Boris Johnson is one of the few politicians in the world able to clamber up on a concert stage in Hyde Park, take the mic, and whip a crowd up into a frenzy as he did last night. If you haven’t seen the Mayor of London sending Londoners wild with excitement while mocking Mitt Romney, it’s well worth watching below:
It’s impossible to imagine any of the members of the Cabinet managing to carry any of this speech off with any dignity at all, let alone the panache that Boris possesses. A Ken Livingstone Olympic rally might have struck a rather different tone had London voted in a Labour mayor in May. When Boris solemnly stalked down a road in Clapham a year ago, waving a broom aloft, he managed to turn around the mood of a crowd which had just seconds before, been booing him. Again, had Ken advanced down the street towards a group of people waving a broom, it might have looked rather more frightening. Instead, Boris delivered a spontaneous ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ style speech, and left the crowd cheering without so much as using that broom he’d been carrying.
He managed to overcome the sartorial angst felt other politicians invited to the Royal Wedding by turning up in a morning suit, telling the BBC that it was ‘very important to wear the right stuff’ – with just the smallest smile as he scored one over David Cameron, who had been deliberating over wearing a lounge suit so as not to look too posh – and then gave a shout out to the shop assistant who had measured him up.
For the past few weeks, Boris’ voice has been booming down on commuters at stations and on buses across London. This is another demonstration of the Mayor’s unique appeal: not only would voters struggle to recognise any other political voice appearing over the tannoy, but anyone else in a position of power would be endlessly ribbed for hopeless narcissism. With Boris, it just sounds quite entertaining.
The Mayor has brushed off much of the criticism of the Olympic Games in the run-up to the event, and has instead managed to ride on the crest of the enthusiasm sweeping London as the opening ceremony approaches. While Westminster politicians hold their breath to see whether the Government enjoys a surge in popularity as a result of the Games, Boris knows that he has already crossed the finish line.Tags: Boris Johnson, Conservatives, Olympics, UK politics