In between the transition from Olympic Games to Paralympics, Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, has been making waves. Basking in the afterglow of Olympic success, which he helped to mastermind, and amidst rumours of him being possibly the next Prime Minister if Britain, Johnson is continuing how he means to go on.
Today he laid out his vision for the future of the country which would include a new airport, to supplement Heathrow - one that the government has been putting on hold, lower taxes and fewer regulations to help businesses, and a raised network of cycle paths (an extension of Boris Bikes) to be built alongside railway lines o get the nation out of their cars.
Perhaps buoyed up by the results of an exclusive poll (by Ipsos Mori), in which the ebullient London mayor came out as the most popular figure of the Games, getting an approval rating of 62% compared to David Cameron's 43%, he felt confident in accusing the Coalition of 'inertia' relating to boosting the economy, putting forward his own ideas to make a difference. It is clear that Johnson is not prepared to stop as Mayor now that staging the Olympics has shown what is possible. He has even hinted that when his term of office is up, he might stand as an MP (lawmaker) in order to be in the running for prime minister.
For his part, David Cameron seems quite relaxed about Boris' ambitions just now because he feels fairly secure in his position. He is unlikely to be unseated as the Tory leader any time soon and has even generously labelled Boris as a 'Tory Titan' who has been a 'fantastic' London mayor, and he doesn't mind Boris being as 'ambitious as possible'. All fine words of encouragement at present because he knows that Boris has another four years as London's Mayor. Nothing much will happen about his political dreams in that time. But five years ago, the country underestimated Boris Johnson. Many people saw him as a harmless buffoon who joked a lot, did not take himself seriously and was a better writer than a politician. Very few would have credited him with the success he has enjoyed since taking office.
Today Boris has shown just what he is made of underneath that slightly silly exterior. He is a very determined man with his own vision for London and the success of the Olympic Games might just give him the platform from which to soar into the top job of the land. Whether David Cameron will be behind his efforts in the future remains to be seen!
Positioning himself as a future leader, and In a tribute to the Olympics, the Mayor said: “London this morning to me really does feel like the capital of the world. Over 17 days we have shown the world that if we put our mind to it there is nothing this city and this country cannot do." He also thanked the volunteers and the people of London "particularly because I think it was Londoners' patience and kindness and imagination and enthusiasm that really got the whole thing going and helped us to deliver a great Olympics."
I think many people would second that, especially as the Ipsos Mori poll revealed that 81% of people thought Britain was right to stage the Games, despite its £11bn cost, and 58% believe it will have a positive effect on the economy altogether!