Boris Johnson: The Gambler evaluate – no blame, no disgrace | Books
THEOn the morning of his election as Tory leader in July 2019, Boris Johnson stepped down from the stage at the QEII Center in London and walked over to his relatives who were sitting in the front row. There was a kiss from a sister, Rachel, and a loving look from her brother Jo, but Father’s handshake, Stanley, was rejected.
“At the time of the victory, Boris refused to be praised by his father – a secret reminder that Stanley neglected his children when he needed them.”
Studies show that many leaders have ruined their childhood. Bereavement or illness, parental divorce, abuse, or drunkenness are just some of the traumatic experiences of many older politicians. The phenomenon has a name: the Phaeton complex.
Few leaders have faced similar challenges than Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. That is the most important and original argument in history. Think of the many weaknesses that we associate with the Prime Minister: recent infidelity, the desire for violence, the desire for religion, careless gambling, unfulfilled promises and deception. An important source of all this, says Tom Bower, is a traumatized childhood.
The Son is the fruit of the sins of the fathers. Stanley Johnson was a carefree and self-confident father and was an unfaithful and violent man, according to the book. Boris’s teenagers had an ongoing problem with a very difficult marriage between their father and artist Charlotte Wahl. In 1974, when their first son was 10 years old, he suffered a stroke and was admitted to Maudsley Hospital in south London, a health professional. Bower quotes Charlotte as saying: “Doctors in Maudsley talked to Stanley about his torture. They had beaten me. They beat me several times, over the years.” He says his son loves being a “world king” because he wants to “make himself invincible, invincible.” , somehow safe from your mother’s pain for eight months “.
Allegra Mostyn-Owen, his first wife, and Marina Wheeler, his second most deceived wife, both think that a son’s infidelity is a congenital condition from his father. Bower tells us that Marina believes “the resemblance of Boris and Stanley, a son like the image of his father, cannot be broken”.
Boris Johnson at Eton in 1979. Photo: Ian Sumner / Rex / Shutterstock
The older Johnson, who is also a violent son, batterer, drunkard, prostitute, disputes Charlotte’s experience. No one can deny that Stanley went abroad to satisfy an unsolicited desire for fame and fortune. Global population growth has been one of the main causes. She created a Life Without Birth, difficult to counteract the lack of contraceptives. Bower doesn’t make jokes, so he doesn’t make fun of the obvious jokes that the father’s interest in preventing childbirth was a condition that did not affect the child.
When Stanley had been away for a year on a trip, Charlotte was left to fend for herself and three young children in a dilapidated house in Exmoor, where garbage was dumped around the house and the water was contaminated by running pipes. When Stanley was around, he encouraged the competitive race in his children by strengthening them. When Rachel hit Boris on the table tennis, she slammed the garage door hard until she broke her finger. A few years later, when Jo became David Cameron’s number 10 executive director, Boris said: “My little thing is dying, but otherwise I’m happy with its success.”
For Bower, the traumatized, unstable and broken child speaks of Johnson’s will, show, secrecy, insecurity, weakness and endurance. “Boris was saddened by his mother’s experience. Not only did he see his mother suffer from constant beatings, but he also saw his father deny the truth. Not wanting to tell others about his father’s violence, he became lonely … To hide his troubles and frustrations, he wanted to help them. The disadvantage of this as a tool to explain is that it gives a clear meaning to the bad habits they have when they grow up. We need to think of him as a troubled young man.
This is not the only way the book gives generously to its theme. Bower made a name for himself as a bold historian by exposing businesses such as Robert Maxwell, Conrad Black and Mohamed Al Fayed. He gave the title of Broken Vows a test of Tony Blair and the Dangerous Hero to the criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. Yet the horrible writer who investigates removes his patches and children’s gloves as “Boris”, in which he calls his head in the texts in which every politician is also mentioned.
Johnson with father, Stanley, Devon, April 2005. Photo: David Hartley / Rex / Shutterstock
Too many spoils, shortcomings and the wrong women are here – they wouldn’t be ignored – yet Bower applies a soft gloss even to the worst examples of Johnson’s performances. All this? Her childhood prevented her from forming a trusting relationship with men, which is why Johnson sought out friends among women, the author says. A simple explanation can happen to you. He loves to shave a lot and doesn’t care who is suffering because of his selfishness. Marina was no longer able to take her infidelity and ended their marriage when Carrie Symonds became her mistress. Bower added lightly: “After Marina forgave her actions with Petronella Wyatt, Anna Fazackerley and Helen Macintyre (including a child), Boris must have thought about what could happen to Marina and their four children after she was exposed.” “Can you imagine”? You can think of a dangerous way to install them. Children, who boycotted the family reunion at Checkers Johnson as prime minister, could do so.
In the love of his private life, Bower often finds himself in Johnson’s corner at many points in his public life. Michael Howard, who fired Johnson from the front of Tory for lying about his girlfriend’s face-to-face with Petronella Wyatt, is “quick and light-hearted”. In the Brexit war between Theresa May and Johnson, it was he, not her, whom Bower denounced as “stupid” and “lucky”.
Bower does not explore the need for a Prime Minister to just have dud and stoo
This is especially evident in the Brexit issue. In writing for the 2016 referendum, he admits that Johnson campaigned out on a bus with false words, but suddenly denies that it is a good one, a charge he throws heavily at talking about Johnson’s opponents.
Few find that his most difficult time as an outside secretary is the best time. However many of its gaffes and other wrongdoers admit it because it was “set up” to fail in May and was demoted by the “recalcitrant mandarins Office”. The author blames civil servants for preventing Johnsonian wheeze from buying an island in the Arctic Ocean from Norway to turn it into a hotspot. Some may think it didn’t happen because it was one of Johnson’s many projects.
The apology continues as Prime Minister. While his efforts to close parliament in 2019 are considered illegal by the high court, the worst in the Bowers account is the President of the court, Brenda Hale, who “never hid his Boris insults” and was impressed by their “government determination”. This shows that the Tory leader was harassed by one biased woman, instead of being sentenced by one of the country’s 11 supreme judges.
In the last two chapters dealing with the coronavirus, Mr. Johnson leaves the scene for a long time as the author releases a series of protests against government science advisers, Public Health England, the Department of Health and the Secretary of the Cabinet. Some of these criticisms may be relevant, but they leave a question: who was the prime minister and what was he doing when most government agencies were failing in the health crisis for more than a century? Trips to advance the Dominic Cummings regime during the closing period are sadly talked about and unchecked for the evils that resonate with the people. Mr Bower agrees with those of us who have previously seen that the council is small in stature, but modest in the need for the Prime Minister to surround himself with dud and stoo.
Charles Moore, his former boss at the Daily Telegraph and briefly aspiring to be the next BBC chair, sometimes calls Johnson a “anointed albino pig”. The majority of such heights have to catch on porcine slippery and answer the question: Who exactly is Boris Johnson? Was it Mayor Johnson who was closely associated with the liberal, diverse ideology of Toryism during his eight years as the face of the political capital? Was it Brexiter Johnson who encouraged apartheid to win the referendum? Is it “Brexity Hezza” who told the minister who will be there after winning the 2019 elections? I have written this history and thought carefully about the internal demons that run the Prime Minister, but I do not know if they have any beliefs, other than a lot of traffic cases. Even the most respected historian cannot find the real answer to the charge that Borisology is simply a mere figment of his imagination, a constant, relentless pursuit of what he thinks can best meet his needs and fulfill his day-to-day needs. Who is behind this? In the Bower race, it does not belong to Boris.
• Andrew Rawnsley is the Senior Political Representative at The Observer
• Boris Johnson: Gambling writer Tom Bower published by WH Allen (£ 20). To order your copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Shipping costs may be used