Letter to Boris Johnson’s dad from Eton College resurfaces online – and it explains a lot

A letter sent to Boris Johnson’s dad during his time at Eton College has been making the rounds on social media – and it explains a lot.

Martin Hammond, who was Johnson’s housemaster and taught him classics, spotted early on that the former Foreign Secretary and prominent Brexiteer showcased a certain irresponsibility and inattention to facts.

Writing of him in a school report in April 1982, he said: “Boris really has adopted a disgracefully cavalier attitude to his classical studies . . . Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility (and surprised at the same time that he was not appointed Captain of the School for next half): I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.”

A Letters of Note tweet detailing the correspondence has gone viral since being it was posted last month, garnering over 10,000 likes and 5,000 re-tweets.

Among the comments people pay tribute to the teacher’s perceptive nature, with one saying the letter “could have been written in 2018”.

Paul Potiki also seemed to strike a chord, describing Boris as “one of those people who are convinced they’re great at everything, with no evidence to support that, such as for example, actually doing said thing at any point”.

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