Boris no longer the joker in the pack

Who gets the last laugh? asks Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, in a summary yesterday of the campaign and result of the 2008 election for London mayor.

As everyone now knows, Boris Johnson won the contest and officially takes on the job at midnight tonight.

Johnson defeated incumbent Ken Livingstone who has been mayor for eight years: two consecutive terms since the job was created in 2000.

I was up late Friday night watching the results announcement on TV, and Qik streamed it as it happened.

I must admit that, like quite a few other people, I thought the idea of Boris Johnson as a contender for mayor of London was a huge joke.

I mean, this buffoon? The man who did a terrific job as guest presenter on Have I Got News For You, the excellent comedy/political satire show on BBC TV?

Not a chance, I thought.

But look at what happened. A pretty convincing win although it’s not immediately clear to me what this result does actually mean – a vote for Boris and the Conservatives, or a vote against Ken and Labour?

See this question in the context of the overall results of local council elections that took place in many areas of England and Wales on Thursday.

In a word, a rout for Labour, what every UK newspaper and other media outlet is calling Labour’s worst local election result in 40 years.

In any event, the man dubbed a buffoon by many is now in charge of one of the world’s great cities and responsible for an annual budget of some £12 billion.

A lot of eyes will be on Boris in the next few months. As the BBC’s Robinson says:

[…] The future of British politics will be profoundly affected by who gets the last laugh – Boris or those who think he’ll be a joke as Mayor.

And that’s no joke.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

Close