In a world seemingly gone mad, a comedian now rules one of the greatest capital cities in the world for a second term. I am not amused.
As if this isn’t bad enough the rest of the country is being run by a bunch of smooth-talking identikit Conservatives and Liberals who don’t even have a majority. Just when you thought the world of politics might be turning a congenial corner, Boris Johnsonblunders back into power, with his bikes, blonde bouffe and bad jokes to reign victorious over my beloved London.
Maybe the biggest joke of all is being saved for David Cameron. The chilling sight of a woolly hatted Boris cycling back to City Hall after his victory being heckled by a loitering reporter who shouted “see you in Number 10 next Boris”, might be a portent of things to come. The Conservative party is already exploring what it is that Boris has and David hasn’t – it clearly hasn’t been on the menu for the party faithful all over the country. Now, like in When Harry met Sally, the rest of the restaurant wants it!
If it had been a choice between real-life funny men, say jocular livewire Peter Kay and the sharply witty Jimmy Carr – who would have been voted mayor? Both are great comedians but who has the most people appeal? Humour just like politics, divides and conquers, and an election between these two funny men would be close to call.
It’s therefore a shame we didn’t get to compare Boris and Ken in a like-for-like comedy situation because it’s my betting that Ken Livingstone has better and pithier jokes. Ken, like Boris, is in demand for panel shows and talking head stuff and hosts a radio show on London’s LBC.
Yet he hasn’t been able to compete with the attention seeking banter and childlike blondness of Boris. The Mayoral election was, despite a great fight and more Assembly seats won to Labour, to be Ken’s political swan song. It’s like watching Benny Hill winning over Dave Allen, spanking and winking his way to victory rather than relying on well-crafted comedy.
So, as Ken licks his political wounds and considers his next move, London holds its breath in anticipation of a new onslaught of Boris buffoonery. And, boy, the opportunities abound with the Jubilee and the Olympics fast approaching, so let’s pray that Boris doesn’t play his comedy cards at the capital’s expense.
At best Boris might commit to some of Ken’s dreams for London – lowering fares, replacing EMA so that young people can travel to their studies, increasing police presence so that we can feel safe on the streets and providing more affordable housing. I don’t think I can take much more conservatism or even liberalism, not to mention the jokes! London is a vibrant and social city with a comedy club on every corner, so please, Boris, leave the jokes to the people who earn a living telling them.