Sunday 1 September 2019

Robert Harris interviewed in today's Sunday Times

"Twitter is like the Roman forum, mobs go sweeping from one side to another, rumours start, Cinna the poet is killed rather than Cinna the politician. It’s exhilarating but it’s like getting involved in a huge pub brawl.”

“I sat with [Boris Johnson] once in this very pub, 20 years ago. He came and interviewed me. We had a very pleasant time. When the article appeared, he had manifestly made up a quote about me. He wrote, ‘His friends all call him Moneybags’ and this was in the headline of the piece. I said to him afterwards, ‘Who are these friends?’ He said, ‘I made that up actually!’ I’ve done a lot of interviews but I’ve never had a journalist cheerfully admit that they made something up.”

“Stalin had a great line. His son was always getting into trouble. He was a drunken air force commander forever throwing his weight around. He’d say, ‘I’m the son of Stalin.’ But Stalin lost his temper with him and said, ‘I’m not Stalin, don’t you understand? There’s a creation that is Stalin, I’m not Stalin!’”

The whole interview is very interesting - he like me expects Boris to arrange a version of Theresa May's dreadful agreement. 

He says that Mr Blair and Mr Johnson both invented false personae and thinks all successful politicians do. Not all - Nancy Reagan said 

'The Ronald Reagan you see on television is the man I live with.'

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