Boris Johnson may be pretending to be Churchill, but he’s running head on into the real thing

The Times and The Sunday Times / YouTube Boris Johnson 39 s victory speech 1563899098.jpg...
The Times and The Sunday Times / YouTube

In a mid-day speech at the House of Commons, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson explicitly tried to slip on the mantle of a later-day Churchill. He not only mentioned the upcoming departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union in the same breath as commemorations of the start of World War II, he declared that backing away from Brexit would be “surrender.”

“I will never surrender,” said Johnson. He didn’t mention anything about fighting European food safety regulations in the fields, and fending off imported cheese on the beaches, but … close.

But there’s one big problem to Johnson’s claim. Actually, there are a lot of big problems. But here’s one of them. An actual later-day Churchill is demonstrating actual bravery to go up against Johnson. As Reuters is reporting, Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill and a member of the Conservative Party, has let it be known that he will vote against Johnson, and against his own party’s government, to support a delay in the implementation of Brexit. That vote is likely to cost Soames his seat, as voting against the government is grounds for expulsion.

Soames’ career in parliament isn’t exactly all the stuff of legends—he tried to stop a bill that involved hunting with dogs, but he opposed Brexit from the beginning and has described himself as being on the “soft left” of the Conservative Party.

Churchill’s grandson might not be facing off Nazi guns, but he is facing down nationalists set to destroy his nation for their own gain. So … seems like one of these men is having a Profiles in Courage moment, and it’s not Boris.

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