Boris as PM

Andrew Gimson in the London Evening Standard (31/07/12) has written something I’ve been mulling over but not quite had the confidence to write about; he has suggested Boris Johnson is limbering up to become the future leader of the UK. His observations are very insightful and persuasive.

What has gone through my head is what would a person outside the UK think about our leadership based on the Olympics? Lord Coe sounds pretty impressive whereas Boris has head and shoulders greater memorable profile. The pictures are broadly about the younger generation of the Royals with Boris popping up all over the place. Is he on 24/7 duty?

According to Mr. Gimson’s article Boris got 32 per cent of the vote as the successer to David Cameron; George Osborne managed a limp two per cent.

As always it’s about the brand; what is the take out the morning after? Bearing in mind all communication is about response and not about transmit.

My guess is David Cameron is in a very difficult position with all of the flak flying around about banks, MP’s, the Euro, employment (add your own issues). He is in danger of looking more and more like a smooth public school boy who should be a Marsh & Parsons estate agent. George Osborne has blown it on the basis of the meagre pasty. Meanwhile Ed Milliband will never live down the Wallace & Gromit lookalike. As for Ed Balls, how can someone with that surname ever be allowed to be in a leadership position? You can write your own Sun headlines. Mr. Clegg can’t shake off the fag role in government and then we are running out of candidates.

Meanwhile Boris goes from strength to strength amassing wins all over the place (even if he wasn’t the original initiator such as getting London as the Olympic host) but never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Also he has neatly side-stepped the political issues the country faces and allows the politicians to get egg on their face on a weekly basis.

So hurrah, Boris the winner whilst everyone else is deep in the mire.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that Boris is better than anyone else, just he has managed to deflect the pooh in an eloquent and amusing way ending up looking like a hero; the face of the Olympics. I bet Ken sits at home watching the TV sticking pins in Boris dolls saying “It should be me, it’s not fair”.

At the end of the day it is all about brand perception; like many product categories I guess we all assume the people are broadly capable, with similar experience, intellectually able and with the drive to take on a very demanding and debilitating job. Sadly there are not any excuses or any ground given, it is a job where the assessment is mostly glass half empty. In particular at PM question time.

Andrew Gimson’s view is Boris deploys cunning and flair quite capable of delivering a body blow to the opposition with a funny yet acerbic remark. I would love to see him at PM’s question time quoting Latin and making references to literary classics.

Note: Andrew Gimson is the author of ‘Boris – the rise of Boris Johnson’ (Simon & Schuster, £8.99)


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