For some time I have considered Boris Johnson to be arrogant, amoral, asinine, blundering, brash, bombastic, contemptible, contemptuous, callous, conniving, cavalier, deceitful, dissembling, disloyal, damnable, degraded, discreditable, egotistical, execrable, equivocating, flagitious, felonious, fraudulent, greedy, grasping, grandstanding, hopeless, hoggish, incorrigible, incompetent, insidious, insincere, juvenile, knavish, lascivious, lying, lazy, mendacious, nasty, nefarious, narcissistic, oafish, overweening, perfidious, piggish, predatory, rapacious, roguish, rascally, sneaky, shifty, swinish, self-obsessed, treacherous, two-faced, unreliable, utterly unscrupulous and unfit for office. His announcement this week has merely reinforced my view.
Boris has finally come out and admitted what everyone assumed would be the case, that he wants to become an MP once more. But don’t worry London – he will serve out his term as Mayor. Obviously he feels that representing millions of Londoners and running a £15bn budget is something that can be done on the side. So, Boris will sort out policing issues over a panini. Then, instead of whiling away spare time on tindr, design a decent cycling infrastructure in the loo. His barmy bubble lift scheme certainly seems like an idea that plopped out after a heavy night on the sauce. Then again, maybe this is unkind – he has often given the impression of serving only in his spare time up till now anyway.
He will supposedly be serving Londoners and his new constituents simultaneously but the reality is that he is only interested in serving himself and his overweening ambition. His actions show contempt for those who have elected him and whatever constituency he parachutes into. The sheer arrogance of his belief that he can adequately do both jobs part time when his mayoralty has been a melange of mediocrity, marked primarily by his remarkable talents for self-promotion, is mind-boggling.
His tenure has seen massive hikes in bus fares (despite promises to “bear down on fares), which disproportionately affect the poor. He has performed a volte-face from his 2008 opposition to ticket office closures, now proudly announcing the closure of all ticket office and the resultant mass job losses, all necessary in order to prevent fare hikes. His opposition to tube fare hikes would be welcome were it not for the fact that he has overseen above-inflation fare increases every year he has been in office. Perhaps most pertinently, in London’s over-heating property market his planning policy has failed. The continuing decline in affordable housing in the capital is, in part, a result of his laissez-faire approach.
Despite this record Boris remains popular, a state that has long puzzled me. His Bullingdon buffoonery, pretending to be a cheerful cheeseboard Charlie, seems to be such an obvious shtick. This calculated blimpishness serving primarily to distract from his connivances while he weasels his way closer to power.
This popularity has led to an orgasmic outpouring from the right wing press hailing the return of their joker in the pack. The Telegraph thinks his “stardust” can single-handedly neutralise UKIP. The Mail and the Express tried to outdo each other in fawning obsequiousness, the Express proclaiming him to be on his “way to greatness”, a conclusion with which, despite his unconvincing self-effacement, Boris no doubt agrees.
I am sure that there will eventually be a scrape that Boris is unable to extricate himself from with a “Golly, gosh, cripes”. Hopefully, that day will come before he is in a position of even greater importance.
In the meantime, if you agree that the position of Mayor of London is one that should be full-time I would urge you to sign this petition: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/boris-johnson-stand-down-as-mayor-of-london