Some things in life just defy logic. Why do people listen to the insipid Ed Sheeran? Why are so many obsessed with the royals? Who actually watches Love Island? Baffling, I know. But the one enduring challenge to every vestige of rational thinking has to be Boris Johnson’s popularity.

The Owen Paterson saga, I hear you cry, has changed all this. Johnson; the slippery, self-interested, snake-like, shape-shifting, smirking, smarmy, slimy, shameless, shambling showman is finally in deep s***. At long last, the blundering buffoon is getting his comeuppance. The long hook is hovering from the wings and it’s just about to haul his second-rate clown show act off the stage.

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Or is it? His ability to ride roughshod through endless scandals is legendary. Bonking Boris – the proroguer of parliaments, the man who left his cancer-inflicted wife for a young sort in the office, the disgraced journalist fired for lies, the defender of bullying ministers, the diplomatic dunce whose staggering ineptitude helped extend a mother’s sentence in an Iranian jail – plays by his own rules. Liar, cheater, self-promoter, moral abyss, the list goes on and on.

It’s with some relief, here, that I have to point out the majority of Scots regard him as the faker he is. And as much as I like to think that people across the UK share similar beliefs in fairness, equality and justice, it’s the Boris “issue” that blows this out the water. Why do so many down there like him?

Now, I’m sure if I was an expert in psephology, psychology or even fairground acts I would be able to present some well-researched theory to explain this. Sure, he’s “redefined” what it is to be a politician, and in many ways his ascent has been driven by similar forces that propelled his pal Donald Trump to the top job. But allow me to offer my own, rather less empirically based explanation. There are two actually, both of which assume his supporters have pretty low moral expectations.

The first asks the question, would you have a drink with him? The answer for Boris voters is yes please, absolutely. What a night it would be. A few pints down the local, anecdotes aplenty, then a slap-up curry. A regular bloke, who doesn’t give two hoots in the woke-dominated, climate-fixated, woolly liberal lefty, virtual signalling mad world we live in. A night out with strait-laced Keir Starmer, by comparison, would be about as much fun as tea with the vicar.

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The second theory, closely linked to the first, argues that Johnson’s outrageous flaws are his greatest asset. So what if he tried to change the rules on parliamentary standards, ostensibly to protect a loyal friend, but in all actuality to cover his own back over free foreign holidays? You would do the same in his position, wouldn’t you?

Such duplicity, the idea goes, is so blatant that in a way it’s honest. I realise this sounds counter-intuitive, but no-one has trust in politics anymore, so why pretend otherwise. The sheen of the super-slick professional politician – a la Tony Blair – has long worn off after being exposed for the dirty con trick it always was. Boris may be a liar, but at least he’s an honest liar, not a hypocritical one.

Of course, there are the blindly loyal who will always vote Tory regardless, and view any misdemeanour through blue-tinted spectacles. But as Albert Einstein said: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will get you anywhere.” He was right, who would have imagined we’d end up with a Prime Minister like Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.


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