Young Boris’ guide to electioneering
BORIS Johnson has avoided making any major gaffes during this mayoral election but The Capitalist has unearthed his 1988 guide on how to win election to the Oxford Union student debating society – and it makes for illuminating reading.
In the document Johnson explains that an aspiring candidate must have “a disciplined and deluded collection of stooges” who are willing to do their dirty work.
“Your enemies will seize on any indiscretions and publicise them ferociously. They may even have a special think-tank to compose plausible rumours about you,” the future mayor explains in what could be a reference to this year’s focus on Ken Livingstone’s tax arrangements.
“Smears must be pitched at exactly the right audience,” he adds.
Already eyeing up the ability to motivate the apathetic voter, he explains that though “Establishment folk have an English middle-class distaste for political conversation” when polling day approaches “the Establishment votes with a surprising and unthinking loyalty”.
Would-be candidates are also advised to target “leftish” Tories who “feel basically Conservative but do not want to appear uncaring”, a tactic that the mayor appears to have stuck with ever since.
Despite highlighting the Union’s vicious election process and inherent right-wing bias Johnson pays tribute to the fact that the organisation continues to invite “national and international left-wing figures” such as one “Ken Livingstone”.
Unfortunately what the undergraduate Johnson thought of his future mayoral opponent is not recorded for posterity.