Boris Is Going Nowhere, And Here's Why

The pundit class are convinced Boris Johnson's days as Prime Minister are over. But nothing could be further from the truth argues Professor Steve Fields.


Steve Fields

5 min read

It was a wet and blustery October morning that day, with the type of rain that hits you in the face like little shards of metal. Huddled together in their over-sized PE kit were a group of school children, shivering and knocking knees. None of them wanted to be there. That is except for one boy. Round of face and with a mop of ungainly blond hair, the boy was champing at the bit to get going.

‘Come on chaps, last one to the wall is a big wet wally!’ shouted the boy, kicking the ball high into the air and charging onto the field of play. He was by no means the most talented boy on the field, but what he lacked in ability, he compensated with bags of charm and character. After forty minutes of bruising play, the boy shoulder barged his opponent in the face and knocked him clean out.

As the opposition players remonstrated with the PE teacher, the boy ruffled his hair and looked perplexed. After a minute of umming and ahing, the fallen boy came to.

‘You bloody sod! You nearly took my head clean off! I’m going to kill you, you albino BASTARD!’

‘Oh gosh. Oh golly. No need to be like that, eh. Honest mistake.’ (It wasn’t. The boy aimed for his opponent’s head.)

‘Hone…HONEST MISTAKE. You could have killed me!’

‘Now, come on Rupert, don’t…don’t lose your head!’

The young man who had been knocked out looked up at his attacker, at first with consternation, but then a smile cracked. Ha ha! Don’t lose your head? Ha ha ha! Soon, the two teams were rolling around in the mud with laughter. Don’t lose your head! Ha ha ha! What a wag!

This boy, if you haven’t worked it out by now, goes by the name of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. That’s right. BoJo, or as some of the wittier members of the journalistic fraternity and Twitterati have opined of late, BloJo. Former editor of The Spectator, classical scholar, ex-Mayor of London, and now Prime Minister of Her Majesty’s United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Now, before I go on, let me be clear. Boris Johnson will NOT resign. He will NEVER resign. It is simply not in his character. It is NOT an option. The man doesn’t have the word ‘resign’ in his vocabulary. End of. Full stop. The Gentleman is not for resigning.

But many in the pundit class are saying differently. They think his goose is cooked. That it’s the end of the road. That he’s somehow toast. How many times have we heard these words? The pundits have cried wolf so many times now, one wonders how they are still taken seriously.

The gulf between the pundit class and the good old British public has never been so wide. According to the Ventroza Voter Happiness Index we use at University College Borehamwood, Boris maintains a Popularity X9 Rating of 8.9. The recent ‘partygate’, 'Pinchergate' and 'suckedoffgate' scandals have barely touched this number which was only slightly higher at 9.1 in mid-November.

Does this point towards a Prime Minister on the brink of resignation? Not on your nelly!

The qualitative data also points towards Boris being the most popular Prime Minister of all time. My PhD students have been hitting the pavement, clipboards in hand, and interviewing the British public on the doorstep. 94%, when asked if they would rather have Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, or the hateful Vladimir Putin, have answered BoJo. Not only that, they say they think he ‘done well [sic]’ with the vaccine rollout, and that they think his new baby is ‘cute’.

A ringing endorsement then for a PM on the ropes!

But what of the letters sent to the 1922 Committee – the body which has the power to make or break a Prime Minister? Are these letters calling for Boris to go? It would certainly appear so. But one anonymous source from the Conservative parliamentary whip’s office confides that most of the letters to the committee are rather optimistic attempts to negotiate a promotion in the forthcoming Spring reshuffle.

Furthermore, most of the new 2019 intake of MPs from the so-called Red Wall do not even understand the mechanism for calling a leadership contest. One northern member, who senior Conservatives have taken to calling ‘The Ape Man’ due to his slow intellect, even sent a late Christmas card addressed to the Prime Minister by mistake.

Does this sound like a party ready to knife Boris in the back à la Caesar? Of course not.

But what of Boris’s character? The man has born all the slings and arrows the press can throw at him. But they seem to forget, the man was forged on the playing fields of Eton. Within him is an upper-class steel that cannot be broken. Not like the decidedly middle-class Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher, or the glass jawed David Cameron (who yes, went to Eton, but hated the wall game, preferring to smoke spliffs behind the bike shed instead!)

What Eton teaches you, other than Latin and how to become a director at a FTSE 100 company, is a sense of honour. In Boris’s eyes, the Great British public made a decision in December 2019 to make him their champion and protector. Beneath all the charismatic bluster, this is sacred to him. He would rather self-immolate in front of the Cenotaph than resign.

Don’t believe me? Ask his friend, Darius Guppy, who called on Boris to help him have a critical journalist beat to a pulp. Rather than talk his friend down, or weasel his way out, he took the honourable decision to uphold his friendship. He may present himself to the public as a clown, but this man wouldn’t think twice to help a friend string an enemy up by his nuts and kick his head like it’s a football.

So this is my prediction. Boris will not resign, and he will see out his full term in office. And after that, I would have him as odds on to beat Sir Keir Starmer. I would stake my reputation on it. In fact, I’m so confident, I have gone to my local Queen ElizaBET bookies and put £5,000 on it! And you should too.

Addendum: This piece was written before the slew of attention-seeking cabinet and junior ministerial resignations rocked Boris Johnson's administration starting Tuesday 5th July. However, this does not change my basic argument, that Boris is too strong and determined a character to resign. Simply, he will never resign. I give you a 100% guarantee that he will not voluntarily leave office. In fact, he will emerge stronger as a result. A lot of political commentators will be eating humble pie later this month.

Steve Fields is a Professor of Political Science at University College Borehamwood. His forthcoming book, ‘Things Can Only Get Bitter: The story of Jeremy Corbyn’s poisonous reign’ is out in September with UC Borehamwood Press.