Saturday, 20 July 2019

Tanya Gold on Boris and Alison Pearson on Hunt

Tanya Gold annoys me. She accused John Cleese of racism because he said the media in England is run by "half-educated tenement Scots". She is always accusing people of racism. It is her metier. But her account in Unherd of Boris Johnson at the Tories' 'final hustings' in the Docklands is funny and perceptive. She can write.
“The fantastic ExCeL building!” he shouted, waving at the interior of this massive shed, as if it were the Royal Albert Hall at the Last Night of the Proms. He can gild ExCel, is his message. He can gild anything, even darkness: it is always darkest, he reminded us, before the dawn. He meant: Brexit is the dawn....
He gave the stripping look – I would love you if I could – to a woman who asked about debt management. Does he save money? “I’ve certainly spent a lot,” he said. He might have said: “I’ve earned a lot”. It is more Tory. “I’ve spent a lot” is more Trumpian. It says: live through me, for I am a scruffy faux-aristocrat who has known hot women. I am effortless.

...Against this necromancy, Hunt is powerless. He looks small and damply middle-class. He doesn’t daydream, or flirt. He can’t speak, as Johnson does, to a national Id. He can’t speak to the hunger, because he doesn’t feel it himself. It doesn’t help that he talks like David Brent from the Office and looks like Nick Clegg: at best, a technocrat. Isn’t that what we are fleeing from?

Brexit has exposed Britain’s devotion to class; many things are exposed by the tide of Brexit. Boris the faux aristocrat could conceivably arrive by horse. Hunt might own a small SUV, and where is the glory in that?
Her point about class is overstated and tells you about her fear of a class-bound traditional England. Boris makes her uncomfortable.

Jeremy Hunt has a grander background that Boris, or certainly more English grand. Boris's great-grandfather was a Turkish politician. Yet Mr. Hunt, the son of an admiral who went to Charterhouse and took a First at Oxford, contrives to seem classless and colourless. He looks and speaks as if he, as I did, went to grammar school. 

Remainers in the media, which they dominate, badly wanted to kill Boris and were rooting for Jeremy Hunt. As Alison Pearson put it.

What, Hunt of the nervous sideways glances who looks like a baby gerbil when a cat has just entered the room? How on earth is that nice but rather oomphless fellow supposed to do battle with Nigel Farage for Brexiteer votes while rallying the troops, appealing to the Labour Leave heartlands, seeing off Corbyn and saving the Conservative Party from certain death by making sure that we leave the EU by Oct 31? 

Ha! Trick question. BRAT [the Bash Boris Remainer Attack Team], wants Hunt to beat Boris precisely because they can rely on that Remainer Lite to do very little of the above. In the previous leadership election, they managed to take out the Brexiteer, Andrea Leadsom, before the poor members got a chance to vote. How to pull off the same trick this time?

I must say that Andrea Leadsom seemed to me supremely under-qualified to lead Britain but she would have been better than Theresa May by a country mile.

How good Margaret Thatcher, Harold Macmillan and Winston Churchill look now. So do Stanley Baldwin and the underrated Neville Chamberlain. I remember Enoch Powell said of Margaret Thatcher, as the fleet got ready to attack the Argentinians, that we shall now see of what mettle the Iron Lady is made. We shall now see how well Boris acquits himself in a job he (and Michael Gove) were frightened of three years ago.

1 comment:

  1. This is good.