Let’s just get this done! With a smidgen of Churchillian grit, the fighting will be over before Christmas. Boris Johnson is summoning up the spirit of the Blitz. Britain may be battered, but it is never broken. Once the new prime minister has severed the EU shackles on October 31, people will come together again in a great hug of national celebration. Call it Victory in Europe. VE Day. Johnson would like that.

Britain is living through the most profound crisis it has faced in modern peacetime. Its politics are dysfunctional, its society badly fractured and its economy weakened. The UK union is imperilled. The Conservative Party’s answer is to put a second-rate huckster in 10 Downing Street. Johnson scorns truth and is blind to ethics. Civil servants doubtless will do their impartial duty. They can be sure that when things go wrong, Johnson will throw them overboard.

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