If it were only this simple

In the FT this morning I came across this

While declining to discuss specific cases, Leppard, who was commissioner of the City of London Police until 2015 and was awarded a CBE for services to policing, defended the use of deception and undercover surveillance as necessary tactics. “It’s quite lawful to deceive people if you’re doing it for the greater good,” he said . . .

The problem, of which Leppard seems wholly unaware, is who gets to decide how you define ‘greater good’ – and whose.

But then he was once a policeman . . .

He just can’t help it . . .

After my post last week about how much Johnson dislikes being compared to Trump, it seems that he isn’t really that serious about changing his Trumpian behaviours.

142 other countries around the world have accorded full diplomatic status to EU ambassadors. But not the UK.

It seems to be a case that my sovereignty is bigger and better than yours.

It is also so very petty – and so very Johnson.

The mirror never lies

I was very struck by a column in the FT this morning, Boris Johnson on back foot as UK tries to reset relationship with US, (paywalled) that reports that Boris Johnson

smarts at the comparisons with the outgoing president, who called the UK premier “Britain Trump”

and went on to quote an ally of Johnson saying, “Boris hates the comparisons with Trump. He wants to be a mainstream European leader. When he looks in the mirror, he wants to see Macron, not Trump.”

Johnson may not be Trump although I have always believed it takes one to know one – however delusional Trump may be, and he is, there is no doubt that he sees Johnson as a sort of Trumpian Mini-Me. And Johnson, however much he wishes it, is certainly no Macron.

The mirror never lies.

And for a rather less kind but sadly just as accurate comparison of Johnson and Trump, read Martin Fletcher in the New Statesman, Why Boris Johnson is dangerously close to Trump. And one thing Fletcher omits is that both take a great deal of time over their hair . . . perhaps that’s the mirror thing.


The experience of lockdown is different for everyone. I feel hugely lucky to be here (Devon), untroubled by concerns over ‘staying local’ for exercise. The side door leads through the churchyard into open country.

And working from home is something I have been doing for almost a decade – but before the pandemic this was something I chose to do. It is not quite the same when there is no alternative. Above all, I miss London and I miss friends.

In the Weekend FT Rebecca Watson’s closing paragraph in her piece Alone together: friendship in a pandemic (behind the FT paywall) resonated very strongly,

The world will not return to normal, instead the pandemic will yield. There is a difference. Friendships will not simply revert to what rather once they were: but that need not be a bad thing. I find it easy to live to a schedule: what I am doing and who I am seeing next rising to meet me before the previous event is over. When it safe and possible, I will want to see my friends. But when I do, I will try to appreciate the moments as they happen, fortified by the memory that for a time they couldn’t.

When it is safe and possible, likewise.