Written by Swan Morrison
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Sunday, 13 March 2016

image for Popularity Rating Of Boris Johnson Plummets In Wake Of EU Referendum Campaign
The public view of Boris has changed from him being an endearing eccentric to being irritating and possibly dangerous

Recent polls have confirmed that the popularity of Boris Johnson amongst the British public has dramatically declined since 22nd February 2016.

'I'd never thought too hard about it,' said John Smith, a typical UK resident, 'but, in the past, me misses and me always thought Boris might be a good person to be Prime Minister or Archbishop of Canterbury or King or something like that.'

When asked why he had held that view, Mr Smith went on to explain that he had seen Mr Johnson on the BBC TV programme Have I Got News For You and had thought he seemed good fun. 'Me misses and me lives in the sticks,' Mr Smith explained further, 'but we visits London from time to time. We think London's great: there's loads to do, lots of places to eat and, if you avoid the rush hour, it's got really good public transport. We knew that Boris was mayor so we sort of associated him with the fun we had when we went up to town. When he announced his plan to concrete over the Thames estuary and build an airport on it, we liked him even more. We don't live anywhere near London so weren't bothered by any problems the airport on Boris Island might cause. The idea seemed like a bit of a laugh though, and it would have been a great place to visit on one of our trips.'

After Boris Johnson began to support the Britex campaign, however, the opinion of him held by Mr Smith and the majority of the UK population changed drastically.

'This change of perspective does not appear to directly relate to the position of Mr Johnson on Europe,' explained a representative from the polling agency YouGov. 'Few people are particularly bothered about the outcome of the referendum. It was more because Mr Johnson had stridently stated a political position on a subject they had heard of.'

'The new Boris made me stop and think,' confirmed Mavis Brown, another typical UK resident. 'Until that point, his lack of dress sense, that dreadful haircut and his stammering, bumbling, eccentric manner had seemed rather endearing. When he started to campaign like a proper politician, however, I began to realise that his appearance and manner aren't what you want in a statesman. Cameron may be as useless as all the rest, but at least he looks the part. Imagine Boris Johnson trying to negotiate with Vladimir Putin while looking like he's slept under a hedge - and possibly while hanging from a zip wire, grinning inanely and waving a union jack too.'

'Presentation is extremely important for a public figure,' explained Professor Sigmund Jung of the British Association of Psychologists. 'Eccentricity is prized by the British as long as that eccentricity has no direct impact on them. Characteristics that are charming and endearing in their local oddball become irritating and even alarming when demonstrated by those in authority.

'Research shows this to be one of the main reasons why Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable as Prime Minister,' Professor Jung continued. 'No one's bothered about his plan to distribute open toed sandals and sing Kumbaya as an alternative to a national defence policy. Neither are people too concerned about an attitude to workers, management and welfare that became obsolete in the last century. The key problem is his dress sense. He began his leadership of the Labour Party with a sartorial style that might just have suited the Islington North branch of the Trainspotters Society. He then smartened up to a standard that might have got him into the CAMRA meeting next door. Prime Minister, though, definitely not.

'The only people who could be expected to vote for Jeremy Corbyn would be students and left wing political activists. They're so detached from everyday reality that they'd vote for Paddington Bear as Prime Minister to demonstrate their individuality and, somewhat unclear, vision for a new world. Even bullying of those Labour Party members who disagree with them could never swing a vote.

'Sadly,' concluded Professor Jung, 'the same problem of presentation that plagues Jeremy Corbyn has impacted on Mr Johnson now that he seems to be taking something seriously. Whether he takes Europe seriously or the prospect of becoming Prime Minister is hard to say. The fact remains, however, that behaviour which once appeared eccentric and endearing is now seen as ridiculous and possibly dangerous.'

It would appear, therefore, that in the eyes of the British public Boris Johnson has descended from the dizzy heights of British Endearing Eccentric of the Year 2015 to become one of the 650 joint winners of Tedious MP of the Year 2016.

Is there anything he can do to restore his former status?

'I'm not sure,' concluded John Smith, the typical UK resident who first appeared in the second paragraph of this article. 'Maybe he should try hosting Have I Got News for You again and shut up about the EU.'

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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