Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are making me long for Margaret Thatcher and Barack Obama – Susan Morrison

Politicians used to be dull. Ours certainly were. Harold Wilson. Remember him? They gave him a pipe to make him interesting. Even Thatcher, once you’d got past the fact she was terrifying, was apparently quite dull.
Boris Johnson, a bumbling officer class nincompoop, and Donald Trump,  a deranged conspiracy-theory-spouting bore, are otherwise respectively known as the UK Prime Minister and US President (Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)Boris Johnson, a bumbling officer class nincompoop, and Donald Trump,  a deranged conspiracy-theory-spouting bore, are otherwise respectively known as the UK Prime Minister and US President (Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson, a bumbling officer class nincompoop, and Donald Trump, a deranged conspiracy-theory-spouting bore, are otherwise respectively known as the UK Prime Minister and US President (Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

I once met a woman who sat beside Gordon Brown at a dinner. Nice man, she said, but the tedium nearly drove her face first into the dessert when he explained macroeconomics.

American politicians seemed more glamorous. Well, Mr Kennedy did. My mum recalls Pathe News coverage of John and Jackie beside tweedy old MacMillan. Bill Clinton had star power. Let’s gloss over George. The Obamas re-wrote the script on cool. Dull or glamorous, though, they knew what they were doing, or gave that impression.

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Now we have these two. The strange man in Downing Street, a bumbling officer class nincompoop who rose relentlessly despite no discernible talent to command a brigade, which he will march into enemy fire, survive and get promoted to general despite the carnage in his wake. He doesn’t seem to even understand his own orders.

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Over the Atlantic, there’s a president so pointlessly vitriolic during a political debate his opponent was driven to snap “Will you shut up, man?”

Joe sounded like a weary soul trapped by the deranged conspiracy-theory-spouting bore at the office do, a dullard suspected of not paying into the Christmas Party fund, but turning up anyway.

Never thought I’d say this, but I long for the days of an impenetrable Brown statement, Thatcher’s demonic clarity, the gravitas of Obama.

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Heck, things are so nuts, I’m even starting to look kindly upon John Major, the man who defined British political dull.

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