Boris Johnson, congratulations, you caught the tiger

Earlier this morning, Boris Johnson was named Britain’s new prime minister.

Following Theresa May’s resignation, Johnson was chosen for this position not by the country, but by two-thirds of the 160,000 Conservative Party members, overwhelmingly old, rich, southern England, and overtly hostile to the European Union.

Johnson once lauded the EU’s single market and the benefits of immigration - his father even worked in Brussels for nearly 20 years. Plus he was mayor of arguably the most cosmopolitan city on the planet. But that was then and winning this election called for different talking points.

On the hustings to become the new leader, Johnson talked tough about pulling Britain out of the EU without a deal on Halloween this October 31. His selection suggests no-deal Brexit is more likely, the pound is currently trading at a two year low.

On his communications style, The Economist writes: "Boris Johnson's shambolic style helps get his message across—but often it is the only message he has."

Johnson seems to hope this shambolic, bull in china shop style will help him secure concessions from the EU leadership, as a means to get a new withdrawal agreement through Parliament.

But the EU has said repeatedly it won’t renegotiate.

Minutes after Johnson's victory, Carl Bildt, the Swedish diplomat and former Prime Minister of Sweden, tweeted: "Welcome to reality @BorisJohnson! Brussels lays down the rules."

Well hello. Or Nämen hallå if you are reading this from Stockholm.

Sure there will be a new resident in Number 10 tomorrow, but across the street, at Westminster, the numbers haven't changed.

Johnson will have the smallest working parliamentary majority (two seats) of any prime minister since John Major's 1996 minority government.

UK governments with a majority this small don't last long and are at the mercy of the minority of the majority. A defection here, a disagreement there, a lost invitation to Chequers, a by-election or two, a dispute with the DUP which is keeping the Conservatives in power, any of these break the wrong way, and the government is gone.

Sky's Beth Rigby wrote: "The promises that paved Boris Johnson's way to Number 10 could also see him moving out within months."

Most MPs sitting in the House of Commons currently want to block a no-deal Brexit, and what they believe would be certain economic harm. Even several ministers serving in Theresa May's cabinet have announced they will resign rather than serve in his no-deal Brexit government.

No doubt Johnson has boundless energy and optimism - his passion and commitment to the United Kingdom are not in doubt. He has been on a 40-year quest for this job and channels Churchill often. But can his force of nature style change the mathematics of who is sitting the House of Commons and the EU's desire to move on from the Brexit melodrama?


In this age of personality trumping policy, the membership of the Conservative Party has voted that energy is what is needed to lead the UK.

As I see it with Johnson, the only energy that will be created is more upheaval, certainly in the next 100 days.


Marc A. Ross is an advisor and connector working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.