The age of levity is over. The Russia-Ukraine war will shake politics into a new sobriety. I often don’t agree with Rafael Behr but what is says about Johnson is on the nose and I really hope he’s right because the world is in a mess and it needs serious people to sort it out.
Now events require a policy of European engagement that can only be achieved by ignoring everything the prime minister has said on the subject. It requires a style of grown-up leadership that Johnson can affect because he is a thespian and rhetorician of some talent, but not sustain because he is also a dilettante and a fraud. He embodies a trait in Westminster culture that treats politics as pantomime, where a prime minister can play at being Churchill without Churchillian gravitas and without being accountable for words delivered with a wink, in a stage voice tinged with perpetual jest.