Here, Boriswatch presents 5 reasons why people should vote for Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.
1. Boris doesn’t need the job.
Eh? Alright, I’ll explain. What does the Mayoral race give Boris that he doesn’t already have? Money? Nope – before his decision to stand, he enjoyed huge earnings (at least Â£500,000 last year, most of which he’ll have to give up should he win). Fame? Nope – Boris is one of the only politicians known by their first name, and who is the most easily recognised politican in the UK. Popularity? Nope – Boris has consistently been the most popular politician over the last 10 years.
The only thing Boris is fighting for is the opportunity to enhance London. He knows what needs to be done, and he’s hoping that Londoners give him that chance. He doesn’t need the Mayoral post – but he eagerly wants to help.
On the flipside, Ken has frequently said that defeat will mean the end of his career – and thereby he slips in a more mercenary reason for keeping his job.
2. Boris speaks his mind.
Politicians have a slimy persona in public life. They are renowned for smoke and mirrors; for squirming out of touchy topics, for saving their careers but eroding the main arguments of the day. Boris is the only one – literally – that is known for raising above that messy quagmire of claim and counter-claim. If he has feelings on a topic, he will say them and debate them. He stands by his convictions. Whenever I discuss him with friends and colleagues, people can see a reassuring breath of fresh air about him. And, even if some people disagree with some of his views, isn’t that better than not knowing whether they’re being taken for a ride?
3. A new Mayor brings new ideas.
Ken is getting past it. Sure, he has had ideas and implemented them – but he’s now played all his cards, scrapped the barrel and the ideas have been found wanting. The Congestion Charge had a marked effect when it was introduced – but 50% of the revenue goes into running the system, and the traffic is now almost as bad as before the charge, and getting worse. The Greater London Assembly have spent millions of London money on over 300 foreign trips in polluting aeroplanes, but Ken still tries to cosy up to the Green Party’s Sian Berry for a few extra votes.
4. He’s proving he’s not a buffoon…
… and surprising the lot of us. The one big, easy accusation from Boris’s opponents is that he is a clown who can’t run a whelk stall. Boris, to be fair, has played up to that in recent years – but he has shed that exterior, exposing the high intellect and common touch that was always lurking within. He’s been described by The Guardian as “one of the shrewdest financial minds in Westminster.” There’s very little joking around, although we all know there’s a moment of mirth never far from his lips. Many believe that the campaign masterminds have not so much banished Boris’s outer clown as coaxed out the big Bozza’s inner self.
5. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Nobody now underestimates Boris Johnson. Ken, in fact, never did. But if you’ve reached this far in the post and still see Boris as a figure of fun in a stall full of whelks, then I can do little more for you. If you can’t see the benefits of Mayor Boris and still think he’s a buffoon, then you are entitled to your view.
Your decision, in that case, boils down to this. Who would you prefer to run one of the largest cities in the world – a clown who thinks he’s an intellectual, or an intellectual that thinks he’s a clown?
As The Telegraph says, For All Our Sakes, Boris Must Win. As The Sun says, we all must Back Boris. He’s a charmer who must win, says the Evening Standard. Do your bit, Londoners – imagine the possibilities!