Remember when British university students elected gerbils as local NUS Presidents? It was a bit of a joke, a comment on the futility of student politics.
But then Londoners, when they elected Boris Johnson Mayor, followed suit. Labour was tired, Ken Livingstone tarnished by various scandals, Boris had a TV platform on Have I Got News for You (where the editor of Private Eye, Ian Hislop, fawned over him on a weekly basis). So Labour voters stayed at home, the Tory suburbs came out in force, and Boris ended up in charge of London.
While Boris was shuffling paper in City Hall and making fatuous remarks about the phone hacking scandal – ‘A load of old codswallop’ – it didn’t matter. People ignored him. It was Boris being Boris.
But now it’s serious. London’s fresh from the worst riots since the nineteenth century and it may not be over yet. Magistrate courts have sat all night, throwing the book at seventeen-year-olds for stealing a pair of trainers.
Meanwhile, Boris has called for bankers, hedge fund managers and oil traders to receive a tax cut. On Radio 4′s Today programme he complained about a generation raised with ‘an endless sense of entitlement.’
This is ex-Etonian Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson talking: Bullingdon Boy, restaurant-wrecker, home-wrecker. No sense of entitlement there, eh?
Listen to this young man deal with Boris. Notice the stunned silence from Boris when a fatious remark just isn’t good enough.