Boris Johnson was a million times the prime minister Jeremy Corbyn could ever have been

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn arrive for the state opening of parliament at the Houses of Parliament
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn arrive for the state opening of parliament at the Houses of Parliament

No, Corbyn would not have been a better prime minister than Johnson.

Boris Johnson is not Rishi Sunak’s biggest fan. But the calculated rudeness of not cutting short his summer holidays to post a leaflet or two for the man he blames for booting him out of Number 10 pales into insignificance compared to the psychodrama surrounding Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer. After serving in his shadow cabinet, branding the Absolute Boy his bosom pal, and pledging fealty to his agenda whilst running for the Labour leadership, Starmer has spent the last four years trying to make his predecessor an unperson in true Stalinist fashion. If Corbyn’s independent run in Islington North is successful, one can imagine Starmer’s face turning puce if he is picked to speak at PMQs.

As such, Starmer telling last night’s Question Time audience that Corbyn would have been a “better Prime Minister” than Johnson leaves a poor taste in the mouth. He said he only stuck with his predecessor as he was sure he’d lose. Now we know the real reason – blind hatred of Johnson. Being a moralistic prig by nature – a ticket inspector cloaked in legalese – one can see why Starmer might not be Johnson’s biggest fan. He has the perpetual disdain of a class nerd continually overshadowed by a more glamorous classmate.

Of course, for all his campaigning talents, Johnson was incapable of running Number 10. But he has also never found himself by the grave of dead terrorists, called for armies to be abolished, or suggested that Russia be handed the evidence from the Salisbury poisonings. Johnson may have scunnered the Tories. But they were not investigated by the EHRC over anti-Semitism. In 2019, voters had to choose between a man who’d been a great Mayor of London, and a man who was plainly unfit for office.

Even if Johnson let his voters down, he still deserves our thanks for keeping Corbyn out of Number 10 – and Starmer should hang his head in shame for trying to get him there.