Boris Johnson has not forgotten his schooling in the classics. And by the classics I mean, of course, Molesworth. Speaking to schoolchildren in Leicestershire yesterday, the prime minister tried to buck up their spirits by saying that school teaches one how to handle such everyday concepts as “the supine stem of confiteor”, ignorance of which is, as any fule kno, roundly mocked in the first Molesworth book Down with Skool!

Boris Johnson gets down with the kids

Despite blank looks from the pupils, might the staff have had the last laugh? Johnson gave his talk in the library and on the shelf behind him were prominent books with the titles Betrayed, The Resistance, The Twits and Ray Bradbury’s dystopian Fahrenheit 451. So was Pullman’s The Subtle Knife,

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