Of course there’s nothing in today’s political news that would make this resonate:
In an age when politicians are judged first of all on personality, when the public assumes all of them to be deceitful, and when it’s easier and much more pleasurable to laugh about a political issue than to think about it, [Boris] Johnson’s apparent self-deprecating honesty and lack of concern for his own dignity were bound to make him a hit….
[Johnson] has nothing to fear from public laughter at all. These days, every politician is a laughing-stock, and the laughter which occasionally used to illuminate the dark corners of the political world with dazzling, unexpected shafts of hilarity has become an unthinking reflex on our part, a tired Pavlovian reaction to situations that are too difficult or too depressing to think about clearly. Johnson seems to know this: he seems to know that the laughter that surrounds him is a substitute for thought rather than its conduit, and that puts him at a wonderful advantage. If we are chuckling at him, we are not likely to be thinking too hard about his doggedly neoliberal and pro-City agenda, let alone doing anything to counter it. With a true genius for taking the temperature of a country that has never been closer to sinking ‘sniggering beneath the watery main’, Boris Johnson has become his own satirist: safe, above all, in the knowledge that the best way to make sure the satire aimed at you is gentle and unchallenging is to create it yourself.