Friday, 20 June 2008

Will the real Mayor of London please stand up?

The fact that Boris Johnson isn't the real Mayor of London has been clear to me for some time now. A month of Boris watching has made it pretty obvious that whoever is running London, it isn't him. However, I didn't expect to see that fact so painfully demonstrated on the evening news.

Because to call last night's BBC London report a car crash would be to wildly underestimate the extent of damage done to the Mayoral freeway infrastructure. This was a pile-up of almost Hollywood proportions. 

For whatever reason, Boris had decided to park his behind on the middle lane of the M25, and was just waiting for the inevitable destruction. And as painful evasion piled upon catastrophic ignorance I almost began to feel sorry for the man. 

But as it became clear that Boris really has zero clue about what is being done in his and our name, my sympathy turned into anger. 

Because all of this time that we have been talking about 'Boris doing this and Boris doing that' we have been spouting nothing but hot air. 

Because despite what we may have said, Boris is not the evil Svengali directing his right-wing minions or the Manchurian Candidate waiting to be activated by the higher command. He is not even the light-touch delegator that at best his team have tried to portray him. 

He is none of these things, because he is doing none of these things. And not only is he doing none of these things, but he doesn't even know that he is not doing any of these things. So how do we know this?

Well at the weekend we discovered that Boris had 'decided' to scrap Europe's biggest anti-racism festival and replace it with an apolitical event. This was big news and many column inches were used up pondering on what this meant about the direction Boris wanted to take London and what it said about Boris as Mayor.

But what last night's BBC London report showed in painful detail, was that we had been completely wasting our time. Because not only did Boris not decide to scrap the event, but he didn't even know that that was what had been decided, or even appear to know why it would have been. 

So when his cultural advisor Munira Mirza pontificated in the Guardian about why her boss had made this important cultural decision, it was actually the case that not only had he not made that decision, but that he didn't even know that that decision had been made until informed about it by the BBC.

Now when Boris came into power we were all treated to photos of Boris at his desk, Boris on the phone and Boris directing colleagues. At the time these seemed incredibly staged but looking back at them now, they seem almost theatrical in their posing. 

Because like those pictures we have of ourselves as kids when we dress up as doctors or policemen or teachers, these pictures were of Boris playing as London Mayor. And as last night's report showed, he is now seriously in danger of losing the game.


Chris said...

Maybe he could delegate mayor's question time to Tim Parker. At least then the assembly could question the man who is really running London.

The Tory Troll said...

Don't give him any ideas Chris.

Anonymous said...

So what so he doesnt know about every little decision why dont you just get over yourselves it is Boris who is elected not your lefty scum. Give him 4 years and he will clear out all of you and then you will be thanking me.

angelneptunestar said...

On the down side, he probably should have known about this. On the up side, he did not remove the words "anti racist" because he is racist, so that is good.

Anon. you should not call left wingers scum, that is out of order. The way I look at it, from all the lefty people I talk to, the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us, and they are entitled to their opinions.

barry rochford said...

Our friend above 'anonymous' seems to miss the point entirely. Maybe London wil be sorted, probably it won't. The point is that Boris won't be doing it and if he is, he doesn't know it.
If you remember Harry Enfield's 'Nice but Dim' character, it's a bit like that but with £15 billion to spend and a few million people to annoy.

BenSix said...

"So what so he doesnt know about every little decision why dont you just get over yourselves it is Boris who is elected not your lefty scum."

As even we knew of this 'little decision' then we should have been considered for the mayoralty.



stuart_graham said...

Come back Dan Quayle, all is forgiven!

BenSix said...

The Times appears to be plagiarising you:

eric ray said...

I'm reminded of Paul Merton's crack when he heard that BoJo was going for mayor: 'he can't even look after his bike, so how's he going to look after London?'

asquith said...

This is exactly what scum like Spiked Online want. They know they have no chance whatsoever of getting popularity for their ideas, so they want to dismantle the public space & democratically elected government, so lowlife & twats like them can rule unaccountably.

This is the true face of libertarianism.

gem said...

What asquith said. Its the policy exchange that are now running London.

One small point - it's not "libertarianism" but free market fake "libertarianism" that's at work here.