Wednesday 30 October 2019

Boris as Tsunami: Unstoppable

Many years ago, what I thought I knew about a tsunami was that it was a monstrous wave; a wall of water tens of feet high which smashed down on a coastline that was only prepared for waves of everyday size, and therefore caused much destruction. It made sense: a grotesquely scaled-up version of the first wave to hit a child's sandcastle on the incoming tide. Easy to envisage

However. More recently, when every person and public building has a camera permanently primed to capture whatever happens, we learn that it’s really no such thing. It's a wave only a little greater in height than usual, if at all - but instead of being a big ripple with nothing behind it (except the next wave), it's the front of an entire body of forward-moving water, all of which is a few feet above normal sea level. And it's inexorable, with the most epic volume of advancing water directly behind it, extending back into the ocean for miles. 

Being water, it does various things on reaching land. Sure enough, against some obstacles it rears up into the legendary thirty-foot wave. But against others, it just flows around, powering inland, on and on, with unstoppable force that demolishes and sweeps up trees, vehicles, light buildings, indeed everything not fully anchored to stable rock. It's no more to be stopped by regular sea defences than was the surging crowd at Hillsborough to be held back by mere crush barriers. 

What's this to do with Boris? Think back to May's fairly determined efforts to get her Deal through. We noted at the time that relentless slog is a strategy with something to commend it in certain circumstances - even if it's unattractive to watch, and unsatisfying to those who favour the bold and sudden stroke of a blitzkrieg or dashing, decisive flanking maneouvre. 

But May's resources petered out after four or five months. 

It seems to me, though, that Boris may yet be more relentless still. His whole career is one of being unstoppable - by setback, scandal, shame or scruple. The "greased piglet" moves, this way and that, around barriers and through attempts to lay hands on him. We're seeing this in his willingness and ability to pivot instantly in front of the roadblocks and tripwires hastily erected against his every move. Ordinarily, the cheap cries go up of "U-turn!" and "but, but last week you said ...". And Boris, knowing that nothing ever sticks to him with the great voting public, he cares as little for consistency as did the legendarily shameless editors of the Sun when the time came to declare "reverse-ferret". 

And as he moves, this way and that, it's always somehow net-forward. 

The XR-wallahs, just as the HK protesters, have adopted the old strategy-slogan, "Be Water". (They attribute this to Bruce Lee, but old Mao got there first; and Soviet military doctrine for the offensive could be described in a similar way.) Boris "Tsunami" Johnson, too, knows how to be Water; about swirling and flowing around obstacles, always surprising and outflanking the blocker, always relentlessly moving forward. His stamina for doing this has seen him past quite a few apparently insuperable roadblocks over the decades. 

Let's see where the waters stand by Christmas. And what counts as 'forward', so far as Boris is concerned. 


PS - gotta love Polly’s latest: "Even if the Tories win an election, Brexit will finish them".

From the sports pages: Even if England win the RWC, the Welsh are still very scary ...


Anonymous said...

I'd posted a comment, but Google/Blogger really are shit.

Anyway, gist was, winter election - people are going to have other things on their minds than Brexit, which is conceptual in nature.

Which means plenty of territory for attacks against the Tories. So yes, polls look good, people want it done, and in a summer election a majority would have been Boris'.

It's winter though. Leaves on the lines. Can't get a doctors appointment? Granny can't get a bed? Surgery cancelled? Having to go to a foodbank to pay for heating?

The everyday, concrete things, come into sharp relief.

CityUnslicker said...

It will be fun watching labour trip over their own shoe laces. i don't think people realise how unprepared they are mentally or materially for what is to come. They literally cannot get their story straight on anything.

Having said that, I am doubtful that Boris will get his majority because of EVENTS. too many can happen in 5 weeks and despite a useless opposition Leave/Remain are entrenched. Labour will do poorly I do think, but the main beneficiary will be the Lib Dems and not the Tories. 2017 results re-run will really be challenging for the new parliament.

BlokeInBrum said...

Well, if Boris is to campaign on the reheated withdrawal agreement then I can't see him winning over that many leavers.
Remainers will be split three ways with votes going to Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party, all of whom are likely to form a coalition together to beat the Tories.
Interesting finding out where the battle lines will be drawn.

Thud said...

For all our sakes I hope he makes it.

Anonymous said...

Thud - agreed. I think the Remain camp will probably be very united, a lot of tactical voting etc.

Remember our elites never expected Brexit to win, were stunned by the result, and really don't want it to happen (even though that would poison politics for a generation if not longer). Stand by for a LOT of postal votes and a lot of online sites devoted to telling students exactly where and how to vote. I may have to tell my student kids (Corbyn last time) they don't live here any more!

Boris HAS to do a deal with Farage if only an unwritten one. Places like Bolsover are an obvious target for TBP now Denis Skinner's standing down. Remain will play dirty.

Then FFS get the boundaries sorted!

Voting Conservative gets harder and harder. Fool me once ...

"If the vote is leave, then we will leave. No more negotiations - the negotiation is now" - Cameron 2016.

"We will leave on March 31st" - May, 106? times, 2017.

"We leave on October 31" - Boris.

What possessed him to give the whip back to the Traitorous Ten? Is he doing the sums and needs them inside pissing out? For all Brexit voters that's a discouraging sign.

Boris will have to campaign like a maniac. And the one thing he has is that the Boris Brand is probably less toxic than the Tory one.

E-K said...

He's a Conservative human shield. The more they attack it the more arrows bounce back on themselves. The People actually like him.

Lord knows, the Left have had it all their own way with human shields, Thunberg and Miller the latest.

I suppose the Queen is a human shield of sorts too.

Jan said...

@anon 5.29pm
I know what you mean about children and Corbyn. I've given up there and we have to agree to disagree and avoid the subject entirely!

I'm pleased we have a few remainer resignations but it's a shame about Kate of the few Labourites to be a proper Leaver.

One thing I'm pretty sure of is that this election is all about Brexit. I have a Tory MP here but if the Brexit party put up a candidate I shall vote for whoever is the "strongest" Brexiteer.

Anonymous said...

Brexit Day. It's all very scary out there now. Children roaming the streets with masks on. Hiding their faces. Threatening people with "Trick or Treat"

If only we had Brexit then all this madness would pass.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:05 pm - that's nothing to November 4th in Leeds.

Nick Drew said...

Anon @ 6:53 - in that Beeb piece everybody is very coy about mentioning what happens in Lewes ... (quite the other end of the country)

Our good friend Mr Raedwald waxes lyrical on these 'misrule' customs from time to time

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

Whenawerealad Mischief Night was every night. We were latch-key kids, both parents on shift.

We were left with cheese and piccalilli to make sandwiches. Both lil' bro' and I hated piccalilli. So we made cheese sandwiches, put the piccalilli in a sheet of cellophane and went on a mission.

I got lil' bro' to slap the piccalilli on the windscreen of a neighbour's Morris Minor.

The silhouette of my underdeveloped brother (head out of proportion with body) whapping down this dollop of mess (and then smearing it around), back-lit by a street lamp, sent me into hysterics. I had to run back home.

I take up the rest of the story from my brother's perspective:

"I ran back to the house, the front door left wide open... a trail of fresh shit leading up the stairs to the toilet... there Kevin sitting with a hand full of it telling me that he'd tried to catch it."

This nearly made his Best Man's speech until I stopped him.

C'mon England !

Thud said...

EK, ha! good times come in many you have just illustrated.