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Johnson and Covid-19: Can human suffering have political advantages?

A well-trodden Via Dolorosa is often an individual’s path to power, as many historical examples attest

Photo: “Now we can look the East End in the face.” Buckingham Palace during the Blitz

Now Boris Johnson has recovered from a nasty bout of coronavirus he may well contemplate the political advantage to be gained from having shared the ordeal of so many of his compatriots. The key reward is that he will be able to say with quite unaccustomed sincerity, “I feel your pain.” Solidarity is forged in adversity and where leadership is concerned nothing succeeds like suffering, as many historical examples attest.

In 1871…

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