by Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom
I HAVE always been a great admirer of Winston Churchill. I wrote a biography of him. I have considered myself his modern equivalent. I may have been wrong.
Because in this time of crisis, when the economy is on a war footing, I see myself on the television and see a great, resolute statesman but the terrified, pisshole eyes of a cornered rodent.
I hear not a great orator capable of bringing a frightened and divided country together, but the empty bluster of a man out of his depth and desperately trying not to crack a gag.
Churchill was, of course, in his own time a controversial figure. He was a Tory that joined the Whigs, he was blamed for causing a recession, and a few other things. But when the hour came, so did the man.
He wouldn’t, I feel sadly sure, have seen that hour come and been upstaged by a boy chancellor offering nothing more than an extra-large package of payday loans to businesses. But that, regrettably, what I saw last night.
I honestly thought I’d rise to the occasion. I thought the whole tousle-haired clown thing was an act concealing the steely statesman within. But it seems it’s clown all the way through this particular stick of rock.
So I’m not Churchill, it turns out. Easy mistake to make. I’ll just have to settle for that great leader who came a creditable third in WWII instead. They called Mussolini a clown too, you know.