Boris Johnson’s imaginary hobby
Dear People of the 23rd century,
On June 23, 2016, most of the adult population of Great Britain voted in a referendum in which they had to decide whether or not to leave the European Union. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. Leave won by 51.9% to 48.1%. This became known as “the democratic will of the people” and almost all politicians from almost all parties promised to “enact the will of the people”.
Three years later, after two delays, the government has failed to get a majority for any concrete plan, mainly because it has become clear that no plan exists that would involve leaving the EU without devastating the British economy.
David Cameron invented the referendum because he believed that Britain would vote to stay in the EU and that would put an end to infighting within the Conservative Party. It all went very, very wrong and he ran away the next day. Theresa May became the new Prime Minister to almost everybody’s surprise and spent three years failing to achieve anything at all. Eventually she resigned.
Now, at the time of writing, the Conservative Party has almost completed the process of electing a new leader who will automatically become the new Prime Minister. The twelve or more candidates have dropped out, one by one, and we now have the final two: Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson.
Both have run around television and radio studios trying to persuade the 160,000 predominantly old and white members of the Conservative Party to vote for them, while the rest of the country looks on.
Boris Johnson has become the clear favourite. I have found a clip of him answering a question on a television show. The interviewer has asked him if he has a hobby. Note his facial expressions as he answers.
He appears to a) make it up as he goes along, as if for a dare, and b) take a not-so-private delight in the fact that he can apparently get away with it.
“I can say anything, me”, seems his assessment of the situation as he sets about proving its accuracy.