'Boris Johnson will make a big splash – that the rest of us have to clean up'

Boris Johnson doesn't have the attention to detail required to make a good prime minister, says Lesley Laird
Boris Johnson doesn't have the attention to detail required to make a good prime minister, says Lesley Laird
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The Tory selection of the new Prime Minister, almost certainly Boris Johnson, is a wake-up call to all of us, writes Lesley Laird.

With a no-deal Brexit looming, tensions with Iran increasing, and a climate emergency to face up to, this is not the time for a bluffer to be in 10 Downing Street.

In these times of national and international difficulty, we need a serious, mature politician who can be relied upon to keep his promises, not cast them aside like yesterday’s newspapers.

Telling us all to be “more positive” is simply not going to cut it when negotiating a deal with the rest of the European Union, we need attention to detail – something Boris severely lacks.

His interview on the BBC by Andrew Neil gave us a chilling insight. For Boris, it’s all about grand, sweeping statements, arm waving and roguish grins. But this is not some “wheeze”, Boris, this is the serious job of running the country.

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The need for Boris to deliver a deal that can be put to the country and for him to dismiss any talk of suspending or ‘proroguing’ Parliament – to inflict a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on all of us – is greater than ever.

The economic impact on the economy and our citizens will be horrendous. Promising budget-busting spending pledges and tax cuts for the wealthiest is entirely the wrong approach and will have to be discarded as fiscal reality sets in.

We expect our prime minister to put the country first, to be self-sacrificing, dedicated, to have integrity, honesty and our respect.

It seems that for Tory members these qualities are no longer fashionable or necessary and instead we will have a newly elected Tory leader and prime minister who has self at the centre of everything he does.

And what of our Scottish Tory MPs? Boris has always been anti-Scotland, anti-devolution and unwilling to listen.

Will they bend the knee to their new leader? I imagine they will, forgoing any standing up for Scotland or loyalty to Ruth Davidson. They know where their bread is buttered.

While some may laugh at the state of our politics, the chilling impact on oour living standards will be felt by most of us, and certainly by those who can least afford it.

Whether we voted to remain in or leave the European Union, we will need more than warm words and empty promises in the coming years.

Boris is going to make a big splash on the world stage, of that I have no doubt, but it will take more than a blonde mop to clean up the mess.

That will be left to someone else.

Lesley Laird is Labour’s shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath