Monday, November 12, 2007

Boris - a 'vanity politician'? Shurely shome mishtake?

In an article on Conservative Home, YouGov founder and 18 Doughty Street chairman, Stephan Shakespeare, calls for Boris Johnson to "get going" with his mayoral campaign.

He witheringly writes:

I don’t think Boris has yet said anything that could interest any Londoner

Shakespeare also makes this telling point:

There are two types of politician. The one who enters the arena because he or she really wants to change something, driven by a sense of injustice to fight for the people, angered by the stupidity or greed or fear in the affairs of man to order things in a better way, believing against the odds in a vision of how to make the world better - not just by gracing it with his superior grace and wisdom, but by putting everything at the service of progress.

And then there is the type of politician who is driven by mere desire for the job, by simple vanity, a self-admiring impulse to sit in the top seat, or because it’s a jolly good wheeze.

I’m hoping, and I still believe, that Boris is of the first type.

Perish the thought that Boris is the type who is driven by "vanity"! Shurely shome mishtake!

Perhaps it is timely to remind ourselves that when Boris was faced with a choice between journalism and his political career, he chose politics and made this comment, according to Conrad Black, his then boss:

They don't build statues to journalists, do they?

So, no vanity there, then.

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