June 16, 2023

It was Friday the 13th of December 2019 and I was shopping for Christmas gifts and popped into an antique shop in Leith, a district of North Edinburgh. I was tired because I had little sleep the night before. The shop’s owner was tired and hungover — he had also had a late night but had also turned to drinking in despair.

Neither of us were happy with the result of the UK general election that had taken place the overnight. For the shop’s owner there was an over-riding question — he could not understand how people could vote for that horrible man.” He meant Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Johnson was never popular in Scotland and, in fact, the Conservative Party themselves viewed him as an electoral liability north of the border. In the last few days Johnson’s career seems to have unravelled and perhaps ended.

My opinion of Johnson has never changed form my first impressions. It’s obvious he is a toxic individual, serial liar, a narcissist, a nasty piece of work (as Eddie Mair labelled him in 2013 — do watch the video!) who destroys the lives of those around him. Even a friend’ of Johnson says he mishandles the truth.”

And those individuals defending him over the last few days, whether recently ennobled by Johnson or not, are contemptible.

For an insight into into one environment that turns out individuals who believe they are exceptional, (for people like us the law is negotiable) I recommend reading Richard Beard’s book Sad Little Men, an exploration of the assumption that a boarding school education is a great preparation for leadership.


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