Boris Johnson's Coup: London's Mayor Is Pagan, Popular, and Aspires to Be Prime Minister

By Gray, Freddy | The American Conservative, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Boris Johnson's Coup: London's Mayor Is Pagan, Popular, and Aspires to Be Prime Minister


Gray, Freddy, The American Conservative


On a windy September day in London, I went out to see the post-Olympics "victory parade." I found a good spot by a railing on a street in Westminster, near the Houses of Parliament, and watched as Britain's Olympians and Paralympians filed past in their tracksuits and wheelchairs, showing off their medals. The atmosphere was cheerful, even jubilant. Suddenly, though, I heard a collective groan: David Cameron, the prime minister, had appeared, flanked by security men. "What's he bloody doing here?" shouted a man on my left, and others laughed. Cameron waved awkwardly and hurried on. He must have been able to hear the roar behind him. Another hero was coming. A chant started up: "Bo-ris! Bo-ris! Bo-ris!" And there he was, Boris Johnson, mayor of London. He milked the adulation. "Thank you all for coming," he said, as if it were his party--which, in a way, it was.

It's been a great year for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the journalist turned would-be Conservative prime minister. In May, he won re-election as London mayor. Then, in time for the Olympics, he transformed himself into a sort of national mascot, popping up everywhere, spreading good cheer. He mocked Mitt Romney, who had suggested that London was not ready to host the games, and everybody fell about laughing. Even Johnson's supposed gaffes--episodes that might have sunk another politician--worked in his favor. A funny video of him stuck on a zip wire during a botched publicity stunt went viral. That's our Boris, everyone thought.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Until recently, talk of Johnson succeeding Cameron was not much heard outside newspaper offices and Westminster pubs. Dave vs. Boris seemed a fun story--two upper-middle-class boys who went to Eton and Oxford, locked in a fierce rivalry--but not much more. Serious politicos scoffed at the thought of Boris as PM. He has to see out his term as mayor, they said, which would keep him out of Parliament until 2016. The next general election will be in 2015. In August, a book called Prime Minister Johnson and Other Things That Never Happened was published.

But that's old hat now. In the summer, the Westminster experts suddenly realized that Boris had become something new in British politics: a genuinely popular right-wing politician. Journalists began pointing out, again and again, that he is the only active Conservative politician to have won a major election. At the Conservatives' annual conference in October, he was hailed as the man who could save the party. (Cameron may be prime minister, but he governs in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.) Polls suggest that Johnson-led party might be as much 50 seats better off than under David Cameron. The question today is not whether Boris will make a bid for the leadership, but when and how.

Boris still publicly professes loyalty to Cameron. Yet his private but well-reported contempt for Cameron--whom he regards as an intellectual inferior--is shared by many disgruntled Tories, and he has been successfully maneuvering against the prime minister for some time. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Boris Johnson's Coup: London's Mayor Is Pagan, Popular, and Aspires to Be Prime Minister
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.