JBefore Christmas, an ally of Boris Johnson sought to boost morale among colleagues as the prime minister swirled from one disaster to another. The assistant told of the scene at City Hall when one of Johnson’s periodic personal dramas was patched across the front pages. Johnson, then mayor of London, came out of his office and said, “Don’t worry. The show – and it’s a show – will continue.”
The anecdote perfectly captures the discomfort with which the Prime Minister has long dealt with adversity: the recognition that his appeal is showbiz as well as politics; the belief that no matter what he gets into, he will soon escape, often with the same careless bravado that put him there to begin with.
If Johnson is