Are Boris Johnson’s buffoonery and outrageous statements a way of getting our attention?

Ever wondered whether Boris acts the fool and makes outrageous statements on purpose?

Consider these quotes:

“True deliberate mistakes are expected… to fail and not be worth the cost of the experiment…. But if such a mistake unexpectedly succeeds… [it] creates opportunities for profitable learning.”

“When fundamental assumptions are wrong, companies [or people] can achieve success more quickly by deliberately making errors than by considering only data that support the assumptions.”

Paul Schoemaker & Robert Gunther, Harvard Business Review (2006)

“…it’s object was to gain a verdict, and to call in the aid of buffoonery as an auxiliary to obtain it. His speeches were not the manly appeal becoming a member of the bar of England to address to a jury… they were a string of familiar colloquial observations, fraught with low jokes and vulgar allusions…”

Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country, Volume 6 p228

Sometimes there is a purpose in making deliberate mistakes or saying or doing things that seem idiotic.

It’s a teacher’s trick, a barrister’s trick, even a shopkeeper’s or restaurant owner’s trick when they write up their ‘Specials’ with a deliberate mistake – it gets our attention and can make us look deeper or interact more.

Some people may just write Boris off as a fool or an idiot but others take notice and end up learning things as they read up on the relevant information with which to refute his statements. They may even find that when he casts off the clown act and gets serious he has a great grasp of his subject and talks a lot of sense.

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