Posted: 2019-06-14

Bizarrely one of these two self-serving showmen is President of the United States and the other is Prime Minister of the UK

Trump and Johnson: Two of a Kind 


HE is a habitual liar, a cheat, a shameless misogynist and womaniser, a racist and xenophobe who hates the EU  – and a conspiratorial narcissist to boot. Of whom is this a description? The answer is that it could fit either Donald Trump or Boris Johnson. Matthew Parris’s recent description of Johnson in The Times as ‘a nasty piece of work’ could equally be applied to Trump. The same applies to Max Hastings’ description of Johnson as ‘a serial bonker and manic self-publicist’. You couldn’t trust either of them as far as you could throw them. 


According to a new book, Commander in Cheat by Rick Reilly, Trump even cheats at golf, a game where honour is more important even than winning. At Winged Foot, where Trump is a member, the caddies saw him kick the ball back onto the fairway so often that they took to calling him Pele. “To say that ‘Donald Trump cheats’ is like saying ‘Michael Phelps swims’”,  Reilly writes. A ball that Trump hits into the woods, the water or a bunker will appear miraculously on the green.


According to Sonia Purnell, author of Just Boris, Johnson is the most ruthless, ambitious person she has ever met. The greater the proximity to him, the less you like him. He is both a serial liar and a serial womaniser. Purnell recalls that on one occasion he was caught by the News of the World, leaving the flat of one mistress, 29-year-old reporter Anna Fazackerley, going to the flat of another mistress, the Spectator communist Petronella Wyatt, and the calmly going home to his wife.  Another mistress, Helen Macintyre, persuaded her financier boyfriend Pierre Rolin to donate £80,000 towards Boris’s Olympic tower fund and then passed off Boris’s baby as his, while making him pay £30,000 for a private birth.


Weirdly, one of these men is President of the United States and the other is Prime Minister of Britain. We are indeed living in a bizarre and dangerous period where the world has gone mad for authoritarian nationalists and self-serving showmen. How has it come to this? Why are so many seeking magic solutions to complex problems in large than life bluffers and chancers? Are persons of moral turpitude now to be regarded as the ideal role models for the young people who aspire to a career in politics?


Brian McClinton, June 2019