Yesterday, Boris Johnson visited the Queen who asked him to “form a government,” making him Britain’s new prime minister. He immediately went to work… by kicking many old Remainers to the curb and replacing them with passionate Brexiteers.
It will not surprise anyone that the mainstream media aren’t exactly happy with this purge:
“Shock and awe”:
-Boris Johnson chairs his first cabinet at 08:30 after merciless purge of the “doubters and doomsayers” in a radical shake up
– Jacob Rees-Mogg the latest hard brexiteer appointed to cabinet alongside Patel, Leadsom and Raab
– Statement to Parliament at lunchtime
— Tamara Cohen (@tamcohen) July 25, 2019
Sky News, meanwhile, calls it “a cabinet massacre” and adds:
His ruthless cull of Theresa May loyalists from the cabinet – and his rewarding of leading Vote Leave campaigners with key posts – has provoked anger among many Conservative MPs.
Let them be angry. Many of those purged from the cabinet were Remainers who did everything in their power to prevent Brexit from happening under Theresa May. The British government is better off without them.
Thankfully, there are also British columnists who are happy with how Johnson has gone about it. As Allister Heath explains in the Daily Telegraph, which just so happens to be the paper that also published Johnson’s columns:
Johnson’s decision to purge the Cabinet of anybody who couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver was spot on: many of his critics feared that he would be too weak to wield the axe. Instead, he proved ruthless and decisive, launching the most radical reshaping of a Cabinet outside of a change of party in living memory. It’s do or die, and he means it.
His appointments so far have been exceptional – as good as they could have been from a free market and Eurosceptic perspective.
Sajid Javid, “a free marketeer with a superb grip of economics and finance,” is Britain’s new Chancellor. Priti Patel, “a principled Thatcherite, will be a radical anti-crime Home Secretary.” And then there is Dominic Raab who “will project a pro-Brexit vision of Global Britain as Foreign Secretary.”
All these three are children of immigrants. They are also passionate, EU-sceptic Thatcherites. Together with Johnson, these three cabinet members will set Britain’s new course… and they’ll join forces to make sure that Brexit happens before the deadline of October 31st.
In his first speech as prime minister, on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street, Johnson made clear that his administration will be all about Brexit:
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) July 24, 2019
“The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters – they are going to get it wrong again,” he told Remainers who continue to bemoan the results of the 2016 Brexit referendum. “The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy.”
As Allison Pearson writes:
Like the illusionist Derren Brown, Boris peppered his paragraphs with can-do words. Nerve, pluck, ambition. It was as if he were trying to hypnotise an exhausted, riven country into a state of self-confident belief, just as Churchill did. It sounded like a wartime speech. We haven’t had leadership for so long that we had almost forgotten what it looks like.
I have to say, I am somewhat of a skeptic, but Johnson’s decisions after winning the Tory elections has me hopeful. Thus far, his moves have been downright inspired and inspiring. The ending may not be as good as we all want it to be, but he hardly could have been off to a better start.