While the Tory Party agonises over which 'unt is to lead us to glory, time for some weekend musing over the rather extreme choice the two candidates present us with - almost a caricature of the dichotomies of colourful vs grey, big-picture vs detail etc etc. I haven't read anything particularly interesting on this in the MSM; certainly not this very feeble offering from the Graun on leadership vs management.
In times that call for genuinely serious political leadership - analogies with war don't seem to me in any way overblown - one has been hoping upon hope that the hour will indeed bringeth forward the man. The twin tasks before the next PM - to prevail against the EU, and in the next GE (though not necessarily in that order) - represent two enormously challenging theatres of political warfare that canot be avoided. Admittedly, success in whichever epic battle comes first could materially enhance the prospects for the second ... but that didn't help Harold Godwinson, did it? And the consequences of his ultimate failure weren't just long-lasting, they were kinda fundamental.
Bringeth forth the man ... Neither of the two hopefuls is a Churchill, despite Johnson's risible attempts to associate himself with that more propitious piece of our history (much like Gordon Brown writing his 'eight portraits' on Courage. Would he have included Aung San Suu Kyi today, hmmm?) I struggle to find an encouraging historical parallel of a Boris-type taking the reins in such dire circumstances and plucking triumph from the jaws of defeat - though I could imagine there's an obscure Roman emperor who might fit the bill. We have of course had some personally ineffectual kings down the years, but the successes under their reigns have been down to powerful players at the next level down - and where do we identify those today?
So here's a short piece I can recommend, on how to understand charisma - which is just about the only potentially positive commodity which Boris clearly offers in spades. Whether reading that makes you any the more hopeful, I don't know.
By way of balance, is there anything of substance worth saying about Hunt? Actually, I think there is. You have seen me before, tearing my hair over May's complete lack of anything resembling a strategy, in the face of people (Selmayr, Robbins) who clearly knew exactly what they were doing. But here's Hunt who has actually published something on Brexit that is recognisably strategic. If you haven't seen his 10-Point Plan before, take a read.
I'm not suggesting this is a work of genius. And you can argue it's a pretty rum state of affairs when these things need to be published. But secrecy over strategy isn't necessarily required in all circumstances: in some conflicts, one or other side's strategy (or both) may be so obvious to all parties - indeed, they may flaunt it - that secrecy is out of the question: but that may not weaken them materially. And whoever produced this document for Hunt can also, presumably, be pressed into service by Johnson - and be invited to contribute to the GE strategy, whenever that's needed.
Your weekend thoughts on the Johnson/Hunt choice?