Saturday, May 3, 2008
There is something more winsome and more genuine about British political figures. Ever since I first heard Tony Blair speak, I've thought so.
A new mayor was elected in London a few days ago. His name is Boris Johnson, which sounds to me like a strange Russian-English hybrid sort of person. Nevertheless, this guy is a joker. Everything about his victory speech - from his crazy hair and casual demeanor to his candid, complementary comments about his opponents, not to mention the awesome concluding remarks - spoke of a kind of genuineness and sincerity that I think is missing in American politics. He even made a statement to "the vast multitudes" who voted against him, "I will work flat-out from now on to earn your trust..." and later stated to his supporting voters, "I know there will be many whose pencils hovered for an instant before putting their 'x' in my box. I will work flat-out to repay and to justify your confidence."
Now I know that a politician is a politician is a politician. But there is just something that is enjoyable about seeing a political speech from another culture. It's just refreshing. Maybe we should switch leaders with the U.K. for a year and just see how it goes. They can't do too much harm, and they might even have a few good ideas to bring the from the other side of the pond.
Plus, how can't you like a speech that ends, "Let's get cracking tomorrow. Let's have a drink tonight."