King Boris: the New Merry Monarch?

As a boy, Boris Johnson wanted to be the World-King. Now, he is king of the Conservative party and acting king of the UK. Like President Trump, he embodies a pleasing contempt for left-wing puritanism. Nor do his comments about tank topped bum boys, piccaninnies and letterboxes sunder him from the electorate; to the contrary, they seal his existential compact with them as an ‘ordinary guy’ instead of a bogus saint. Similarly, President Trump’s earthy comments about grabbing women only endeared him to normal Americans. As usual, left-liberal observers were completely off the pace, confusing their own crabbed obsessions for the popular will; which is why they lost the subsequent presidential election.

In their contempt for dreary tradcon-Marxist puritanism, both Boris and Trump closely resemble the fabled Charles II. And like that Merry Monarch, their free-wheeling and ribald approach to politics and life only endear them to the vast majority. After the drab and soulless years of the English Commonwealth, with its bans on drinking and prostitution, the Restoration was a refreshing breath of salty air. Charles himself kept a string of mistresses, including the famous Nell Gwynne, fathering dozens of illegitimate children by them. Discarding the grey chains of puritanism like a pair of old riding boots, the new King restored light and laughter to the realm with one swish of his glittering sceptre. This transformation was not merely sexual and social, but also cultural and creative. Theatre, architecture and art all flowered during Charles’ ribald reign, inspired by the boundless liberation he extolled and personified. St Paul’s Cathedral was raised from the ashes of the Great Fire and in science, Isaac Newton completely redefined our view of the universe.

So much for the protestant work ethic…

With the libertine, jocular Trump as President, modern America enjoys an unparalleled period of creativity in film, technology and televisual creation. Netflix, HBO and Disney are mass producing popular works of matchless quality and brilliance. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram permit the instant sharing of pleasure, glittering gateways of digital freedom enriching every sphere of life. Now, with merry Boris at the helm of state, Britain looks set to enjoy a similar cultural and social renaissance. A man who spends two days choosing which woman to take with him into Downing Street is truly the Merry Monarch of our times. And a country freed by Brexit from the European yoke is the perfect canvas for his unique brand of jest, joy and ribaldry.

Long may he reign.