November 9th, 2015 by Boisdale
In the past couple of weeks, the esteemed Boris Johnson, London Mayor and MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has made two excellent contributions to the long and noble tradition of political sporting gaffes. First, he knocked a school boy to the ground when he got carried away in a friendly game of rugby; then he took a fall in a contest of tug of war.
So, after taking a well-earned break in the rafters at Boisdale, I fluffed up my feathers and went on a mission to track down a selection of our countryâ€™s politicians whoâ€™ve been caught off guard with the cameraâ€™s following their sporting aspirations.
1. Cameron the surfer dude
There have been a few shots of Dave surfing now. Perhaps unfairly, heâ€™s been lampooned in the press for this. Surely thereâ€™s nothing wrong with the PM donning a wetsuit and staggering, Bond-like, out of the cold Atlantic waters, surfboard underarm. Although, itâ€™s not just the pictures that made these shots so memorable; it was also the reports that there was some leaky sewage nearby too. Ew.
2. Corbyn cycling
Again, harmless in itself, but wearing that tracksuit is simply giving the media ammunition for snarky articles.
3. Boris Johnson: rugby, football, zip-wiresâ€¦anything, really
How long have you got? Yes, before his most recent scrapes, BoJo has been guilty of other sporting mishaps. Lots of them. He got stranded on a zip-wire celebrating a gold at the Olympics, he got caught kicking out a schoolboy in a friendly football game, and he simply got carried away playing against Germany in a charity football match.
4. Ed drops his Balls
A fiercely combative, and competitive, figure, Balls was not someone who the media found easy to love. In the annual party conference football match between Labour and political journalists, however, he got some revenge. Mid-way through the match Mr Balls let an accidental elbow (Iâ€™m sure it was accidental) find its way on to the upper brow of the unfortunate Mr Merrick, reporter for the Northern Echo. Football and politics are not games for wimps.
5. Alex Salmond gets hit in the face by a ball
When the former leader of the SNP thought heâ€™d try his hand at football, his PRs must have thought they were on to a winner. However, it quickly turned from photo-op into disaster, when a football planted itself on the face of the the unfortunate Mr Salmond, making him look like, in political speak, a complete plonker.
6. John Prescott, socialist socialite
Like so many of these shots, it seems rather unjust that a politician having a harmless bit of fun with sport can turn into a media frenzy. However, thatâ€™s just what happened when the former Deputy Prime Minister, and one of the few remaining class-warriors of New Labour, was snapped playing a game of croquet during office hours.
7. Cleggâ€™s golden duck
The Lib Demâ€™s former leader set out to do a good deed, raising awareness of mental health in sport while playing some cricket. Letâ€™s have some sympathy for the man, for goodness sake! Nonetheless, when the pictures circulated of Nick in an England tracksuit, it was ready-made Twitter bait.