However badly Boris Johnson’s career ends, it will surely be a better finale than that of his great-grandfather, the Turkish journalist, editor and liberal politician Ali Kemal. Almost exactly a century ago, following the trauma of defeat and the end of the Ottoman Empire, Kemal was attacked by a mob of soldiers, hanged from a tree, his head smashed in with cudgels before being beaten to death. I can’t imagine that the Tory backbenchers will go that far.
There is something charming and colourful about Johnson’s background, the mixture of Turkish, Russian, Jewish and even a Circassian slave just a few generations back (according to Boris Johnson, and if you can’t trust his version of events, who can you trust?). Just like David Cameron, he is also descended from George II, the last king of England to fight in battle, via a mistress.