qatsi (qatsi) wrote,
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qatsi

Beano

Book Review: Lend Me Your Ears, by Boris Johnson
I've never been quite sure whether Johnson is an accomplished clown concealing a razor-sharp intelligence, or an accomplished clown not really concealing a village idiot. Like Ken Clarke, he's the kind of Tory you can like, provided he doesn't talk politics.

Much of this volume of collected journalism is politics, but it's the readable sort, far better than Andrew Rawnsley's book I read about a year ago. Perhaps that's because I'm happy with his Blair-bashing these days; perhaps it's because many of the pieces hark back to the 1990s when the Conservative Apocalypse was looming. Even the bits where I don't agree with the politics, the writing is coherent and a clear libertarian philosophy emerges. There are two fronts where I tend to disagree with Johnson: Europe (where he seems quite heavily Eurosceptic) and Small Government (where I find that I couldn't trust "the market" to keep things reasonably in order). Curiously, I enjoyed his two programmes a few months back on Rome and Europe: he seemed to be quite positive about the EU, but ultimately seemed to imply that is good enough for them, but not for us.

Though most of the articles are on either domestic or European politics, there are also smaller sections on literature, "manners and morals", and personalities. There's the odd bit of humorous poetry thrown in: the "interview" with The Cat In The Hat is cleverly done indeed. I have tended to ignore boris_blog; but perhaps I shall read it a bit more closely in future.
Tags: books
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