Thursday, 9 August 2012

Some advice for Boris

"Virtually every one of our international sports were either invented or codified by the British" was at the provocative heart of Boris Johnson's speech at the the handover party after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Thanks to Auntie Joanna for posting the video in her article at Yes, Boris, it’s you. As she points out, you can fast-forward to 2.20 for the really funny bits, starting with his call for the revival of the Pankration and including his famous reminder that "ping pong was invented on the dining tables of England" (it's true.) It is tempting to say that Boris Johnson does for Britain what Sam Kekovich does for Australia.

Joanna is in fact making a serious appeal to Boris regarding his possible advancement at some time to the office of Prime Minister (probably not at all damaged by the success of the Olympics):
The rather hearty, bullish tone that you have adopted during these Olympic days will serve well. But, above all, whatever your personal morals, think about the great realities on which a nation, any nation, rests: babies, children, youth, the future. We need support for family life, abandonment of dopey ideas about Government support/funds for social experiments like same-sex unions and contraceptive centres for schoolchildren, a tax system that rewards marital stability, an emphasis on community responsibilities and respect for groups that provide these.
At the moment, though, the official line is a hearty denial of the prospect of his becoming PM. As he said himself: "How could anybody elect a prat who gets stuck on a zip wire?" Here's the clip:


I'm not sure this will have done him any great harm politically, but I'd be happy enough to suggest that the discomfort he suffered in a certain part of his anatomy could profitably be taken as a message from God to behave himself.
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