Bursting Boris’s bubble

I’m not normally a great one for polemic – there’s more than enough of it already. But I can’t resist posting Max Hastings’ verdict on Boris, which my own experience echoes tamely.

I have known the mayor for more than 20 years. He worked for me as EU correspondent of the Daily Telegraph and then as a columnist when I was the paper’s editor, and I have seen plenty of him since.

He is a magnificent journalist and showman. He proved himself the perfect maitre d’ for the London Olympics. But few maitre d’s are fit to cook the dinner

Most politicians are ambitious and ruthless, but Boris is a gold medal egomaniac.

I would not trust him with my wife nor — from painful experience — with my wallet. It is unnecessary to take any moral view about his almost crazed infidelities, but it is hard to believe that any man so conspicuously incapable of controlling his own libido is fit to be trusted with controlling the country.

His chaotic public persona is not an act — he is, indeed, manically disorganised about everything except his own image management. He is also a far more ruthless, and frankly nastier, figure than the public appreciates

I would not take Boris’s word about whether it is Monday or Tuesday. I feel a twinge of regret for speaking so harshly, because I am as susceptible as most of the British people to Johnson’s brilliant, warm, funny public persona.

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  • IJP

    Spot on.

    It is frankly alarming that so few people can see through this guy.

  • Bursting Max’s bubble:

    I shall be rooting for Boris because I prefer his brand of recklessness to Ken’s. I think he is also a much nicer bloke. .. Behind all the flummery, he is a shrewd and thoughtful man, which could make him a decent mayor. He would be a poor cabinet minister, I think, because detail bores him – as it does Livingstone. But he has the brains, commitment and fundamental decency to run London. He would bring gaiety to the mayor’s office, and there is plenty of room for it.

  • lover not a fighter

    I believe that he is a fool pretending to be a fool.

    How he stumbled on this ruse escapes me.

    It was probably just dumb luck.

    I am no fan of the Tories so I would be delighted if they plump for Boris.

    His act would soon wear thin if he had some real responsibility.

    If the Mayor of London was a real job neither Ken Livingstone or Boris Johnson would have been allowed to do it.

  • A couple of recent media trends are remarkable:

    1. The number in the know about Jimmy Savile, but who kept quiet until now.

    2. The way so many who “know” the man are proving that taking an instant dislike to BoJo simply saved a lot of time.

    I did enjoy Hastings’ frolic, especially:

    If the day ever comes that Boris Johnson becomes tenant of Downing Street, I shall be among those packing my bags for a new life in Buenos Aires or suchlike…

    The liberator of Port Stanley arriving in Buenos Aires? Would they sell the film rights?

  • sherdy

    I think Max could be a little less reticent in his observations.