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Boris Johnson—you can love him, you can hate him......but who is he?
In some ways, he's a very, very familiar figure.
He's a very colourful character.
He has a very distinctive persona.
And he's a global superstar.
My friends, we export French knickers to France.
Everybody thinks they know him around the world but the more you look at him he's really difficult to understand because there are at least two very distinctive Boris Johnsons
So let's find out more about who these two Boris Johnsons are.
One is of the globalist, open-minded person.
A liberal who is in favour of open immigration.
I've been one of the few British politicians to speak up in favour of the benefits of immigration.
He has Turkish ancestry, he has some Jewish ancestry he's a very cosmopolitan figure.
My father's father's father was a Muslim and he knew large chunks of the Koran off by heart.
On the other hand, he claims to be the leader of the nationalist, populist sort of wing of the Conservative Party.
What do they know of the impact of immigration on school places, on hospital waiting lists and GPs' surgeries?
They know nothing about it, they know absolutely nothing about it.
He's more recently talked about Muslim women wearing burkas looking like letter boxes and things like that.
So two very, very distinctive personas there.
But he's hardly the anti-establishment figure he claims to be.
Boris Johnson is very much part of the British upper classes.
And he's got quite a name to show for it.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
He went to Eton.
The English boys boarding school educated Princes William and Harry and also 19 previous prime ministers.
Then he went to Oxford, then he immediately went into journalism so he's really been a creature of the English upper classes and of the metropolitan, journalistic elite.
But with Boris things are never quite what they seem.
Well Boris Johnson has an extraordinary history of lying in public.
His first job was on the Times and he was sacked for making up a quotation.
Then he went on, in the Telegraph, to make a number of claims about the European Union including the fact that they wanted to straighten bananas and things like that which were either exaggerations or lies.
During the referendum campaign he appeared all around the country with buses on the side of which were claims about Britain getting £350 million back from the EU.
There is no evidence that he will be good at being precise with his words and there's a lot of evidence that he is willing to say things that are flat out false.
OK, so he's consistently inconsistent doesn't rate facts too highly and yet he's still flying high.
How?
Boris Johnson has enormous strengths.
He is a very, very good campaigner.
He was re-elected as mayor of London despite being a Tory.
And above all he makes people feel good about themselves.
I have nothing to say about this matter except to offer you some tea.
Those are great and important qualities in a politician.
They're not enough but they're certainly important.
So who is the real Boris Johnson?
Clown? Statesman?
Or something else altogether?
I think Boris Johnson is a dangerous politician.
The rather narcissistic individual who wants to be not just liked but loved.
And that means that he is willing to pander, bend the truth and when the going gets really tough there's no evidence that he can really push through and solve problems.
I don't think he really believes anything and I think, not believing anything in good times is probably alright.
But when you're in very difficult times as Britain most certainly is at the moment.
When you're the prime minister you need to have a star to be guided by and I don't think he has a star to be guided by.
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Who is the real Boris Johnson? | The Economist

371 Folder Collection
Nina published on July 24, 2019    Nina translated    Winnie Liao reviewed
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