Last week you could not open the newspapers or watch the news without being aware of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and rightly so. Remembering the 50th anniversary well, it was poignant to witness far fewer actual veterans taking part in the events this time. An 18-year-old in 1944 would today be 93, and as such those who served on D-Day are few and far between. We should cherish them and their memories whilst we are able to do so.
I was particularly proud of the way Llandudno paid tribute with two services at the Cenotaph. I am aware of how well Llandudno observes Remembrance Sunday and it was good to see the town pay its respects both on Thursday and Saturday last week with the former commemoration organised by Blind Veterans and the latter organised by the British Legion. I was particularly grateful to the British Legion for organising the Saturday morning commemoration since I was in London on Thursday and thus missed the Blind Veterans event. Both events were well attended, well organised and a fitting commemoration for those who served with such distinction on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy.
On Friday Theresa May stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party. Whilst she remains Prime Minister until a successor is elected the race to become the new leader of the Conservative Party and, probably, Prime Minister is in full swing. The hot favourite is Boris Johnson who has the support of almost sixty Members of Parliament as I write these words. Some of my close friends in politics support him but I have my doubts. Being Prime Minister is the pinnacle of our political life. It’s a role that demands seriousness of purpose and a willingness to understand the simple fact that as Prime Minister you speak for all the United Kingdom and not just a small part of it.
When he won and subsequently retained the mayoralty in London Boris was undoubtedly a unique politician. He was the Conservative politician who could reach parts of the British electorate that other Conservatives simply could not. That was true for a while, but I am not sure if it remains the case. Over the past few years he has opted to be a divisive figure and by his own choice decided to be a leader of a faction rather than an advocate of building consensus. His newspaper articles have played with dog-whistle racism and his polling in parts of the United Kingdom suggest that he would be a recruiting sergeant for those wishing to break-up the United Kingdom in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
On Brexit he has flip flopped alarmingly. He signed-off on the Prime Minister’s EU exit bill then resigned to argue against it. He then spent six months insulting the deal from the side-lines and voted against it twice. Then, remarkably, he changed his mind again (with no explanation) and voted for the deal agreed by Theresa May. He is now against it once again. Forgive me for being unpersuaded but I prefer a little backbone and rather less posturing from a future Prime Minister. Who knows, the hustings to be faced by all candidates might reveal a new, more considerate and responsible Boris but I have my doubts.