The Uncanny Power of Incompetent Men

Inspired by the legendary ineptitude of the U.K.’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, you too can use your incompetence to succeed beyond your wildest imaginings

Danny Wallace
Forge
Published in
9 min readJul 25, 2019

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New Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves from Number 10, Downing Street. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

WWhen Boris Johnson made his way to Buckingham Palace yesterday to inform the queen of England that he would form a government, the world’s media did not mince words in its assessment of the new prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“Tinpot Trump,” said the Germans. Denmark called him “a clown.” And one French newspaper described him as, simply, “an incompetent jester.”

Johnson’s incompetence is not news to Britain. The former London mayor known universally as “Boris” has done almost nothing well. There has been no speech unmarred by his ill-preparedness, no photo opportunity that has not led to ridicule, no diplomatic encounter free of gaffes.

And yet, as Boris walked through the doors of №10 Downing St., there was little doubt that he has nailed it. In fact, Boris’ incompetence is arguably key to his unstoppable rise. With each ridiculous performance (remember that time he fell into a river during a photo op?), the people only wanted more.

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Danny Wallace
Forge
Writer for

Author of “F You Very Much”, “Yes Man”, “Join Me” and more.