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The former Home Secretary's bona fides are sound: born in Paddington and orphaned as a teen, he grew up in a council house and worked as a postman before a rapid scale through the CWU ranks landed him a plum parliamentary seat. Johnson might be a useful soldier in the class war that Labour would wage against his namesake, but could a man who has been busying himself with the constituency business of Hull West and Hessle since 1997 genuinely claim to understand what London needs?
If he does stand, Johnson will need to shake off a clutch of party Grand Poobahs, including Peter Mandelson, Diane Abbot, Oona King, and (less plausibly) Alan Sugar, while a certain K Livingstone has also made no secret of his desire to reinstall himself in City Hall.
Labour's Executive Ruling Committee wants a candidate in place by the autumn, a full 18 months ahead of the May 2012 election. We could have a spectacularly long campaign run-up, folks, but at least it'll distract from the Miliband vs. Miliband beauty contest.