THIS may be controversial but in my view Boris Johnson should never be Prime Minister. I know, I know, it's almost a dead cert he will be.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Boris. I like him a lot. How could anyone not? He’s witty, charismatic, charming and has that bumbling Bullingdon Club quality that we English naturally admire and warm to.

I’ve never had a dinner party but if I did Boris would be top of my guest list (though I’m sure he would have better places to be than by humble abode).

I have no problem either with some of the ‘offensive’ remarks he’s made down the years. I believe such crass humour is a vital component of British culture, a symptom of our eccentricity and irreverence, even of a certain understated rebelliousness that forms part of our national character.

Such humour, however tasteless it may seem, is a bulwark against tyranny, a pin in the swollen boil of bombast and pomposity. It breaks the brittle souls who need to be broken. It melts the endless flurry of snowflakes who drift down from their imagined Utopia to smother free speech and bury our cherished liberty. In short, we must be free to crack tasteless jokes – Britishness and bad taste go together like Jo Brand and battery acid. I don’t have a problem with Boris being a Brexiteer either. Let’s get on with it! We need someone to lead us out of this mess one way or another (though the only person who possibly could was Thatcher, God rest her).

But not Boris, please not Boris. I feel about him the way I feel about General Melchett from the TV show Blackadder – I like the entertaining man-child but I wouldn’t want him leading us ‘over the top’ while we’re all stuck in the trenches, floundering in the quagmire and the lashing rain.

You don't hand the keys of Downing Street to a mischievous toddler (though it might be funny for a short while) any more than you would a gun to a rabid chimpanzee.

The trouble is our love of Boris has blinded some of us to the danger he represents. My problem with him boils down to integrity or rather his lack thereof. For one thing he fabricated quotes in The Times which as a journalist/burned-out hack myself (even one on a small local paper like the Worcester News) makes me wonder how much I can trust him.

Not as far as I can throw him if the truth be told. And this is just one example. There are many, many more.