I love it when mainstream newspapers fills up their weekly columns by getting well-known, and somewhat off-kilter politicians to regularly digress on seemingly mundane subject matters, but occasionally trip up and caught spewing out some truly ignorant garbage.
Take the Telegraph from a few days ago that featured this piece of gem from London’s esteemed mayor.
In a testament to the effect those Scandinavians have had on this impressionable young man, Johnson was “completely gripped by the mystery” of Swedish detective Wallander during some post-Christmas special on BBC. So much so that he spends a dozen paragraphs during this essay, tracing the history of Nordic detective genre. Intoxicated by its awesomeness, Johnson soon reached his liberal-social-democratic-loving climax.
In his special sort of self-involved prose, Johnson wondered why those Nordics seemed specially adapt at churning out such “powerful landscapes of the imagination?”
While there are some perfectly reasonable explanations out there, this one, for example, attributes it in large part to (gasp!) commercialism and accessibility of crime novels (it sells!), not to mention the path paved by previously successful English crime-writers such as Agatha Christie.
But not satisfied by such shallow answers, Johnson journeys on with his inquiry.
He praises the Nordic’s “earnestness, the deep, pale-eyed sincerity”, pines over their “virtuous” societies, and can only be imagined to salivate over their reputation as “global goody-goodies”.
While doing so, I suppose he overlooks their obsession over eugenics, the interventionist state, growing problems with its Muslims, the mediocrity and uniformity of everyday life, not to mention its high suicide and alcoholism rates.
But what’s all that, if they can build “slimline mobile phones, and still look after the poor”?
Clearly blinded by the sparks flying out of his eyes, Johnson adds, “there is the way these Nordic types are like us … They look roughly the same. They speak English almost like us.”
To which a female black chair of the London assembly retorts:
“I’m not sure which ‘us’ Boris is talking about but if he thinks that Londoners look in the mirror and see someone Nordic looking back at them he really needs to get out more.”
But he is not done.
With their historic (and unspoken) aversion to immigration they boast considerable social cohesion, extraordinary literacy rates, beautiful and emancipated women and such an effective health and safety culture that their cars must drive with headlights on in broad daylight in the middle of summer.