Boris Johnson's funny bits

Today's heading is how ITN refers to the speech by the Mayor of London at the Conservative Party conference in their YouTube posting - and, as you can see from the full version (HERE), it only singles out some of the funny bits from 15 minutes that included some quite serious points not mentioned in this sequence.

Does it matter? Probably not, because if Boris Johnson wasn't such 'a character', he probably wouldn't have been elected to be Mayor of London in the first place.

Meanwhile, it's got me wondering whether I've seen any comparable 'characters' since I started taping and observing party conferencs 30 years ago.

So far, the best I've been able to come up so far are only 'possible' candidates, as they're not really in the same league on the comedy front: Rhodes Boyson (Conservative), Dennis Skinner (Labour) and Cyril Smith (Liberal).

I'd be fascinated to hear of any other nominations you might have.


  1. Been sitting here for a full five minutes trying to think who to add to that very short shortlist .. How telling is it that I cannot?

    Meanwhile, here's a link to an article from India Knight in 2007 that includes the reflections that "... jokes have become too dangerous, and the political world is poorer for that." and that (outside the timeframe of 30 years admittedly) ".. no leader has been funnier than Churchill, .. ".

    I'm sure her first point mirrors your own, and indeed those of many. Hey ho.


  2. Boris is funny but nobody remembers a word he says. He talks about what Government does or shouldn't do, he doesn't actually relate it to people's lives.

    The language is over the top funny rather than clever funny. His value is that he at least breaks up the dreariness, and he reaches voters other politicians can't but whether this act can take him much further I doubt it.

  3. Not easy to add an orator to the list, but read the work of Caitlin Moran in The Times. She uses similar techniques to get across some insightful social comments.


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