"Local politician considers becoming MP" should, be rights, be a story only of interest to local newspapers. If the national media take an interest, it should only be to ask whether a man who has twice been sacked for dishonesty and who has conspired with a serious criminal is fit to enter parliament.
Which poses the question: why was this story the lead item on Radio 4's news yesterday and in the Times today, and in hagiographic terms?
Partly, it's because the media is so London-centric that it regards the North Circular Road as an iron curtain. But there's something else going on. It's that there are two types of politics which have become so distant from each other that they shouldn't share the same name.
Politics1 is politics in its traditional form. It asks how relations between citizens should be regulated.
Politics2 is the subject of political journalism in the media. And this is often a different thing entirely, being focused upon personalities and presentation. It is that makes Mr Johnson political2 news, because he is a "character" who fulfils a major function of politicians - to provide entertainment for journalists*.
Even when politics1 and politics2 should coincide - for example on the Scottish independence debate - they don't: Radio 4's PM programme, for example, tried to reduce it to a matter of Salmond's and Darling's personalities. The fact that the BBC gives so much publicity to Mr Johnson and little to serious MPs such as Jesse Norman or Jon Cruddas shows that politics2 has displaced politics1. It's no wonder, then, that so many social and economic changes are happening without politicians' noticing.
I think of this as a political blog. But what's striking is that the things that I consider to be political1 questions are so rarely discussed by mainstream politicians, and certainly don't form the substance of the BBC's political reporting: is the wealth and power of corporate bosses justified? What should be the respective domains of market, hierarchy and cooperation? what is the relationship between institutions, culture and morality? What role should emotion, ideology and irrationality play in public life? How do bounded knowledge and cognitive biases shape politics?
For me, questions such as these (and there are more - these are just some of my interests) should be the basis of politics. But they are largely ignored.
This ignorance serves a deeply reactionary function. In keeping fundamental issues off the agenda, whilst promoting an image of politics as a wrestling match between "characters", politics2 helps to preserve the power and wealth of elites by failing to ask the questions that might undermine their legitimacy.
* I'd even put another of the week's biggest news stories - the resignation of Baroness Warsi - into this category, because it is about what pose to strike about the middle east: would Benjamin Netanyahu ever say "Best seek peace with Hamas, lads, because the Brits are cutting up rough?"