The silly comparisons between these two figures really must stopby Sonia Purnell / November 10, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Boris Johnson has consistently invited us to compare him with that historical titan, Winston Churchill. In October, newspaper photographers were called to the foreign secretary’s grace and favour country residence, Chevening, to capture him messing around on boats with a bemused group of foreign ministers from Eastern Europe. They were just nameless extras. It was really just about Boris.
Or rather it was about Churchill and Boris. Churchill was famous for conducting diplomacy at his own country retreat, Chartwell, a mere six miles away. Churchill spent years creating lakes at Chartwell and loved to show them off to his visitors. Now Johnson does the same. Geddit?
At party conference, Johnson had an answer to the glum mood. It did not involve offering ideas to solve the national crisis, but a tub-thumping rendition of old Churchill oratorical favourites. The party should be “bold” and “let the British lion roar,” he told his audience, exultant at this latest invocation of the great wartime leader. “Oh,” exclaimed one excited delegate, noticing the way he jutted his head over a well-padded middle, “Boris even stands like Churchill.”