(well if that title doesn’t generate some google juice…)

OK, so I haven’t posted in a while (why does saying that feel like I’m an American Politician admitting that he hasn’t been to church in a while?) but, as I’m on a train, and one made infinitely more tolerable due to my wife’s inspired packing of a cold Stella, I thought I’d use the time and free wifi put down some thoughts that have been buzzing round my head of late.

I like Boris. Not just because he’s Tory, there are plenty of Tories I loathe, but because I agree with the CIPR in thinking that he is not only a nice guy but a great communicator. I realise that this might be a dangerous comment for me to make right now (for reasons some will know and others will not,) but I do. Not only do I like him, but I think he’s going to win, in fact, I think he’s going to win because I like him, (well, more accurately because people like him.)

Somehow despite slagging off the scousers for wallowing in self pity and writing off large chunks of the South coast he is beating Ken “London” Livingstone, and not just, as many thought would be the case, amongst those frivolous, “vote for Boris, it’d be a laugh” voters. In fact, poll after poll, his lead is largest amongst those absolutely 10 out of 10 certain to vote. Somehow,  despite all the chat show jokes, people think he’s serious and despite more than one ill thought out comments on race, people (including me,) believe him when he says he loathes racism. If that isn’t evidence of great communication, I don’t know what is, – and it is because of this that Ken’s election strategy is fatally flawed.

Boris’s biggest stength is also his biggest weakness and Ken has fundamentally failed to appreciate this. He has Santos problem, to mis-quote from the West Wing “people want to go for a beer with him, they just don’t want to vote for him for president.” Ken’s increasingly desperate, increasingly personal attacks play to Boris’ strengths and actively encourage people to ignore his weaknesses, of which there are many.

For the other side of the argument see this post by Stuart Bruce, but when you read it remember that only 10% of communication is verbal, I reckon Boris has it 90% right.