This first sentence is in bold, so I had beter make it memorable. Boris Johnson would know what to say. Even if it was a mumbled stream of consciousness, odds are that it would still be noticeable, probably even funny. But there are signs that he is changing as a politician, as you will find in our cover interview. It is the second time Boris Johnson has appeared in Total Politics. He’s become a harder politician than when we first spoke to him in the summer of 2008, adept at placing himself at a distance from the Cameron/Osborne camp. Boris claims to not have “a cat’s chance in hell of becoming prime minister”. But as the most distinctive Tory since Margaret Thatcher, his words will do little to end speculation on his future. Catnip to many Conservatives and a two-wheeled, Toad of Toad Hall figure to the left, Boris has been in the job for close to three years now. He enviably occupies his own political space, with an opportunity to create eye-catching innovations (Boris bikes) and wildly ambitious transport plans (Boris Island) – his name resolutely attached to these ideas in the public’s mind. Despite this, Boris does find himself in a political middle ground. He can represent the City of London and cause waves by criticising the introduction of a 50p tax rate, but has no power over schooling or making trains run on time. Boris Island is way beyond his remit. Given the frustrations he voices in our interview, I’d be very surprised not to see him back in Westminster in the future. A word on the magazine’s design. You’ll notice we’ve updated it. There’s no change to what Total Politics is about. We want to feature as many politicians as possible each month from all parties, and cover Britain’s political life as fully as possible. This design allows us to do that even better. Plus there will be a new website at totalpolitics.com – with online features setting out the day’s agenda, unseen snippets from interviews, lists of all political blogs and hopefully even a laugh or two.
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4 | March 2011 | Total Politics
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© 2011 Biteback Media Limited Reproduction in whole or part of any article is prohibited without prior written consent. Articles written by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisation. ISSN 1757 - 0492 On the Cover Boris Johnson photographed exclusively for Total Politics by Alister Thorpe on 21 January 2011 at City Hall, London.