A Slogan And An Enemy


He did not need a programme, a manifesto or a vision. All that Donald Trump needed as he ran for the Presidency of the United States was a slogan, and an enemy.

He successfully demonised Hillary Clinton. She, he said, "lies like crazy about everything".  He called her "crooked Hillary".  His supporters lapped it up.   Who can forget the crowds chanting "lock her up, lock her up", led of all people, by a retired Army General.

The programme, the plan, was summed up in four words Make America Great Again.  He did not have to define the greatness that supposedly had been lost; he did not have to say what a renewed greatness would look like; he did not have to set out a plan to "renew" that greatness.

He did not need to do any of those things - his devoted supporters, perhaps 20,000 of them in a gathering place, all wearing MAGA hats knew what he meant. They were excited. They knew that he was not running against Hillary Clinton.  He was running against the first and only black skinned American President, Barack Obama.

Liberal Democrats could  not get excited about Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign.  It seemed to owe more to  a liberal think tank than to a passion to serve the people.  (even so, she won the popular vote but lost the election because of the American peculiarity of the elitist  Electoral College).


Boris Johnson also had a slogan "Get Brexit Done".  

When the Brexit referendum was approved, Mr. Johnson wet his finger and put it in the air to feel which way the wind was blowing.
He decided that it was a Brexit favourable wind. Not that he had any strong convictions about the matter, but that he had his eyes on the prize of the Premiership.  He had  lied through his teeth before the referendum. His side won.  72% of those eligible voted.  Of that 72%:  52% were in favour of Brexit, 48% opposed, hardly the manifest will of the people which Johnson claimed.

All he had to do was bide his time until Prime Minister Theresa May failed.  Then his moment came.

He and his minions found it easy to demonize Jeremy Corbyn. He was likened to Stalin.  He was villainized as "extreme far left" (even though his manifesto was utterly in line with the traditional Labour Party in the days before Tony Blair moved the party to the centre right).

He was accused of being anti-Semitic.  This is probably not the case, but sadly he was unwilling to condemn the anti-Semitism of the fringe members of the Labour Party.

Odd thing  - the extreme right and the extreme left are often united in their anti-Semitism.

Given the public sentiment in England and Wales  (though not  in Scotland and Northern Ireland) Boris Johnson's win was "easy peasy".  Like Hillary Clinton, Jeremy Corbyn failed to excite a majority of  voters (even though prosperous southern Cities such as my home City of Bristol; and London voted overwhelmingly for Labour).

Corbyn sometimes comes over  to me as a J. Alfred Prufrockian character:

Deferential, glad to be of use,

Politic, cautious, and meticulous;

Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;

From the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Elliot.

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It is more than likely that Premier Johnson will introduce legislation to effect the Brexit withdrawal on Jan 31st 2020. His parliamentary majority will approve. (Though Boris may ask the E.U. to delay the date)

But that's not the hard part.  It's a bit like this:  pulling out the plug from the socket for an electrical appliance in your home is not the same as having your house re-wired.

Jan 31st (if that is the date) is pulling the plug.

But the next year or more will be the re-wiring, i.e. re-negotiating the many treaties and agreements which have bound the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the European Community.

Does Prime Minister Johnson have the stomach and patience for these prolonged negotiations?


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