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Boris Johnson’s Tom Foolery: Is It a Façade?

We all witness the tomfoolery of politicians and so often we assume that it makes for an equal, sustained, and harmonious balance in society when politicians are suddenly and supposedly ‘relatable’, however that simply may not be the case. When I watch the news it always occurs to me that Boris Johnson’s unkempt hair and the plethora of things said by him that sometimes make hardly any sense allows for some bold sort of entertainment.

But there is more to his silliness than the laughter that echoes around the world and the myriad of memes that follow; perhaps Boris, like Donald Trump, uses his appearance as a distraction from real issues. Like peas in a pod, they have been rewriting the rules of leadership for some years now and Boris has been holding power for some time. But is he playing us for fools instead, since he shows that he can win the votes and support of Tories again and again?

The British public constantly refers to ‘iconic’ and ‘hilarious’ photos of the Prime Minister cycling and the recent event of Boris’ face edited as a clown being projected onto the house of Commons on account of YouTube pair, Zac Alsop and Jamie Rawsthorn. In instances where there is societal unrest such as until very recently, due to the mounting death toll regarding the Coronavirus, we recall such hilarious moments of Boris as they are brought to the forefront of our social media pages. The entire lockdown period this last year being dealt with in mostly half measures also has people complaining but then shortly resuming to making contradictory remarks that what is keeping them going is the show. They are patient since ‘Boris is hilarious’. People take to social media to share memes and argue that whilst Boris appears unfit to lead, the remarkable and hilarious air about him is enough to tolerate him. Writer of the Yorkshire Post in 2019, Sarah Todd wrote an article headlined ‘Boris Johnson leading with showman personality makes me proud to be British’ and similar sentiments can be found across online platforms because of what he continues to say and do.

Indeed, it is not Boris’ Eton education that inspires such rhetoric, but rather his own unprecedented style of leading that makes the world stop and laugh every so often. Though of course, its method and delivery are perhaps intellectual in that the Prime Minister knows exactly what he is doing, performing, laughing at us, and holding up the mirror just as we begin to laugh at him. It all suddenly becomes eerie, though the strangeness about his tomfoolery is hardly at all recognised. One individual with the Twitter handle, @johncornelius01 writes about his hair: ‘That parting is wider than that performed on the Red Sea by Moses’. But unequivocally, it is not just Boris who has the public on their phones tagging him in all sorts of ridiculous fashions, about what he looks like, who he is meeting and the way in which he speaks. Other members of the Tory party such as Matt Hancock are also similarly and completely scrutinised for their deliverance of entertainment, especially in December as we witnessed Hancock watch the first Briton receiving his vaccine on Good Morning Britain and proceeded to supposedly cry. One user on Twitter wrote ‘Matt Hancock pretending to cry is truly the moment of the year’.

It might just be that these moments are authentic, however, I would argue that it is apparent that Boris and his cabinet are not entirely stupid either. Now with Boris surfacing the internet more than ever in a humorous context, it is encouraged that people think more about the content which is presented before them.

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