Only one man can bring down Boris Johnson - Jeremy Corbyn

As the bombastic ex-mayor's polar opposite, the Labour leader could bring Johnson to heel, writes Liam Young.

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In five weeks’ time British voters will head to the polls to answer arguably one of the most important questions in recent political history. You will be excused for thinking that I am talking about the European referendum. Given that this campaign has descended into utter farce from both sides – with the leave campaign invoking the spirit of Adolf Hitler and the remain campaign refusing to admit they have made any preparations for Brexit – it is unsurprising that even the most interested of observers are losing patience.

Since the moment Boris Johnson announced that he would be joining the leave campaign this whole debate has been turned into a proxy Tory leadership election.  Never mind the gravity of the decision that rests in the hands of the British electorate, senior Tories seem more interested in tearing each other apart. While it may be somewhat entertaining to watch from the Labour perspective the failure to take this election seriously is no laughing matter.

While senior Tories fight for Cameron’s crown people seem to have one question for me: which one is Corbyn most likely to defeat? It is an interesting question. Now there will be some shouting that he cannot beat any of them. But I disagree. While Osborne would be my perfect choice for next Tory leader it seems that Boris is the name on everyone’s mind. His recent theatrics suggest that he is not the unassailable candidate many chalk him up to be.

How could Boris suggest that Corbyn does not have British interests at heart on matters of defence or foreign policy when the entire nation knows that he put his Downing Street dream above the interest of the country? While ridiculous claims are made against Corbyn’s ‘averageness’ owing to the fact that he eats croissants, how could Boris Johnson keep up the man-of-the-people act after the Panama scandal revealed that he earned more money than the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition, the chancellor of the exchequer and the shadow chancellor combined? How could the ex-Mayor’s charm overcome the reality of economic disaster that he would be presiding over in a post-Brexit Britain?

The fact that Boris is the polar opposite of Corbyn would make for an interesting race. It is important to note that while Boris would be a great opponent, I cannot think of anyone else on the Labour side that would be able to defeat him. While I believe them capable politicians I cannot imagine Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper being able to deal with the bombastic mayor. At least Corbyn might be able to use his head teacher act to bring Boris to heel. The politics of Jeremy Corbyn remain best able to defeat whomever the Tory leader is at the next election. While some will scoff at the thought of Corbyn schooling Boris, his recent actions only confirm the fact that the ex-Mayor is unfit to be the Prime Minister of our great country. If it ever came to placing a cross next to his name I am sure the British public would feel the same.

At least it was fun while it lasted. 

Liam Young is a commentator for the IndependentNew Statesman, Mirror and others. 

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