Who Is Boris Johnson?
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Things are contentious in the U._K.. Maybe more so than usual at one point the House Speaker had to interrupt the prime minister speech to lecture his fellow M._P.'s Constitutional Putian Assault Odor. I apologize for interrupting the Prime Minister. This thought too much noise in this chamber far too many members who think it's all right for them to shout out their opinion the prime minister stop well. Let's be clear it isn't the statement will be heard and there will be ample opportunity in conformity with convention and as established by me decade for colleagues to question the Prime Minister but the statement segment we'll be heard and it will be heard with courtesy. The Prime Minister be pooled. You're engaging and also far too much negativity by the well well. The speaker in the House of Commons can bring order to the M._p.'s I suppose <hes> in the immediate sense but he does not have the power to bring order to politics in the United Kingdom does Boris Johnson. Some people say unlikely here with a window into into what John Sonian era could look like is and mcevoy. She's editor for Economists Radio and senior editor at the Economist and mcevoy on the line from London. Thanks for being here great pleasure to be with you. <hes> well Boris Johnson born in our own New York City educated hated at Eton the very cautious school in all of the U._k.. Fair to say his new job is is the one he's wanted for his whole career his whole life in fact opposite the I'm a contemporary of Boris Johnson's that she a at Oak said good thing burress John's no not depending which which way you're looking at it to see his march through the elite institutions doesn't leave many out and we were at the same time and I remember him speaking in the Oxford Union. That's a very well known debating chamber modelled on the House of Commons on lot of eighteen year olds in penguin suits preparing themselves for future glory and I went turned up and very naive eighteen year old that the first person I saw speaking the same Oregon tones that you've just it was played out there was Boris Johnson. I think it was pretty clear from the get-go that he wanted to be a very senior politician and I think he had that ambition that dry from early on to say I want to be prime minister. He's not someone who you would hide that. He's in Tub Uni- seconds they say that Boris is the master of the media moment much like our own President Donald trump that that even the branding even down to the tussled messy hair. It's it's not an accident at. It all it reflects somebody who's just rolled out of bed but in fact he tussles it himself before the television hit begins that it's all part of a carefully crafted persona. Yes Kathy crafted percent. I'm a bit careful when it comes to direct comparisons donald trump. I think they're very different kinds of people. I think they're very different kinds of conservative. If indeed Donald Trump is a conservative I think there is something profoundly conservative about Boris Johnson but also he is in many ways much why we're looking much much more small l liberal just his liberalism doesn't fall in the places that that would be comfortable from left liberals either in America or the U._K.. Is Funny. You should mention the hair because great tribe of Johnson Siblings all have rather the beautiful and very well kept head except Boris his hair was looks like a a haystack so there is an element of that he sat in his consciously modelled himself Winston Churchill with that delivery is very churchillian and the more so than than most other Polish boys who who went to Eton. I think there's something that he's always been aiming fool that which was Winston three point zero we are warned time and time again not to make too many comparisons between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at the master of the media moment and perhaps is an apt comparison. Here's the big question when it comes to Boris Johnson. Maybe the only question that matters when it comes to Boris Johnson can he get a brexit deal done in under ninety four days now more and more people thank in the U._k.. That they're going to leave the E._U.. On October first with no deal on customs or trade or all the many other details of an economic relationship with Europe France Timmerman is first vice president of the European Commission and he believes at that result would be a tragedy for all sites not just for the United Kingdom I I'm. I'm not one of those saying that going to suffer. We're all going to suffer that happens. I think if I look back at the last years I don't think many people in United Kingdom when they voted for Brexit's intentionally voters for a new brexit. I don't think that happened. I think there is a strong willingness in society to come out of this in a reasonable way and I think the best way to come out of this on the basis of the agreement that that was reached with the European Union and Boris Johnson likes to talk about positively we heard it at the top. He's attacked the gloomsters and the doomsters but from over here I have to say we've watched a Brexit vote and then you know a lot of flailing flailing after that Theresa may stymied time after time to get a majority for any plans to leave the E._u. and the E._U.. Saying we're not going to deal anymore. So is there any reason for this optimism that Boris Johnson demands of his fellow M._p.'s and the British public well the the reasons why he might get along by doing something a bit different. He's not going to do what Theresa May did and she tried very hard to do it. Via Consensus only to find that she couldn't reach a consensus in her parliament and she had three goes that withdrawal agreement as you rightly point called meaningful but votes but increasingly were known around Westminster is meaningless votes so I think Boris Johnson comes in rather differently he says if nothing else can be coupled together that we can will agree to we will leave on the thirty first that's different from Theresa May's style and tone. She was never very keen a tool about embracing that no deal message Frans Timmermans like a lot of people in the European Commission in on the European Pin side of the table a state well people didn't vote for no deal and I think that is true and I think in very troublesome indeed the only thing is of course if if Boris's polling figures of looking good and confident he can say well at least he's actually the way that <music>. I'm getting the backing to negotiate and he's trying you can hear it in his voice to to draw that distinction when he talks about the gloom student doomsters here eating means all the people who failed before him there might be some form of movement on the other side of the. Channel I've just been making progress in France and Germany and I think if you go to Berlin where a no deal brexit would have many very bad consequences as well not only for our economy primarily in the U._k.. But for the big economies of northern Europe you you probably get a bit more than you get. If you go to France I think what we'll get. The end game is these big governments will have to decide. Is this something that they want to offer or do. We all just have to prepare for the immense bureaucracy and entanglement of a new deal trading arrangement where we have to really go back to world trade rules and build it from the ground up that would not be easy. We'll continue the conversation with the economists and Macelroy in just a minute support support for this N._p._r.. PODCAST and the following message come from the United States Postal Service every day. Innovative companies are reinventing the way business happens but none of that is possible without the right people people who get packages to over one hundred fifty the million delivery points affordably and on time with the latest technology and expertise who can help you deliver the future of commerce the United States Postal Service see why they deliver more ecommerce packages to homes than anyone in the country country at U._S._P._S. dot com slash future. It has already been an eventful summer in politics between the twenty twenty debates and the president's battle over immigration. There's a lot going on and win. There's news. You need to know about the <unk> n._p._R.. Politics podcast is there to tell you what happened not to mention. We're hitting the road so you can meet all of the twenty twenty contenders appeal is GonNa drive me crazy the N._p._R.. Politics podcast subscribe we're talking about Brexit and Britain's new the prime minister with an mckelway of the economist now and I know that you warned us off of taking to close a comparison between Boris Johnson and our own president trump and I'm mindful of it I am but you just described something else. That's quite Trumpian which is negotiating from the brink. We have repeated situation here. Where crises are created in negotiating from a from a threat of crisis is taken by the leader is being a point of strength in a negotiation? Let me play you a clip of our own president president trump here who seems pretty excited about Boris Johnson. The president certainly has been a supporter of Brexit. Listen Boris is going to be a great prime minister predictable be great prime minister. He has what it takes. They needed him for a long time. U K needed him for a long time so for us and I just spoke I congratulated him and he's all set to go now. President Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon was a huge proponent of breaking up these alliances the European European Union. Maybe even NATO <hes> president trump is followed along does derailing endorsement from the president of the United States help Boris Johnson domestically hurt him or or is it an IRO. What do people think yes it depends it depends on where you go doesn't it but I think you're absolutely right to point out that there? There are bits that I think can be over-egged in the comparison. I think what is right is that both of them are sensible. Chances they're prepared to take risks of other. People are not prepared to take nick and I think that is why there is this affinity between them. Even though in there are lots of things that they don't really agree on a tool I mean I think Boris is actually very strong pro NATO person. He's quite own foreign affairs tends to be rather nuanced and he how's that you something of that small c conservative <hes> thinking on so he's not a huge doozy mastic intervene in everything but I think he's not neither Donald Trump. He's not a pullback from the world earlier in euro terms kind of. Of leader whether I think you're absolutely right is that trump. Donald Trump is sort of embracing Boris Johnson partly because he likes another random individual WHO's not allied to the E._U.. Elites and also I would get making bit. The trouble with Angela Merkel seems to be the kind of enemy of Donald Trump and so I think there's a bit of mischief being played there. It's also Boris Johnson has to an extent. I didn't want to sort of soften. The edges of Boris Johnson's campaign too much certainly people in vote leave in his in the campaign to leave the European Union almost ahead of the trump phenomenon. They really did take a sort of a leaf out of that playbook you painted in bold colors of people people say that's not true. Don't worry that much move on move the message on and when people raise their slightly whingeing doubts put them in the corner and say that the dreadful kind of whingeing lefties and would you expect so there is a there is that ability which is sometimes I think very interesting dynamic politics and then can shade into shall we say being loose with the facts so with the very day create the doubt receive the doubt then troll the doubt sounds familiar as well cliff writes this to us on facebook. You can't run away from your problems and Britain's problems are economic conservative Thatcher. I'm x factor economics. Pardon me is the Brits version of reaganomics cutting granny's pension to to pay for tax cuts for the rich class warfare on your own people. It never works and running away fixes. Nothing Stephen writes on facebook Boris Johnson is going to crash out of Europe on Halloween causing the next great worldwide economic depression and <hes> and one of the risks of negotiating on the brink or at least appearing to is that you could go over it and that might not have just messaging consequences but real world economic consequences yes if we do indeed go over the brink into a new deal arrangement on the thirty first lack of her engine on the thirty first of October the conversation I think change very quickly to how does Boris Johnson government manage this. I think in those circumstances he'd had for general election quite quickly put himself up against Jeremy Corbyn very left wing Labour leader then I suppose you gentlemen there on Facebook we could test is about what would happen in those circumstances but he would be left the remarkably complicated task of dealing with this so-called new deal scenario. It's easy to say oh you go back to just two basic W._T._o.. Tariffs but when you've heard that degree of involvement is connections actions in everything from food supply chain to loss minute delivery to car industry anything could be friction in terms of ports and we all Rhode Island so it does everything takes a little bit longer <hes> <hes> that I think would be such a huge difficult technological mechanical task that he would probably need to go and get a new mandate to do that and I think that's the reason why we there is a hoop that something might might come up up but you all right when she negotiate from the brink and Boris Johnson is the lead to because nobody not people in his party wanted to continue the search for consensus they couldn't find that is the risk you take and it is a very considerable risk where we asked for your calls and your questions questions about Boris Johnson Mister Prime Minister as he's now known a here's one of your many messages to US Warren. I'm calling from Delray Beach Florida. I used to live in England. My mother was English. Britain must is be very careful about Boris Johnson lest he lead the British people into the hands of the American insurance companies and they lose their wonderful socialized medicine. So the national healthcare system such as we should have here in America and Warren says the N._H._l.. The beloved in maligned N._H._S. is at risk. Don't fall into the same trap as the Americans. He says it is part of the debate constantly in the U._k.. Are People worried that their old standbys of the social safety net in the U._k.. Could be threatened here. They're all those who live in in a state of of fear about the future of the N._H._l.. The the real problem that has won it needs to get more money now quickly to to the front line and that's been held back a bit and all this chaos and a bit because of the electoral cycle and the other thing is a narrow. I would probably challenge the caller a bit. Is that the N._H._S. it also needs reforms homes. It is not at all over a wonderful service. He deserves a very good at delivering healthcare for everyone which is clearly something that the American system has struggled with an is still struggling with and or are you calling for peaks and troughs. Are you calling. You're calling warranted. Doomsayer gloomsters sounds like that's that's what Boris Johnson says very sensible person to me but I do feel it's almost shoot of used. It was more passion in the U._S.. In the argument about looking into Britain and the other way round it's interesting that Boris Johnson has kept the health section place. WHO's a someone who was a remain who is seen as a reformer and I think really reforming the N._H._S. is probably the task? I didn't think it's in any danger such so who strongly rooted in terms of a bit like you'll get down the BBC in Britain that sometimes makes us. Perhaps a bit late onto parts of reform that that needs to happen within it. I don't see a big danger to the N._H._S.. I the worst thing I can see how Johnson government is not attention paid to props. It's clear that you know I'm on the more reform inside of the the agenda on the N._H._S. or an education that these are areas that need attention and your country has to pay attention to whether on the left or the right you want the argument about them to be about how they get better that needs focus from government and the thing about breakfast just a huge time suck well. All this is happening of that even if anyone wanted to sell it off tune in Indian the American Insurance Company should they find everyone else was eating meeting dealing with Brexit after quick break. We're GONNA talk more about Boris Johnson. This is won. Stay close and support also comes from Rossi's Roth. These are the everyday flats for life on the go stylish versatile fully machine washable and they go with everything from the Yoga Pants to dresses and skirts best of all. There's zero break in period. Thanks to their woven design seamlessly crafted from recycled water bottles plus Rossi's always come with free shipping and free returns and exchanges find out why buzzfeed called them there forever shoes at rockies dot com slash one a going on a big group trip always sounds good in theory but it can get tricky when you get there and having totally different expectations checkout N._p._R.. Life kits new guide on navigating group group travel or subscribe to life all guys for all our episodes all in one place and how exactly you're Brits feeling about Brexit just now they voted for it. It's been it's been chaotic for sure to say the least but I saw one comic earlier today a <hes> An editorial cartoon making fun of Brexit in a spirit of of a Disney cartoon piles of gold showering on London <hes> sort of Mary poppins and Peter Pan Style unicorns in Bowler hats. You know flying around parliament the idea being it was a fun story the promise of Brexit but it's not real not going to happen. You know the interesting thing. Is that very broadly speaking. If you go to people who voted for Brexit they will still live. Very excited than they want to give Boris Johnson this chance to deliver it and if you were against Brexit well you probably doubled down on your antipathy and you will see the chaos and the failure to deliver a cleaner brexit in these three years as a sign that it's a Unicorn in a in a bowl of hot soup. It seems to oscillate between hope and despair then. There's probably quite a lot of people in the middle. We don't his much about in the Brookhurst major in the U._k.. Who just really kind of they won't eat done? If you just walk out to the market square somewhere in a small town in in Britain indeed fifty miles outside London which is very remain intends to sort of get very much into the argument I go out to every weekend fifty miles out of town and basically the feelings you hasn't it happened yet. You know where where are you all wears this thing that we were promised so I think there's a very nuanced spread of opinion. There is a sense of I think irritation in the country at politicians and irritated postseasons whether the left or right or the brexit or remain and that is a bit dangerous because as you experienced in the U._S. with the rise of Donald Trump when you get a lot of people feeling that the political class failure otherwise that it's left them behind it ladies listening to them it didn't deliver what it promised to deliver or the other way that they shouldn't have had the referendum to start with you. Get a dislocation and I noticed that as a reporter at Westminster people harsh a you know things they shelter harsher in that that Sousse Warp and west of British political life has become more reactive and I think that's something it would be very good in whatever the outcome if we could could step. Can we just kind of go back to our generally. It's like a more <hes> distanced and inability to roll with things that would really help well before we go and we've been warned Ed loose of the Financial Times warned us just last week on this show that Boris Johnson does not have a free hand he may be on the Brexit exit mandate do or die right now but he has Nigel garage and the populist pro brexit party off to the side really threatening him that if he fails here he calls an election with the wrong timing he does have Nigel for us to contend and with not just the the Labor Party the interesting relationship will be between Boris Johnson and Nigel farage and the brexit party initial pooling shoes at Boris Johnson gets in Brexit party falls because those voters really wanted done now think Boris can deliver it but <hes> if that turns out not to be the case the Brexit party is very good at popping up and down again and this is something that is changing the party landscape. It's a movement it can rise and fall it can go away Nigel for Russian takeover their income backing in that makes them quite formidable and the question I think for Boris Johnson is how much does he bring in outright populace like garage into this tent and at that point is big tent within his own party gets in it gets a little bit more concerned it was it was said of Louis the fourteenth by of course a former mistress who else that he was a very powerful king but he had a very small scepter and there was an element of I think you just got the illusion that there is an element of that that Boris Johnson that there is a barnstorming very performing tive understands power how to wield it in the modern media but in the end it is precarious power and I think that is what we're all going to see that last word goes to Elissa who tweets the most concerning part of no deal brexit is at the prime minister is glossing over what a hard border would look like with Ireland. Anyone who knows about the troubles know how bad checkpoints are there that might be a piece of British and Irish history that people are loath to go back to it might not be a possibility in the immediate term but but looming on the horizon if brexit fails and mckelway editor for economist Radio Senior editor at The economist and thank you so much for joining us great thanks for having me today show was produced by page Osborne and edited by O. Rien Donovan Smith to learn more about the team plus links to our past shows and podcasts. It's all at the one A. Dot Org.