In his column today Boris ridicules all those seeking a scapegoat in this natural calamity. He sums up with thoughts on the ascendancy of the power of nature :
There may now be six billion of us crawling over the crust of the Earth, but when things move beneath that crust, we might as well not exist for all the difference we make.
We futilely yearn for someone to blame
We can supply them with fresh water. We can get them sticking plasters and body bags, and we can ring up the helplines and pledge our cash, and so we should.
But, as we contemplate the thousands of dead on the shores of the Indian Ocean, there is one thing the whole planet wants, and that we cannot supply. We all want someone to blame. Deep in our souls, we want to find some human factor in the disaster, in the way that our species has done since – well, since the Flood.
What was the cause of that first great inundation, back there in the Old Testament, the one that Noah rode out? Genesis is clear: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was very great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart…”
Continue reading Tsunami Disaster
~ Wonderful Advent reflection ~
The Economist is feeling apocalyptic
The banning of the C-word
The Spectator Christmas double issue.
Irreverent Private Eye
Continue reading Christmas and New Year 2005
Have you heard of them?…..well…Boris wishes his readers a berry merry Christmas!
We banned a berry – and it took Brussels to stop us being so silly
By Boris Johnson
And while we are on the subject of demented British regulation, and this Government’s lust to interfere in every aspect of our daily lives, let us not forget the breakfast habits of Mr Ron Jones, of Chinnor, in the beautiful county of Oxfordshire, and the insane, costly and ultimately abortive attempts to stop him eating a particular type of berry.
You may not have heard of a saskatoon, and nor, frankly, had I. But Mr Jones is widely travelled, and had come across this odd purple fruit in Canada. He put it in his mouth, as the Indians have done in those parts for thousands of years. He chewed. He was hooked. I hope I don’t misrepresent him if I say that he became this country’s leading saskatoon fanatic, and who can blame him?
Continue reading Saskatoons
Vote went 385 in favour 93 against and many abstentions.
edit: Boris was one of the ones who abstained and I have the impression that he will explain more fully on Thursday.
– Boris column on Thursday am
– Christmas message/opinions/views/contemplations: from M Steyn and political correctness to apocalyptic thoughts in The Economist to Yuletide Fun in Private Eye to Biblical Advent reflections
Boris Johnson hosted the “We Care: who Pays?” campaign launch for Sue Ryder Care on 15th December in the House of Commons. A number of people gave moving testimonies of how helpful Sue Ryder Care had been in looking after their loved ones who had suffered terrible disease. A few people were moved to tears, including the heroic Olympic rower herself.
This charity really does deserve every possible support.
Boris with Olympic rower Sarah Winckless, Phil Dalton and Barry Stuart – both affiliated with care Centres.
Boris Johnson MP this week sponsored the launch of the Sue Ryder Care “We Care: Who Pays?” campaign in Parliament. The campaign is aiming to promote awareness amongst MPs of the true cost of the care provided by Sue Ryder Care. It is believed that in the past four years alone, Sue Ryder Care has effectively subsidised state care by over £50million.
Continue reading Sue Ryder Care Campaign – photo
Office Christmas Lunch before Sue Ryder event.
[photograph from hero in neighbouring office – Bill Wiggin MP]
Amusing detail in this Review in The Sunday Telegraph today:
“Pollard tells the hilarious story of Blunkett and other senior ministers arriving at Buckingham Palace to exchange the seals of office. Prescott walked towards the Queen, nodded, kneeled, recited his oath and walked away forgetting to take the seals of office with him ‘and leaving the Queen holding them vacantly’. Straw mangled his oath. Then he had to lead Blunkett up to the dais. Instead of placing him so that he faced the Queen, he positioned the new Home Secretary at 45 degrees to the monarch, facing a statue of George IV, to which he addressed his oath. The Queen looked at her ministers and said, ‘I hope you run the country better than you’ve managed over the last 15 minutes'”.
Looks like Blunkett’s new book/biography will make interesting reading judging by Boris Johnson’s conclusions in his column this week:
It wasn’t Nannygate: it was telling the truth about Labour
My mobile has been throbbing for the past hour with calls from the nice telly people wanting me to go on and gloat about the extinction of David Blunkett, and for the past hour I have been sitting here trying to work up some enthusiasm.
I wish I could feel more happiness, somehow, in this news. I am a Tory MP. I am supposed to rejoice. There he is, one of Blair’s key lieutenants, banjaxed by events. I should be capering around the room and pant-hooting like a gibbon, and yet I can’t help wondering whether I am alone in feeling melancholy at the ruin of Blunkett.
Whatever you think of his conduct of the Home Office – and I am not a fan – it is astonishing that a blind man could begin to manage a job like that. Whatever you think of his prosecution of his own militia amoris – and, again, I have my views – he is plainly, like Othello, a man who loved not wisely, but too well, and one whose eyes, albeit unused to the melting mood, could be seen on Channel 4 News last night dropping tears as fast as the Arabian trees their medicinal gum.
He is deserving of, and will receive, a great deal of sympathy over the next few days. But since this column is also famously a place of ruthless analysis, I will overcome my gloom, and tell you exactly why David Blunkett left office last night, and it certainly wasn’t for the reason officially given out.
Continue reading Blunkett Resignation rules the airwaves
In his interview with Lord Butler, Boris Johnson uncovers startling views of top mandarins about the extent of the disillusionment within the higher ranks of the Civil Service with the current style of Government.
Lord Butler of Brockwell was Tony Blair’s first Cabinet Secretary and headed last year’s inquiry into the failures of intelligence before the Iraq war. He clearly wanted to unburden himself about the way Labour governs the country and Parliament’s “shameful” inability to control the executive. He was critical of the growing influence of political appointees in Whitehall and frank about their penchant for “getting the best headlines tomorrow”. He believes that Mr Blair is too concerned with “selling, central control and headlines”.
Full interview here.
Daily Telegraph comment click here.
These are dark days, my friends, and it would be quite wrong for any of us to cycle around London without lights. Which is why it is all the more depressing that in Blair’s Britain they steal your bike lights within five minutes, and you are lucky if they don’t steal the saddle and the wheels as well.
So for the last two years I have used something called a Danlite, a magical device that fits in the side of your handlebars, winking white to the front and red to the rear.
And when you park your bike, you simply unscrew the Danlite (it is about the size of a large walnut) and put it in your pocket.
Continue reading Safe Cycling and the Road Safety Bill