The Churchill Factor
/IT’S THE BUSINESS
Seven years ago, Boris Johnson published ‘The Churchill Factor’, a book that one erudite reviewer described as “a self-aggrandising pot-boiler”.
Today, he gets to channel his hero alongside US president Joe Biden.
In a somewhat self-regarding reprisal, Mr Johnson will play Churchill to Mr Biden’s Roosevelt as the two men sign a new Atlantic charter.
The original 1941 document prefigured a new world order after the second world war. The 2021 version is supposed to show that the US and UK can help frame a post-Covid order.
Pomp and circumstance are the currency of politics – its business is premised on leveraging imagery. Human beings have a visual culture— thousands of years ago, it was cave paintings; today, it’s selfies. Political images are often carefully chosen to convey a very specific message.
Signing a new Atlantic charter is meant to convey an image of power, strength — and resolve — on the part of both the US and UK with BoJo and JoBi jointly steering the global ship as it navigates the turning point wrought by the pandemic.
It’s another matter if everyone will believe it. 2021 is nothing like 1941.