Shamik Das

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is Boris taking his lines from Hergé?


BILLIONS of bilious blue blistering barnacles (as Captain Haddock would say)! It looks like dear old Boris has been stealing ideas from M. Georges Prosper Remi, aka Hergé, the finest cartoonist of all time.

Nothing wrong with that of course, indeed one can only dream of having the creative freedom to drop in a few references to Thomson and Thompson or Professor Calculus somewhere along the line, but then I’m not being paid £250,000 for a few hours’ work.

So what exactly did the blond buffer do, I hear you ask; well, in his aforementioned column, as part of a snidishly unsubtle attack on Ed Balls, in which he fantasised about grabbing the schools secretary's tie and “end[ing] what is left of my political career with one almighty head-butt”. It’s how they do things chez Bullingdon, you see...

But I digress; to the plaigirism we go, and, having blathered on about the merits of Greek and Latin, Boris eventually says:

“They are also a giant universal spanner for other languages. Suppose your kid scrapes her knee on holiday in Italy. You are much more likely to administer the right first aid if you know that caldo means hot rather than cold – as you will, if you know Latin.

“Suppose you are captured by cannibals in the Mato Grosso, and you find a scrap of Portuguese newspaper in your hut revealing that there is about to be an eclipse; and suppose that by successfully prophesying this event you convince your captors that you are a god and secure your release – I reckon you would be thankful for your Latin, eh?”

Hmmmmmm... Now I wonder where he got that idea from? Maybe, I dunno, from reading Prisoners of the Sun in between head-butting poorer kids in his youth, where Tintin finds a scrap of old newspaper, chooses the moment he is to be burnt at the stake as the exact moment of an eclipse, beseeches the sun to re-emerge and is deified by the Incas who release him and his friends.

Y’know, in a way this has actually made me like him; ’tis good to know he takes guidance from the little Belgian. What odds, I wonder, on Boris buying a first-class seat on Virgin Galactic, Destination Moon?!


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