Boris Johnson always had the air of someone destined for politics. The Ottoman politician Ali Kemal, who was brutally lynched and publicly hanged during the Turkish war of independence, was his paternal great grandfather. His ambition was unaffected by the fact that he was born deaf. Young Boris, then eight years old, declared that he wanted to be the “world king.” Like many British politicians, he went to Eton College, where he developed his charismatic and eccentric persona, in part as a reaction to the ongoing mockery of his Turkish ancestry.
He was a classmate at Oxford University and friends with Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt. He was chosen to lead the Oxford Union, but he also belonged to the elite Bullingdon Club with David Cameron, which is known for its anti-social behavior and public acts of vandalism.
He joined The Times after graduating from Oxford but was fired for fabricating a quote and pinning it on Colin Lucas, his godfather. His hubris and tendency to lie were starting to show. Boris Johnson’s reputation for fabrications only grew at his subsequent job as a journalist. He asserted that the European Union wanted to impose a standard condom size because Italians had small penises and that euro notes rendered people impotent.
Although his articles in The Daily Telegraph increased Euroskepticism and undermined the legitimacy of the EU, they also made him more well-known.
Despite being a talented and likeable individual, Boris’ career was defined by his lack of moral character. He was appointed editor of The Spectator in 1999, but only on the condition that he would steer clear of parliamentary politics. He was running for the conservative Henley seat in less than two years.
He promised his supporters during the campaign that he would step down as editor of The Spectator, but he didn’t.
Then there were the inappropriate sexual behavior. For lying about his relationship with a coworker at The Spectator, he lost his job as Shadow Secretary for the Arts in 2004. He was charged with having an affair with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri and giving her favors while the mayor of London.