The Clown Prince

His ambition, we’re told, was to become the ‘World King’. Instead he has come Britain’s Clown Prince. This brilliant piece in the Guardian relates how. Read, and be amused – but also very afraid.

Of course our present situation can’t be explained in terms of Johnson’s character alone. (I’m talking of the British ‘us’ here, not the Swedish.) We need to analyse how he became like this: his upbringing, education (Eton, of course), the other influences upon him; his appeal, in terms of the popular culture of the day; the political structures and maybe accidents that allowed him to attain his Princely position; and the nature and motives of the much less ‘clownish’ elements in society that exploited all these forces to raise him to the throne. Political analysts are no doubt working on these presently, as historians will in the future. By then, of course, it will be too late to do any good.

What we need now is a bloody great scandal – even greater than the ones that have been surrounding this government from its first days in power – which will both unseat him and his more po-faced Brexit-fanatic cronies; and at the same time alert the British people to the flaws in their political and perhaps educational systems that have elevated this pound-shop Falstaff to the position he holds today, and from which he looks likely to bring us all down. Any ideas?

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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1 Response to The Clown Prince

  1. Tony says:

    It is a brilliant dissection of Johnson’s clownish act. I don’t believe people get the leaders they deserve, but there is something uncanny about Johnson’s ability to connect with the English of all social classes, and his unseriousness reflects a distrust of intellectuals, preference for the familiar and local, and deep desire to retreat into a notions of Englishness that has never existed outside of myth and legend, and desperate need to believe everything will be all right in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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