IT'S been like the lead-up to having your wisdom teeth removed.

You know, with near-certainty, that it's coming (although given the number of cancelled operations in the NHS at the moment, that's a lottery).

But in the weeks leading up to the day you try your best to put it out of your mind and not think about the grisly details.

On Tuesday, the day we had quietly been dreading arrived. The votes had been counted. All hope of a cancellation was gone.

Boris Johnson was our new Prime Minister, voted in by an electorate comprising mostly stale, pale males who are quite well off. Ninety-seven per cent of the party's members are white, seven in ten are men, most are above 55 and more than 40 per cent are over 66. One in twenty earn more than £100,000 a year. We can expect a few more tax breaks for the rich, then.

As Boris strolled out on to the podium in front of number 10 yesterday, hair brushed, tie straight and neat, he looked as statesmanlike as it was possible for him to get.

He didn't make any of his usual jokes. There was none of his waffling piffle. He was straight down the line. But somehow, he still sounded like he was addressing a roomful of students at the Oxford Union after a few brandies.

Everyone knows Boris' promises are worth little. It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath, and as he vowed to tackle everything from animal welfare to giving research and development companies tax breaks (those two issues were in the very same breath), only the most gullible, surely, could believe he will deliver.

Much of his speech seemed to hark back to a time when Imperialist Britain ruled the waves, and Boris, with his Eton-Oxford-Bullingdon coat-and-tails background is a washed up, left over relic of that time. Perhaps that is the very reason the country voted Brexit, then voted Boris.

The rest of the world must be laughing at us. Our little country, a tiny overpopulated island, has still not quite got its head around the post-colonial world. And since Brexit and Trump, the two relationships which actually gave us some clout have dissipated. We are close to becoming but a little mouse on the stage of the world, trying to make our squeak heard above the din of the operatic voices of France, Germany, China, Russia and the US.

The media in other countries reacted with sympathy for the British people this week and anathema towards Boris, who they seemed to think was power-hungry and untrustworthy. One German newspaper said: "Above all, the new prime minister is good at one thing; always promising people what they want to hear."

Politicians have, of course, always done this, but never to the extent they have now. Populism rather than well-considered ideology, rules the political landscape, perhaps a by-product of quick-read social media and 24 hour news. One wonders where it will all end. Boris was a popular figure as Mayor of London and on Have I Got News For You, like Trump was on the US version of The Apprentice.

Perhaps the next political trend will be a backlash against populism and a move towards intelligent governance. We can live in hope.