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Beware of the Boris

Why you should be scared of the Boris Johnson premiership

Photo courtesy of EU President (Flickr)

by Toby Ziegler

I spent most of the summer in the pinewood forests of Minnesota with little to no Wifi or signal, basically no technology at all really. On the 24th of July I received at text from a friend that simply read: “It’s Boris.” 

I then had the oh so fun task of explaining to the American’s around me what sort of creature Boris Johnson is. When I detailed a blonde thundering buffoon who has moved his party to the right and has a penchant for creative xenophobia and/or racism they immediately respond, “oh so he’s a like Donald Trump?”

Oh no, foolish Americans, Boris Johnson is far, far worse.

You see everyone knows exactly who Donald Trump is. He is as racist, as orange and as ridiculous as you might expect. No one has any doubt as to the kind of person they are dealing with. The President is predictable in that sense. His latest obsession with buying Greenland is not really that shocking, just stupid. 

However, Boris, Boris is a different kettle of fish altogether. This is a man who runs his hands through his hair to ruffle it up, in order to give himself that sort of scattered brained intellectual appearance that people love him for. He is intentionally late to speaking arrangements so as to do a sort of series of skits and anecdotes in order to ingratiate himself to the audience. This is an elaborate attempt to get voters to forget that this is a man from Eaton who was a member of the notorious Bullingdon Club, along with David Cameron. Think of it like Oxford University’s answer to the Illuminati for rich wankers.

Unlike President Trump, Boris plays at being stupid. No one thinks that Trump is secretly this academic with an IQ to rival Hawking. Boris, on the other hand. I think it bears repeating but this is a man who went to Oxford University. Something which despite popular opinion you can’t buy and he regularly slips into a fumbling Latin. 

And this is why we should be careful. Because the Donald will do something stupid without having fully thought it through. The whole idea of buying Greenland does come from outright stupidity and not some secretly ingenious idea. His advisors know that, the people whose lives he is threatening know that and his opponents are working out a strategy to beat that.

Boris, well, despite all of the posturing and hair ruffling, no one actually thinks that he is stupid. The press, the supporters, they all know that he is actually smart. So when he says something that sounds dumb, there’s a good chance that the undecided voter is thinking, “well he seems pretty smart, maybe he thought it through.” 

Not only that, if we are all being honest – even the diehard socialists out there – the whole act, it works. It is kind of charming that he brought reporters tea. Even if he only did so in order to distract from whatever scandal he had accidentally walked backwards into. It is kinda funny that he got stuck on a zip wire whilst celebrating the London Olympics. It does make him a little bit charming, despite all my principals. 

And here-in lies the danger. Because as much as I dislike Boris and everything he stands for – whether its Brexit or the simmering racism that he has allowed to fester in this country – I can laugh at his antics. Sure, I’m laughing at him but it doesn’t take long before we are laughing with him. Sucked in by his charisma and bumbling buffoonery, it’s not entirely impossible that as we are blinded by that mop of blonde hair, we have sunk Great Britain into despair.


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