23 February 2016

A Nice Piece on Realpolitik

This explains why London Mayor Boris Johnson, aka "Copper Bottomed, Double Dealing Hypocritical Little Sh%$," has come out in favor of the UK leaving the EU.

It's really simple: He wants to be Prime Minister, the Tories are the most Euroskeptic of the mainstream parties, and his two most prominent rivals have pledged to oppose a Brexit.

His supporting Britain leaving the European Union is a rather savvy political move, given the realities of Tory politics:
Like all successful gamblers, Boris Johnson knows how to play the hand he is dealt, clearly calculating the odds of success. The London mayor’s decision to break with David Cameron to become a figurehead of the Leave side in the forthcoming EU referendum is the product of untold hours of calculation.

When Boris tells us that the referendum presents us with “a once in a lifetime chance”, we should believe him. If he has made the right calculations, Boris could become the next British Prime Minister. Let’s have a look at what those calculations might have been.


So what about Boris’ chances of becoming leader of the Conservative Party? Here it is clear that opting for Leave has drastically shortened the odds to 1/3.

One of the interesting consequences of the Labour Party’s current problems is that David Cameron’s status as an electoral asset – more popular in the country than the party he leads – is less important than usual. Without meaningful opposition, backbench MPs are less reliant on their leader to keep hold of their seats. This makes Cameron more vulnerable to a leadership challenge after the referendum, regardless of the outcome, and he may well resign if the public votes to leave.

In any leadership battle, the bookies have Boris, chancellor George Osborne, and home secretary Theresa May as the current favourites. Both Osborne and May have come out in favour of Remain. Coming out in support of Cameron’s position would have won Boris some short-lived praise for statesman-like behaviour and negation of personal ambition but it would have failed to differentiate Brand Boris from its competitors.

If he had done this and the Great British Public voted Remain, the majority of the plaudits would go to Cameron and the political capital would probably flow to Cameron’s preferred successor Osborne. Conversely, whatever the result of the referendum, Boris coming out in favour of Leave places him at the helm of the increasingly dominant faction in the Tory party and well placed to win the subsequent leadership election.
Tell David it was only politics. I always liked him.

Truth be told, I am rather surprised that Johnson either has the facilities, or the people with the facilities, to run this scenario.

My impression has always been an inbred prat who was perhaps one drink away from actually drooling.

I stand corrected.


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