Boris Johnson’s speech to the Conservative Conference raises morale

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.

Compulsive watching

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.

3 Responses to Boris Johnson’s speech to the Conservative Conference raises morale

  1. Neil McCallum says:

    He presented a very different side of himself on last nights Newsnight programme. More thoughtful and considered than his ‘norm’. Perhaps pitching another side of his leadership ability to the particular Newsnight audience.

    Cameron might need an overal majority to stay in post. I suspect a potential leadership challenge if the Tories end up within another coalition government. Boris might be the man but he would need a very strong consigliere.

    (Re: Newsnight. Might be an interesting blog on Evan Davis taking up the reigns from Paxman. Clear change in style and tone perhaps reflecting a shift away from the argumentative political sparring why has characterised the programme and arguably enhanced the growing sense of disengagement with proper political debate.)

  2. Edward Spalton says:

    Boris is very clever in projecting himself as an amiable buffoon -“Cor!”, “Lumme!” “Crikey!” etc – and his public persona is a far more engaging character than anybody else around politically. I would really like to believe him – but I don’t and have to keep reminding myself of that.

  3. Reply for Neil and Edward,

    Thanks for comments.

    Happy to encourage more on this thread.

    Was that an offer to write a blog, or a hint that I should?

    Best wishes,


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