UKIP converts are “nutty”, apparently

01 Oct
October 1, 2014

Never one to shy away from a topic, Boris let out a great literary bellow in his latest Telegraph column:  Any Conservatives thinking about joining rivals UKIP “must be utterly nuts”.

One of the great things about Boris is that he doesn’t talk like a politician. Some people claim this is “on purpose” – of course it is, and it’s a brilliant way to get people engaged in what sometimes are boring topics.

So in an effort to stem the tide of UKIP converts – he doesn’t want to end up leading a party of sizable delapidation, does he – he’s given a big shot across the bow.

We at Boriswatch Towers are looking forward to his speech at the Tory conference this week – we’ve got a mug of hot cocoa and popcorn set aside for the big event.

The Sinking of Boris Island

09 Sep
September 9, 2014

FunafutiSpare a thought for the 10,000 people who live on the remote Pacific island of Tuvalu. The country’s highest point is just 15 metres above sea level and so, as climate change results in rising sea levels, it’s only a matter of time before the beautiful islands disappear without trace.

Now, it may only exist in the minds of architects, planners and the London Mayor, but another potentially beautiful island sunk without trace this week. Slightly closer to home than the Polynesian nation, it was the Airports Commission rather than global warming that did for Boris Island, the proposed site of the answer to London’s desperate need for more airport capacity.

The commission said that after a detailed study it had concluded that the proposal for a new four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary had “substantial disadvantages that collectively outweigh its potential benefits”.

The commission chairman, Sir Howard Davies, said: “The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time‑consuming to surmount. Even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70bn to £90bn, with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options – probably some £30bn to £60bn in total.”

Naturally (as it was his pet project) the Mayor was less than impressed with the commission’s verdict which leaves just Heathrow and Gatwick expansions as the viable options. Boris said: “In one myopic stroke the Airports Commission has set the debate back by half a century and consigned their work to the long list of vertically filed reports on aviation expansion that are gathering dust on a shelf in Whitehall.

“Gatwick is not a long-term solution and Howard Davies must explain to the people of London how he can possibly envisage that an expansion of Heathrow, which would create unbelievable levels of noise, blight and pollution, is a better idea than a new airport to the east of London that he himself admits is visionary.”

So, it looks like the plan is dead in the water. Or perhaps Boris can take heart from Tuvalu’s infrastructure? Despite its size and relative poverty, the Funafuti International Airport offers travel to and from Tuvalu with carriers including Air Pacific. If they can find a way to build a decent airport on their remote island, it surely can’t be beyond the wit of man to find a spot for a new airport in London? Can it?

Back In Da House

29 Aug
August 29, 2014

Boris and Dave 3Let’s be honest: it was the worst kept secret in politics. Finally, Boris has announced that he does plan to stand as an MP in 2015, ending years of speculation as to whether he would return to the House of Commons.

Even when the announcement was finally made, the Mayor danced around the issue like a child skipping around a maypole. In a speech, he said that he “can’t endlessly go on dodging these questions, as I’ve tried to do”.

“We’ve danced around it for an awfully long time. As you know the Prime Minister said he’d welcome me back. It was very kind of him to do so. I haven’t got any particular seat lined up but I do think in all probability, since you can’t do these things furtively, in all probability I will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015.

“It is highly likely I will be unsuccessful in that venture, by the way. You can never underestimate the possibility of things going badly wrong. But I will try that.”

The announcement means that Boris will effectively have two jobs for a period as his second term as Mayor of London does not end until 2016.

The confirmation if his plans to return have set the Westminster conspiracy theorists into overdrive with many believing that he is positioning himself for the Tory leadership as and when David Cameron chooses to stop down. However, Bozza denied this, saying: “No. I don’t want revert to weasel mode here.”

One likely destination for the Mayor is the constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip. The safe Tory seat has become vacant after Sir John Randall announced he was leaving Parliament, and a new candidate will be selected by mid-September.

Once back in Parliament, Boris is likely to be the main challenger in a future Tory leadership contest with George Osborne expected to be his closest rival. David Cameron – on holiday when the announcement was made – seemed unconcerned, however. He tweeted: “Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year’s general election – I’ve always said I want my star players on the pitch. “

Boris is coming BACK!

06 Aug
August 6, 2014

borispmIt has long been trailed by Boriswatch, but the great man has confirmed – he will be seeking re-election as an MP in 2015. He’s going to “give it a crack”. We’re going to “throw a party in celebration”.

Now, seasoned Boriswatchers will know that the story doesn’t end there. He will use his virtually guaranteed political seat to launch a bid for leader of the Conservative Party, and then – Prime Minister?! Can we dream?

 

Boris: “Tony Blair Has Finally Gone Mad”

19 Jun
June 19, 2014

Boris giggleI suppose it would be reasonable to assume that Boris Johnson is no fan of ex-Labour leader Tony Blair. Now, though, Boris has given the ex-Prime Minister both barrels by claiming that Blair ‘needs professional psychiatric help’.

In an interview with Sky News, Blair claimed that the current instability in Iraq was caused not by his war but by a failure by the West to deal with the situation in Syria (as if waltzing into that country like we did elsewhere a few years back would have been a great idea).

Blair told Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan: “Some people will say ‘well if we hadn’t removed Saddam in 2003 we wouldn’t have the problem today in Iraq and the reason I think that is profoundly mistaken is this: since 2011 there have been these Arab revolutions sweeping across the whole of the region – Tunisa, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, next door to Iraq in Syria – and we can see what would have happened if we left Saddam there in 2003.

“We have left Bashar Assad in Syria. The result is that there have now in the last three years in Syria been virtually the same number of people killed in Syria as in the whole of Iraq. You have had nine million people displaced from Syria, you have chaos and instability being pushed across the region.”

It would be fair to say that not everyone agrees with the ex-PM – and Boris, in particular, had a few harsh words to say. Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, the Mayor of London said Mr Blair and then-US president George W Bush had shown “unbelievable arrogance” to believe toppling Saddam Hussein would not result in instability.

He even went as far as accusing the ex-Labour leader of having sent British forces into the bloody conflict in part to gain personal ‘grandeur’.

Bozza said: “Somebody needs to get on to Tony Blair and tell him to put a sock in it, or at least to accept the reality of the disaster he helped to engender. Then he might be worth hearing.

“I have come to the conclusion that Tony Blair has finally gone mad. In discussing the disaster of modern Iraq he made assertions that are so jaw-droppingly and breathtakingly at variance with reality that he surely needs professional psychiatric help.”

And Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s ambassador to the US from 1997 to 2003, said the handling of the campaign against Saddam was “perhaps the most significant reason” for today’s violence.

Spraying Boris in the Face

16 Jun
June 16, 2014

Boris wetIf you offered the political classes (and the general public) the chance to spray water at Boris Johnson you’d imagine you’d need half the Metropolitan Police on hand to cope with the queue. Now, though, some lucky blighter is going to get the option to blast Boris with a water cannon after the Mayor agreed to face the Met’s newest weapon.

The Mayor has controversially agreed to buy three water cannons from the German Federal Police for the Met at a cost of £218,000. This is despite water cannons never being used on the British mainland and despite the Home Secretary having yet to agree to their use.

Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, has pledged that water cannon would be “rarely used and rarely seen”. And, to prove that the cannon is safe, Boris has agreed to face it himself. When interviewed by Nick Ferrari on LBC, the Mayor accepted the dare. Boris said: “Man or mouse. You’ve challenged me, so I suppose I’m going to have to do it now.”

He told presenter Nick Ferrari: “I can see all my press people pulling their hair out over this, but never mind, it’s got to be done. Thanks for that one.”

The purchase of the cannons has proved controversial with Labour and the Liberal Democrats condemning it as ‘reckless’. Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat leader on the London Assembly, said: “There is no evidence to defend the provision of water cannon in London.

“After three hearings at City Hall the case against the use of water cannon was compelling. London Assembly Members, across the political parties have expressed their total opposition to one of the worst aspects of European policing being adopted in London. The Mayor’s refusal to listen or engage with evidence presented to him is shameful.”

Reports that Ken Livingstone is to be given control of the water cannon have yet to be confirmed…

Fudging

29 May
May 29, 2014

FudgeWill Boris be an MP after the next General Election? It’s a question that has been asked a thousand times over the last few years. And, if recent comments from the Mayor are anything to go by – well, we’re no nearer to finding out the answer.

Having been accused of ‘dithering’ by backbenchers, it seems Boris has no plans to commit to re-entering Parliament – or remaining as Mayor until 2016. In a recent interview on Pienaar’s Politics on Radio 5 Live, John Pienaar asked the Mayor whether he intended to “keep fudging” the issue about returning to the House of Commons. “Yes,” came the reply.

It’s unlikely that Boris will resign from his job as the Mayor before his term ends in 2016, even if he does decide to return to Parliament. He has already pledged to Londoners that he will complete his term as Mayor and has reportedly been advised by Lynton Crosby, the Tory election chief, that he needs to keep to his word if he is to be taken seriously.

The Guardian says that ‘sources close to the London mayor have reportedly indicated that Johnson may be changing his mind’ about returning to Westminster. What appears increasingly likely is that Boris will become an MP at the next election but stop short of attempting to win a post in the cabinet. He will instead argue that running London is like organising a major government department while also holding a Parliamentary seat. There is a precedent, of course, with Ken Livingstone having held office as the Mayor while an MP.

Charles Walker, vice Chairman of the influential 1922 Committee, urged Boris to make a quick decision. “Boris needs to decide what he is doing, he needs to be decisive,” he told The Observer. “Undoubtedly, he would be a great addition to Parliament, but he needs to get on and decide what he is doing if he is to be taken seriously.”

Unusual Uses For A Comb

03 Apr
April 3, 2014

Boris Little Ant and DecAs the Mayor of London you can be expected to be interrogated by the toughest of interviewers. Boris has certainly had his fair share of run-ins with journalists over the years, from the likes of Jeremy Paxman to a well-publicised on-air grilling from Eddie Mair.

However, this week  Boris had to face his toughest pair of interrogators yet – none other than Little Ant and Little Dec.

Filmed at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park ahead of its official opening, Boris was forced to confess that he is frequently told off for not brushing his hair before being quizzed on his lack of gold chain and the capital’s ‘totty’.

The interview, broadcast on ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway, showed the two miniature interviewers present the Mayor with a comb – which Boris confirmed he would use…but not in the way the kids expected.

Little Dec asked the Mayor: “Do you get told off for never brushing your hair?”

Mr Johnson admitted: “Yes very frequently.  I do it’s a failing of mine.”

Little Dec then presented the Mayor with a comb, but he appeared reluctant to use it for its intended purpose.

Boris said: “Thank you very much I will keep that it’s a handy looking object, I can use it to scratch my back.”

[Perhaps he doesn't know what a comb or brush is for? That would explain the hair - Boriswatch Make-Up Editor]

The Mayor was also asked about why his role as Mayor does not come with suitable regalia. Little Ant asked: “If you are the Mayor where is your big hat and gold chain?”

Reluctantly, Boris confessed: “I don’t have either a hat or a chain.”

When Little Ant added:  “You’re The Mayor you should have that stuff’”, Boris replied: “Well I know it’s very nice of you to say so Little Ant.”

The duo, who look like the ITV stars Ant and Dec, also quizzed the Mayor about the attractiveness of London’s ladies. Little Dec asked: “My daddy said there is a lot of posh totty in London what does he mean?”

Boris was coy in his reply. “I don’t know what your father means by that but I’m sure he’s right…”

In A Box With George Osborne

01 Apr
April 1, 2014

Boris OsborneLet’s face it: Ed Miliband needs all the help he can get. Despite PR stunts such as heading down to the Somerset Levels to help the flood efforts – Radio 4’s News Quiz claimed ‘he looked like a surveyor stuck in a swimming pool’ – he hardly looks nailed on to become the country’s next Prime Minister.

But, it seems as if Ed could be aided by two of his biggest enemies – if you believe the claims of a leading Cabinet minister. An anonymous minister [That hardly rules anyone out, does it? Honk! - Boriswatch Ed] has told Boris Johnson and George Osborne to “get back in their box” and stop jostling for position to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party.

The Cabinet minister told the Daily Telegraph : “The people doing this [speculating on the next Tory leader] need to get back in their box. “Whether you’re Cameron’s number one fan or number one hater, the only way any of these people can become leader is if Ed Miliband is Prime Minister. We should all be working to stop that, and this sort of thing is silly and unhelpful.”

In a complicated series of ifs, buts and maybes, defeat at the 2015 General Election could result in a Conservative leadership battle. While two years ago George Osborne didn’t stand much of a chance of leading the party he is now one of the favourites to succeed Cameron. However, his biggest rival is likely to be the Mayor of London – although it could be tricky if Boris doesn’t have a Parliamentary seat.

It was recently reported that Osborne had personally urged Boris to stand for Parliament in next year’s election so that the Mayor is fully tied to the result and cannot claim to be the “change” candidate for the leadership if the Tories lose.

Some of Mr Johnson’s allies hit back, claiming supporters of Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron were deliberately attempting to “destabilise Boris” by making sure he “gets as much flak as they do” if the Tories lose next year.

Will either Boris or George succeed David Cameron? And should the Mayor stand as an MP at the next election? Let us know below.

George Clooney’s Hitlerian Agenda

27 Feb
February 27, 2014

Boris ClooneyOne thing that you can say about Boris with some confidence is that you never know which controversy he’s going to wander into next. He’s as likely to fall out with the Sultan of Brunei as he is with David Cameron and so anticipating who he’s going to rub up the wrong way next is always a challenge.

If I’d given you half an hour to come up with the name of Boris’ current row, you’d have been hard pushed to come up with the right answer. Now, the Mayor has decided to cross swords with none other than George Clooney, Hollywood A-lister, Oscar winner and generally all-round Good Egg.

The row all started when Clooney, as part of his promotional tour for World War Two drama The Monuments Men, suggested that Britain should return the 2,500 year old Elgin Marbles to Greece. The actor voiced his opinion on the sculptures, which were taken to Britain from the Parthenon in Greece in the 19th century, during a press conference about his new film – a tale about returning art masterpieces to their rightful owners.

“Even in England the polling is in favour of returning the marbles from the Pantheon [sic], the Pantheon marbles,” he said. He went on to add that parts of the Parthenon has been given back by the Vatican already, and that returning the pieces displayed at the British Museum was “probably the right thing to do”.

Boris doesn’t agree. And, he didn’t just have a pop at Clooney’s opinion. Oh no. He decided to compare him to Adolf Hitler.

As part of his column for the Telegraph, the Mayor wrote that Clooney had “lost his marbles” over the Elgin affair, before adding: “And where were the Nazis going to send the Elgin marbles? To Athens! This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London’s cultural treasures.”

Now, George is normally a nice man but even he wouldn’t let Boris Hitler comparison lie. “I’m a great fan of the Mayor, and I’m sure my right honorable friend had no real intention of comparing me to Hitler,” Clooney said in a statement. “I’d chalk it up to a little too much hyperbole washed down with a few whiskeys. I’ve found myself in the same spot a time or two so I hold no ill will.

“When it comes to real facts, not imagined history, you need only to look at the UNESCO rulings that have been agreed to by all parties. An occupying nation can’t sell off the national heritage of the country it occupies.

“There are many pieces in nearly every country that this conversation should take place. The best place to start would be at the most obvious object. When polled the British people are overwhelmingly in favour of their return.

“The rest of the world follows suit. If you want to deal in facts. Those are the facts. But maybe it’s just easier to compare me to Hitler.”

Elvetham Heath