Remember That Boris Johnson Was Once a Car Reviewer

remember that boris johnson was once a car reviewer

One of the bigger pieces of geopolitical news this week involves Boris Johnson. The U.K. prime minister is stepping down.

While reading about how the British media is covering the event, I was reminded that Johnson once reviewed cars.

Apparently very poorly.

That is, when he was even arsed to drive the things. Seems that Johnson often “reviewed” a car by letting it sit in one place for the duration of the loan.

Former GQ editor Dylan Jones, in the Sunday Times, on his former motoring correspondent Boris Johnson…

— Jason Groves (@JasonGroves1) April 24, 2022

I don’t bring this up to be political — I just find it an interesting way to ease into the weekend. Especially since Johnson seemed to, uh, not really do the job. It would be less amusing had Johnson been competent.

Hey, if an auto journalist/car reviewer — not all auto journalists review cars, and not all car reviewers are automotive journalists — can eventually climb to the top of his country’s political ladder, maybe that old saw we were told in third grade about how anyone can grow up to be president is true after all.

Or maybe Johnson is just lucky his editors didn’t seem to worry too much about improving his prose and didn’t seem to notice his work ethic, or lack thereof, until he’d moved on.

Either way, after going back and reading some of his old work, I’m going to have to cleanse my palette by Googling a bunch of David E. Davis, John Phillips, and Brock Yates pieces.

[Image: Michael Tubi/]

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3 of 26 comments
  • TheEndlessEnigma TheEndlessEnigma on Jul 11, 2022

    How does this have anything remotely to do with autos or the auto industry? Surely there are auto newsworthy events that can be reported? The change of the UK Prime Minister isn't in any way newsworthy on an auto news blog. I stopped following this site for 3 years due to the creeping insertion of politics in articles. only recently returned about a month ago. It will not be hard to leave again. Stick to auto related content....this is not that.

  • Matt Posky Matt Posky on Jul 12, 2022

    Boris repeatedly endorsed adding speed cameras, lowering speed limits, upping congestion charging, and creating bicycle lanes when he was the mayor of London. These are unforgivable sins for someone that proclaimed themselves an automotive enthusiast.

    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jul 12, 2022

      Fewer than a quarter of households in central London own cars. Why should policy there be centered around cars, privileging a small minority at everyone else's expense? If you want to be a car enthusiast in the UK, you have the entire rest of the country, and central London (or Manchester, where cars are banned from significant areas) is probably not the right place for you.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.