WHAT’S in a name?

Margaret, John, Tony, Gordon, David, Theresa, Boris.

I know that many of your readers will feel that I raise a trivial matter at a time when so many more pressing issues require our urgent attention, however I do feel that this nauseatingly infantile method of referring to our Prime Minister simply as Boris is important.

The six people who preceded Mr Johnson in the office of Prime Minister were never routinely referred to by their first names.

Quite rightly so.

Leaders have to be held to account on the basis of their polices not their personality on their core beliefs not on the basis of a shallow and heavily studied public veneer.

This requires objective distance, which is hard to achieve when journalists, the wider media and politicians of all persuasions insist on this childish use of, what is in actual fact, not even Mr Johnson’s first name.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel anyone?

The space required for sober and considered judgement is squeezed when personalities dominate and the usual conventions of language are altered in this way.

This use of the ‘Boris’ name is of course a carefully curated artifice and is emblematic of the successful branding of a highly privileged member of the elite into a media friendly politician whose vile insults can be laughed off as ‘oh that’s just Boris isn’t it!’ A man whose calculated buffoonery can inspire daytime television presenters to fawn for a selfie the week after they eviscerated a political rival on the same show.

I understand that we are all susceptible to advertising and marketing in every aspect of our daily lives and can often recall the words to a commercial jingle with greater accuracy than our National Anthem but can we all please resist this cloying attempt to render our Prime Minster in such terms.

If we don’t we may weaken the ability to scrutinise and could find we have sleep-walked into a future we never expected from such a nice chap called Boris.