clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Boris Johnson’s Big Brexit Energy

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin have defined Brexit’s biggest mood — the Very English Pint

Britain’s PM Johnson Campaigns For Re-Election Photo by Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images

“Get Brexit Done by pulling pints with a smirk in a dimly lit Wolverhampton boozer.”

On Armistice Day, Boris Johnson’s election campaign (aka Boris Johnson’s Voyage of Culinary Discovery) sent the Conservative Party leader, and his defence secretary Johnny Mercer, behind the bar of the Lych Gate Tavern, “a traditional beamed pub with a rotating list of real ales, a snacky sandwich menu and small terrace,” in Wolverhampton.

This is a textbook provincial photo opportunity for a politician desperate to appear inappropriately attired for the practice of serving drinks, a reminder to the watching nation that he’s never done this for real. And an exercise in underachieving that cherished political commodity: Temporary Normal Person Status. It is not this: A very different pint-pulling mood.

One is forced to wonder the process here: Who in Number 10 plays location scout? Who calls ahead? Is there a recce? Is it covert? Who the hell can ensure their guy is not going to get aled*?

So far, no change of clothes for Boris Johnson, a man hitherto somehow underserving of the fate lobbed at his new agent of acquiescence, Nigel Farage.

Speaking of he, Farage absolutely loves a pub; he loves even more holding aloft a pint of ambient mild for the cameras. And while there is nothing intrinsically Brexity about an old-fashioned British pub, the spectacle of it is one that has been co-opted by the Brexit movement: a space ripe to excite Brexit euphemisms, like “patriotic,” the “old days,” and “traditionally English.” It’s no coincidence that this guy is one of very few major business owners to closely associate himself with a project widely believed to be bad for business.


Britain’s PM Johnson Campaigns For Re-Election Photo by Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the former Labour Party leadership hopeful-turned Lib Dem candidate for Cities of London and Westminster last night met one of the doyens of London food media.

*[verb. like milkshaked but with ale]