I honestly do not know just what to make of Boris Johnson, if I am perfectly honest. Like many I have watched him through his career, from journalist and editor of the New Statesman, to controversial pundit, television personality, and then at some point Mayor of London. Then MP, very short term Foreign Secretary, Brexiteer champion after a 50/50 shall I or shan’t I? And now probable Prime Minister.
Depending on what you choose to read or believe, he is a rather nasty man, who has said and done some nasty things. A sexist, racist, bully, the list goes on and is quite long. However, in an attempt to be fair and even handed, I know people who worked closely with him when he was the Mayor of London, and they loved him to bits. They, such as it was, found him funny, engaging and on occasions visionary. Boris however by his own admission was a fantastic success, he did many good things, reducing the murder rate, introducing the Boris bikes, buying water canon, designing an airfield, and dangling on a bridge waving the Union Jack.
He somehow manages to make himself highly popular by being the good time fun loving buffoon, with an articulate turn of phrase, while at the same time somehow he appeals to the hard core members of the Conservative party who will of course decree who the next Prime Minister will be. Naturally without any democratic relationship with the electorate, the decision will be made by some 180,000 members of the Conservative party. I read the Sunday Times this week who remarked that Boris has successfully managed to avoid any real debate with any other other potential candidates, including of late the last man standing Jeremy Hunt. He has also managed to survive the scandal of a late night Police visit to a domestic incident where neighbours were concerned for the safety of the people involved (ie, Boris and his girlfriend). And somehow miraculously he seems to get more popular, I am genuinely baffled as to just how he has managed this but there you go.
And then even more bizarrely in one of the few TV interviews that he has agreed to do, when asked what he does in his free time, to relax, as a hobby. He calmly announces that he makes model buses, although when quizzed he seemed to decide that actually he does not actually make toy buses. No, he paints happy passengers sitting in buses, apparently by using crates so that he can distinguish those sitting upstairs and those downstairs. Frankly it is incredulous nonsense, he was clearly making it up as he went along. I just wonder if part of him just decides to see what he can get away with, for a bit of a laugh.
The new world order is a strange place, Donald Trump is the President of the USA, President Putin the one time KGB officer is the Tzar of the Russian republic, Gangam style is in charge of North Korea, and quite honestly the world is in a strange state of affairs. Brexit has also plunged the UK and the EU into a whole new direction of confusion and uncertainty. But, all is fine if Boris gets in and he fiddles while the UK/EU burn then at least there will be some happy bus passengers painted on the sides of fruit and veg boxes, apparently. I am off for a long lie down in a darkened room now dear reader chum. Now, where did I put the Nurofen?