Boris Johnson’s problem isn’t what he wrote decades ago – but that he still seems to hold the same abhorrent views

Are unpalatable opinions more acceptable if they are delivered in a posh, authoritative voice?

Janet Street-Porter
Friday 29 November 2019 20:37
Boris Johnson on single mothers quote: 'The quotations that are used are an absolute distortion of what I say and what I think'

Can you remember what opinions you held 25 years ago?

Before Boris Johnson became a politician, he earned a living as a professional columnist, churning out thousands of words several times a week. Writing for right-wing magazines, he held the post of assistant editor at The Daily Telegraph, not known for its liberal views (in the Nineties, at least) on the lower classes and female rights.

Johnson described himself as a reporter, but I wouldn’t say that’s accurate. He received a higher wage because he has a unique skill: the ability to work up a trenchant opinion and deliver it in an entertaining format every couple of days. It’s a job he has been reluctant to abandon, even as prime minister. Ranting in print is what he’s happiest doing – no one can interrupt or ask intrusive questions. It’s a one-way medium.

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