Turning to Flirting: Politics and the Pleasures of Boris Johnson

Authors: Yates, C.


Journal: Rising East Essays

Volume: 2

Publisher: University of East London, London East Research Institute

Johnson is often cited as the celebrity politician par excellence, whose eccentric yet charismatic persona provides an antidote to the technocratic, managerial style closely associated with New Labour governments since 1997. Johnson?s image is meant to be that of an un-spun ?Tory toff?, whose brand of English eccentricity is said to appeal to people across party political lines. I want to argue that alongside the idiosyncratic nature of his political persona, Johnson?s playful performance as Mayor of London also provides an example of a wider, flirtatious turn in British political culture, a phenomenon which has come to the fore as part of the mediatisation of politics in a post-ideological era of postmodern political parties.

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