Phooey to Boris

It’s a sad indictment of contemporary politics that a bumbling waste of space like Boris Johnson has become elevated to the status of National Treasure.

Apparently most MPs are so completely charmless and untrustworthy that a slacker who speaks his mind (no matter what he says) is an anti-hero for our times. Among Johnson’s most ardent fans are lefty student types who wouldn’t usually be seen dead wearing a blue rosette. Apparently both he and Cameron think that floppy hair and wobbly cycling habits can compensate for their died in the wool Tory voting records.

In his announcement of his candidacy for Mayor of London, Boris said:

“Having weighed up warnings [of friends] over the last week, I say, ‘Phooey’.”

There’s your first clue – even his friends don’t think he’s up to the job. This is a man who only bothers to attend half of the votes in Parliament, and didn’t vote on Crossrail or free travel for the elderly. Well, why would he? His diary is chock full of publishing commitments, speaking engagements and media soirees.

He shouldn’t be a threat to Red Ken, who has proved even his fiercest critics wrong by being a popular and competent London Mayor. However, something strange often seems to hit voters at Mayoral elections; a temptation to vote for a novelty candidate (even a sports team mascot promising ‘free bananas’). In many ways Livingstone owed his first election to his anti-establishment, anti-Blair platform. Perhaps voters don’t believe mayoral elections are that important and see them as a safe way of sticking two fingers up to career politicians. But the Mayor of London does have significant power and influence, as Ken has shown, so hopefully the voters of London will decide that the comedy stylings of Boris Johnson are best left to the TV panel shows that he loves so much.