An Honourable Johnson

When it comes to a contrast between two brothers in public life, the nearest parallel is in Hamlet: Old Hamlet, the murder victim, and Claudius, his assassin - Hyperion to a satyr. Yet that does not entirely work. Satyr is perfect for Boris Johnson; Hyperion may be overstating his brother Jo's graces. Equally, Old Hamlet may not have deserved all his son's hero-worship, while Claudius might be worthy of tragic status. To win a throne and a Queen, he committed a dreadful and treacherous crime. Yet there was a certain heroic grandeur, albeit evil, to his objectives and his offences. In Boris's case, there is mere squalid littleness.

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