Your Politics Should Have Nothing To Do With Wishing Boris Johnson Well

It’s worrying when politics and ideology triumphs over humanity, as if there’s a supposed hierarchy of who we should feel sorry for and why, writes Maighna Nanu.
Why should it be controversial to want someone to recover from a life-threatening illness, even if they have different views to you?
Why should it be controversial to want someone to recover from a life-threatening illness, even if they have different views to you?
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

When the news broke that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition had deteriorated and he was taken to ICU, a flurry of well wishers from across the political spectrum flooded the media with anodyne messages.

Yet some people felt the need to caveat their wishes with disclaimers that they “disagreed with his politics”.

That feels unnecessary. Why should it be controversial to want someone to recover from a life-threatening illness, even if they have different views to you?

Some people went even further, by saying that Johnson was deemed undeserving of wishes for a speedy recovery.

This group argued that hundreds of others were in similar situations to him, or worse; that he presided over a government which made cuts that negatively impacted the lives of those they love. In some extreme cases, people expressed hopes that he would fare badly.

It’s worrying when politics and ideology triumphs over humanity, as if there’s a supposed hierarchy of who we should feel sorry for and why.

As if there’s a moral report card in life, and some assume the right to grade people’s worthiness to live or die —based on a scale of their own choosing.

“People are also placing caveats before sending their well wishes to Johnson’s pregnant fiancé, Carrie Symonds, because she got involved with a married man — yet surely wishing ill upon someone’s health is the most morally questionable thing of all?”

Worse still, people are placing caveats before sending their well wishes to Johnson’s pregnant fiancé, Carrie Symonds, because she got involved with a married man — yet surely wishing ill upon someone’s health is the most morally questionable thing of all?

People often feel the criticism of politicians or high-profile people is justified because their lives or the way in which they are often represented can feel worlds removed from us.

People see the prime minister on the news day after day and form fervent opinions about him and his colleagues despite never having met them.

That’s well and good, but it does not detract from the fact that they are human beings first, and politicians second. Johnson is part of someone’s family and he has his own — he is a son, a brother, a fiancee, and a father. He is soon to be a father of a newborn.

To wish ill upon someone because you believe they have acted badly is somewhat warped. It is a twisted logic to wish tragedy upon those who are privileged, due to the misfortune that you think they have caused others.

This virus should not be a blame game — and it is in poor taste to wish ill upon anyone, in particular when someone is at their most vulnerable.

When someone is in hospital, and at their most vulnerable, big issues become small. There is no limit to the amount of sympathy that you can show, and to who you can show it to.

We never know what might happen in our own lives, so we would all do better to remember that.