Finn McRedmond: Boris Johnson should pay more heed to the classics

The prime minister’s hero Pericles was brought down by misplaced self-confidence

Johnson’s loose sexual morality, naked ambition, belief in the power of satire, and his populist tendencies would see him blend seamlessly into the Roman Forum. Photograph: Getty Images

Johnson’s loose sexual morality, naked ambition, belief in the power of satire, and his populist tendencies would see him blend seamlessly into the Roman Forum. Photograph: Getty Images

Boris Johnson is teetering on the precipice of political ruin. Whether it is haplessness, mendacity, glory-seeking or hubris that brought him to this point will be the question that troubles future historians.

But for now we might wonder why Johnson’s fascination with the distant past never alerted him to a simple fact: those personal failings have been the making of many a downfall.

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