I defy you to meet Boris Johnson and dislike him. The man is a phenomenon. A mixture of your favourite childhood teddy bear and that bumbling Latin teacher who first awakened your love of amo, amas, amat.
His cup overfloweth with praise for British entrepreneurs. Like a good politico, he throws out a few stats: “You are responsible for 80 per cent of our economy!” But his enthusiasm is genuine and contagious.
The room was electric.
“What do entrepreneurs need?!” he demands. “They need a safe city with great transport links. That’s what I’m going to give you. I’m going to get rid of those damn bendy buses. And what about those idiots who take three days digging up the road and leave holes everywhere? I’ll have no more of that!”
There’s no question that should his career in politics fail, BoJo will do a roaring trade as a stand-up comedian. His quips about Livingstone’s legacy were priceless, “He left me a few… bottles. Pretty good vintages too. Now, we just need to ascertain where he got them from…”
He even made light of the “drinking on the tube” debacle: “It took Margaret Thatcher (wonderful woman!) years to have this level of execration hurled at her. I’ve done it in my first week in office!”
And even when he launched into his well-worn Jaws/mayor/role model analogy, I found myself in stitches, despite having heard the same joke at the Real Business/CBI Business Summit only a week previously.
(It’s a great gag but rather than fall foul of the repetition disease myself, you can read it here.)
There was one highlight I’ll repeat, however. And it’s this exchange:-
“Have you seen Jaws?” Boris booms, “Who’s the hero of that picture?”“The shark!” shouts an inebriated finalist.“Ha!” retorts Johnson. “You really are entrepreneurs aren’t you?!”
A witty politican, eh?! We’ll see pigs fly soon.
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