Last night it was reported
Boris Johnsonâ€™s relationship with the capitalâ€™s black cab trade has become further troubled after the Sun and Daily Mail newspapers released a video showing the mayor of London on his bicycle telling a taxi driver â€œto f*ck off and die â€“ and not in that orderâ€.
The exchange in Islington, north London, was caught on camera by a passerby.
The driver, one of many black cab operators furious at the way Transport for London, overseen by the mayor, has allowed Uber drivers to undermine their trade shouted at Johnson: â€œYouâ€™re one of them mate. Thatâ€™s what you are. One of them.â€
The footage shows Johnson replying: â€œWhy donâ€™t you f*ck off and die, why donâ€™t you f*ck off and die â€“ and not in that order.â€
The cabbie then drives away yelling: â€œYeah bollocks, I hope you die.â€
If most other politicians had done this, we would be writing their political obituaries this afternoon, but Boris can get away with this, just compare and contrast the reaction when Andrew Mitchell said pleb to the Downing Street police officers.
It is things like this that encapsulates Boris’ popularity, that other politicians just don’t have, and whilst I expect someone other than Boris will be the next Tory leader, it makes me reluctant to rule him out entirely.Â If the Tories are behind in the polls at the time of the Tory leadership election, I suspect we’ll see polling that Boris as leader gives the Tories a lead/the largest boost of all the contenders, as we saw in the last parliament, partly because of incidents like this.
The only way this incident could have been any more Boris was if he swore at the taxi driver in Latin. Given that he read Classics at Oxford, I’m sure Boris would have studiedÂ Catullus 16 and could have found inspiration from that opus.