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Boriswatch - Page 3 of 79 - Tracking Mayor Boris Johnson every step of the way
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George Clooney’s Hitlerian Agenda

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.”

Prophylactics and pieds

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Boris ballYou’d think that the Mayor of London should be a man who has some sympathy with the President of France. Both have seen their political lives sidelined by revelations about their private lives, although Francois Hollande seems to be doing a better job of keeping the journalists from his boudoir than Boris ever did.

However, when it comes to the escalating war of words between Britain and France, Boris has jumped headlong into the argument. It all started when the editor of newspaper City AM wrote a piece which branded the French economy a ‘failed Socialist experiment’. In retaliation, the French ambassador to Britain, Bernard Emie, published a ten point statement in which he highlighted recent NHS scandals in Stafford, Morecambe Bay and Colchester, saying that they illustrated the  ‘ailing’ service’s ‘widespread problems’.

Mr Emie also suggested in his statement that France was more successful with its energy policies and at executing big infrastructure projects, citing high-speed rail as an example.

Now, Boris has joined the fightback and has rebutted French claims that the country was more successful than Britain. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mr Johnson said: “Français, françaises, vous êtes tous les bienvenus à Londres! Vous avez vote avec vos pieds!”

Translated the comment means,”Oh dear, you poor French peasants. Your President is too busy playing away with an actress to deal with your stagnating economy. And your breath smells of camembert!”

[Er, I think you’ll find the translation is : “French, French you are all welcome in London. You vote with your feet!” – Boriswatch Foreign Affairs Editor]

The intervention comes just a few days after Boris took to the airwaves to brand deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg a ‘condom’. Talking to LBC host Nick Ferrari, Bozza said: “Nick Clegg is to serve a very important ceremonial function as David Cameron’s lapdog-cum-prophylactic protection device for all the difficult things that David Cameron has to do that cheese off the rest. [Clegg] is a kind of shield. He’s a lapdog who’s been skinned and turned into a shield.”

In the same interview, Boris also described Clegg as a “wobbling jelly of indecision and vacillation”. So … he was a dog, and now he’s a condom. Or a jelly. Or a condom made of jelly? KY jelly, perhaps? [Enough now – Boriswatch Ed]

The Middle of the Cornflakes Packet

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Boris radioThe problem with making bold and sweeping claims is that, at some point, they often come back and bite you on the behind. That’s the position the Mayor found himself in this week when he was subjected to an impromptu IQ test live on the radio just days after mocking people with a low intelligence level.

In a highly provocative speech, Boris recently mocked the 16 per cent ‘of our species’ with an IQ below 85 as he called for more to be done to help the 2 per cent who have an IQ above 130. Johnson then told the Centre for Policy Studies think tank: “The harder you shake the pack the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top.”

Fellow politicians queued up to accuse the mayor of ‘careless elitism’ and criticised his suggestion that Londoners on minimum wage were ‘at the bottom of the cornflake packet’. So, in his first public appearance since the remarks – on his LBC radio show – he was, unsurprisingly, bombarded with IQ based questions from listeners.

In the first IQ question he was asked: “A man builds a house with four sides of rectangular construction each side with southern exposure. A big bear comes along. What is the colour of the bear?”

According to The Guardian, ‘Johnson said the bear was probably brown, before admitting that he did not have a clue.’ [The bear is white because it must be a polar bear at the North Pole – Boriswatch Ed]

Hmm. An inauspicious start.

Next he was asked: “Take two apples from three apples and what do you have?” Johnson said: “Loads of apples.” He then changed his answer to one apple. The answer the questioner wanted was two apples. [The question starts ‘take two apples’, you see – Boriswatch Ed]

He was then asked: “I went to bed at eight in the evening last night and I wound up my clock and set my alarm to sound for nine o’clock in the morning. How many hours sleep did I get?” By this time, however, Johnson refused even to attempt an answer.

“No one said IQ is the only measure of ability,” he said, shortly before failing to correctly calculate the cost of a tube journey from Angel (where he lives) to London Bridge (where he works). He then told listeners he didn’t ‘have the foggiest idea’ about The X Factor and that Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Ann Widdecombe were in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.

All in all, not the Mayor’s finest hour. I wonder whereabouts in the cornflake packet of life he finds himself now?

Arise, Sir Zillionaire

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Boris pointingPoliticians and the newspapers in the UK like to have a go at pretty much everyone. Footballers, Wonga, drug users, gangs, immigrants, travellers and religious extremists have all had plenty of abuse over recent years as have, in many cases, this country’s super-rich.

Now, though, the landowners and zillionaires of the UK have a staunch new ally. Boris has used his regular Daily Telegraph article to urge people to stop ‘bashing’ the super-rich, comparing them to hard-pressed minorities like the homeless, Irish travellers or ex-gang members.

[I know, I know. People with nineteen noughts on their bank accounts are just the same as the homeless. Good grief. Bear with us, though – Boriswatch Ed]

The Mayor of London accused “everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Nick Clegg” of bullying the group he defined as “zillionaires” – and said the most rich of all should receive “automatic knighthoods”.

[Again, bear with us. People should get a knighthood on account of massive wealth? Sounds like the 17th century – Boriswatch Ed]

Boris said the rich deserve our “humble and hearty thanks” for their contributions to charity and the exchequer – quoting figures that say the top 1 per cent pay 29.8 per cent of all UK income tax. He wrote: “It is my duty to stick up for every put-upon minority in the city – from the homeless to Irish travellers to ex-gang members to disgraced former MPs. But there is one minority that I still behold with a benign bewilderment, and that is the very, very rich.

“These are the people who put bread on the tables of families who – if the rich didn’t invest in supercars and employ eau de cologne-dabbers – might otherwise find themselves without a breadwinner.

“We should stop any bashing or moaning or preaching or bitching and simply give thanks for the prodigious sums of money that they are contributing to the tax revenues of this country, and that enable us to look after our sick and our elderly and to build roads, railways and schools,” he said.

As you may imagine, quite a lot of people were queuing up to add the Mayor to another minority that they wanted to ‘bash’. Paul Isemonger said the comments were “an absurd anachronism”, while student activists People’s Assembly Against Austerity from King’s College, London said: “Boris Johnson has suggested that the super rich are an oppressed minority. These people just don’t get it, do they?”

So, is he right? Should we shut up and let billionaires get on with earning their cash and paying their taxes? Or is Boris being a blathering idiot? Share your thoughts below.

Mayor’s House Fuelled By A Higher Power

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Higher PowerMost of us live in a home powered by gas or electricity. Here at Boriswatch Towers we’re on an electric meter which regularly requires trips to the canteen in order to get a stack of fifty pences to keep our lights and our photocopier working. And, of course, our bills are set to go up by a gazillion percent next month, just like everybody elses.

Boris, though? Oh no. As a well known public figure, he has access to other forms of energy. This week the Mayor has admitted that he leaves the heating of his home to ‘Higher Powers’, which is a source of renewable energy that Ed Miliband should probably look into.

Appearing on his monthly LBC radio show, the Mayor admitted that he has a hotline to a Superior Being that keeps his house warm and puts his toast on the table. Tackled on the topic of the cost of his energy bill by host Nick Ferrari Boris said: “I leave such things to higher powers. I’m sure it’s outrageous but I can’t give it to you, I am happy to give it to you later.”

Well. This raises a number of questions. Not only does Boris source his gas and electricity from a different place than us (we at Boriswatch Towers are with one of the Big Six power companies) but he is as cross as we are about rising prices. Perhaps this godlike figure is paying the same green levies that the government charge to everyone else? Or, perhaps Higher Powers pay a more punitive rate of corporation tax?

The Mayor was then asked when he last switched his energy supplier. He admitted again: “I leave all that key strategic decision to higher powers.”

So, it seems that Higher Powers is not only an energy provider but also a price comparison site. Isn’t there a conflict of interest there? Shouldn’t a high ranking public figure know more about their home fuel arrangements?

And, Boris should be careful getting his heat from Higher Powers. As Deuteronomy 28:22 says: “The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat.” You don’t get THAT from British Gas…

Bozza meets an old China in, er, China

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Boris Osborne ChinaYou know what it’s like. You fly half way around the world on a mission to raise the profile of your city’s links with China and who do you bump in to? Your nearest rival for that promotion you were after.

Typical, eh? On a trade mission to China, the Mayor of London bumped into none other than his old mucker George Osborne. Apparently the two trips have been planned for ages (Bozza’s was in the diary first) although it’s the Mayor, not the Chancellor, that’s been getting most of the attention.

The Guardian reports that ‘Johnson and Osborne joined forces in Beijing on the first full day of a week-long visit to China that is designed to pave the way for a visit by the prime minister, who had to abandon a trip to China earlier this year. China unofficially downgraded its relations with Britain after Cameron met the Dalai Lama in 2012.’

So far it’s been a game of one-upmanship between the pair. For example, after Osborne told university students that his 10-year-old daughter was studying Mandarin, Bozza added: “George mentions his daughter, I have a 16-year-old and she is not only learning Mandarin, George, she’s coming here next week to pursue her studies.”


Bozza then dug deep into his Harry Potter knowledge for a further anecdote proffered the teen wizard as proof of “cultural interpenetration” between China and the UK. “Who, according to JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, was Harry Potter’s first girlfriend? Who is the first person he kisses? That’s right, Cho Chang, who is a Chinese overseas student at Hogwarts school,” he said, to laughs and scattered applause. “Ladies and gents I rest my case.”


When asked who was in charge, the Mayor replied: “We are representing our country. It’s a nest of singing birds is how I would describe it. It’s total harmony, there’s probably some Chinese expression that completely perfectly culminates it.

“”The yin and the yang,” chipped in the Chancellor.


“I thought the chancellor’s speech was logical,” said Zhang Shuo, a first-year international relations student. “The London mayor used humour, a popular touch and personal examples to interact with us.”


“I liked the London mayor better,” added Liu Honglei, another female student. “He has a better sense of humour.”

Game, set and match Johnson, we think.

Boris, One Direction and the Squirrel

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Grey squirrelSince he became London Mayor, Boris has had plenty of ideas. Some of them have come to fruition – the return of the Routemaster bus, the bicycle hire scheme – while others have been, er, less well received (floating airports, for example).

In a new and fascinating interview with the Financial Times, the Mayor has brought to the public’s attention one scheme which we weren’t previously aware: the reintroduction of red squirrels to London.

As you may know, the problem with red squirrels can be summed up in two words: grey squirrels. The wretched grey squirrels came over here from the USA (immigrants, if you will). Bigger and hungrier than their red cousins – and carriers of a disease that’s harmful to the reds but doesn’t affect them – the grey squirrels have gradually taken over to the point where they can’t survive in the same environment. If a grey squirrel gets to the Isle of Wight for example – and it would have to swim the Solent to do so – it won’t last long.

[Thanks for the biology lesson. Can we get back to the point? – Boriswatch Ed]

Boris wants nice red squirrels but London is full of the grey ones. And, the pesky nutmunchers can be mean. Bozza told the FT: “One of the singers in One Direction was attacked by a squirrel in Battersea Park and was actually disabled.” [“London Fan Goes Nuts For Niall”, presumably – Boriswatch Headline Chief]

Whether ‘disabled’ is the right word we’re not sure, but the teen-pop band’s Niall Horan was attacked by a squirrel, as Bozza says, and tore ligaments in his knee. Now the Mayor wants less pop-star bothering animals to live in the Capital.

“One of the few mad ideas that I’ve not been able to put into practice was to reintroduce the red squirrel,” says the Mayor. “I got absolutely obsessed with it for a while but they told me it would basically involve creating a huge aviary patrolled by G4S security people to shoot all the grey squirrels that tried to get in.”

Mass squirrel culling, an enormous aviary and armed security guards in central London. Perhaps it may be better if Boris concentrates on other issues and lets evolution run its course, eh?

Rated 15 for strong language

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Boris annoyedThe Mayor’s Question Time is an opportunity for members of the London Assembly to quiz the mayor about aspects of his policy and governance. Boris is normally pretty adept at fending off awkward questions from the floor…until a recent meeting where it would be fair to say that he lost his rag somewhat.

The Mayor of London is pushing ahead with plans to close 10 fire stations and axe over 500 jobs in London’s fire service. Clearly, this has not gone down well with firefighters, the public (who are concerned about losing fire cover) and several members of the London Assembly.

The meeting started off badly when Bozza was heckled and called a ‘liar’ by firefighters in the public gallery. And, according to the Huffington Post, when one heckler said the number of deaths from fire in London was going up, Boris retorted that this was ‘completely wrong’ before muttering ‘b*ll*cks’ under his breath.

As the cries of outrage continued, he said: “One death from fire is too many; I won’t be shouted at from the gallery, I am not being interrupted … when I am simply explaining the number of deaths from fire has come down.”

Bozza was then quizzed by Assembly member Andrew Dismore about the proposed cuts. “How can cutting fire stations, cutting fire engines, cutting fire fighters posts not be a reduction in fire cover?” Dismore angrily demanded.

A visibly annoyed Boris insisted he was in fact improving services, replaying: “Because we’re improving cover – As I’ve said several times.”

Interrupting the mayor, Dismore said he had “lied to the people of London.” And this is when it all went rather to pot.

“Oh get stuffed,” the Mayor grumpily muttered.

Boris then apologised immediately, saying: “I’m sorry, I apologise to, to, to … It just popped out. I’m very sorry,” seemingly forgetting Dismore’s name.

Swearing under his breath? Telling a fellow politician to ‘get stuffed’? What’s next? An 18-certificate Twitter rant? A part in a Quentin Tarantino movie? Doing a Prescott and getting the fists out…?

Fit For A (Future) King

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What do these things have in common?:

  • A cot blanket embroidered by Spanish nuns
  • A collection of Roald Dahl stories
  • A three year old apple tree
  • A tricycle in the style of a London bike hire cycle

Yes, that’s right. They are all the main prizes in the brand new National Lottery Saturday night show.

[They’re not really. They are the gifts bestowed upon the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby, Prince George, by leading political figures – Boriswatch Ed]

Ed Miliband bought the tree which, according to the Telegraph, ‘currently has apples on it and it was grown at a London orchard project called BEST, or Brent Eleven Streets.’ Nick Clegg bought the embroidered cot blanket and David Cameron invested in the Roald Dahl collection (available for £15.99 online).

Having bought William and Kate a Barclays bike hire themed tandem for their wedding, Boris has now added a tiny Boris-trike to the family collection.

Although, when asked about the gift, the Mayor seemed, er, a little unsure. “I don’t know actually,” he said. “I’m using the present tense because I think it has gone. I’m looking around…I think it has gone. I’m not certain actually. I’m afraid I haven’t personally been out shopping. I imagine it’s a beautiful blue.”

Asked if the tricycle is sponsored by Barclays he said: “It might well be. That was what I was told. Thank goodness. It’s not in my briefing. I wasn’t briefed on baby presents.

“My memory is and I’m glad it has been confirmed we are sending Prince George a beautiful, bouncing blue tricycle to get him on the bike at the earliest possible opportunity and to acculturate him to the joy of cycling.”

The Mayor added: “It will be beautiful whatever it is.”

Later, City Hall revealed a picture of the tricycle in all its glory.

Boris TrikePainted in the same blue colour scheme as the regular bikes, it carries the number 220713 to represent the Prince’s date of birth as well as his name in place of the cycle-hire logo.

A gift fit for a Prince, clearly.

Still The Favourite, But Beware The Gove

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Spectator Magazine's Parliamentarian of the Year AwardsA new poll of Tory members has found that Boris remains the most popular choice to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservative party. But, while the Mayor of London was the clear favourite in May, he’s now being reeled in by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.

A survey of more than 700 grassroots members by the ConservativeHome website found that 21 per cent want Bozza to succeed Mr Cameron. However, 20 per cent now favour Mr Gove, while 16.5 per cent inexplicably want Theresa May, the Home Secretary. 15 per cent would like William Hague, the Foreign Secretary to return as leader of the party while 14 per cent think that hell will freeze over and that they’ll get David Davis, the former shadow Home Secretary.

It’s quite a change from the last poll just three months ago. Then, Bozza was the clear leading choice on 30 per cent with Mr Gove on 7 per cent, Mr Davis and Mr Hague on 16 per cent and Mrs May on 12 per cent.

In a stance reminiscent of Jim Hacker in Yes, Minister (shortly before he became PM) Mr Gove insists he does not want to be prime minister and is not cut out for the job. However, the Independent reports that some Tory MPs believe he does not want to be seen as angling for the leadership and could be persuaded to stand if there were a vacancy.

Still, Boris is the man to beat. And: Michael Gove. Really?

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