Posts Tagged ‘Boris Johnson’

Adventures in Bookland: The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

There’s one obvious way that Boris Johnson resembles the man who is obviously his political hero, Winston Churchill: they are both instantly recognisable from their Christian names. Boris. Winston. How many other politicians can say that? Whether Boris will prove to be any match to Winston remains to be seen: the current events of Brexit and his response will determine his place in our history. On the face of it, this might seem ridiculous, but Winston was seen, by a large sector of his own party before the events that would make his name, in much the same light as many people in the Conservative Party see Boris: a vain, impulsive chancer, only interested in his own glory. That Johnson wrote this appreciation of Churchill is a sketch towards the making of his political future, should chance, tactics and providence play out in line with his prognostications. Sometimes, a politician, at least one interested in something other than the mundane details of petty policy, must stake out a vision of the future that will, or will not, be vindicated by future events. The only other politician instantly known by his first name in the last half century was Enoch Powell: he staked his future on a vision that, thankfully, has not been vindicated and as a result is now but a footnote in history, a man of extraordinary brilliance who played the wrong Cassandra. The future awaits Boris: events will see apotheosis or irrelevance, as it did for Churchill.


Book review: Johnson’s Life of London by Boris Johnson

Thursday, January 16th, 2014


Johnson writes with the chutzpah of a tabloid journalist and the allusions of a Classical scholar. The book, a history of London through portraits of notable Londoners through the centuries, is vivid and shot through with the sort of one liners that would not be out of place on ‘Have I Got News For You’. It may be an act, but what a finely honed act it is – and I can’t imagine Ken Livingstone writing a book nearly as readable.