even more raving loony

Boris Johnson’s bizarre model buses claim raises eyebrows
Kate Lyons, Groan, Jun 26 2019

The internet has been scratching its collective head after Boris Johnson’s bizarre comment in an interview that to relax he crafts and paints model buses, an answer one political scientist called “so bizarre that it’s mesmerising.” Speaking on Talk Radio on Tuesday, the frontrunner to replace Theresa May was asked by the interviewer, Ross Kempsell, what he did to relax. Johnson replied:

I like to paint. Or I make things. I have a thing where I make models of buses. What I make is, I get old, I don’t know, wooden crates, and I paint them. It’s a box that’s been used to contain two wine bottles, right, and it will have a dividing thing. And I turn it into a bus. So I put passengers – I paint the passengers enjoying themselves on a wonderful bus – low carbon, of the kind that we brought to the streets of London, reducing C02, reducing nitrous oxide, reducing pollution.

Some people on social media put forward the theory that Johnson’s claims might not be entirely based in truth.

Others suggested the story was a sign of Johnson’s feeling of entitlement, a sense that he feels he can say whatever he wants, no matter how absurd or questionable and get away with it. One wondered: is Johnson’s “most basic faculty deserting him?”

Several people speculated as to whether campaign internswere now frantically building model buses in case they were asked to produce proof of Johnson’s hobby. Australian journalist Matt Bevan said:

Boris and his girlfriend have been up all night painting bus models and then knocking them around a bit to make them look old.

As historian and author Greg Jenner noted, this is not the first time Johnson’s name has been linked to bus art. A sketch of a London bus by Boris Johnson raised £1k in a charity auction earlier this year.

While Johnson was trying to draw a connection between his hobby and the buses he introduced to London during his tenure as mayor, others found a stronger link with another sort of bus: those painted with Brexit campaign slogans, which Johnson was pictured with so often during the lead-up to the EU referendum. BBC presenter Simon McCoy speaking after the clip was broadcast, quipped:

Wonder what he writes on the side of it.

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