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December 26, 2010

Boris’ job application.

Amongst my Christmas presents yesterday were a few old books about Boris which weren’t yet in my collection. One of them was the brilliant ‘The Little Book of Boris’, compiled by Iain Dale. It’s just a small book, packed with some of Boris’ best quotes. I’d read most of them before, but some were new to me. I enjoyed, for example, his description of Polly Toynbee as:

“the defender and friend of everyone whose non-job has ever been advertised in the Guardian appointments page, every gay and lesbian outreach worker, every clipboard-toter and pen-pusher and form-filler whose function has been generated by mindless regulation. Polly is the high priestess of our paranoid, mollycoddled, risk-averse, airbagged, booster-seated culture of political correctness and ‘elf ‘n’ safety fascism.”

The one I enjoyed the most – and one that I’m surprised not to have come across before – was the extract from his application in 2007 to be the Tories’ London mayoral candidate. One of the sections askedĀ applicants to “give 3 examples of challenges you have faced and the outcome”. Boris’ scrawled reply was as follows:

1. Trying to help raise 4 children in inner London. Outcome: Too early to call, but looking promising.

2. Taking on Blair and Campbell in the battle of Black Rod’s Memorandum on the Queen Mother’s lying-in-state. Outcome: Total victory.

3. Negotiating Hyde Park Corner by bicycle. Outcome: Survival.

The apparent disregard he had for the serious questions – in an application submitted at the last minute, on the day of the closing deadline – makes it all the more amazing that he was not only selected as the Tories’ candidate and elected as mayor just 10 months later, but has gone on to take the job so seriously.

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