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Will Boris be that bad? – Part 2

By Frank McKenna

By Frank McKenna

This week Frank McKenna focusses on two politicians whose career’s appear to be heading in very different directions – Boris Johnson and Chuka Umunna.

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]In my blog last week I rehearsed all the reasons why I thought Boris Johnson would be an accident waiting to happen once he is elected into 10 Downing Street by a majority of the 160,00 members of the Conservative Party who will get to anoint him, citing everything from his immature and offensive ‘off the cuff’ remarks, through to his costly fantasy projects whilst he was Mayor of London.

However, this week I caught up with two well connected Westminster politicos, both left-leaning, who suggested that I had been a little harsh in my assessment. In fact, far from dreading a Johnson premiership, they both believe he will be much better than the current incumbent and more progressive than people like me fear.

Their evidence for this goes back to his time at City Hall in the capital. In a nutshell, they say that if he repeats his performance from his time in office as Mayor, he will surround himself with quality people who will be able to deliver.

On social issues, they both believe he is more liberal than he is given credit for and in terms of leadership and communication they assert that he will bring Lynton Crosby back into the Tory fold, which will result in a sharper, more focused messaging from the PMs office.

Even his critics concede that he is a good frontman and if it transpires that he appoints a good team to govern effectively, then perhaps he won’t be as bad as I anticipate. For the sake of the country, let’s hope that’s the case.

Chuka Can’t

Less than a decade ago I and many others predicted that the MP for Streatham would be prime minister. I have had the pleasure of meeting Chuka Umunna on several occasions and as the shadow Business Secretary on Labour’s front bench, he had spoken at a number of Downtown events.

To say his political career has gone backwards since then would be an understatement. First, there was his aborted campaign to be leader of the Labour Party. More recently, he walked away from Labour to establish the Independent Group who became Change UK. Now he has rocked up as a Liberal Democrat and finds himself elevated to the position of the party’s spokesman on Treasury & Business.

I don’t know if he regrets his more recent decisions, but he should. Tom Watson has demonstrated that you can build a strong platform within the Labour Party to challenge some of the more extreme elements that have taken over the party and push for the issue that Chuka feels most strongly about, a People’s Vote.

Had he stayed and fought his corner, difficult I know, Umunna could have found himself at the forefront of British politics again at some time in the future. Now, he is more likely to join the ranks of the ‘may have been a good PM’ brigade that haunts many who have gone before him including Michael Heseltine, Michael Portillo and David Owen.

The Liberal Democrats can only hope that Umunna doesn’t do to them what Owen did to their tribe when he embarked on a similar journey to Chuka in the 1980’s.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJ0d2l0dGVyLWZvbGxvdy1idXR0b24lMjIlMjBkYXRhLXNob3ctY291bnQlM0QlMjJmYWxzZSUyMiUzRUZvbGxvdyUyMCU0MERvd250b3duRnJhbmslM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10aW1lbGluZSUyMiUyMGRhdGEtaGVpZ2h0JTNEJTIyMTAwMCUyMiUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTNFVHdlZXRzJTIwYnklMjBEb3dudG93bkZyYW5rJTNDJTJGYSUzRSUyMCUzQ3NjcmlwdCUyMGFzeW5jJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZwbGF0Zm9ybS50d2l0dGVyLmNvbSUyRndpZGdldHMuanMlMjIlMjBjaGFyc2V0JTNEJTIydXRmLTglMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0UlMjA=[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJ0d2l0dGVyLWZvbGxvdy1idXR0b24lMjIlMjBkYXRhLXNob3ctY291bnQlM0QlMjJmYWxzZSUyMiUzRUZvbGxvdyUyMCU0MERvd250b3duRnJhbmslM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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