Am I the only conservative not to be tickled pink by the idea of Boris Johnson running for Parliament in 2015? Is it strange that I am not popping the champagne corks at the thought of the great and blond one being parachuted into a safe seat so he can plot his eventual succession to become leader of the Conservative Party and perhaps Prime Minister? It seems I am one of the few not to hail this as a great conservative triumph, to have one of its ‘best players on the field.’
I am not too sure what it is that really irritates me about Mr Johnson. Perhaps I am dismayed at the thought of the Conservative Party becoming an extension of the Eton Sixth Form Common Room. It irks me – it does. I know this is not his fault, or that of this parents, or indeed that of the school who for a mere £30,000 a year will give your son (only sons need apply) an education that is no doubt the envy of the world. I envy it – I do. But still – it irks me as only a infinitesimal number of people have access to it.
I do hold it against the liberals of the 70s and 80s who trashed state education and abolished grammar schools so it is difficult, although not impossible, for ordinary middle class children (never mind working class children) to challenge for influential positions in media, law and politics. It is a disgrace and scandal that the current Conservative Party supports the prohibition on the expansion of any further grammar schools.
The Conservatives were also hopeless in the 80s and 90s – according to Progressively Worse by Robert Peal – in attempting to reverse the damage caused by the socialist wreckers to the state school system.
The fact that private school alumni so dominate public life now is a direct result of this. Improving state education should be a top priority for Conservatives – and in fairness to Michael Gove it was, until he was promptly fired by Cameron for causing a bit too much trouble. Cannot have that – causing trouble for the sake of much needed change. Mustn’t rock the boat now for the sake of policy when all one desires is power.
But I digress. Back to Boris. What is it about certain people that means that their immense personality and no doubt charm makes them pretty immune from the normal rules of society? Boris is sometimes viewed as loveable rogue – I don’t think there is anything loveable about him. But he does seem pretty roguish.
Michael Howard fired him for lying over an extramarital affair. Just the lying though – not the affair itself. One cannot fire a Conservative for adulterous affairs these days, good God no. That would be far too ‘judgemental’ and ‘nasty’. We are hip and modern now, don’t you remember? So extramarital affairs are fine, do write that down. But not lying to the leader – that remains unacceptable. For now.
My problem with Boris is that he is just another member of the liberal metropolitan elite. So the thought of him running for Parliament just leaves me cold. He famously once said (in one of those quips the hoi polloi just cannot get enough of) that his policy on cake was that he was ‘pro having it and pro eating it”. I’ll say. In fact it should be the motto of all socially liberal Conservatives: having your cake and eating it. It just sums them up perfectly.
I pity whatever constituency he is put upon. I can just see Boris now, dealing with the complaints about the potholes and opening a local playground complete with great photo op of him falling head first down the slide. Sure aren’t we just blessed to have him?
So no – there are no champagne corks popping here at The Conservative Woman at the thought of Boris eating yet more cake (but we will be locking up our daughters).