by Colin Bloom
On the eve of a BBC documentary about Boris's 'Irresistible Rise', the Andrew Marr show's quiet but deadly Eddie Mair tries to eviscerate Boris Johnson, London's brilliant Conservative Mayor. Click here and scroll in about twenty five minutes.
After asking the Mayor numerous embarrassing questions about things that had happened in his past, Boris tousles his hair and squirms, but like a skilled swordsman he manages to effortlessly parry the embarrassments away. Eddie Mair is no Russell Harty - listeners to BBC Radio 4's PM Programme will know that he's a tough journalist. But then Boris knows that too.
For the past week the documentary about Boris has been trailed by the BBC with snippets here and morsels there. It seems that whenever Boris is mentioned it is always linked to whether he has ambitions to succeed David Cameron as Conservative Party Leader; on this the man himself remains deliciously ambiguous.
Boris knows that there is no vacancy, and a vacancy soon is so infinitesimally unlikely that you might wonder what is going on. Look, the duel is never going to be a head to head against David Cameron, Boris is too smart for that.
Boris knows that in politics what doesn't kill you usually makes you stronger. If you don't believe me, consider how our siblings in the USA select their Presidential candidates, through their brutal Primary system. Frankly, whether it is Barack Obama vs Hilary Clinton, or Mitt Romney v Rick Santorum v Newt Gingrich v Ron Paul, there is nothing about any of these candidates' past that isn't squelched through and amplified to inflict terminal damage. What doesn't kill them, just makes them stronger.
If there are things in Boris's past that might hurt him in the future, the logic follows that it's in his interests to get them out of the way now. By the time he has finished squirming and parrying, he'll be hoping that he is the strongest candidate from who is left.