It was another Conservative prime minister, Harold Macmillian, who explained in just five short words how governments can crumble with such spectacular suddenness: Events, my dear boy, events.
Politicians must begin to move away from this mould and persuade us to get behind them as people. They need to put the passion and personality back into politics.
Shouldn't we be sorting out London's traffic by expanding the bus network, building more cycle lanes and financing it from a pay as you go driving scheme? I'm no expert, but it makes much more sense than what I'm hearing from people who want new roads and more pollution...
If Johnson does become a genuine leadership candidate, it'll cap quite a journey for the old Etonian. The buffoonery has toned down, but without morphing into the type of hackneyed politician that people despise.
Opening the London papers on the commute home, the almost daily stories about the housing crisis facing London make for ever more gloomy reading. Housing is becoming too expensive for all but the richest Londoners with tenants in the private sector spending 59 per cent of their wages on rent.
Despite London's housing crisis being one of the black marks on Boris Johnson's mayoral legacy, the key to making housing in our capital more affordable is straightforward and widely agreed - to increase supply and ensure this supply is genuinely affordable to your average person.
Up North the Scottish independence referendum is hitting the final straight, with postal voters already casting their decisions. What should in all likelihood have been a 16 percentage point win for the No side looks a lot less certain now.
With just months to go before the general election, all mainstream parties need to understand that having policy is only the first step on the path to victory. It then falls into the hands of party spinners to decide how policy is communicated, articulated and portrayed through the party ranks and into the media that will determine how the public perceives it.
Given his undoubted charisma and his way with words, he has the potential to be a big vote winner for the Tories. But, and it is in important but, voters who regard humour and a cavalier style as an asset in a city mayor with few real powers might seek different qualities in a national leader. Last week, in an interview with the Sunday Times, he talked about how his six years as mayor had given him the administrative experience that would stand him in good stead in national politics. He has a point. But if he is to be a real vote-winner for his party on the national stage, he needs more. He needs to get serious.
Should Boris win a safe seat, should the Tories win the next election and should Boris be gifted a Cabinet position - the first is the least dangerous of these three assumptions - will Boris commit, even for reasons of his own, to his Cabinet chums and will they commit to him? Boris has work to do. His recent cajoling of Cameron to take a harder-line stance on future negotiations with the EU can legitimately be viewed as the voice of a critical friend. Cameron can take it. However, covert criticism of Osborne, one of the more obvious contenders to succeed Cameron, will endear him neither to the Chancellor nor to others in Cameron's circle of less secure consiglieri.
How like Boris to use a much-trailed speech on Europe as a sort of summer panto, a bit of harmless fun, the brass band preceding his big announcement about his own ambitions here in the UK.
oris Johnson today setting out some of the changes he and his economic adviser Gerard Lyons think would be necessary to see Britain benefit from continued EU membership is a welcome step in the right direction. But for all his robustness and rabble-rousing rhetoric, there were more than a few moments where the Mayor fell down on detail.
When I look back over David Cameron's political career, I will remember many things. The fact that he surrounded himself with millionaire Etonians while subjecting the most vulnerable in society to sharp cuts and while allowing global corporations and oligarchs to use Britain as a tax haven.
The facts on the ground have not really changed from Boris' initial assessment of the pros and cons of membership last year. Maybe we are just one year closer to an election in which Boris needs to position himself as the tough-talking Eurosceptic reaching out for an uncompromising deal.
This is not a time for half-measures - which is all Boris has promised, and the entirety of what it seems he can do. The capital and its millions of residents and visitors deserve effective and long-term solutions, and an end to the needless deaths caused by inaction.
It's time to establish a limit on political donations. It's time to eliminate the threat of corruption and remove the possibility of big-money donors ruling the roost over elected politicians. We don't want to go down the American route, where all politics is awash with corporate money to an obscene extent.