The boy who half a century ago had dreamed of being “world king” turns two years old this Saturday since he first crossed the threshold of the most famous black door in the United Kingdom as its official tenant number 55. At the end of the seventies, During his years in the exclusive English boarding school of Eton, Boris Johnson (New York, 57 years old) understood that being Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was the closest thing to the vocation of his childhood and, according to those who know him at that time, it was then when
became the pinnacle of his ambition.
As is so often the case with the most fascinating biographies, Johnson embodies the maxim that recommends be careful with what you wish for.
With a country at the forefront of the fateful European ranking of deaths from the coronavirus (the official figures are close to 130,000), in the face of a new wave that, according to the Government's projections, could exceed 200,000 cases a day and just laid the ground for a new war with Brussels, a rational analysis would conclude that the
has little to celebrate.
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However, in the last 24 months he has had time to accumulate milestones to fill several decades. Boris Johnson has completed the first divorce in the history of the community project, has faced a global pandemic, has won an unprecedented electoral victory for the British right since the zenith of Margaret Thatcher, has dragged Queen Elizabeth II into conflict with the Supreme Court and has dared, for the first time since 1948, to close the senior Parliament of Western democracy to prevent it from blocking its intentions, a decision overturned weeks later as illegal. As if that were not enough, in his personal life he has flirted with death (the covid-19 took him to the ICU in April 2020), he has divorced his second wife,He has married the third and has had what is believed to be his seventh child (he has never wanted to confirm the number, but two are attributed to him from different extramarital affairs).
But if he has proven something throughout his career, it is that logic rarely works with him.
Boris, as most still know him, not only is forgiven for sins that would sentence other leaders, but it is precisely these lapses that allow him to connect with the electorate at a level inaccessible to his adversaries.
His entry into Downing Street was a coronation, after a conservative party primary to which he had attended as the clear winner.
The endorsement of the polls would be obtained in December 2019, in an early general election in which he swept away a hegemony of 80 deputies, confirming an undeniable electoral talent that does not necessarily find its reflection as a manager.
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The start of the legislature was promising: in less than two months he had managed to approve the agreement for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and the end of the 47 years of marriage of convenience was a reality on January 31. The new era, however, has revealed the fissures of a president under the apparent impression that he can rewrite the rules at will. This same week, Johnson sowed the germ of a potentially lethal battle with Brussels, demanding a comprehensive review of the agreement to avoid an internal border with Ireland. The so-called Northern Ireland Protocol bears his signature, so the proposal suggests that either he had not understood what he signed, or he is indifferent to the law.
In his eight years as mayor of London (2008-2016), a traditionally progressive metropolis, he had had the cunning to recruit a solvent team that took care of the day to day, while he continued with his specialty: being Boris Johnson. Downing Street, by contrast, demands comprehensive involvement and, as prime minister, has shown increasing difficulty in delegating that has transformed him, in the words of one of his advisers, into a "libertarian Stalinist."
, Johnson demands unlimited loyalty, a demand that has caused him to surround himself with a low-profile Executive, in whom obedience outweighs training for the position, but who indulges in weaknesses that open an easy flank to attack. Despite this, he has achieved that his image of bonhomie and his curious ability to identify with the ordinary citizen hardly suffers, partly because of the perception that persists of him as free verse of the
, but also because of the success of the campaign of vaccination and by the entrenched identity crisis of a Labor opposition that still has not been overcome.
But in Johnson's kingdom there are cracks that are increasingly difficult to hide, despite the everlasting joviality of a president who hates delivering bad news and who, according to those who know him best, craves the approval of others above all else.
The management of the coronavirus threatens to become the element that will judge its passage through
and it is difficult for it to find mercy, especially if the investigation commission announced for spring confirms the accusations of its former guru, Dominic Cummings, current close enemy since his resignation in November: that Downing Street was a sinking ship, in which the captain refused to accept the seriousness of the pandemic, causing delays, both in decreeing successive confinements, and in border control, which would cost dozens of thousands of lives.