Did we really vote for this man to be Mayor of London?

It is the sort of thing that is often referred to as “car crash telly”.

A serious politician? Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson out campaigning with people unlikely to ask him any awkward questions

A serious politician? Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson out campaigning with people unlikely to ask him any awkward questions

It is not the sort of interview that someone as practised and skilled at evading and avoiding providing answers to uncomfortable questions usually gives.

But then, Boris Johnson usually picks and chooses who gets the chance to interview him with great care.

It’s probably fair to say that he won’t be agreeing to be interviewed by Eddie Mair again anytime soon.

Anyone who missed today’s Marr show on BBC1 should make a point of viewing this now.

Can he really be the next leader of the Conservative party? Is he truly a person fit to hold public office?

After viewing the interview, the answer to both questions can only be “no”. But then, the answer to the question “Should he be Mayor of London?” has twice been answered “yes” by the capital’s voters, despite much of what Mair raised being in the public domain for many years.

The reason that these episodes – making up quotes as a journalist; lying to his party leader about having an affair; providing the home address of someone so that they might be physically assaulted – are not widely known is that Boris has exercised a degree of control over the media – even in the pre-Leveson environment – that has ensured it rarely gets a proper airing except in Private Eye.

So Mair should be congratulated for raising the questions, and Johnson’s attempts to duck the questions ought to be well noted. Could you, really, ever trust a word that he says?

The documentary on Johnson, by veteran broadcaster Michael Cockerell on BBC2 on Monday, is also recommended viewing.

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2 Responses to Did we really vote for this man to be Mayor of London?

  1. Boris Johnson is possibly the cleverest British politician and certainly one of the most ambitious.

    He has taken a leaf out of the book of past premier Harold Wilson, who cultivated a pipe and a Gannex mac to make himself look more like a man of the people.

    In Boris’s case it’s the tousled hair and the ill-fitting suits. A man of his income could well afford a decent hairdresser and a Savile Row tailor. But he chooses to look like Worzel Gummidge – a sack tied in the middle that has been pulled through a hedge backwards – because it softens his image.

    And it works! A politician with some very right wing views is seen as someone who ‘makes us laugh’ by large numbers of the electorate. He has finely tuned his image to the popular idea that the Greater London Authority, which he dominates, is the epitome of Toytown Council.

    Meanwhile, his Tory chums, particularly the head-bangers, are wetting themselves in anticipation of his ability to deliver a Conservative overall majority at the next General Election – something Call-me-Dave and Too-gently-George cannot.

    Don’t underestimate Boris. He could yet chuckle his way into Downing Street and then introduce a programme that would make the present austerity measures look like a walk in the Olympic Park.

  2. It beggars belief when the choice for London Mayor was between 2 pass their worth politicians in Ken and Boris. Hope the quality of candidates improve significantly next time.

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