POISED to win today’s British general election, Boris Johnson will take moral ownership of No.10 at a time fraught with phony crisis but real risk. The phony crisis is the Stayers’ scaremongering about the imminent economic and cultural collapse of the nation. The risk is that a slim win won’t give the PM the straightforward wherewithal to prosecute the Leave case in good time or at all. Moreover, if Jeremy Corbyn loses, but not badly, his revolting brand could live on in British politics. That should be considered a shameful spectre to all Britons. It’s hard to believe that in 2019 anti-Semitism is a key issue in a British general election. Not that it’s entirely Mr Corbyn’s fault. A Truth Commission-style inquiry into the phenomenon could easily trace the origins of contemporary Jew-baiting not to some marginal haranguer or tub-thumper but to the well-mannered Blairites who deliberately flooded the country with people they knew for a fact to be enraged with loathing for Jews. Labour imported them like bottles of Grange or German tractor parts.
All of the genuine difficulties that were painfully evident back in 1978-79 showcase what a national crisis really looks like. Freezing, industrial chaos, social unrest of the nasty, dangerous variety and an anaemic recovery from the economic shocks of the early 70s. It was a very bleak period. Still, James Callaghan thought he was a shoo-in against Margaret Thatcher. Compared to the “Winter of Discontent,” Britain in 2019 is a sunlit idyll. Next to Scargill’s saboteurs, the Stay brigade are dilettantes when it comes to chaos theatre and nation-wrecking.
Unemployment in Britain is at its lowest for more than 40 years. Economic growth is unspectacular at just 1.5 percent but is level-pegging with the G7. Remember that after the referendum in 2016, anti-Brexit propagandists predicted economic crisis and an employment disaster. They have, of course, now altered the script to claim that catastrophe has been forestalled because Brexit hasn’t happened. They say it will definitely overwhelm the UK (this time) if Prime Minister Johnson wins and moves to formalise divorce from the EU. When it comes to zombie narratives of doom – tall leftist stories impervious to reality – the parallels between Stay fanatics and America’s anti-Trumpites are remarkable.
That aspect of the British election is one that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Will the result have an impact in a United States where Stay/Leave brawling is mirrored in the standoff between Democrats and Republicans? There are often trans-Atlantic cycles and reverberations in the politics of what we used to call the Anglosphere. Mr Johnson’s detractors have delighted in characterising him as a British Donald Trump. If that’s true, a famous victory today certainly won’t do the President’s 2020 prospects any harm.
The most delectable irony of a resounding victory for Mr Johnson (and therefore for Brexit) would be Jeremy Corbyn as accidental hero of the hour. If it wasn’t for the convention-shredding, the pious supranational moral posturing, the contempt for democracy and the absurd exaggerations, Labour and its pro-Brussels allies could have finessed a turn-around in their beloved causes. But their leader couldn’t even avoid offending Jews. If he wins big, Boris Johnson will have the authority not so much to change Britain forever but simply to let it be. His record suggests he will stubbornly persist with Brexit but will make up for it with liberals eventually. In the eyes of conservatives, any laurels he receives tonight won’t stay green for long.