Rt Hon Boris Johnson prime minister

Boris Johnson is the conservative MP for Uxbridge and south Ruislip, and has been an MP continuously since 7 May 2015. He currently holds the government posts of Prime Minister, First Lord of The Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union. In addition, he is also Leader of the Conservative Party.


Boris Johnson became prime minister on 24 July 2019. He was previously foreign secretary from 13 July 2016 to 9 July 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in May 2015. Previously, he was the MP for Henley from June 2001 to June 2008.

In 1997, Johnson stood for Parliament in Clwyd South in Wales, but he lost decisively to the Labour Party incumbent Martyn Jones. Soon after, Johnson began appearing on a variety of television shows, beginning in 1998 with the BBC talk show “Have I got News for you”. His bumbling demeanour and occasionally irreverent remarks made him perennial favourite on British talk shows.

Johnson stood for parliament again in 2001, this time winning the contest in the Henley-on-Thames constituency. Though he continued to appear frequently on British television programmes and became one of the country’s most-recognised politicians, Johnson’s political rise was threatened on a number of occasions. He was forced to apologise to the city of Liverpool after the publication of an intensive editorial in The Spectator, and in 2004 he was dismissed from his position as shadow arts minister after rumours surfaced of an affair between Johnson and a journalist. Despite such public rebukes, Johnson was re-elected to his parliamentary seat in 2005.

Does Boris Johnson have a narcissistic personality? We see a long-term pattern of exaggerated feelings of entitlement and self-importance, excessive craving for attention and admiration, and a limited capacity for empathy, all of which are the main indicators.

It is certainly plausible. However, unless he is diagnosed by a mental health professional, it cannot be known for sure, and the problem here is that narcissists do not think there is anything wrong with them, so they are highly unlikely to seek help. Most personality disorders are ego syntonic, meaning the person with the disorder does not see themselves as having a disorder.

Narcissists are probably only going to seek help if they have another issue, such as depression, anxiety, or something which is ego-dystonic (the opposite of ego-syntonic).

Pathological Power: The Danger of Governments Led by Narcissists and Psychopaths

After spending his early life suffering under the Nazis and then Stalin, the Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski devoted his career to studying the relationship between psychological disorders and politics. He wanted to understand why psychopaths and narcissists are so strongly attracted to power as well as the processes by which they take over governments and countries.

He eventually came up with the term “pathocracy” to describe governments made up of people with these disorders and the concept is by no means confined to regimes of the past.

In the US, for example, despite a convention that psychologists should not unofficially diagnose public figures they have not examined (known as the “Goldwater Rule” after psychiatrists questioned the mental fitness of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964), many have publicly stated that Donald Trump displays all the signs of narcissistic personality disorder.

Similar cases have been made by psychologists for other “strongman” politicians around the world, such as Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

It is not really surprising that people with personality disorders are drawn to political power – narcissists crave attention and affirmation, and feel that they are superior to others and have the right to dominate them. They also lack empathy, which means that they are able to ruthlessly exploit and abuse people for the sake of power. Psychopaths feel a similar sense of superiority and lack of empathy, but without the same impulse for attention and adoration.

But pathocracy is not just about individuals. As Lobaczewski pointed out, pathological leaders tend to attract other people with psychological disorders. At the same time, empathetic and fair-minded people gradually fall away. They are either ostracised or step aside voluntarily, appalled by the growing pathology around them.

As a result, over time, pathocracies become more entrenched and extreme. You can see this process in the Nazi takeover of the German government in the 1930s, when Germany moved from democracy to pathocracy in less than two years.

Democracy is an essential way of protecting people from pathological politicians, with principles and institutions that limit their power (the Bill of rights in the Us, which guarantees certain rights to citizens is a good example).

This is why pathocrats hate democracy. Once they attain power, they do their best to dismantle and discredit democratic institutions, including the freedom and legitimacy of the press. This is the first thing that Hitler did when he became German chancellor, and it is what autocrats such as Trump, Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have been attempting to do.

In the US, there has clearly been a movement towards pathocracy under Trump. As Lobaczewski’s theory predicts, the old guard of more moderate White House officials – the “Adults in the room”- has fallen away. The president is now surrounded by individuals who share his authoritarian tendencies and lack of empathy and morality. Fortunately, to some extent, the democratic institutions of the US have managed to provide some push back.

Britain, too, has been fairly fortunate compared to other countries. Certainly, there have been some pathocratic tendencies in some of our recent prime ministers (and other prominent ministers), including lack of empathy and a narcissistic sense of self-importance. But the UK’s parliamentary and electoral systems – and perhaps a cultural deposition towards fairness and social responsibility – have protected the UK from some of the worst excesses of pathocracy.

Pathocratic Politics Today

This is why recent political events seem so alarming. It seems as if the UK is closer to pathocracy than ever before. The recent exodus of moderate conservatives is characteristic of the purges which occur as a democracy transitions into pathocracy.

The distrust and disregard for democratic processes shown by UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, and his ministers and advisers – the prorogation of parliament, the institution that they may not follow laws they disagree with – is also characteristic of pathocracy.

As a psychologist, I would certainly not attempt to assess Johnson, having never met him. But in my view he is certainly surrounding himself with the most ruthless and unprincipled – and so most pathocratic – elements of his party. The former prime minister, David Cameron, even referred to Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, as “career psychopath”.

The Similarities Between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump

At a time of polarisation and political chaos, the United Kingdom and the United States are about to be led by two remarkably similar figures.

Like Trump, Johnson is a larger- than-life populist who has made controlling immigration and restoring his nation’s standing in the world key issues in recent years (Unlike Trump, he is given to speaking in Latin, making ancient historical allusions and has written a biography of Winston Churchill).

Johnson has been accused of extramarital affairs, and he has a reputation for playing fast and loose with the facts.

Like Trump, Johnson has also emphasised his unease with the changing face of his homeland, using language that plays well with much of his white base but angers minorities and urban liberals. For instance, in his column in the Daily Telegraph, Johnson wrote in 2017 that women in burqas look like mailboxes or bank robbers.

Both Johnson and Trump have pledged to return their countries to a mythical, better age. Trump speaks fondly of what he calls the “old days,” when Detroit ruled the auto industry, when most people said “Merry Christmas” during the holidays and – as Trump recalls it – people could just beat up protesters at political rallies.

As both Trump and Johnson seek to transform their countries, they have also targeted what they describe as the enemies of change. Trump pledged “Drain the swamp,” referring to the political class of legislators and lobbyists in Washington. Similarly, Johnson has targeted the Eurocrats in Brussels, whom he made a career of criticising back in the 1990s, when he was a reporter there for the Telegraph.

PM Accused of Sacrificing his Own Brother After Jo Johnson Dramatically Quits Politics

Boris Johnson has been accused of “Sacrificing” his brother after Jo Johnson, the UK universities minister, dramatically quit this morning, saying he had been “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”.

The bombshell decision by Mr Johnson, who is not only leaving government but also quitting politics altogether, adds to the fractious atmosphere gripping Westminster and the tussle over Brexit between the conservative government and the UK parliament.

It will also throw up more questions – marks about the prime minister’s approach to government, which his critics have denounced as “Trumpian”.

His brother’s shock announcement also came just hours before the conservative leader was due to give a keynote speech in Yorkshire, marking what Downing St regards as the first day of the election campaign.

Nick Boles, the former conservative minister who resigned from the party to sit as an independent, said: “Johnson is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything on the altar of his ego and ambition. His lust for power consumes everyone who stands in his way.    

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