New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


Britain’s Trump?

by New Worker correspondent

BORIS JOHNSON met the Queen on Wednesday to take over officially from Theresa May after winning a clear victory in the Tory leadership race earlier in the week. Johnson told the media that his primary goal will be to deliver Brexit by 31st October and reunite the Conservative Party he now leads. But a number of Europhile ministers have refused to serve in his government and others are openly threatening to bring the new government down to stop a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Anne Milton, a junior education minister, resigned minutes before the announcement, saying she had “grave concerns” over Johnson’s threat of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and David Gauke, the justice minister, said he could not serve under Johnson but stressed that this would “not necessarily” involve bringing down the government. But Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary and a rising star in the Tory Remainer camp, was far more blunt. This government has “a majority of two and I have at least three friends” he said.

Johnson was born in 1964 in New York with a silver spoon in his mouth. His wealthy, upper middle-class British parents apparently went out of their way to ensure that their son had dual nationality. His birth was registered with both the US authorities and the British consulate in New York, which meant that he was granted both American and British citizenship. fifty years later Johnson renounced his American citizenship for tax reasons.

As a child, Johnson dreamed of one day becoming “king of the world”. He was educated at Eton and read classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he polished his debating skills, such as they are, as president of the Oxford Union.

Outgoing Tory leader Theresa May said farewell to Downing Street on Wednesday before heading to Buckingham Palace to tender her resignation to the Queen. In Parliament, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn acknowledged Mrs May’s “respect for public service” but criticised her record on the economy, homelessness and Brexit, and asked whether she would consider joining him “in opposing the reckless plans of her successor”.

Corbyn said: “Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers’ friend.”

The Labour leader said Johnson’s ‘no-deal’ Brexit would mean job cuts, higher prices in the shops and risk Britain’s NHS being sold off to US corporations in a sweetheart deal with US President Donald Trump. “The people of our country should decide who becomes the prime minister in a General Election,” he said.

Johnson won the Tory leadership race when the results of the membership ballot were declared on Tuesday. Johnson got 92,153 votes compared with 46,656 for his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson received the usual plaudits that world leaders churn out on occasions like this — but the US president’s praise for some-one he clearly believes is a willing tool of Trump-style American hegemony went far beyond diplomatic niceties.

“We’re respected all over the world,” Trump told Republican school students in Washington on Tuesday. “A really good man is going to be the prime minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson.

“He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying, ‘Britain Trump’. They call him ‘Britain Trump.’ And people are saying that’s a good thing. They like me over there, that’s what they wanted. That’s what they need.”