Imperial Boris?

The Swedish media is full of Boris today. (I’m back there now.) Most of the reportage is pretty accurate, and less opinionated than ours.

Dagens Nyheter’s London correspondent claims that Johnson’s right-wing nationalism has less in common with Continental and American varieties, than with old-fashioned British liberal imperialism. That’s a theme I’ll be examining shortly; ultimately for the new concluding chapter of the sixth edition of my Lion’s Share, but I may share it here first.

A few weeks ago I wrote to the Head of History at Eton College, to find out what kind of British imperial history Boris could have been exposed to there. (If any. The public schools, as I understand it, have always been keener on the Greeks and Romans.) Was he – quite incidentally – recommended any of my books? They might have pricked a few illusions. I’m still waiting for an answer.

The irony of the situation for anyone with imperial ambitions, of course, is that Brexit is much more likely to reduce Britain to the status of a colony  herself; and a colony of a former colony – the USA – at that.

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