If you didn’t live in a box for the past few months you’ll know that this summer was all about British Olympians and Paralympians winning more gold than the UK treasury has left in it’s reserves. New heroes were born, celebrities created and most certainly a few more knighthoods will be awarded in the new year. However among the wave of gold medal puns that seemed to line our newspapers for the past 3 months, one non Olympian managed to see his popularity sore even further than the heights it had already reached, and that man is Boris Johnson. Ever since his speech about “wiff waff” in Beijing the man has become a national treasure. Therefore whether it be getting stuck on a zip wire above the Olympic park, mocking the French or claiming that Judo was created in London, the man can’t seem to put a foot wrong in the eyes of the British public. David Cameron could only watch on in envy as the crowd chanted Boris’ name as his speech brought a close to the victory parade. Thus it begs the question, with such a successful summer of sport in London, the city influenced by Boris. Along with his widespread love from the public, would Boris Johnson make the perfect Prime Minister?
On the face of things he seems ideal. He has support that the current government could only dream of having in this tough economic time. He has just entered his second term as mayor of London, which doesn’t happen easily. Surely it makes perfect sense for a man to lead the country who has plenty of political experience along with the unconditional love of the general public.
However, I can’t help thinking that his eccentric charm only gains him so many fans across the country as the majority of the nation is not affected by his political policy. Boris regained his position as mayor in May of this year by a margin of only 4%. For a man of such popularity this seems such a tight margin, which therefore suggests his public persona is a lot more popular than his political acumen. Therefore if Boris were to become Prime Minister and his policies affected the whole nation, it seems possibly that his position as national treasure would be tarnished and his all licensed approach to addressing the nation would surely be toned down.
As Alistair Campbell suggested on Soccer AM, the country would become a laughing stock if Johnson were to become PM. Maybe this is true or maybe it isn’t. But as much as I believe that Boris Johnson is a very capable politician, I want him to be the national treasure he is at the moment, forever. Gaining power only ever seems to lead to unpopularity in politics, as Nick Clegg learned very quickly. You can go from the being tagged as the “next Winston Churchill” one day, to being the most hated man in country the next. Boris Johnson is a national icon who also happens to be a politician. His current role allows us to see him on the TV each week and wonder what mishap will happen next in the sitcom that is Boris’ life. I believe as a nation we all like to think being British means being a little bit eccentric and not taking things too seriously. Boris Johnson’s unintentional comedy reminds us how eccentric our country can be whilst still being great. So please, if you want Borismania to last forever, don’t ever vote for Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister.