Boris Johnson will make for a disastrous Tory leader. What will it take for the public to realise that?


A new poll has shown that members of the general public back the Latin-quoting Billy Bunter figure called Boris Johnson as the future leader of the Conservative Party. What on earth is wrong with people?

He is the man who lied about £350m extra a week for the NHS on that famous bus.

He is the man who masquerades as a member of the old elite, while playing the buffoon for the hoi polloi.

He is the man who defied the usual traditionalism by crying “F*** business”.

He is the man who joined Michael Gove in attacking the CBI for its warnings about the dangers to our economy inherent in Brexit.

In April, one of his Conservative colleagues, Steve Norris tweeted “Everybody likes him except the people who know him.”

Yet 39 per cent of the Tory membership, recently polled, are still, apparently, sufficiently blinkered to want to lumber the entire UK with this self-seeking poseur.

If ever there was an example of too many Tories assuming some sort of God-given right to rule, this is it.

Geoff Hinchliffe

The Brexit Party

The Brexit Party spin sheet is almost as curious as Nigel Farage.

Its election communication claims include putting “Trust, Honesty and Integrity at the heart of our democracy”.

The fact that it does so on the strength of a corrupt referendum that represented just 37 per cent of the people is clearly too deep for the party to think about.

Farage boasts that “this isn’t just about Brexit anymore, it’s about what kind of country we are” – obviously in the firm belief that there’s something pleasant about turning away people in need.

The not very impressive line of “as wells” on the Brexit Party bigot bulletin include CEO Richard Tice – co founder of Leave.EU with Aaron Banks, Ben Habib, CEO of First Property PLC – whose drive to capitalise on market opportunities, and education at Rugby and Cambridge, clearly makes him an everyday man of the people.

Of course, Annunziata Rees-Mogg gets a mention. Joel Chilaka is there too, clearly looking to build on previous work as an advocate of free speech by aligning himself to a party that declares a second vote to be a crime against democracy in a way that a corrupt vote is not.

Who are you speaking for, Farage? Do Leavers actually have access to the internet?

Michael Cunliffe

No-deal Brexit or no Brexit deal

Your headline that the Tory Party would split if Boris Johnson pursues a no-deal Brexit policy can surely be reversed if a Remain-supporting candidate was to succeed.

The Conservatives are irrevocably divided on this issue and, going forward, I cannot see how they can survive as one party.

JM Seagrave

Corbyn and Marxism

I keep hearing that Jeremy Corbyn is a Marxist (John McNeill, Letters, 18 May).

Am I wrong in thinking that, pre Margaret Thatcher, Corbyn’s policies were part of the mainstream left? It is not that he is dangerously radical, but that the political landscape is now so right wing that any policies to really help the poor and marginalised are seen as a threat and a red menace.

Joanna Pallister
Address supplied

America, champion of the extreme

On this side of the pond many are vigorously polishing xenophobia, Islamophobia and being led by the nose over an economic cliff by characters who would have been laughed out of public office just a couple of decades ago.

However, I note with interest the success of the extreme right in America in rolling back women’s rights and shockingly, the stumbling and fumbling of Donald Trump’s judicial nominees when questioned by Senator Richard Blumenthal over Brown v the Board of Education (in short – the judgement that outlawed segregation in schools). It was as if Senator Blumenthal had asked them whether they thought it a bad idea to kick frail old people and they couldn’t come up with a decent answer.

So, in the competition for the worst of all possible worlds decent folk in the UK may have to concede defeat. They trumped us, so to speak.

With bad apple Brett Kavanaugh lodged in the craw of the Supreme Court there is a very strong possibility that these new nasty seeds planted in the judicial soil of America could bear very strange fruit indeed.

Amanda Baker

Climate change and the customs union

If we leave the EU customs union and make our own deals with New Zealand, Australia and America, instead of our neighbouring European countries, we will be greatly increasing our carbon footprint. As the government has announced a climate change emergency, should this not be considered?

Staying in the EU customs union would also have the added advantage of laying to rest the Irish border problem.

Janina Doroszkowska

We aren’t a democratic nation

I often stand up and cheer when I read Tom Peck’s articles.

But I have to take issue with one statement of his this week (Friday 17 May)

He says: “We are, very obviously, a democratic nation.”

It’s true that we (still) have many of the freedoms of democracy, and we all have a vote. But there’s more to it than merely being allowed to vote. The vote also has to have a meaning. And for many of us the first-past-the-post voting system causes our vote to mean very little; we often have to second-guess our fellow voters in order to merely avoid electing our least-favoured candidate.

A government can have a great majority of seats with less than 30 per cent of the vote. Then the executive can ride roughshod over parliament. In that sense our polity is certainly not democratic.

The priority of many prime ministers has been, and is, the wellbeing of their party rather than that of the country. I would suggest that it is this undemocratic power-seizing by the executive that has landed us in our current mess.

Susan Alexander
South Gloucestershire