Toby Young
Toby Young

Britain needs Boris, the extraordinary man I’ve known for 35 years

Britain needs Boris, the extraordinary man I’ve known for 35 years

As I write, Boris Johnson is in intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital, battling with coronavirus. For someone with such an unwavering belief in his own destiny, this must be profoundly difficult. He is a man who’s beaten the odds over and over: to become mayor of London in a Labour city, to lead the Leave campaign to victory in the teeth of overwhelming opposition, to become prime minister in spite of all his personal baggage, and then to win the largest Conservative majority since 1987. Here is a man who cannot stare into the jaws of defeat without grabbing hold of victory with both hands. Yet the odds of him triumphing in this case keep narrowing. Of those who’ve caught the virus aged 50 to 59 (Boris is 55), their chances of requiring hospitalisation are only one in ten, and just 12 per cent of that fraction end up in intensive care.

Toby Young

Britain needs Boris, the extraordinary man I’ve known for 35 years

Britain needs Boris, the extraordinary man I’ve known for 35 years

As I write, Boris Johnson is in intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital, battling with coronavirus. For someone with such an unwavering belief in his own destiny, this must be profoundly difficult. He is a man who’s beaten the odds over and over: to become mayor of London in a Labour city, to lead the Leave campaign to victory in the teeth of overwhelming opposition, to become prime minister in spite of all his personal baggage, and then to win the largest Conservative majority since 1987. Here is a man who cannot stare into the jaws of defeat without grabbing hold of victory with both hands. Yet the odds of him triumphing in this case keep narrowing. Of those who’ve caught the virus aged 50 to 59 (Boris is 55), their chances of requiring hospitalisation are only one in ten, and just 12 per cent of that fraction end up in intensive care.

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