It is Tuesday morning and almost the whole population of London is starting the day at work. Cleaners are cleaning, bankers are banking, but Boris Johnson is not.
It is Tuesday morning and almost the whole population of London is starting the day at work. Cleaners are cleaning, bankers are banking, but Boris Johnson is not. He does not bank, he does not clean. He bumbles. He bumbles out of bed, he bumbles into the Mayor’s office, bumbles out for the odd press conference. This morning, he bumbled gently into an LBC radio studio, plonked the old posterior on a chaise and began his campaign to be Prime Minister.
Taking questions from the proles is a brilliant way to outline your positions on any number of subjects that don’t fall under a Mayor’s brief. Doing this monthly for a few years is a very neat way to establish a list of popular positions you hold, without openly undermining the sitting Prime Minister.
In fact not answering questions
The appearance of the Mayor offered him the opportunity to talk about the national deficit, how human rights make deportation difficult, and the possibility of becoming Prime Minister. Obviously he faced difficult questions on London issues too (in response to which his bumbling reached Mr Bean levels). The nastiest were the most easily avoided, in fact—the Mayor simply said something related and fairly nice, but not in fact answering the question.
Take Mr Johnson’s response to a question on the reduced number of police in London since he became Mayor, which came with a caveat that it should be answered either “more,” “less” or “the same.”
He said: “There are more officers out on the street – this was the question. The police are doing a fantastic job. We aim to cut crime by 20%, but also build up confidence by 20%.”
Fantastically avoided—his policies to reduce paperwork and get coppers out on the streets mean the fact that numbers are dropping isn’t important.
He went on to say: “In London, there will be more. There will be 26,000 – a record number. Regarding the deficit – that, I think, has been reduced by a third. The government were left with a miserable legacy from Labour. Everyone knows this in their bones I think.”
Marvelous stuff. No questions on attempted affair cover-up though.
The leaky bucket of port went on to defend the ‘platform attendants’ needed for the new hop-on hop-off buses. Formerly known as bus conductors, the attendants will not be checking tickets, nor will they keep order or protect the passengers. They will ensure that passengers boarding the bus ‘touch in’ with their Oyster cards.
The bloviating fool, enjoying himself too much to realise how little his words actually meant, continued defending the ludicrous policy with all the sang-froid of a man notable confident in his Latin verbs. I have to be frank—I lost focus amidst all the loveable buffoonery.
The PM question was inevitable. Does Boris think he would make a good Prime Minister?
“I’m going to swerve this one. I have loved being Mayor of London and feel lucky to have been elected. [and on premiership vs re-election] …it is something I think about, I’ve spoken to friends about it – but you’ve got to be fair to the electorate.”
Wiping the blood from my ears, I closed the radio player, sat back in my desk chair and wondered if 10am wasn’t too early for gin.