3 May 2008
Maybe it's ironic. Or a prank of some sort. Putting a comedy politician like Boris Johnson in charge of anything would certainly suggest a sense of humour. But as Mayor of London? Come on, that's just not funny.
Not that I was ever entirely a fan of Ken Livingstone. He had the ability to act like a prat. When he did so, however, it was usually because he was pursuing an idea in which he genuinely believed. Ken was always driven by a desire to do the best for London, as he saw it. And he is a political player, a man who knows how to get things done and is willing to be unpopular (viz the Congestion Charge).
But Boris? Oh dear.
Of course, we live in an age of celebrity, an age in which image counts for more than ability. When it comes to choosing a mayor, it would appear that Londoners (and I used to be one of them) prefer someone who can make them laugh (as opposed to someone capable of tackling the problems of housing, congestion, public transport, polution, etc). I'm surprised they even bothered with a full-blown election. Maybe they could have elected him via a radio phone-in or a quiz in a woman's magazine.
I guess time will tell whether Boris turns out simply to be the affable, amusing but largely pointless buffoon he appears to be, or whether he can actually do the job. I'm not making any bets either way. I'm just glad that, after having lived in London for 24 years, I'm now a long, long way from the city.