Friday, 28 April 2017

Boris Reaches the Parts Other Politicians Cannot Reach


In the 1992 election, then Tory Chairman, Chris Patten, unveiled a new poster to the bemusement of the press and then the country. Labour's Double Whammy was the phrase that baffled the nation and yet within weeks it had contributed to a most unexpected Tory victory and entered into common parlance.

Now I'm not saying that mutton-headed mugwump is necessarily going to enter the language with quite the same impact, but I have fast-tracked the order for 5000 T shirts just in case. Because say what you like about Boris, and plenty do, but he has a great eye and ear for a hard hitting phrase. You can tell that it hit home because Labour failed to simply laugh it off or raise an eyebrow as might have been the better response. They reacted with fury. Bugger! They said. He's hit the nail on the head.

Because, though it certainly never occurred to any of us before, or at least those of us educated in state schools perhaps, but Chauncey really is a mutton-headed mugwump. It just fits. All around the country people probably nodded their heads and said. Yep, mugwump! It's so obvious now he mentions it. It's like sliced bread, pairing cheese with onion or using his gambling problem to get Joey Barton kicked out of football.

In years to come you won't see the face of Chauncey, you will see a Mugwump. If he were not a Marxist who abhors capitalism he would have it trade-marked in readiness. That's Chauncey, not Boris obviously. Boris has trademarked his own name. It's ironic though that a Tory is known only by one name. Chauncey had once dreamt of that sort of thing like so many of his heroes. But now he can live the dream and emulate the likes of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky. Mugwump they will say and people will nod and when they have finished laughing will remember the beautiful 18 months he led his party without ever once being ahead in the polls. Inspiring times. What a mugwump.

There was talk earlier this week that some were saying that Boris should be kept out of this election campaign for fear of what he might say or do. Then he enters it and immediately makes it accessible for everyone, regardless of their interest in politics. That is the man's talent. He is interesting. He is funny. He has a love of language and an ability with it that makes headlines. I have every admiration for Theresa May since she rose to the top job. She has brought a seriousness and strength of purpose that have been refreshing in the wake of David Cameron. But politics needs someone fun too and that is Boris. Labour would kill to have anyone like him. For the Tories they have him just as the comic relief.

It is highly unlikely that this is going to be an especially memorable election campaign. The Tories are going to play a safety first type campaign because they can and Labour are going to....well they are going to have Chauncey as their leader. What a mugwump. There, that's it summed up beautifully in one word you hadn't heard of until a day ago. Now you'll never forget it. It's a double whammy for Boris and the Tories.

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