Jesus– Bernie Wooster Boris Johnson did it, knocking off two-term incumbent “Red” Ken Livingstone and becoming mayor of (formerly swinging, now moping) London. The unlikely victory was emblematic of the record-setting series of council elections across England and Wales, in which the Conservatives absolutely trounced (New) Labour:
Johnson’s victory capped a highly successful 24 hours for the Tories, who won 44% of the vote in the separate council elections in England and Wales, convincing many Conservatives that they are on their way to Downing Street. “This is like the March on Rome in 1922,” one shadow minister said as Johnson inched towards victory. Johnson will not march into London’s City Hall surrounded by blackshirts in the manner of Benito Mussolini’s supporters when they staged their coup d’état in 1920s Italy. But the lighthearted reference to 1922 gave a taste of the high Tory spirits.
Yes, I know that, for me, the first adjective that comes to mind after hearing a pithy (if unintentionally accurate) reference to fascism is “lighthearted” (said shadow minister must have missed the memo re: Mussolini’s liberal roots). No wonder so many purported “progressives” were able to shrug off Johnson’s “lighthearted” racism and homophobia in the lead up to the vote. Regardless, I’m sure there are innumerable watermelon smiles today throughout the suburbs and Tory caucus; I just hope the up-is-down Euston set realize exactly what their ever-so-decent myopia has helped rationalize into existence.