It’s not every day that you’re asked to interview the Mayor of London – and I must say, Boris Johnson, isn’t your ‘everyday’ Mayor either!
The fact that he’s an upper class (is there a politically correct term for ‘upper class’ these days?) Englishman with a posh accent and a penchant for wearing corduroy – and is named ‘Boris’ – makes an early impression. I was once friends with three brothers whose surname was ‘Smith’. But they were christened Mungo, Barnaby and Digby by way, presumably, of indicating to the world that they were no ordinary Smiths. And Boris is certainly no run-of-the-mill Johnson.
“I have been fascinated by the rise and rise of the vuvuzela during the World Cup,” he said with a straightish face. “It is a very convenient way for a lot of people to make a lot of noise,” he continued, “and as far as the London Olympics in two years time are concerned, I can tell quite unequivocally that we are seriously considering NOT having any vuvuzelas!”
His wit is legendary and he is also a man uninclined to use five words when 25 will do. Besides, if you have a vocabulary like his you might as well flaunt it – like certain men and women who wear tight jeans or low cut tops.
Asked whether he had sympathy for beleaguered English goalkeeper Robert Green after his horrendous howler against America, Johnson replied: “I have unreserved sympathy for any goalie. I am unworthy to comment on these wonderful players, I sit at the feet of Fabio Capello and his squad. I thought they played some splendid football against the USA, passing the ball around with almost Germanic efficiency,” said Johnson to the unmuffled hilarity of those within earshot.
“Being a rather unconventional footballer in my youth, I was always forced to be the goalie. Every time I attempted to dispossess a member of the opposing team at school, they would inevitably end up lying on the grass crying. It was thought that I could do less harm in goal but I was pitiful there, too.”
Johnson is in Cape Town at the moment to absorb as much information as possible ahead of the London Olympics and will be extending his travels to other cities, too. He is also doing as much as possible to promote England as the venue for the 2018 World Cup.
I really feel for Graeme Smith and the boys in the West Indies. They are missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Never again will so much of the rest of the world visit this country at the same time. The Proteas are playing some fabulous cricket and deserve more of our attention and praise. But the tour should have been postponed – that is what efficient global and domestic administrators would have done. The boys should be here to share the experience.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.