Boris Johnson: The prime minister who broke all the rules

Boris Johnson has defied the normal rules of politics for so long, it is hard to believe he is actually going.

Scandals that would have sunk other politicians appeared to have no effect on him. He was always able to bounce back. His gaffes and blunders became part of his brand.

In an age of boring, machine-like politicians, he was seen as a “character”, his unruly mop of blond hair and bumbling persona instantly recognisable even to those with no interest in politics. His fun-loving, relentlessly upbeat image, allied to formidable campaigning skills, helped him reach parts of the electorate more conventional Conservatives could not.

He won two terms as mayor of London, normally a Labour stronghold, and helped convince millions to back Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum.

He became prime minister in July 2019 without an election - but four months later secured an historic landslide victory, winning seats in parts of the country that had never voted Conservative before. As 2020 dawned, his dominance of British politics appeared to be complete. But then came coronavirus.

A global pandemic would have tested any leader and Johnson’s government made its share of mistakes, with the UK at one point having the highest death rate in the developed world.

But, in the end, it was not his handling of coronavirus that led to his downfall. It was, rather, questions about his character and fitness for high office.

To some long-time observers of Johnson’s career, this did not come as a surprise. In an article for the Observer, his former boss at the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings predicted that a Johnson premiership would "almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability".

From his earliest days, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had a tendency to believe rules were for other people.

“Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility,” his teacher Martin Hammond wrote of the 17-year-old Boris. “I think he honestly believes it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.”

There follows a substantial “obituary” … :roll_eyes:

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But the thing is, this guy is supposed to be a world leader! Bluster and buffoonery isn’t really the way to present yourself and represent your country :roll_eyes:


Indeed it isn’t … :exclamation:

… and some of his “mistakes” had appalling consequences for others:

During his tenure at the Foreign Office, Johnson attracted criticism when he mistakenly said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the aid worker imprisoned in Iran, had been working as a journalist.

Her employer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, called on Johnson to “immediately correct the serious mistake he made” in this statement. They added “She is not a journalist and has never trained journalists at the Thomson Reuters Foundation”. Four days later, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was returned to court in Iran where the Foreign Secretary’s statement was cited as evidence against her.(Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - Wikipedia)(Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - Wikipedia)


That makes quite horrific reading actually!

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BJ may be erudite but he’s also stupid … :open_mouth:


As foreign secretary bj, the apologiser extended Nazanin ratcliffes prison term, for that alone he should never have got the top job,

Well, you see, still don’t think he gets it.

He’s still incredibly arrogant and doesn’t understand why this is happening to him, he just thinks people are being mean or stupid

He doesn’t get that there’s a difference between right and wrong and that he’s not the exception.

I think he truly believes that whatever he does can’t be wrong and everyone should go along with it because he’s so special and he’s good old Jolly Johnson

I’m wondering if he’s got narcissist traits or autistic, or if he’s just bonkers.

His behaviour over the last 24hours has been really weird and there are shades of Donald Trump refusing to go?

I think when he said……

“Everyone just needs to calm down, stop bickering and let us get on with the job in hand.”

…… it was very revealing. He genuinely seems to dismiss all the fury at his behaviour as ‘bickering” and can’t get what he’s done wrong or the depth of feeling

I think what his Eton schoolteacher said about him when he was 17 still sums him up perfectly

"Boris really has adopted a disgracefully cavalier attitude to his classical studies. [He] sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility (and surprised at the same time that he was not appointed Captain of the school for the next half).

“I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation that binds everyone else.” as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation that binds everyone else."

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I am still amazed by the way Johnson didn’t see why it was inappropriate to recite Kipling’s “The Road to Mandalay” on an official Foreign Office visit to Myanmar during a Service inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, a sacred Buddhist site.
The UK Ambassador had to stop Johnson, who was then Foreign Secretary, from continuing the embarrassing recital and tell him it was not appropriate!


Maree and Boot your posts are so revealing of the man!

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This, yes. All about how wonderful he is, what a great job he has done, and the things that didn’t work out, well, thats everybody elses fault :roll_eyes:


Boris Johnson will be remembered as a convention smashing, rule bending, first name recognition prime minister. A man whose character strengths, in the eyes of many Conservative MPs, were also his weaknesses. Great at campaigning, poor at governing, many backbenchers found themselves reflecting.

Stood at the lectern in Downing Street, Boris Johnson was forced to articulate that his imagined future was being crushed. The boy who dreamed of being “world king” ejected.

In a parliamentary democracy, for better or worse, as opposed to those countries with a presidency, our party leaders, and so our prime ministers, are chosen by their parties, not the rest of us.

It means the thinnest slither of the country will get to decide who Boris Johnson’s replacement is. The electorate will the chance to endorse or reject the chosen one, but only at the next election.

Somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people will be charged with selecting the next head of our government on our behalf.

It is a safe bet the next prime minister will be a very different character to Boris Johnson. Given the manner and motivations behind his toppling, being seen to ooze integrity and revere truth are qualities all the candidates will aspire to illustrate.

“integrity” and “truth” - they don’t know the meaning of “integrity” and “truth” … :icon_rolleyes:

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Going thru my DVD’s it suddenly dawns on me that Boris reminds me of Warren Clarke’s character in Clockwork Orange, Dim.
Dim : What did you do that for?

Alex : For being a bastard with no manners, and not a dook of an idea how to comport yourself public-wise