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Boris Johnson's 14 best worst ideas

by in news

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Because Boris Island was not the only example.


1. Subverting the rule of law

In a column for the Daily Telegraph last month, Johnson suggested abolishing one of the principle tenets of our justice system, the presumption that people are innocent until proven guilty, to deal with Britons suspected of joining Isis.


2. Writing about Liverpool

Johnson was sent to Liverpool to apologise after he accused Scousers of "wallowing" in their "victim status" in a 2004 article in the Spectator.


3. Writing (again) about Portsmouth

In a 2007 article in GQ magazine, Johnson said Portsmouth was "one of the most depressed downs in southern England, a place that is arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs".


4. Using Papa New Guinea as a metaphor

In a 2006 column in the Daily Telegraph, Johnson said of the Conservative Party: "For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.”


5. Using the Costa Concordia as a metaphor

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He told a conference in 2013: "It’s fair to say that the UK economy has finally reached its Costa Concordia moment."


6. Riding a zipwire

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It's fair to say that did not go well.


7. Agreeing to be interviewed by Eddie Mair

This 2013 interview was memorably described as a "bicycle crash" by the Guardian. Watch until the end to hear Mair ask Johnson: "You're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?"


8. Swearing on camera

Johnson had this to say on claims from BBC London's political editor Tim Donovan that he sought commercial sponsorship from News Corp for his cable car in east London while the company was being investigated for phone hacking in 2012: "Stuff Donovan and his f**ing bollocks".


9. Spending £60m on a cable car used regularly by four commuters

Speaking of cable cars, the Evening Standard reported that the service between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks had just four Oyster card holders using it more than five times a week during a period of seven days in October 2013. The scheme cost £60m and opened in 2012.


10. Playing football like it's rugby

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This was during a 2006 charity football match. Ouch.


11. Not coming back from holiday immediately during the London riots

It took Johnson four days to return from a family holiday in Canada during the 2011 London riots.


12. Being friends with Darius Guppy

Darius Guppy is a convicted fraudster who was at Eton and Oxford with Boris. Guppy wrote an article in the New Statesman last year where he described the mayor of London as an "old friend" and described flying from Cape Town to London to assault a journalist who he felt had insulted his wife.

Having discovered his address and flown into London from South Africa where I live, I waited for him to emerge from his house, chased him, and then, having knocked him to the ground, emptied over his head a sack of horse manure rendered slurry by the addition of bottled water – a concoction made possible courtesy of Hyde Park Riding School and the springs of Evian. The aim had been not to hurt him but to humiliate him as he had sought to humiliate my wife. And humiliate him is exactly what I did, in front of his neighbours who had poured out on to the street at the sound of his screams

  • Darius Guppy, New Statesman

13. Making up a quote

In an episode Johnson described in 2002 as his "biggest cock-up", Johnson was sacked from his job as a graduate reporter at the Times for making up a quote in a story about an archaeological dig.


14. Dancing to the Spice Girls at the Olympics closing ceremony

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Not in the same league as the other ones, but nonetheless a grave error of judgement.


Disagree? Let us know in the comments.



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