John Bowers
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Boris Johnson and the downward spiral
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Lying has been an enduring and encompassing theme of Boris Johnson’s career. He also has an anarchist tendency: he is a disruptor who is into breaking things, as can be seen most clearly over Brexit. Johnson represented a new variant of populist politics with a strain of celebrity to it, and in this he resembled Donald Trump. Johnson’s sporadic relationship with the truth was ‘priced in’ when he was selected as Conservative Party leader in 2019 and then elected by the people with an eighty-seat majority. There are two areas that show the extent to which Johnson disrespected standards in public life, the first of which registered with the public quite low on the Richter scale of scandals, but the second of which really burst through and nearly finished him off. Under Johnson, political deceit became not just commonplace but almost, it seemed, an automatic reaction.

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Downward spiral

Collapsing public standards and how to restore them


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