LISTEN hard enough and you may hear it on the breeze: The noise of low, thrashing moans, wails of “Nooo!” and the thud of skulls thumping Whitehall office walls.
That, my friends, is the sound of the elite’s neck-clutching horror that Boris Johnson looks well on his way to becoming the next Conservative leader.
7 Opinion polls say he is the only Tory who can beat both Corbyn and Farage — yet there was an ‘Anyone But Boris’ campaign among Tory MPs for months
7 The elite are horrified that Boris Johnson looks well on his way to becoming the next Conservative leaderCredit: BBC
The Establishment is appalled, astonished, aghast.
PM Boris? They would sooner contemplate boiled skunk innards for their tea.
Boris is, they scream, “a rat”, “an eel”, “adulterer”, “serial liar” and “sordid opportunist”.
They shake their heads in despair that we ill-washed voters are unable — not clever enough — to share their view. How DARE he be so popular?
What is it about Boris Johnson that ignites such ferocious loathing in our ruling class?’SORDID OPPORTUNIST’
Envy? Disapproval of his marital record? Or terror that he might prove them wrong?
Loathe him they most certainly do. They slander him as “the British Trump”, not realising that many Brits quite admire the convention-smashing Donald Trump and the way he has rattled the powerful.
A few days ago a posh military man strode up to me and exploded about Boris.
This former Sandhurst big- shot, a friend of the Royal Family and church-going pillar of the shires, erupted with swear words no self-respecting corporal would have used.
Had he ever met Mr Johnson? Er, no.
But the sheer thought of “that little s**t” becoming premier had sent him tonto. “I’m never going to vote Conservative again!” he yelled.
There are plenty like this. Sir Max Hastings, in his time a great newspaper editor, has thundered that he will emigrate to foreign shores if Boris becomes PM.
Actually, I bet he won’t. His gun dogs would miss the English climate.
But Sir Max, who employed Boris in his reporter days, is boiling with crossness about his former protégé’s success.
The odd thing is that, Brexit aside, their moderate-Tory views are pretty similar.
The anti-Boris brigade cleave to their hatred even though he is their best bet for survival.
Opinion polls say he is the only Tory who can beat both Corbyn and Farage.
And yet there was an “Anyone But Boris” movement among Tory MPs and for months it looked as if they would succeed.
He was the one best placed to save their seats but they still wanted to snub him.
7 They slander him as the ‘British Trump’, not realising that many Brits quite admire the convention-smashing Donald Trump and the way he has rattled the powerfulCredit: AFP or licensors
7 The only reason Boris has now gone through to the final two in the leadership contest is that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has frightened the wits out of his fellow Tory MPsCredit: AFP or licensors
7 In the Commons on Wednesday, Ian Blackford alleged that he was a racist. Total rubbish…Credit: AFP or licensors
The only reason he has now gone through to the final two in the leadership contest is that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has frightened the wits out of them.
Opposition MPs can get away with absurd claims about Boris and not be challenged.
In the Commons on Wednesday, the Scots Nats’ Ian Blackford alleged that he was a racist. Total rubbish.
Boris is many things — an adulterer, a gourmand, as fly as a bluebottle — but he is no racist.
Commons Speaker John Bercow allowed this slander to stand. Why? Because Bercow hates Boris, too.
With its TV debate this week, the BBC abandoned any pretence of impartiality and tried to screw Boris by inviting contributions from people with anti-Tory agendas.
Quangocrats have been mobilising, too. The Guardian newspaper wheeled out a UN biodiversity expert to blame Boris for pollution in the world’s oceans.
What, all of them?
Former chief scientist David King moaned that Boris was a one-man danger to the environment — days after Boris had gone out of his way to bang the drum for a cleaner, greener Britain.
Boris Johnson is liberal on social issues. He was one of the first top Tories to support gay rights.
That did not stop Channel 4 broadcasting false claims he was a homophobe.
Don’t let the facts get in the way of a smear, guys.
When two-term mayor of London, Boris presided benevolently over one of the most multi-racial cities in the world. He is laid back about family values — he needs to be, given his trouser-dropping — and had a good record on knife-crime when he was in charge of the capital. He may have gone to Eton but he is about as approachable as you can get.
All these things, surely, are positives.
So why do Tory centrists including Michael Heseltine and Ken Clarke — and Theresa May, for that matter — want to destroy him?
The first reason is Europe. These Remainers have still not accepted the result of the 2016 referendum.
LEAD IN HIS PENCIL
Boris could become the first properly Eurosceptic Prime Minister we have had in the modern era, and that worries them because they know the power a PM has to steer official policy.
Another reason: Envy, not just of what Boris has but also of what he has not had to do.
Yes, he earns a lot (£275,000 from his weekly newspaper column alone), he has the gift of the gab, and has hosted TV shows.
At an age when some blokes find their virility drooping, he still plainly has some lead in his pencil, with a new and much-younger girlfriend.
Older dingoes in public life see all this and they growl, wishing they were so blessed.
And Boris has done all this without surrendering to the low-ranking drudgery most politicians must accept in the early years.
Boris was never a junior minister. He was never a ministerial bag-carrier.
He has swanned through life breaking the rules, laughing and bonking. That INFURIATES them!
But the biggest reason of all for their hatred is that they, and the EU, fear he may succeed.
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Imagine if he delivers Brexit and the economy prospers instead of nose-diving as they forecast. Imagine if his political optimism lifts the country’s morale.
It would then be glaringly clear that our political class, with its insistent, pro- Brussels defeatism, had been completely wrong.
National success, for these snoots, would be a terrible defeat. And so they want to kill off the one man who may save us.
7 Commons Speaker John Bercow allowed Ian Blackford’s slander to stand. Why? Because Bercow hates Boris, tooCredit: AFP or licensors
7 At an age when some find virility drooping, Boris still plainly has some lead in his pencil, with much-younger girlfriend Carrie SymondsCredit: Jamie Lorriman – The Sun
SNP’s Ian Blackford calls Boris Johnson racist at Prime Minister’s Questions