SIR – I always enjoy Tom Halliday's cartoon commentaries, but his characterisation of Boris Johnson as a clown (July 27th) is not something I agree with, since Boris is neither an incompetent nitwit nor someone I'd laugh at were he to appear on my doorstep wearing a red nose the size of a basketball.
While we might occasionally chuckle as we watch him in action, I believe we do so in disbelief, aghast that someone so clearly in politics for personal glory is now top dog and making decisions that will at the very least create hardship for many, and at worst could end up costing lives.
The latter dreaded scenario of fatalities isn't merely possible if he insists on ditching the backstop and thus enabling even the slightest hardening of the Border – it's likely. It should be difficult to fathom situations in which leaders of modern democracies would even begin to consider playing fast and loose with something as sensitive as the peace process. Sadly, in 2019, it is not.
Despite myself, I am drawn to his antics, for that is what they are: antics. When viewed as a performer, he is definitely charismatic. This probably stems from his sense of entitlement and boundless self-belief.
I've always admired such self-belief, but it has no place in the world of politics. It belongs in the sporting and cultural worlds, where we need people like Katie Taylor to dream big so we can celebrate when their dreams come true.
If only those antics could be confined to the House of Commons. In reality, the consequences of his actions might be disastrous for the ordinary people on these islands, who, unlike him with his millions, won't be insulated from economic shocks.
Boris is many things: a player, a mover, a manipulator. Why to get as far as he's gotten, with little or no interest in serving the public, he's a genius. He is a Borisite, and in more ways than one – he believes in Boris and Boris only, and he sucks the power he thrives on out of the bloodstreams of the electorate.
Many things, but not a clown. Unfortunately, he is a ringmaster gone rogue, a tyrannical whip-cracking taskmaster hell-bent on burning the circus to the ground just so he can bask in the glow of the flames for one epically inglorious escapade.