Simplicity V Complexity

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

There is a case for campaigning on the basis that the general public are stupid.

Campaign strategists will tell you that people will vote for promises of lower taxes, without really thinking through how exactly public services will be paid for.

In the USA, it’s often speculated that very simple messages such as, “We will build a wall to keep immigrants out”, “I will make America great again”… have far more traction than ideas about how foreign policy should be conducted, the consequences of imposing trade tariffs etc.

Prime Ministers have to appear as though they are in control.

This is difficult for Boris Johnson because his Parliamentary party is now a sinking ship.

He no longer has a majority.

He can’t win a vote.

He can’t even decide when we will have a General Election (because of the fixed term Parliament Act that can only be overturned by a two thirds vote of MP’s).

The simple message that Boris Johnson wants to get over is that “the public voted to leave and I am the person to deliver it”.

Of course, the slightly more complicated reality is that he is pursuing a no deal Brexit (for which there is no pubic or Parliamentary mandate).

He seeks to portray the opposition to his plans (which now includes scores of Conservative MP’s) as a surrender policy, or yet more dithering.

His Cabinet colleagues have all been briefed to keep repeating the same phrases in the hope that they will stick in the public mind.

It’s about blame…. Boris would be happy to blame the EU for all the country’s ills.

He would be happy to blame the political opposition for failing to deliver a Brexit.

He is happy to blame Mrs May, his predecessor.

He is selling a fantasy that leaving the EU is easy and that life will be immeasurably better when we have.

His problem is that many life long Conservative MP’s know the truth and are putting country before party.


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