Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom’s shiny new prime minister, is the owner of a shiny new jacket that reminds you that he is—in fact—the prime minister. In a cutting take down, The Guardian notes that the jacket is a gift from the Ministry of Defence during a visit to the HMNB Clyde, a naval base in Faslane, Scotland.
I’m not a Brit, but I feel like I’m well versed enough in British culture enough to deduce that this makes Johnson look like a bit of a tit. Or, more specifically, like a bit of a Yank. Or, more specifically than that, a bit like a Trump.
As the British press has enjoyed pointing out, President Trump and many of his predecessors—Obama, Bush, Clinton—have each been presented with an army green US Navy flight jacket that dons their name and the moniker “Commander-in-Chief” on the front. This doesn’t come across as particularly garish or tacky for Americans, but a “Prime Minister” jacket certainly appears to comes across as such for Brits.
Most of Johnson’s political tenure has been coupled with a reputation of utter slovenliness, from his sloppy hair, to his sloppy suits, to his sloppy car. Throw in some good old fashioned eccentric racism and sexism with a posh little accent and you’ve got Johnson, a perfect chaos muppet. But maybe the goofiness and the bumbling lack of political correctness is just a cover for his sinister politics?
Given the fact that Johnson’s bootleg “Commander-in-Chief” jacket was prime for a communal clowning from the British public, and given the numerous comparisons made between Johnson and Trump, I’m left wondering if Johnson in on the joke or not. Is this another attempt to make himself appear more bumbling and Everyman™ and not the Oxford via Eton swot he is? Or is this the kind of guy who would simply feel rude about not wearing a gift?
Either way, it’s safe to say that there are a few other monikers that are far more appropriate Johnson than “Prime Minister.”