Why Boris is (mostly) right about immigrants and the English languageWatch
Broadly, he argues that all immigrants should speak English, and not live is segregated communities where satellite TV and the internet allow them to conduct their daily lives in non-English languages.
So far, so familiar.
The interesting bit of the column is Mr Johnson's admission that he's struggling to work out his own philosophical stance on language: take a liberal approach and let people do as they wish, or take a more culturally conservative one, and "insist" on English. He just about comes down on the latter side, but not, I think, with irreversible certainty.
I don't know too many politicians who would admit to not knowing the answer to a basic political question, much less their fundamental view of personal liberty, responsibility and the role of the state. But then, real people aren't always blessed with utter certainty on complicated questions either. We can often see both sides of an argument, instead of feeling the unshakeable clarity that many politicians at least pretend to enjoy.
London mayor Boris Johnson
One chart that shows Boris and Nigel Farage are right about immigrants speaking English 06 Jan 2015
Anyone pondering the curious phenomenon of Mr Johnson's popular appeal should consider the merits of this sort of thinking aloud; it doesn't have to be politically harmful, and can actually be be beneficial.