As our politicians head off on their summer holidays and Boris Johnson celebrates his one year anniversary as PM, now feels like a good time to reflect on what has happened this past year. It is traditional, of course, for school children to receive a report on their achievements, attitude and behaviour at the end of term. Or, at least, it was traditional – back when we were a country that had things like schools. So here is Lodestone’s report on our Prime Minister.
Boris has not had a good year and seems to have struggled to live up to the fresh demands of his new, more senior position. Whilst he applied himself with discipline to the task of becoming Head Boy, he has not exercised the same enthusiasm or rigour in carrying out his duties. His lack of attention to detail, his general evasiveness when pressed on points of specificity and his imprecise approach to facts do not serve him well.
Of course, it is not Boris’ fault that his first year as Head Boy coincided with a health crisis and a financial crisis at the school. These were beyond his control. However, in his handling of both crises Boris displayed an unhelpful unwillingness to lead from the front – often leaving it to other prefects or to the treasurer of the tuck shop to communicate difficult or unhappy news. We expect more from a Head Boy and it is no great exaggeration to say that in his indecision and his vagueness, those times he did choose to address assembly, he may have added to the problem rather than helped.
Many of the staff have expressed their concern that Boris may have fallen under the influence of a gang of misfits. It is true that he has begun surrounding himself with some rather eccentric friends – people obsessed with strange things like Brexit and super-forecasting and one particularly odd but bright scholarship boy from County Durham. But this is not really the problem. The problem is that Boris does not apply himself. And that would be the case whoever ended up in his circle of friends.
Next year, our hope for Boris is that he will come back refreshed from the break and ready to get stuck into school life properly. He promised a great deal to his fellow students in order to become Head Boy and they will expect him to deliver. If he fails to do so, he will be in trouble I am afraid. When he won his election it was against a very unpopular candidate but he has now left the school to go backpacking around Iran and his replacement as head of the group that did not vote for Boris is both more popular and less peculiar. In short, he faces real opposition, now.
If we were to sum all of this up in one of those nifty, three word slogans that young Boris seems to like so much it would be this: Must. Do. Better.