Friday, December 17, 2010


No time for seven quick takes today, so you are just getting one.

Our library currently has a selection of biographies on display, and I happened to spot Boris: the Rise of Boris Johnson (Andrew Gimson). Tevye likes political biographies, and I like biographies in general and find Boris highly entertaining, so I picked it up. (Note for those outside the UK: Boris Johnson is a Conservative politician and the current mayor of London, whose political style is rather individual.)  Inspired by the book, I did a bit of Googling for Boris quotes to share. I should add that I don't have strong feelings either for or against Boris politically - indeed, beyond knowing that he is Conservative, I couldn't tell you where on that spectrum he falls. I just enjoy watching someone rampage through the political world with a bit of joie de vivre and a razor sharp mind hidden under a bumbling exterior.

Some favourite Boris-isms ...

"He's lost the plot, people tell me. He's drifting rudderless in the wide Sargasso Sea of New Labour's ideological vacuum." (On Tony Blair)

"If Amsterdam or Leningrad vie for the title of Venice of the North, then Venice - what compliment is high enough? Venice, with all her civilisation and ancient beauty, Venice with her addiction to curious aquatic means of transport, yes, my friends, Venice is the Henley of the South."

"My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters."

"My chances of being Prime Minister are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."

And for your delectation and delight, Boris on why London deserved the 2012 Olympics ("Other nations, the French, looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to have dinner. We looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to play wiff waff. That is why London is the sporting capital of the world.")


Faith said...

What a hoot! I'd never heard of him before (not that I am polically aware much!). That book sounds very interesting. Wonder if it can be found in the U.S?

Linds said...

Boris is a definite favourite round here - he is so unpredictable, and you are right, misjudge that razor sharp mind at your peril! I loved the disaster/opportunity quote, and the prime minister one too. He does make me shriek with laughter.

I think it is the fact that he is so full of life, and not a robot which makes him special. Unique. I must look out for the book at the library here too!