Boris Johnson: An Unstoppable Force
For the life of him, Boris Johnson cannot seem to get away from controversy.
In British politics and in the field of journalism, Johnson is much-talked-about. He has been called entertaining, he has been labelled humorous and his popularity is no secret. His appeal extends way beyond his traditional Conservatives and it’s no secret why he is where he is right now. And with popularity, comes criticism. Johnson’s critics accuse him of elitism, dishonesty, cronyism and being a little too foul-mouthed.
Gambled Everything On An Election- And Won
Boris Johnson has never been one to shy away from proving his critics wrong and defying the odds. When everyone told him he couldn’t get a new Brexit deal, that’s exactly what he did.
This is a mammothian deal- lesser than four years ago, Boris Johnson was the Mayor of London and was unsure of his position on whether to Leave or Remain in the referendum. At the time, Cameron was still Prime Minister and the British economy was stellar.
The Conservatives were concerned that they might just win by a narrow lead, which would mean that it would lead them down the rabbit-hole of internal party politics to settle and finalise a deal on the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union.
The Brexit vote heralded in a whole new period of political drama for Britain. Johnson identified the crisis, built on it and eventually benefited from it with the December 12th general elections.
Being the spectacular author that he is, Johnson has written a new story for political change in the country.
Johnson’s Early Life
Boris Johnson, the son of a diplomat and an artist, was born in New York and spent his childhood in Brussels. Having lived in New York, London and Brussels, Johnson is truly a global citizen. After his mother’s health deteriorated, Johnson was sent off to boarding school. His love for reading Classics and upper-middle-class British upbringing set him onto a path of stellar educational institutions to pursue his education. He studied at Eton College on scholarship followed by the Balliol College in Oxford. Leadership roles came early on as part of his college life with being elected, in 1986, as the President of the Oxford Union.
Johnson’s Journey from Journalism to Politics
Johnson began his career as a journalist with The Times but was eventually dismissed from the newspaper for falsifying a quotation. After that, he worked a stint with The Daily Telegraph in the position of a Brussels correspondent. His articles during the time had an effect in influencing the growing British right on Eurosceptic sentiment. In 1994, Johnson was then promoted to the position of Assistant Editor which he held for five years after which he moved on to edit The Spectator magazine from 1999 to 2005.
In 2001, Johnson began his political career with the Conservatives when was elected as Henley’s Member of Parliament shadowing as a junior minister under Micheal Howard and David Cameron. While he did largely adhere to the thought processes that the Conservatives have, Johnson took a liberal stance on social issues, especially those pertaining to LGBT rights for votes in Parliament.
Johnson eventually resigned from his MP position and in 2008, was elected as the London Mayor. Winning the mayoral election against Ken Livingstone, overcoming the public’s perceptions of him being an insubstantial politician, to shift his focus towards transportation and crime. He was re-elected for another tenure in 2012.
During this period, he was responsible for overseeing the 2012 Summer Olympics, improving the city’s public transport systems with the introduction of new Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, cable car along the Thames along with banning the consumption of alcohol onboard most of London’s public transport. In 2015, he was elected as Uxbridge and South’s MP, backing down from his mayorship in the year that followed.
Things began ramping up for Johnson in 2016 when Johnson played an instrumental role in the successful Brexit Vote Leave campaign. Under Theresa May, he served as the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and after being on the receiving end of criticism regarding how May approached Brexit and the Chequers Agreement. In 2019, after May’s resignation, Johnson earned his position as the leader of the Conservative party and went on to become the country’s Prime Minister.
During his time working with the Conservatives, Johnson appeared on quite a few TV shows, the most popular being the BBC talk show ‘Have I Got News For You’. Boris’ talkative demeanour along with the witty yet contemptuous remarks made him a talk show favourite country-wide.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Johnson- the waters in the British political scene are choppy and his rise has been threatened on several occasions. After Johnson published an insensitive editorial in the Spectator, he was forced to apologise to the city of Liverpool. He was dismissed from the shadow arts minister position after alleged reports of an affair between a journalist and him. However, in spite of these rebukes, in 2005, Boris Johnson was re-elected to his parliamentary seat. During his recent campaigns too, he has been accused of being a liar, hiding from the media and even treating the people and other politicians with contempt. Fingers were also pointed towards him for running a one-note campaign which is unambitious and lacks a complete manifesto.
Even when Johnson’s political career in full gear, Johnson refused to put down his pen. He authored Lend Me Your Ears, Seventy-two Virgins, The Dream of Rome and The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History.
With Johnson’s recent election and Brexit victories, he has guaranteed one more thing- he’s the one who governs his own image. The elections also proved one more thing- Boris Johnson is the most powerful Prime Minister in office since Tony Blair’s landslide election victory back in 1997. He’s kept changing the face of British politics and this is just the beginning.