Boris Johnson is now prime minister of Great Britain, and the British establishment, including much of his own party, is horrified at this turn of events, just like the American Establishment (including the GOP hierarchy) were horrified by Donald Trump’s election.
I can report on some of the early sentiment. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles are said to be “bitterly opposed” to Johnson becoming prime minister. A cabinet secretary has been quoted anonymously that while there had been an air of “malaise” around the previous prime minister, Theresa May, Johnson will be worse: “The mere thought of Johnson as Prime Minister sends a cold chill down the spines of the staff working at 10 Downing Street. . . Seldom can a Prime Minister have taken office with the Establishment. . . so dubious of the choice and so prepared to find its doubts justified.” “This is not the last Brexit administration by a long way,” a leading member of Johnson’s own party has remarked. Another Tory MP, Peter Eckersley, wrote: “Boris won’t last five months! Opposition from Tories is already beginning.” Another MP, David Kier, has written in his diary that: “The more I think of the position, the more uncertain the future of Boris’s present Government is.”
Wait—did I say Boris Johnson?? My bad. All of these quotes come from the spring and summer of 1940, and were said about Churchill. I merely swapped out “Johnson” for “Churchill.” (Also the Queen for King George.)
So let’s wait and see. I rather like his prospects, precisely because of this Establishment opposition to him. And just think of the joint press conferences with Trump. The hair alone will be awesome. They can start the “Heads of State Hair Club.”
Meanwhile, here’s a short clip of Johnson explaining rather cogently why and how Churchill’s rhetoric worked: