London’s cool Conservative

London’s cool Conservative

As I wrote in a column for the American Spectator this week, the type of politics unwittingly represented by London’s newly re-elected mayor is “cool conservatism”. No wonder our surprised capital has elected Boris for another four years.

It’s rare for Tories to “out-cool” their rivals. You have to go back to the 1950s to find Conservative leaders (Churchill, Eden and Macmillan) with more charisma than their Labour opponents. The four Conservative prime ministers that followed (Home, Heath, Thatcher and Major) rose to the top despite conceding a coolness deficit to their main Labour rivals. And, of course, Tony Blair, who politically demolished John Major, even invented “cool Britannia”.

This succession of uncool Conservative leaders, often backed up by charismatically-challenged foot soldiers, is one of the many reasons it has become so culturally unacceptable to admit to being a Conservative in Britain.

Boris Johnson, however, reverses this trend quite dramatically.  He has little right to win London. The capital is, by and large, a Labour city, with over half of Londoners saying that their natural sympathies lie with that party. That Boris has not only won once in London, but twice, is nothing short of political magic.

In this year of elections, not least in America, Boris has demonstrated something vitally important to politicians everywhere. If you want to win, even against the odds, you need to pick your leaders with great care.

In short, make sure that your guy is the coolest dude on the block.

 

Article date

May 7th, 2012

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

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