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Let me explain to you something about the British character.

We often act in eccentric or silly ways to evoke that we, at heart, don’t take ourselves seriously, all the while taking ourselves, our thoughts, and actions very seriously. #BorisDay
We Brits prefer the appearance of the shambolic, the bumbling, the slightly pathetic, the perpetually stammering, the doddering, and the hesitant to the cool efficiency of the Americans, or the surgical precision of the Germans. #BorisDay
This is why #BorisDay was inevitable, for there is no more shambolic, doddering, bumbling, and stumbling British politician than Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. He might not be the Prime Minister we need. But he is definitely the Prime Minister we deserve.
To explain Boris Johnson’s appeal is not easy for foreigners to understand, and honestly, it’s shy-making for many Brits too, because it forces us to look at ourselves which is our least enjoyable pastime (unlike Americans, who can happily talk about what makes them tick all day)
For example: is Boris Johnson naturally shambolic, or is a studied pose meant to distract from his quasi-aristocratic upbringing, and essential foreignness? Clearly, you can’t stay angry long at a face like this. #BorisDay
Those on the Left will offer reflexive arguments about the Eton old school tie network yet again offering up another incompetent Hooray Harry to lead the nation; (conveniently) forgetting that our greatest PMs came from that very background. #BorisDay
The populist voices, which are neither Left nor Right, don’t like Boris Johnson either, because he’s not “one of us”. Just what is he, they ask. Turkish, Jewish, American, German, French? How can one trust him, is the spoken or unspoken comment on their lips. #BorisDay
There is something unique about the British character that we separate and place ourselves into little boxes, (safe spaces, if you will) which — since it happens daily in all contexts — must be what makes us feel most comfortable. We relate to others this way. #BorisJohnson
For example, when I meet a Brit in the street abroad, I’m automatically uncomfortable, and so is s/he UNTIL we have sorted ourselves out. Due to my accent, the way I behave, they know instantly my background, so I automatically bring up something which relaxes them, like football
It may be that they don’t like Spurs, but at least we can bond over football. One layer of the reserve we Brits have is instantly removed, and we begin to relax.
What is the box Boris Johnson has, then, that makes him easily relatable to the common British man or woman. Well, that is more difficult to explain. It’s not his upbringing and general background, which is completely different even within his set.
There’s a reason that Agatha Christie chose two detectives to solve her mysteries. One, Miss Marple, was an insider looking out. And the other, Monsieur Poirot, was an outsider looking in. You know why? This most quintessential of British authors had an American father.
And what of Winston Churchill, whose mother was born little Jenny Jerome of Brooklyn, New York? A man who today is synonymous with everything which made Britain great was once despised by everyone from the King to the Sidney St anarchist. How did he break out of the mould?
Well one way Winston Churchill broke out of the mould is to often appear awkward. Nothing gave press barons (who were his friends) greater mirth than to publish photos of Winston in his bathing costume, arms akimbo, in the very stance he used when addressing Parliament.
(Please don’t comment on Winston Churchill’s other member of Parliament)
And when Winston became PM, during wartime, what did he do? He gave the two-fingered salute to the dirty Boche (Americans, it’s our version of the bird) alternating it by cleverly flipping it so distressed gentlewomen wouldn’t faint at the vulgarity.
So, what is it that I’m implying with this meandering thread on the British national character, our idiosyncratic habits, and often unreadable behaviour, especially with regards to Boris Johnson? I’m saying this: Boris is many things, but he is not a fool.
Boris Johnson merely emphasises what he knows will make Britons relax about him, and be more accepting into the bargain. Does it work? I think it has, rather spectacularly, in fact.
What is worse, especially if you’re not a Tory, is that Boris Johnson has everything inside him to become a National Treasure, just as the once despised Winston Churchill did, and for the same reason: by tackling the greatest challenge of his generation. And winning.
I probably have more thoughts, but I’ll pause the thread to read your comments on BoJo. Oh. Remember. He doesn’t become Prime Minister until the Queen sends for him and he euphemistically kisses hands. We are currently on standby waiting for the iconic photo.
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