I was at the opening of the exhibition at the London Transport Museum of the effects of the Blitz on Dresden, London and Coventry, and suddenly was slapped hard on the back. ‘Long time since I’ve seen you’ said the blond with the more controlled mop.
You could not say that about his speech, however. His eyes were staring madly as he told how the Blitz had brought people together, created development opportunities and shown the government how important the Tube was to London. He almost made it out to be a cause of celebration, and you could see the German mayor wince, especially as Boris struggled over her title – obermeister – and tried to make a joke of it. ‘I was married to a German woman’ said the chap next to me, ‘and they hate people making fun out of their language. ‘He’s either drunk or making a very good act that he is’ said my other neighbour. Certainly it was an embarrassing performance and Boris seems increasingly to believe in his own persona. It is difficult to conceive why people in the Tory party talk of him as a serious contender to lead it.
On the transport front, he said to me that he was extremely worried about Crossrail -‘it would be madness, madness, to cut it’, he intoned. His battle with Osborne is clearly not won.