It is widely reported that Boris Johnson is positioning himself to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and then Prime Minister. His Conference speech illustrates why.
His speeches are coded messages. They are also irresistibly witty. Today [September 30th 2014] he addressed the Conservative Party annual conference. You can see a report of the speech here.
On the eve of the Conference, UKIP announced the defection of a Conservative MP Mark Reckless to its Party. Boris brushed aside this near-crisis PR story with a humorous nautical riff about throwing the Kippers overboard along with [Alex] Salmond.
Boris banishes bad thoughts
The assembled Party activists roared their approval. Boris had banished bad thoughts. Wit had magicked away melancholia.
It was compulsive watching. Like any great performer, he succeeded in captivating his audience. I suspended disbelief. I warmed to Boris’ World.
The world beyond Boris
But I didn’t believe a word in a world beyond Boris. Particularly when he outlined why there was the only one man to lead in Europe. He was building up to saying that man was David Cameron. And he did, with a touch of irony suggesting that his words are funny and charming and not to be taken literally.
And I did find his words funny and charming and not to be taken literally. And if I had been in the Hall, I would have smiled and clapped. Just like David Cameron did.
These are my leadership questions
Will Boris influence the influencers? Will The Conservative party decide it needs Boris as leader before the General Election? Will he be in good position to take over from David Cameron if the Conservatives lose the next election?
Perhaps. And if so, he will deploy an unmatched skill at making people forget their problems. Until, sadly, they have to re-emerge from Borisland.