Johnson’s appeal used to baffle me.
Why do people want a clown as leader?
Until I realised it’s a form of “English exceptionalism”.

Other countries are nervous about replacing leaders with fools. But Johnson as leader is unconscious confirmation that Britain will always be fine.

This is an interesting article on this kind of “deliberately subvert seriousness” strategy.

You will notice, particularly in international events, Johnson always acts up more.
It’s an attempt to make the seriousness of the others look ridiculous.…

This is what distinguishes Johnson from Trump & Mussolini.

The latter 2 are more concerned with a strident masculinity - Johnson wants to communicate a complete disregard for the concept that Britain even needs to try to be serious - because we are so naturally superior.

That’s what makes Brexit so potentially traumatic.
Brexit was/is sold under this “fun buccaneering”, & rejection of EU rules & serious committees, motif.

But if Brexit noticeably diminishes the UK this isn’t just bad in itself - it challenges this long held British concept.

Johnsonism is like a hyped up version of “The Gifted Amateur Gentleman Myth” for the celebrity age.

And given industrialization, empire, WWII & island status its easy to see why so many people believe & like it.

But what happens if serious times mean we need more than this?

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More from @nicktolhurst

19 Mar
Somewhere around 2022/3 the penny will drop with the London polit-media establishment that they’re involved in a race...

...a race to make Brexit work before N. Ireland & Scotland leave the UK.

& the last gambit they realise they can play that might just work is...

...the EEA.

It won’t be rejoin because the establishment campaigning for rejoin inside 5 years is the national equivalent of humiliating oneself & showing ones utter ridiculousness before the entire world.

But EEA.
It’s doable.
And EEA..
..will inevitably lead to rejoin.

People saying the "EU will never let the UK rejoin" are looking at the future too much through the eyes of this year's feelings.

In 2030 the world, Europe, the UK will be all very different. Virtually all European leaders will be different.
A generational change from 2016.
Read 4 tweets
18 Mar
Many Brits don’t realise it - but we were lucky.
Being a former huge empire means having a lot of historical enemies.
But our soft power:
Sharing English with the US, London, the Beatles, the EU, cricket, British TV means we got treated well.

But theses soft powers are fading.

The “pragmatic conservative” strategy of avoiding the “unpleasant aspects” of empire & hoping our EU membership, shared modern sport, culture & commonwealth/WW II/VSO relations would take away the sting of empire was very smart...but has been trashed or running out of road...

I fear Brits have increasingly believed their own publicity.

We told ourselves a story of our plucky WWII fight to save humanity, our empire as funny dressed men spreading cricket & tea...

...but forgotten that we can’t rely on the rest of the world to see it that way.
Read 5 tweets
17 Mar

FCO staff have been instructed to communicate to LDC countries that post Brexit-Britain will no longer be concerned with adherence to ILO rules including those pertaining to child Labour or worker safety as part of the UKs “global Britain” strategy & break with the EU.

Just to clarify:
This pertains to ILO standards & rules in LDC countries that UK wants to do business/trade with.
This does not pertain to standards/rules inside UK.

A lot of disquiet on where this is going.

Read 5 tweets
14 Mar

After stopping ERASMUS for UK students, Boris Johnson is to effectively end the VSO - which supports thousands of young people working & teaching abroad - mostly in the Commonwealth.

200 staff at the Voluntary Services Org. to lose their jobs.…
Those with long memories may remember I suggested a smart way to get young people not so anti Brexit..& do something really useful & characters-forming would be to make an international study/work/teaching gap year free for all.

VSO would be an ideal vehicle for this.

Now gone.

While ERASMUS was always a clearly European thing...the VSO has impeccable conservative credentials grounded in the Commonwealth with (past) strong establishment support, royal family engagement & a business model that was relatively cheap.

This is institutional vandalism.
Read 4 tweets
12 Mar

One of Britain’s most critically acclaimed news-comedy shows - The Mash Report - is to be axed as part of the new post-Brexit emphasis on more “patriotic & Conservative television”.

The new BBC director Tim Davie - a prominent Conservative supporter of Boris Johnson - has been tasked with a radical overhaul of BBC comedy programming which has been perceived as too left wing & not pro Brexit.

The Mash Report was publicly identified as one of the early targets for cancellation by Boris Johnson’s “anti-woke unit” as it was highly popular with a younger demographic who tend not to get their news via either official news channels nor Govt friendly press.
Read 12 tweets
10 Mar
I know Twitter doesn’t really like nuance - but here goes anyway.

I’ve been increasingly disturbed by the reporting around Meghan & the royal family because I hold 2 views that seem to put me in 2 different utterly ideological warring camps.

First statement:

Meghan has been vilified & treated atrociously by UK press beyond what even Diana had to put up with on all levels racist, sexist and just plain nasty


2nd statement

Altho it’s not fashionable to say it As someone who worked in FCO I can say royal family & queen in particular have been active in anti racism - in some cases at personal cost to herself.
Anyone who knows queens discreet C’Wealth actions knows this to be true.
Read 8 tweets

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