THEY don’t come much funnier than Mark Steyn, or more acute in their observations. He makes no exception to himself in his recent column Berrying Boris, which buries Boris not at all, rather shines the Steyn torch on him.
It begins with an amusing story of the ‘best ever column to be written about the saskatoon’, a Canadian berry, by Boris of course. Such clever construction and wit might be ‘just the ticket if you want to be a minor media celebrity and get invited on to BBC current affairs shows to be amusing about the day’s headlines. But it’s a tricky thing to parlay into a big-time political career’, Steyn opines.
He proceeds to some politically risqué verses penned by Boris in the weeks before he became Foreign Secretary, commenting: ‘Unlike most media or entertainment figures who progress into politics, Boris has not abandoned his old self – for the very good reason that it’s a hit persona.’ The genius of it, Steyn goes on, is that ‘He’s Bertie Wooster with Jeeves’s brain. Out on the street, he’s everybody’s friend; among his actual alleged friends, he’s utterly ruthless.’
As we have seen.
But, Steyn asks, is he a nice person? A summary of the answer to his own question boils down to No. What does Boris believe in? Not much. Steyn is definite on that one.
In one anecdote he describes Boris asking his advice over dinner of what he might say on the BBC Question Time programme he was about to go on:
‘ “Why don’t you really stir them up and put in a word for social conservatism?”
‘ “You mean abortion and all that? Oh, God . . .” he sighed, and ordered dessert.’
Is he a philosophical Brexiteer? Doubtful, says Steyn. The ‘threatened “no deal” departure on October 31st is supposedly being touted by Boris just to force the EU into re-negotiating Theresa May’s floppo “withdrawal agreement”.’
Steyn thinks it is not that at all:
‘My view is that the whole re-negotiation thing is a feint, and Boris actually wants to leave with no deal. He wants a clean split – and the UK reborn as a sovereign nation, no ifs or buts. Whether he wants it because that’s his preferred public policy or because it cements his place in history is unimportant if you happen to believe, as I do, that that’s in the best interests of the United Kingdom.’
Mark may have it right as far as the Jeeves cum Wooster persona is concerned. Boris cooperatively confirmed this analysis by adding ‘Boosterism’ – his newly arrived at economic philosophy – to the political lexicon.
But as to his desire for a clean split, could the new Prime Minister’s hard line be about to become quicksand?
You can read the whole of the article here.