From the Versailles Dining Room at the Hoover Institution, Niall Ferguson opines on the Johnson Family Melodrama: Old Socialist comments

Headline: It’s a bad week when BoJo’s bro Jo goes

Sub-headline:Jo Johnson’s resignation reminds us how fraternity can turn to enmity

The reader can only wonder at who wrote the headline to Mr. Ferguson’s essay? its an atrocity that should be emblazoned on the pages of a modern tabloid rag. Instead its about the editors of the good, grey Times trying to appeal to that younger demographic? That is restricted to that rarest of political breeds the Tory Hipster, like the Financial Times’ Janan Ganesh. But on further reading this appears:

“Blow for Bojo as bro Jo go goes,” was the London Evening Standard’s headline, which suggests that the chief sub-editor has been reading Dr Seuss’s Fox in Socks to the kids at bedtime.

To discuss Mr. Ferguson’s strategy , which is to evade in his circuitous literary way the Tories in political route. By way of the Johnson Family Melodrama in terms of the sibling rivalry of brothers.  Mr. Ferguson offers this revelation :

Never having had a brother, I have always rather envied my sons their fraternal relationships.

In the spirit of Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals’, this reader wonders at what might have happened if Mr. Ferguson’s brother had shared John Maynard Keynes’ sexual orientation?

That ‘circuitous literary way’  is exemplified in this paragraph:

There are two truly great novels — both of Scottish provenance — that revolve around fraternal feuding: James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Master of Ballantrae. In each case, the rival brothers are chalk and cheese — one good-hearted, the other diabolical. Jo has probably read them. Boris probably hasn’t.

His political strategy of shifting the focus away from the Tory political route, by his use of the Johnson Family Melodrama, in which he uses his skill as writer, in an attempt to beguile the reader is so politically transparent of his motive…


Old Socialist



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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