Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Just Boris - Book Review

Welcome to my annual book review.

I was a huge fan of Boris, so I thought I should read a book to understand more about him, what drives him, what has made him the fascinating character that he is and find out more about this loveable genius.  Who doesn’t love Boris?  I have long had a desire to get to know more about him.

Disappointedly I think less of him now I have read the book than I did before...though I did have him down as total genius world saviour.

I don’t like infidelity.  I like to believe that I can trust people and I need to feel that I can trust my political leaders.  I accept that mistakes can happen, nobody is perfect and I try not to judge other’s personal lives because you don’t always know all of the details but repeated affairs whilst married (I had previously ignored the ‘rumours’) have tainted him in my eyes.

More importantly though, what does he actually stand for?  Apart from self-promotion and wanting to be ‘World King’?

It is difficult to see an over-riding ideology from a kind of liberal-Conservative, an anti-EU pro-European, a man of the people yet a friend of so few.

He didn't exactly contribute particularly as an MP for Henley.

What is his legacy in London?  Boris Bikes?  Shiny buses?  A cable car to nowhere?

And then a total abject failure when the riots kicked off – but upon his homecoming, the magic dust shone as he single-handedly stopped the riots instantaneously when he picked up that broom.

However I still love Boris.

Who cannot love a politician willing to go on a zipwire in full public view and get stuck – for any other politician that would have been career over – for Boris that was another notch up the popularity rating.

I wouldn’t want him running the NHS or education.  But being a leader is different.

Being a leader requires an ability to take the people with you – Boris can touch and inspire different parts of society and bring people together like most Tories cannot.

The book itself is well-written and very well researched, with so many interesting contributors.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the book for a layman such as myself are the introductory chapters, particularly his schooling, and being able to compare a shockingly different schooling to the comprehensive that I experienced.

If you have no interest in politics then you are unlikely to enjoy this book.

But despite Mrs G on Amazon having to give up a quarter of the way through, finding it hard going and unable to understand most of it, "as it is based on his early life in Eton and has a lot of political jargon which is ok if you are Cambridge or Eton educated", I didn't actually find it hard going but maybe that was because of how well educated I woz in the worst school in Hull.

Sadly it does do the age-old “fair socialist” trick of being a balanced story, both praise-worthy and critical where required, except in the last couple of chapters where she goes all-out on the attack to leave the reader with a tainted view of the future-legend.

Even though I see through it, I have also seen through Boris.  I still love and greatly admire him, but I am now aware of his imperfections too.

Will I vote for him in the next Conservative Leader election?  2020 is a long way away.