There is an excellent snapshot portrait of the venality of the shallow, vain-glorious shyster who is our Prime Minister by Matthew Parris in The Times today. I watched the three part series on Sky about that other shyster “Sir” Allen Stanford last night and throughout I kept thinking of Boris Johnson – all mouth and no trousers both of them. But more than that of course. Stanford destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of his duped investors. Johnson’s impact on Britain has been even greater, and more lethal.
Stanford was an egotistical bully and so is Johnson. Both preened themselves in public where their arrogance covered their dysfunctionality and both were moral reprobates. Stanford’s whole career was based on monumental lies – well we all know that Johnson and probity never meet either.
It comes down to checks, balances and regulation. It failed for twenty years with Stanford but succeeded in the end though the dogged work of the Securities and Exchange Commission with the help of insider whistle-blowers. Here Johnson has managed to evade retribution most of his life and today the whistleblowers haven’t dealt the fatal blow yet. Et tu Dominic hasn’t worked so far because the Brutus is as tainted as the Caesar.
The Stanford documentary showed how the greedy, shallow, stupid apparatchiks of the England and Wales Cricket Board were fooled by a preposterous charlatan. And how veteran cricketers who should have known better took the tainted shilling. Surrounding Boris Johnson is another conspiracy of fools attracted to a monster by the offer of power, fame or fortune. It is a test of our national morality (if we still have one) whether, like Stanford, we can get Boris Johnson in an orange offender’s suit and handcuffs.