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Go, Boris!

(119 Posts)
thatbags Sun 12-Jun-16 08:05:29

Until the EU referendum reared its head I never gave Boris Johnson a second thought; he was outwith my political focus. I think now that he's a good guy. Just as Jeremy Corbyn is a good guy.

Some of you will trash this opinion of mine and reduce any following discussion to playground sniping, but if anyone's interested, here's a really good, long, interesting article about Boris by Tim Shipman from today's Sunday Times. It's called the Magazine Interview for anyone who gets the hard copy.

It would be nice if this thread didn't turn into another EU ref for and against thread. What I'm really interested in is people's views of prominent politicians as people rather than as politicians. Are people you've often disagreed with politically still good people? Can they be seen as having good motives even when you disagree with their politics?

Anniebach Sun 12-Jun-16 08:18:06

Leaving aside his polics, as a man I do not see him as a decent man, a man who can cheat on two wives isn't a good guy

Alea Sun 12-Jun-16 08:23:49

Very interesting read, thank you thatbags.
Anniebach sadly, when it comes to politicians, marital fidelity doesn't always come high on the list -Asquith, Lloyd George, Wilson, Major amongst no doubt others.

obieone Sun 12-Jun-16 08:27:53

I have long since given up deciding whether a public figure that in reality we hardly know, is "good" or "bad".

Plus which, from a religious point of view, that is judging a person.
Fine to say about approving of someone's behaviour, but that is it.

Anniebach Sun 12-Jun-16 08:29:11

Alea. same can be said of man in all professions , thatbags didn't wish to discuss him as a polictian

PRINTMISS Sun 12-Jun-16 08:29:57

I think he is intelligent, and deliberately brash at times, in order to get the attention he needs. A good orator - we do not have too many of those at the moment. I do not know of any personal details about him, but my instincts tell me that I would not like him as a friend, not that that would cause him any concern!

Alea Sun 12-Jun-16 08:33:38

I wasn't discussing his politics either, merely trying to counter your accusation that a man who has/has had affairs cannot be regarded as"decent".
Fair enough, let's dismiss everybody who has an affair as incapable of decency then, shall we?

Anniebach Sun 12-Jun-16 08:43:24

Alea, this us a thread about one man not the make population of the UK

kittylester Sun 12-Jun-16 08:46:30

Thanks for the link bags. A good article.

Alea Sun 12-Jun-16 09:30:08

Oh heck, thread monitor time again?
I do not see him as a decent man, a man who can cheat in two wives isn't a good guy

That is a generalisation a comment on the male members of the population of the UK or wherever.

One rule for you, one for me. Right?

rosesarered Sun 12-Jun-16 11:05:46

An interesting read thatbags I hardly ever look at links but wanted to know more about him.infedelity doesn't worry me with political figures, and it would rule out about three quarters of the country if we did worry about it.grin
He should have adopted a slightly more serious persona earlier IMHO but does come over a lot better since he has been Mayor.We shall see.

thatbags Sun 12-Jun-16 11:10:00

I think he has had a serious side all along—he has written a biography of Churchill, for instance—and I don't think his winning the election for Mayor of London twice was only about his so-called clowning.

rosesarered Sun 12-Jun-16 11:19:24

I think you may be right ( has always had a serious side) but he has always shown the clowning about side, which maybe came about from schooldays, as he seems a likeable person who wants to be liked.Wanting to be liked is natural, but not a good thing for a politician( or in business) when you need to get a job done.
Maybe the question is, ' is he too likeable to be a good future PM'?
He did look genuinely hurt when Amber Rudd was so nasty in the comment about 'not wanting to be driven home in the car by him'. Just a thought.Maybe he is harder than we think though.I hopse so.

practical Sun 12-Jun-16 11:25:23

I like Frank Field for the same reason I liked Peter Shaw they just seem to get on with things in their quiet way don't know if Peter Shaw is still an MP.
Liam Fox seems the same way as does Jacob Rees-Mogg.
They all seem honourable men to me.

Anniebach Sun 12-Jun-16 11:33:04

No Alea, nothing to do with rules, adultery during two marriages shows a man who I don't consider to be a man of honour or a man to be trusted. I accept people make mistakes but he has had quite a few affairs, one which ended with the abortion of a child

Alea Sun 12-Jun-16 11:46:33

"Just Boris- a tale of blond ambition" by Sonia Purnell is a good biography. It is not a PR job, she doesn't pull her punches, but it helps in understanding the man, his background and his motivation.
His Churchill biography is very good and he writes extremely well, but I felt it could have been "meatier".

Alea Sun 12-Jun-16 11:48:37

Whatever, Anniebach you keep your idea of what this thread is about and I'll keep mine.

durhamjen Sun 12-Jun-16 11:48:38

There is nothing in the article which persuades me that Boris is a good man. Corbyn gets lots of criticism for changing his mind. Boris changed his mind from paper to paper. His Telegraph articles say that we should stay in.

Tegan Sun 12-Jun-16 11:48:52

I think that, when we're hardly likely to know any prominent politicians personally we can only judge them by things like fidelity etc. In the case of Boris his public persona allied with his private life just makes me think of him as a very self centred, immature person. However, prior to his political ambitions being far greater than I'd imagined I really liked him [HIGNFY appearances etc].But he isn't someone I trust with the leadership of this country. [I also liked Michael Gove when he appeared on BBC Arts programmes but that was before he all but drove my daughter away from teaching].It's a funny thing, political personality. Look at how many Americans despise Obama sad. I don't particulary 'like' many members of the Labour Party these days, other than Hilary Benn, Dan Jarvis and Dennis Skinner and, of the Conservatives I've never been able to dislike Cameron or John Major [try as I might] and Kenneth Clarke seems to be universally admired by people from all political persuasions, me included.

POGS Sun 12-Jun-16 11:58:26

The OP asks

"Are people you've often disagreed with politically still good people? Can they be seen as having good motives even when you disagree with their politics?"

I would hope so and I would hope that most rational people could feel that way too.

It is very difficult to leave behind your knowledge of a politician and talk about his/her personality away from the political arena. I think you can only go on an instinct/gut feeling as to your perception of another human being and for the most part we, the people, can only ever get to see our politicians through the media, which has an opportunity to
try and mould an image of our politicians according to it's particular persuasion/political entrenchment .

As for the media entrenchment it has to be accepted that if you only read a newspaper you believe wholeheartedly gives you the only truthful information you need, only agree with the t.v programs that suit your own political view then you become somewhat brain washed albeit voluntarily. Likewise any voter that states they would never vote for any other party, engages heavily in activism to my mind will not 'for the most part' shift away from taking the obliged party line. You see and hear that in interviews or comments from the latter group as there is often a mantra, a repeat of the exact same words, the sound bite, propaganda. The definition of 'Spin' after all is ensuring that others interpret an event from a particular point of view.

It is very hard to look past all these vested interest groups/parties but I think most people have woken up a bit to the 'subliminal' message they try to bombard us with and do accept that behind every politician there is a human being. If anybody thinks one party is saintlier than another, one party has more humorous characters than another, one party has kinder souls than another , one party is devoid of having it's good, the bad and the ugly then they are deluding themselves.

There has to be a dividing line for our politicians between their political persuasion and their personality away from the job. Yes I can disagree with someone's political view but still think they he/she is a good person. Likewise I believe a politician can have good motives even if I don't agree with them. If I didn't then I would be a tad worried about my own sanity.

durhamjen Sun 12-Jun-16 12:04:07

I still cannot see Boris as a good guy. I see him as trying damage limitation, and wishing he had not said and done such silly things in the past, but never good.

Welshwife Sun 12-Jun-16 12:07:07

Wasn't Boris born in USA? - this means he could be the running mate of Trump!

thatbags Sun 12-Jun-16 12:19:01

I think the view that someone who doesn't live up to one's own judgmental standard of moral decency—with no let or leeway for human 'frailty'—is someone who cannot be called a good or a decent human being, that view, in my view, is not very decent or humane.

Does that mean that I cannot regard the persons expressing such a view as capable of decency or goodness, of being good guys in many ways? Fortunately for them, it doesn't mean that.

thatbags Sun 12-Jun-16 12:19:46

as someone

thatbags Sun 12-Jun-16 12:23:28

Did the criticisers read the article? Is Boris simply lying, in your view, about what motivates him politically, apart from ambition?

BTW, I'm presuming ambition in someone one approves of is allowable, though not in someone one disapproves of. Forgive me if that impression I've picked up is wrong.