Boris Johnson: The Clown Prince

Photograph for TIME by Harry Borden

As resolutions go, this one seems deceptively modest. "My ambition is to exterminate the word 'bumbling' from the vocabulary of profilers," says Boris Johnson, the Tory candidate to become mayor of London. "There's going to be a massive stamping down on the bumbling. Much less bumbling." A quick search on Google reveals the scale of the problem: a combination of the words Boris Johnson and bumbling produces more than 27,600 results. Sample sentence: "Everyone keeps telling me Boris Johnson's bumbling idiot routine is just that — a routine. I'm not so sure."

Many Britons are familiar with that routine, which Johnson has...

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