Boris Johnson’s fringe event today in Birmingham was, whatever you may think of the former Foreign Secretary, an overall success. BoJo managed to fulfil the desires of his devoted followers with Churchillian flourishes over the ‘constitutionally outrageous’ Chequers proposal while also setting forward a vision for the country in an obvious attempt for the leadership of his party and Prime Minister, a job he has craved since Eton and a desire he is not likely to give up.
Inside a packed hall, with other speeches, even from Home Secretary Sajid Javid being left half empty, Boris gave a rousing appeal for the delegates to grasp the opportunities of Brexit and also engaged in some Corbyn bashing and unity rallying cries, a common theme now in speeches in Birmingham. The hyperbolic sentences were there, the expressive hand movements and the bumbling tone and persona were all evident as always, and the crowd loved it, applauding almost continuously. What was perhaps surprising was the endorsement of One-Nation Conservatism, a creed which he seemed to have distanced himself from, and most Conservative leaders have tried to have been disciples of.
Although some will reject this boisterous declamation as another Boris Johnson posh boy debating society event, it set a marker for his side of the debate on the future of the country. In reminding us all that time might not stop after 29th March next year, Boris, as ever, is impossible to ignore.