No-Show BoJo! Is Boris Johnson in hiding or indifferent?
Boris Johnson the leader of a less than illustrious pack of UK Prime Minister aspirants has perhaps played a clever hand.
Was it arrogant? Confident? Tactical? Without attending Sunday night's Channel 4 debate, possibly avoiding a Remain lynching, BoJo has grabbed all the Monday headlines without him having to outline,
let alone commit, to his Brexit strategy. Criticism of his no-show will mostly be from those who would never give him a positive review and such criticism might help galvanize his supporters.
Even considering his Etonian-Oxford education, arrogance is unlikely to be a factor. No doubt Johnson's team are advising him to adopt a safe strategy, limiting the risk of less than propitious utterances. In other words, 'Keep your mouth shut Boris'. Is there a risk that a number of his supporters might be swayed by the label of coward attached to him? How will he spin the claims he is too fearful to face a few members of his own party?
It is not an uncommonly held view that Johnson is smart not to risk a strong position as he just needs to get to the final shootout, in which he is considered if not unassailable, at least a firm favourite. He must also be aware that many Conservative Members of Parliament and the hierarchy within the party establishment must dread the prospect of an early General Election, especially if called due to a further Brexit deal defeat in the House, although Johnson might feel he is the one who can successfully appeal to the country for it's support prior to October 31st. Johnson is clearly trying to keep his cards close until he is facing down just one opponent when he will feel assured of victory. Although history tells us that early favourites in the Conservative leadership contests more often than not fail to claim the crown, it certainly appears that these times, maybe not the best of times, nor the worst of times, are certainly the most divisive times in several deacdes and we might just witness an early favourite make all the running.
Tuesday 18th brings round 2 of the Conservative Members of Parliament voting. If Johnson consolidates his lead it might be time for anti-supermodel to start singing.