The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson

EnochEnoch Shipmate
Has anyone else been watching this on Channel 4? If so, what do you think?

So far (9th March), only two of the four episodes have been broadcast live, the the whole lot are available on More 4. I watched this last episode this evening. It has surprised me watching recent events I've lived through, quite how many of them I'd half forgotten, occluded by more recent developments.

He's not a popular person. I don't like him, and didn't even when he was more popular. He's a type of person I don't respond well to. The series hasn't changed my feelings about him. It has tried to be more generous to him than I would be, but IMHO it hasn't succeeded. It has given quite a lot of attention to the possibility that some features of his upbringing might have inhibited his ability to become a fully functioning ethically adult human being. That's possible, but lots of people have difficult upbringings, including, if true, presumably his sister and his brothers. Many other people, including so far as one can tell, his siblings, make a reasonable go at overcoming them.

I've never met him. None of us know what goes on within many of those we know personally, yet alone those we don't. It does, though raise the philosophical and ethical question whether ones upbringing and limitations can excuse anything, yet alone everything. Or should we measure ourselves, and in some cases, theirs, by what how we make of the cards we have been dealt with, how we play them.

I've little doubt that public life puts the average human soul under greater pressures than the lives most of us live. Do shipmates think that's a defence, or is it more that those who are not up to those challenges shouldn't take them on. So if they do, and that exposes the weaknesses in their personalities, then hard luck. They put themselves forwards. If that results in public exposure, shame and ignominy, that is the price to their estimation that it is only right that they should expect to have to pay?

If you've seen it, what do you think? I've deliberately started this thread in Purgatory so as to restrain my own, and I suspect many others' temptation to rant.

Comments

  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    Is Johnson's mistake terminal?
  • Having read Anthony Seldon's books on both Theresa May and Boris Johnson, I think the programmes are fatr. Seldon paints a picture of a man whose sole interest is in himself.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Is Johnson's mistake terminal?

    Hopefully.

    If we never see or hear of this wretched man again, it will be a blessing. However, he's like that floater in the loo - impossible to flush away...

  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Is Johnson's mistake terminal?

    Hopefully.

    If we never see or hear of this wretched man again, it will be a blessing. However, he's like that floater in the loo - impossible to flush away...

    Ah, will he therefore attract floating voters?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »

    Ah, will he therefore attract floating voters?

    Martin 54, well done - your best post in years!
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »

    Ah, will he therefore attract floating voters?

    Martin 54, well done - your best post in years!

    🤣🤣 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♂️

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited March 17
    After @Bishops Finger and @Martin54's comments, I'll never check the pan after flushing in quite the same way again.

    More seriously though, his rise, and the refusal of his fan club to fade away, still puzzles me. There's a tendency in the media to admire him simply because he strides the stage on a larger scale than most of the other politicians. He's described as a vote winner, but why? what is it about him that appeals to some people, and which I can't see? And how is it that some people still think he's wonderful, despite all the evidence?

    Am I some sort of misanthrope, out of sync with my fellow men and women that I can't see it? I don't even feel any sneaking admiration towards him for his success in fooling so many people for so much of the time.

    I don't even feel shame that I was fooled because I wasn't. Whatever his alleged magic was, I was never able to see it.

  • Some people thought he had charisma, of some kind. I suppose he could tell jokes, and play the fool. And he could spin grandiose fantasies. As for anything else, he made me feel sick. Too phoney.
  • Jane RJane R Shipmate
    As a member of a group that is effectively invisible to him, I was never in danger of falling under his spell and am equally baffled about his (apparently) loyal fans. He'd throw them under the bus without a moment's thought if it served his interests.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    I too don’t understand why he is seen as charismatic. He just seems to have a habit of falling up. He never seems to pay the consequences for his actions. At least not fully. The psalms complaining about the wicked prospering seems relevant here.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    I too don’t understand why he is seen as charismatic. He just seems to have a habit of falling up. He never seems to pay the consequences for his actions. At least not fully. The psalms complaining about the wicked prospering seems relevant here.

    Indeed. Here (for your edification!) is an old metrical version of a psalm which looks more to the downfall of the tories wicked:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fZ-2ENH2EA
  • Hugal wrote: »
    I too don’t understand why he is seen as charismatic.

    He's well known from TV, he comes over as affable and witty. I've never met the man in person, but if I was to judge him from his appearances on HIGNFY and the like, I'd probably enjoy having a beer with him.

    But "being pleasant company for a beer or three" isn't really a qualification for government. I'd rather have someone exceptionally boring but competent than someone charismatic, but either incompetent or just wrong.
  • I've met him. He shook my hand. I counted my fingers afterwards.

    My impression?

    Affable. Witty. Ruthless. Eye to the main chance. He had a 'routine', an act. Rather like a comedian. I heard him use wise-cracks to deflect every single question he was asked. Ok. We know that but when you see him do it live half a dozen times in a row you realise how much of a 'turn' it all is.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Hell Host
    I've met him. He shook my hand. I counted my fingers afterwards.

    My impression was that he was shorter than I imagined, but he also had this weird hulking energy about him, and yes he had a routine and a definite point at which he switched it 'on'.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    I too don’t understand why he is seen as charismatic. He just seems to have a habit of falling up. He never seems to pay the consequences for his actions. At least not fully. The psalms complaining about the wicked prospering seems relevant here.

    Indeed. Here (for your edification!) is an old metrical version of a psalm which looks more to the downfall of the tories wicked:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fZ-2ENH2EA
    Thank you for that. A very apt citation, and tangentially, much better, more substantial, than what most of us get to sing in church these days.

    Psalm 73 strikes me also as a telling description of Johnson and his ilk.

    He strikes me very much as someone who uses an apparent affability, and comic touch to conceal the person underneath, though whether he even knows who the real person underneath is, rather than just what he wants, who knows?

  • I've met him. He shook my hand. I counted my fingers afterwards.

    My impression was that he was shorter than I imagined, but he also had this weird hulking energy about him, and yes he had a routine and a definite point at which he switched it 'on'.

    Yes. Absolutely.

    I'm not a big bloke so lots of people are taller than me. But yes, he did have a 'weird hulking energy about him.' Excellent description.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    And then there was the bill that he signed requiring all voters to have IDs while voting. Guess who recently showed up without a proper ID at the last vote.
  • SignallerSignaller Shipmate
    Pedantic point: UK politicians don't sign bills. Parliament passes bills, which then become Acts of Parliament, and the King signs the Act.

    Boris is still a pillock, though.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Are you sure that that's right? Here in Australia and at least in the Commonwealth government and that in NSW, Parliament passes a Bill and it is then presented to the Governor-General (Commonwealth) or Governor (State) for signature. Upon signing, the Bill becomes an Act.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Are you sure that that's right? Here in Australia and at least in the Commonwealth government and that in NSW, Parliament passes a Bill and it is then presented to the Governor-General (Commonwealth) or Governor (State) for signature. Upon signing, the Bill becomes an Act.

    I believe these people represent the monarch and are empowered by them to do so. That is what this British Lad understood
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 6
    I took @Gee D to mean that a Bill doesn't become actual law until it's given the Royal Assent (by the King here in the UK, and by his representative elsewhere, such as NSW).

    A technical point, perhaps. I wonder what might happen if the King one day refused the Royal Assent to some especially ghastly plot of *his* government?

    As to Boris (PM Failed), I dread to think it, but he may well re-appear on the political scene in the not-too-distant future, in daemonic conjunction with Farage, perhaps, and other figures of nightmare...
    :scream:

    Carrie might have other ideas, of course, if she's still Mrs J at that time.
    :naughty:
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Point taken.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Point taken.

    Well, Boris at least caused some wry merriment, whatever the reason for his ahem lapse of memory...
  • Or, as the "Guardian" put it: https://tinyurl.com/2nayje84
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I took @Gee D to mean that a Bill doesn't become actual law until it's given the Royal Assent (by the King here in the UK, and by his representative elsewhere, such as NSW).

    A technical point, perhaps. I wonder what might happen if the King one day refused the Royal Assent to some especially ghastly plot of *his* government?

    Yes, that was the point I was making. And during the depression, the NSW Governor (ie the Viceroy) did in fact sack the Premier of the day. That precedent was followed in 1975, when the Governor-General dismissed the Prime Minister. While the conservative forces on each occasion supported the viceregal action - it benefitted them - it's very doubtful that such a course would now be followed.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    It would be wrong to deny that Johnson is popular. He's a bit like marmite. You either like him or you loath him. Although he has never been a serious politician he managed to be twice elected Mayor of London in a massive Labour stronghold. The point is that he got others to do the hard work is irelevant. He's the one who got elected.
    He certainly feels entitled and thinks the rules are for others.

    When he was a trainee reporter in Wolverhampton the late 80s he probably spemt many hours in court.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    And then there was the bill that he signed requiring all voters to have IDs while voting. Guess who recently showed up without a proper ID at the last vote.

    Here's another point to take.

    Even if you'd taken your ID, you wouldn't be eligible to vote in a UK election any more than I'd be eligible to vote in a US one.

    😉

    A pretty pointless point you're making there ITSM.

    @Telford - it may have been different when he was a cub reporter but from what I've heard about his subsequent journalistic career he rarely put the hours in and was notoriously sacked for making things up. For some reason - chutzpah, privilege, sheer gall - that didn't appear to harm his career.

    It's well known that when he was in The Foreign Office he used to turn up without reading the briefing notes and would try to wing it - often with egregious results.

    Ok, he was a colourful London mayor but he had a good team behind him. Being 'the one who got elected' is no commendation in and of itself.

    We can all think of bozos, ne'er do wells and even dictators who've won at the ballot box.

    That's not to disparage the democratic process, of course.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited May 7
    <snip>
    Here's another point to take.

    Even if you'd taken your ID, you wouldn't be eligible to vote in a UK election any more than I'd be eligible to vote in a US one. <snip>

    I think you’ve misunderstood Gramps49’s post @Gamma Gamaliel, but even if not the question whether he could vote in a UK election is a tangent which has nothing to do with the subject of this thread.

    BroJames, Purgatory Host
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Yep Boris had good people around him and he just waved and did photo opportunities. Some if the ideas we’re stupid and he took the credit for other peoples hard work for the Olympics. I still see no charisma in him.
    One can argue that Boris is a character he puts on, Alex (his real first name) os apparently a different character.
  • It's a persona, a 'turn', a character he adopts.

    @Gramps49 - apologies.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx

    @Telford - it may have been different when he was a cub reporter but from what I've heard about his subsequent journalistic career he rarely put the hours in and was notoriously sacked for making things up. For some reason - chutzpah, privilege, sheer gall - that didn't appear to harm his career.

    It's well known that when he was in The Foreign Office he used to turn up without reading the briefing notes and would try to wing it - often with egregious results.

    Ok, he was a colourful London mayor but he had a good team behind him. Being 'the one who got elected' is no commendation in and of itself.

    We can all think of bozos, ne'er do wells and even dictators who've won at the ballot box.

    That's not to disparage the democratic process, of course.
    I did actually say that he wasn't a serious politician
  • So you did, and you were quite right. He managed to make other people think he was serious, I suppose.
  • Yes, you did. Apologies for over-looking that.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    The claim that Johnson isn't a serious politician doesn't, IMHO, let him off or give him some sort of free pass. Nor does it have any foundation in truth. He became inter alia Mayor of London, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. You don't even aspire to do any of those things unless you're a serious politician, unless you mean it.

    Much though this may be the studied impression he'd like to give, none of those are things that just happen to fall into your hands while you're out on an afternoon's stroll. He wasn't found hiding behind a curtain. He hungered desperately for those roles especially the PM. I strongly suspect he still does.

    He fell because his actions revealed that he had neither the integrity nor the ability to do the latter job. Nothing excuses that. Never forget it.

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Hell Host
    Enoch wrote: »
    The claim that Johnson isn't a serious politician doesn't, IMHO, let him off or give him some sort of free pass. Nor does it have any foundation in truth. He became inter alia Mayor of London, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. You don't even aspire to do any of those things unless you're a serious politician, unless you mean it.

    I think the question of whether or not he is 'serious' is rather besides the point, and his success is a reflection of that side of the national character that sees sincerity and earnestness as rather gauche. Johnson is his own satirist and too many people fear being unable to appreciate a joke.
  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    I think the question of whether or not he is 'serious' is rather besides the point, and his success is a reflection of that side of the national character that sees sincerity and earnestness as rather gauche. Johnson is his own satirist and too many people fear being unable to appreciate a joke.
    I think it was more a combination of self-confidence and optimism, combined with the 'which candidate would you rather have a drink with?' factor. (No, I wouldn't want to have a drink with Johnson. But I can see that some people would be happy to.)

  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    Enoch wrote: »
    He became inter alia Mayor of London, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. You don't even aspire to do any of those things unless you're a serious politician, unless you mean it.
    I think by serious politician I'd understand someone who has a serious idea of what they think would be good for the country (or at least the section of the country they represent) and a desire to work towards that end. I don't think Johnson had either.

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Hell Host
    Dafyd wrote: »
    I think the question of whether or not he is 'serious' is rather besides the point, and his success is a reflection of that side of the national character that sees sincerity and earnestness as rather gauche. Johnson is his own satirist and too many people fear being unable to appreciate a joke.
    I think it was more a combination of self-confidence and optimism, combined with the 'which candidate would you rather have a drink with?' factor.

    I don't speak to his spell as PM but the entire period of his rise in politics.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    I always thought he wanted to be Prime Minister but didn't particularly want to do the job.
  • The Rogue wrote: »
    I always thought he wanted to be Prime Minister but didn't particularly want to do the job.

    A fair summing-up, I think.
  • Yes. The bloke is work-shy. He wanted the role but not the responsibility.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    He does seem to, as some people have put it fall up.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    @Gamma Gamaliel Sorry for a late response. Life has been hectic these past few days. Apology accepted.
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