Once again, we bring you Alastiar Ruffles on the 2012 London Olympics:
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (or ‘Bo Jo’, or plain ‘Boris’ for short) is perhaps the most recognisable figure in current British politics, partly thanks to his trademark disheveled hairstyle but also due to his remarkable ‘off the cuff’ style when dealing with the press and politicians alike.
A former member of the Shadow Cabinet when the Conservative party were in opposition, Johnson has been Mayor of London since 2008. This high profile power base outside the structures of the parliamentary system has allowed him to remain independent of the Conservative party in the ruling coalition, led by David Cameron. Cameron is an old friend from Oxford University, where they both members of the infamous Bullingdon Club. Can you spot the future Prime Minister and the Mayor in this typical picture of student life in the 1980’s?
Though outright criticism of the government has been rare, Boris has rarely felt the need to toe the party line. It is this freedom that has seen his popularity soar, and it is widely tipped that he will at some point return to the parliamentary party, perhaps even to take the role of Prime Minister. Now that would be interesting. He’s already called out Mitt Romney after the American cast doubt on whether London was ready to host the Olympics on the eve of the Games, which perhaps doesn’t bode well for the future of G8 negotiations.
It also may be fortunate for Boris Johnson that London had already been awarded the Games before his election to the Mayor’s Office. In the event of a successful Olympic Games for London, the inevitable rise of Boris Johnson may be sealed.
Tempting as it is to continue to dwell on Boris’s political future, I’d prefer instead to draw your attention to his sporting prowess. There could hardly be a better man to be presiding over London over the next fortnight. In true Olympic tradition, I give you three medal winning performances.
In Bronze medal position : On Wednesday afternoon, Boris appeared at a park in London where the Games are being televised on large screens. Being a man of the people, he was of course willing to have a go on the zip wire. What happens next is largely predictable…
In Silver, here’s Boris giving the world a lesson in sporting history at the official hand-over party after the Beijing Olympics in 2008….
The Gold medal performance comes from 2006. While it may be true that ‘The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, it is safe to say that the soccer World Cup was not. Here’s Boris playing in a charity match for England against Germany. Always a spicy encounter with a bit of history. Boris has just come on as a substitute with five minutes left in the game, and is eager to make his mark with a tackle on former soccer international, Maurizio Gaudino. Remember this is soccer we’re playing here.
There are very few British politicians who have been recognisable simply by their first name. I don’t think Winston or Maggie ever acted like this.