Belfast Telegraph

Would PM's job be first step for Boris on way to ruling the world?

By Robert McNeill

We all hoped we'd seen the last of Boris with the London Olympics. But, no, talk of him becoming leader of England and the Other Bits continues.

Tory MPs are even promising to vacate soft seats so that the tousled teddy bear might become Prime Minister. What a thought!

In a forthcoming BBC Two documentary, BJ reportedly says he wouldn't mind having "a crack" at the arguably important job, "if the ball came loose from the back of a scrum". Crack? Ball? Loose? Scrum? What can it all mean?

Is our future PM to be a muddied oaf standing around pudgily in shorts, waiting for a peculiarly-shaped ball to trundle his way? Every time I try putting this story to bed, it rises up once more and bites me on the bahookey. They – folk who back Boris for PM – cannot be serious. But they are.

Whether Boris is serious or not remains a mystery. But power is undoubtedly like a drug. You inhale a little amount and, next thing, you want more. And more. And more.

But it started for Boris when he was but a wee boy. Whereas you or I wanted to be train drivers or nurses, Boris, according to his sister, wanted to be "World King". Not lacking self-confidence then.

Indeed, sis Rachel says Boris still feels "continuing superiority" over young Dave Cameron, the current PM, even though Cameron has proper hair. "When they're together it's rather sweet, because David Cameron – even though he's taller – looks at Boris as if he's still head boy at Eton."

But could Boris become head boy of Britannia? If he did, there could be constitutional implications. Those campaigning for Scotland's freedom and future prosperity might benefit. For every time one of those posh Tory blokes opens his mouth, support for independence soars.

It's bad enough with Cameron – at least he has a Scottish name – but Boris could be a toff too far (actually, even Johnson is kind of Scottish). It'd almost be as welcome as interventions in the debate by Ulster Unionists.

Even their moderates send shivers down the spine of the average Scot and, correspondingly, messages rise to the brain saying: vote Yes.

That said, Boris has expressed embarrassment about his past as a member of Oxford University's Bullingdon Club for posh hooligans, describing it in broad sociological terms as "toffishness and twittishness".

But he also let slip the cunning plan behind the clownish veneer. Follow him closely here: "As a general tactic in life, it is often useful to give the slight impression that you are deliberately pretending not to know what's going on – because the reality may be that you don't know what's going on. But people won't be able to spot the difference."

That sort of self-deprecating malarkey is why even I have a soft spot for the anti-Scottish git. Once, I offered him a lift to Dublin. My plan was for him to sit in the back next to a prominent left-wing Scottish intellectual, who undoubtedly would have slung him out of the moving vehicle before we reached the border. Alas, history records that Boris turned down the offer.

Meanwhile, fast forward the clock and he's blundering around southern Englandshire insisting his premiership is "not going to happen". But he does say it such a lot, doesn't he?

Belfast Telegraph


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