So Cameron is making his mark on the EU budget, Gove has caused a stir with his Leveson remarks, and Osborne is prepping for his Autumn Statement. No matter. As usual, Boris is marching to the beat of his own cinematic drummer. He’s going to Bollywood, on an India trip many interpret as an effort to project himself as a future world leader.
The Mayor of London is visiting Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai, where he will appear on a top TV chat show and visit Bollywood studios. It is couched as a trade mission – ‘London loves India,’ he is quoted in the Hindustan Times as saying – but many items on his programme wouldn’t look amiss on the schedule of a Foreign Secretary. And being Mayor instead of a minister actually allows him to add some funkier activities too.
Apart from his foray into Bollywood, Boris’s passage to India will see him:
- meet top investors, business leaders and senior politicians
- launch a new carbon-based index at the Bombay Stock Exchange
- address a seminar entitled ‘London: Gateway to the World’
- visit Magic Bus, a London-based Indian sports charity
- hang out with the England cricket team during their current Test series
- visit relatives (his wife Marina is half Indian)
This is the perfect opportunity for Boris to show off prime ministerial qualities, especially after Cameron’s recent controversial Gulf arms trade trip and his comments in August about Indian dance being non-physical education (a remark that has intrigued Indians).
Perhaps they’ll rename it BoJollywood by the time he leaves.