What a laugh

No, no – this really is not a politics blog. But I just can’t help myself from making a quick comment about Boorish Johnson’s appointment as foreign secretary.

Goodness, what a clever move. Most obviously, it makes a clear public statement of “no hard feelings” (and of course, in addition to being strategic, this could well be a genuine sentiment). More importantly, it has effectively put him on a leash.

Until very recently there was a real possibility that this genial blond buffoon could have ended up as prime minister – less venal than Berlusconi but equally embarrassing to his country. However, the serious objection to BJ as PM, is not his personality but his lack of relevant experience. As far as I can tell (which is not very far), the jobs of elected mayor and prime minister are very different; mayors are quasi-presidential, prime ministers are definitely not (even if the job is drifting in that direction). Therefore, adequacy as London mayor says little about potential competence as PM.

We must assume that BJs burning ambition has not vanished and he hopes to have another crack at the top job in the not-too-distant. He may be a bozo but he’s also rather intelligent and will realise that if he makes a fist of this job – which will involve the painful experience of taking it seriously for two seconds – then his chances of the main job are much enhanced. He will no doubt realise that he managed to get away with handwaving and making-things-up and being entertaining as a journalist, as an MP and as a Mayor but he cannot get away with it as foreign secretary – and the moment he does something truly dumb he’ll be promptly shuffled off. Yet he could not possibly have turned down the job without finally scuppering himself.

Showbiz for ugly people? Oh I’ll definitely be following this sitcom.