People like me, who deplore the prime minister, nonetheless cannot dispute that he has remade British politics. This is an achievement that ensures his place in the history books, although it remains to be seen whether he winds up nudging his idol Winston Churchill, or instead Lord North.
The new party’s mastery derives from the prime minister’s personal popularity, rejection of Europe, a willingness to embrace any other policy that pleases a quorum of voters, and the brutal suppression of dissent. Even when the government incurs public wrath, as it has done by the chaos of its foreign holiday guidance, anger attaches to ministers rather than their leader.
This evokes the wartime German catchphrase in the face of disaster: “if only the Fuhrer knew!”
24 May 2021 – Max Hastings, Johnson's editor at the Daily Telegraph, former editor at the London Evening Standard, and historian