Last Thursday, Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, were involved in some kind of tiff. Mathew D'Ancona writes in The Guardian:
I have argued in the past that Johnson’s turbulent private life is a poor basis on which to attack him. One of the great improvements in British political culture in recent decades has been the decline of moral puritanism: after the fiasco of John Major’s “back to basics” strategy, a new and sensible consensus emerged that sexuality, infidelity and marital status are no long fair game in political conflict. But that shift does not represent a blank cheque. Yes, the police left Symonds’ flat satisfied that “there were no offences or concerns apparent to officers”. But the mere fact that the man poised to become prime minister in a few weeks was involved in an alarming altercation in which a neighbour felt it necessary to call police is self-evidently a legitimate matter for public inquiry.
This business is not about puritanism. It's about character. Actually, it's about two characters:
For the personality that Johnson has presented to the world is a confection, a stage act with roots in his true nature but with many affectations and contrivances. He is, one should never forget, “Al” (for Alexander) to his loved ones. “Boris” is a persona: it is his populist Conservative version of Ziggy Stardust, The Rock or Borat. It is a means to an end – and a potent one.
Indeed, it has become something close to a parlour game in the political and media class to chatter about “the two Borises” and wonder which is authentic. Which will we get in No 10: nice Dr Jekyll, the supposedly liberal Johnson who won the London mayoralty by posturing as a friend of immigration, diversity and pluralism? Or nasty Mr Hyde: the burqa-bashing populist who has led the charge for Brexit, says “fuck business” (and, presumably, the jobs that go with it) and treated the case of an imprisoned British-Iranian woman with indefensible sloppiness?
Given Johnson's long record of political schizophrenia, you would think that Conservatives, and Britons generally, would be paying close attention. After all -- whether it's Donald Trump in the United States, or Doug Ford in Ontario -- it should be clear that character is destiny.