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Boriswatch - Page 2 of 79 - Tracking Mayor Boris Johnson every step of the way
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The Churchill Factor

Would Winston Churchill have bombed the Islamic State? Well, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever really find out an answer to that question but, according to the man who has written a new book about Britain’s wartime leader, he most certainly would.

Boris has used an interview to promote his new book The Churchill Factor – presumably not a guide to cheaper car insurance – to claim that the security sources in the UK are monitoring ‘thousands’ of terror suspects and that the ex-PM would have taken ‘personal charge’ of the situation.

“Let’s ask ourselves this question: would Churchill now be authorizing air strikes on Isil? I think he would be. He was a great believer in air power,” claimed Bozza. “I think he would be appalled by the spectacle of these cowards executing journalists, and I think he would have wanted to do something to set them back a long way, and if need be, to neutralize them altogether.

“He was a great believer in air power – don’t forget he invented the RAF…so I think he’d do exactly what the Prime Minister is doing.”

The Mayor also used the interview to reveal that the number of potential terrorists being monitored by Google the security services is in the thousands – far more than had originally been thought. He said: “In London we’re very very vigilant and very very concerned. Every day – as you saw recently, we had to raise the threat level – every day the security services are involved in thousands of operations.

“There are probably in the low thousands of people that we are monitoring in London.”

So what would old Winston have done if he’d discovered an Islamic State person plotting in London. We’ll he’d have gone down and had a jolly stiff word, according to Boris.

Citing the example of the Sidney Street siege in 1911, when police became involved in a gunfight with a group of anarchists, he said: “If you look at his handling of the Sidney Street siege…Churchill goes down there personally.

“He would have taken personal charge of counter-terror in London, no question. Had he been Home Secretary now, he would be absolutely appalled to think that these people could be carrying British passports and yet be loyal to another state.”

Perhaps that’s what we need, Bozza? Pop round and give them a piece of your mind, eh?

UKIP converts are “nutty”, apparently

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

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

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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!

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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”

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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

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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…


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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

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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

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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.

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