Boris – yes, the Boris, Mayor of London Boris, is on a book tour of the US at the moment. He stopped by MSNBC and “The Dylan Ratigan Show”, where I’m a regular contributor, yesterday.
Now, hands up, I’ve always been a fan of Boris. In my opinion, of all the politicians of his generation, he’s one of, if not the most, charismatic and intellectually brilliant. Personally, it is also rare for me on American television, to cross paths with someone I’m eligible to, indeed have, voted for.
I thus gave him a hardball question on air, about the attendance at the London Olympics of Saudi Arabia, which will be the only team arriving without a woman, and Syria. In my view both teams are unwelcome guests to my hometown, subjects which I have ranted about previously on MSNBC. (Saudi: http://imogenlloydwebber.com/2012/05/03/msnbcs-the-dylan-ratigan-show-rant-on-the-olympics-and-saudi-arabia/ and Syria: http://imogenlloydwebber.com/2012/03/15/msnbcs-the-dylan-ratigan-show-rant-on-asma-assad/)
According to Boris, Syria’s appearance in London this summer is still under discussion. Saudi – with its recent $3 billion arms deal with the UK – remains allowed to compete. I respect the Mayor’s justification that sport should be above politics, although I don’t entirely agree with it. The video of our discussion is here: http://imogenlloydwebber.com/2012/06/12/msnbcs-the-dylan-ratigan-show-boris/
However, everything about my Boris encounter was a privilege. On many levels he was one of the most unassuming guests I’ve met – he arrived with no entourage to speak of and a very battered rucksack that made him utterly endearing. To me he had an honest aura that it is rare in a politician. It was immediately clear why Londoners have put their trust in him again.
A born and bred Londoner, I truly believe that we are lucky to have him as our Mayor.