is the immigrants, elites and foreign powers, and they promise us that they will make things right. And then they started winning elections.
Populism: it’s happening. https://t.co/5Fx9NUsvbE
— Walter Russell Mead (@wrmead) July 30, 2019
It seems that we have been destined for a populist uprising since our economic stagnation, unemployment rates, technological change, rising inequality and rapid social change. Our loss of faith in liberalism seems to be the only answer to the strive of populists, and as humans we hold our own Beacon of Hope close to our hearts. It seems that these interesting times keep us more than interested, and curious to protest and ask why and how.
This is the vastest risk to the free world since communism. A world of theoretical and socio-cultural wall-builders would be much poorer and more dangerous. This is the first time since the Second World War that the great and wonderful rising powers are preaching a sense of patriotism and xenophobia. This pessimistic view that foreign affairs prevent gains and that nationalism can compete with globalism, perhaps may make for a more complex world we are all not ready to stomach.
Featured image from @borisjohnsonmp via Instagram