What do we call Boris Johnson in headlines, if not a ‘liar’ and ‘arch deceiver’?

His family call him Al, and frankly, I don’t see why we should call him Boris either. It plays into this notion that he is a jolly, gentle, teddy bear of a character

Sean O'Grady
Sunday 22 September 2019 10:10
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A real head-scratcher: the media struggle with how to refer to the PM
A real head-scratcher: the media struggle with how to refer to the PM

Well, what shall we call him?

I mean, apart from “liar”, “cad”, “proven liar”, “bounder”, “arch deceiver”, adulterer and leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, that is, what shall our preferred usage be for the Right Honourable Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson MP?

“Boris”, as I’ve written before, is a conceit, a confection, a creation of Johnson for the purposes of his journalistic, media and political career. His family call him Al, and frankly, I don’t see why we should call him Boris either. It plays into this notion that he is a jolly, gentle, teddy bear of a character. While I’d be first to acknowledge his wit, it may be he is not such a nice piece of work after all. Even if he is, it is of course inappropriate to indulge any politician in this way (just as we do not use the sobriquet Jeremy or Jezza for the leader of the opposition).

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