CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

On Boris Johnson

Jul 24, 2019

As you would know – or should know – the Conservative Party in Britain has a new leader, and the nation now has a new Prime Minister: Boris Johnson. He easily beat his nearest challenger Jeremy Hunt in a two-to-one vote, and has now replaced Teresa May for the top job.

If a Christian or a conservative were to ask me what I make of all this, I would give a very brief response as follows: he is a real mixed bag. He is hardly a conservative on some matters – he has no problems with homosexuality for example, and his own personal life has been all rather rocky, with various marriages, affairs and mistresses. But on some other areas of concern, such as Islam, or immigration, or Brexit, he could be much better than folks like May were.

The 55-year-old is an interesting character to say the least. One might make some comparisons to Trump – to a limited degree, although that comparison might better lie with Nigel Farage. But Trump has said that Johnson is a “really good man” and has already referred to “Britain Trump”! He said this: “They’re saying ‘Britain Trump’, they call him Britain Trump and people are saying that’s a good thing.”

Trump went on to say “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!” And Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this: “He has a reputation for getting things done and making things happen. I wish him all the best as he charts the way forward for the UK. We have a great relationship with the UK and it will remain so with Boris.”

While some call him a buffoon and the like, he is no dummy. He studied at Eton and Oxford. I have his biography on Churchill and it is not a bad book, with many folks singing its praises. As to his religion, he left his mother’s Catholicism and became an Anglican. But at best this seems to be just a nominal faith.

He will certainly be more forthright on many issues than many of his milquetoast predecessors. Indeed, some cabinet ministers have already resigned, saying they prefer not to serve under Johnson. And consider this headline: “A leading Muslim Tory activist has compared Boris Johnson to Adolf Hitler and vowed to quit the party if he becomes leader.”

Hmm, we always have some pretty good indications about a guy when decidedly leftist leaders let it be known how little they like him. And there are many more. Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland has said she has “profound concerns” about him, and Jeremy Corbyn said Labor would table a no confidence motion to get rid of him.

A very quick overview of his life includes these notable dates:
-1964 Birth in New York
-1977-1987 College years
-1987–1994 Journalist
-1994-1999 Political columnist
-1999–2005 Editor of the English Spectator
-2001–2008 MP for Henley
-2008–2016 Two term Mayor of London
-2016–2018 Foreign Secretary under May
-2018–2019 Parliament backbencher

All this is a brief look at the man, but much more needs to be said. How he performs in the days ahead remains to be seen. For the rest of this article, let me draw upon some others who know more than I do about the man and his virtues and vices. While many conservatives are glad he is now at 10 Downing Street, not everyone has been so keen.

Writing a month and a half ago in various journals, including the Australian Spectator, one English conservative writer, David Sergeant, warned about the man, calling him a “leftist fraud”. It was a pretty strong piece indeed. Johnson was also called “a nasty piece of work,” “a radical social liberal,” and “a master of deception,” for starters.

Sergeant said this:

The truth is simple. Boris Johnson isn’t a conservative. He isn’t a man of the people or the champion of grassroots. He’s an internationalist, establishment elite who will say or do anything for personal advantage. Sure, for now that might mean members like what we hear, but let there be no doubt – once elected – Johnson would turn on us in an instant.
newenglishtimes.com/boris-johnson-is-a-leftist-fraud/

Others think – or hope – he is the right man for the job, and may be another Trump-like figure – or maybe even a Reagan-like figure. For example, Lloyd Evans, writing in the UK Spectator says Boris “will soon be the most popular leader in the world”. He certainly takes a much more positive view of the man himself. He writes:

It’s curious that most of the public believe they know Boris already. Many probably think of him as a brash, self-centred wag who dominates every conversation with a string of anecdotes and routines – like an albino Oscar Wilde. Not at all. He’s modest and even shy at the dinner-table. He restricts himself to his immediate neighbours and he never turns a social event into a solo performance. He’s a great listener. He draws people into his confidence by offering a personal revelation. ‘I’m a bit worried about my kids,’ he once said to me, when his brood were approaching their teens. ‘I’m not sure if they respect me.’

He concludes:

The EU won’t be able to read him. They won’t like that. And they’ll be rather miffed to discover that they can’t help warming to him either. Most of the people who loathe him have never met him. Everyone who enters his orbit finds themselves smitten by his curious, cat-like giggling presence. He likes people. And people like him back. In that respect he’s more of a Reagan than a Trump. He’ll work his magic on the heads of state and the chancellors he’s about to meet. By the autumn, we’ll have the most popular leader in the world.
blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/boris-johnson-will-soon-be-the-most-popular-leader-in-the-world/

Plenty of questions remain. Is Johnson an actual conservative? Is he all rhetoric and no action? Will he have the courage to really follow through on some of the big-ticket items, not least of which, delivering on Brexit? As the American Thinker has asked in a new article, will “Boris Johnson, slay the EU and revive the Reagan-Thatcher comity?” Time will tell.

At the very least, these are interesting days, and it is hoped that Johnson does far better than some of his predecessors. We shall see. In the meantime, I fully have to agree with Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice in the UK when he said:

“It was always going to be Boris Johnson who would become Tory Party leader and PM, but he and the whole of Her Majesty’s Government need our prayers right now. Keep praying for his appointments to Cabinet to be God-fearing, knowing that God works miracles in answer to his people’s heartfelt prayers.”

Amen to that.

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17 Responses to On Boris Johnson

  • Thanks Bill for this comprehensive roundup on BJ. It’s interesting that he is not liked by the extreme left, considering he’s no Conservative. But the conventional wisdom in politics used to be the more recognizably partisan adhering to the classic party line, the more successful you would be. Personally I see Nigel Farage as what could have been Britain’s Trump but of course being the head of a minor party doesn’t usually allow for that.

  • As I say Damien, time will tell. And as I also said, we need to pray for him. Trump ended up being better that I thought he would be. Let’s hope and pray for the same for Boris.

  • I cannot but think of the evil Jeroboam, king in Samaria during the time of the prophet Johan. [2 Kings 14:23-27]. Both Jonah and Jeroboam were fascinating characters indeed. The story of the prophet is well known and his particular sin of bigoted nationalism is stunning. Jeroboam, despite his evil ways, nevertheless restored the border of Israel, according to the word of the LORD spoken through Jonah. Almighty God in His grace and mercy, used an evil king to save Israel from her enemies.
    We ought never to fall into the trap of believing that God will not or can not use an evil despot to further His purposes in history. God is Lord of history. Perhaps Almighty God in His grace might just be pleased to use Mr. Boris Johnson, colorful and imperfect character as he is to lead England out of the morass into which she has been plunged. Providence is full of surprises. Let’s give BoJo a chance before we right him off from the safety of our couches…and pray earnestly for him.

  • Many hearts are lighter today as a result of the removal of Theresa May from the Prime Minister’s office. It has been a long and miserable three years here and she has been an utter disaster. However, during these three years there is no doubt that God has opened many eyes; the treachery of our leaders and MSM has been laid open for all to see. Whether Boris Johnson will carry out what he promises remains to be seen, but I agree with Andy T above; God can use anyone he wishes to work his purpose out.

  • I really hope he is a British Trump and we have some radical changes to reform the UK ASAP.

  • PS Boris has some Muslim and Jewish ancestry as well as mostly European and he also spent a gap year teaching at Geelong Grammar. Interesting man!

  • Call me a man of weak faith, but I have nothing to hope from Boris. David Sergeant whom you refer to above, Bill, tells only half of the horrors of Boris.

    His address on the steps of No 10 emphasised that he was going to advance the LGBT agenda. I suppose if he gets tired with Carrie he will be free to exchange or even augment her with a homosexual partner(s)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at4wVBkGK1A

    I see this as yet another example of a feminist gaining power by latching onto a weak man. She joins the long ranks of Jezebels who presently dominate our nation.

    Meanwhile 200, 000 babies are exterminated in their mother’s wombs every year, children are abused on an industrial scale in Britain and marriage and the family, the most productive part of any nation’s economy are trashed.

    The public are shallow and fickle. They are not the same generation that fought through two world wars, who had the “moral courage and martial vigour” to fight on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets. Today the battles rage in our parliament, in our councils, in our churches, in our schools and nurseries but apart from the Muslim parents of Parkfield and Anderton Park Schools, Birmingham, the British are, without having firing a shot in their own defence, a defeated nation.

    The analogy of have is not of Jeroboam but Ahab or the last kings of both Israel and Judah before they were dragged off into slavery.

    David Skinner UK

  • Thanks David. As I said, time we tell. We of course already have a Muslim mayor of London in Khan. And Boris has tended to flip flop on things as we know. At times he is strong on things, as in his two recent remarks about it is time for Khan to go and Islam is backwards:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz70KEr2u80&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR1ZLa64Lu9irUvuoEl0L6qASpRWSEi1izOcMoN3Mw61XfOxIHa0J6PMcdw

    https://voiceofeurope.com/2019/07/boris-johnson-says-muslim-world-literally-centuries-behind-the-west-due-to-islam/?fbclid=IwAR2PkKTgCyqFmTHwo5xdM2y_iRXtYQQielQBXuErfBDD7YjhFux0LPOcUpw

    But as I keep saying, we shall see. If he gets the UK out of Europe by October 31 as he says he wants to do, that will be one very good thing at least. And as I also said, we better pray for him. I was very skeptical and critical of Trump before the US election, but he ended up being better than I thought he would be. Let’s hope and pray that this is true of Boris as well.

  • Yes, Bill, Boris appears to have conducted a “long night of the knives” programme of emptying the cess pool in the government and filling it with people whose morality stands in strong contrast to his own. We shall see if this works out, or whether having brought all the good guys into the fold, he will the more easily be able to control them. As some one said,” keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-49106075
    But perhaps I am a man of little faith.
    David Skinner UK

  • I heard a radio report this morning saying that Boris “wants to make Britain great again”. Well, firstly he needs to learn how Britain was “made great” to begin with ….
    In the past year or so, I came across a cartoon on the web (I’m kicking myself for not downloading it or bookmarking it) showing Queen Victoria handing a Bible to an African man, with the comment of something like “this is how the British Empire became great”.

    Regards,
    John

  • Am I missing something? If born in the USA how can he be PM? I’m sure there’s an explanation. I was born in the Philippines and am confident of my constitutional ability to be POTUS, when I get around to running.

  • Thanks Richard. The UK differs from the US on this matter.

  • Never mind. At birth he had dual citizenship. He later renounced his American citizenship. If Trump finds out… all bets are off!

  • Personally I’m most excited to see the House of Commons leader is Jacob Rees-Mogg – staunchly Christian & not afraid to speak out against abortion & other issues.
    https://youtu.be/WE6WC_BVZ4Q

  • Yes that is great news indeed Richard.

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