Insightful editorial in this week's Spectator How to breed poodles Conservative MPs and candidates have spent the last four years campaigning against two connected evils of the Labour style of government. In innumerable speeches and press releases, they have stood up for local and national democracy, and against the tendency of the government to centralise power and to hand it over to quangocrats, bureaucrats and officials in Brussels. They have also launched countless philippics against Labour's love of the target and the quota, and all manner of diktat from Whitehall. Continue reading New Conservative Leadership
Boris Johnson MP today lambasted Charles Clarke's decision to press ahead with the extradition of the so-called Bermingham or NatWest three to the US, under the terms of the Extradition Treaty 2003, an infamy. Continue reading Extradition of NatWest Three to the United States
I won't pay to be abused by the BBC I want to save myself the price of a stamp or a phone call today by writing an open letter to Mr Richard Goodbody, the regional manager of the Swindon enforcement division of the TV Licensing Authority. I have no reason to doubt that Mr Goodbody is a perfectly pleasant man in private life, but in his public capacity he is, in my view, a blithering nincompoop; and if my language is intemperate it is because Goodbody has just sent me one of the rudest and stupidest letters I have ever received. Continue reading TV Licensing
Morning folks. Boris Johnson, your absconding blogger, reporting for duty. A FEW RANDOM THOUGHTS We went out to the cinema the other night, and all we could see was something called the Interpreter, which imagined an assassination attempt on a Robert Mugabe figure at the UN. It was interesting to see how Hollywood coped with this theme, and how director Sydney Pollack tiptoed towards reality but funked it in the end. We were told that the old dictator had once been a revolutionary hero, feted in the west. We were shown the degradation of his regime, the corpses in the football stadium. We were told that Nicole Kidman's family had been killed by a landmine, and we were given the tiniest of hints that it had been tough to be a white inhabitant of this troubled country "in Africa's south-central belt". But on the main point - the heart of the modern Zimbabwean tragedy - the film was eloquently silent. Sydney Pollack did not have the nerve to address the wholesale theft of white farmers' land by Zanu-PF thugs. Why? Because the vicious Mugabe land-grab is supported by most of black Africa; and even if America makes ritual denunciations of Mugabe, it just would not have been possible - or compatible with Hollywood's PC values - for Pollack to make a film upholding the right of white colonial settlers to their land. I'm not saying the film was all bad: it was good to see a thriller about African politics. But it was a cop-out. Continue reading Good Morning
The no campaign is ahead in the polls in France, which votes on 29 May.
The European constitution means more irresistible and pernicious regulation, with more majority voting envisaged on questions of technology, education, social affairs ... The French are being scarified by unscrupulous politicians with tales of a Tebbit-like constitution, full of free-market on-your-bikeryOn the reason to vote no:
the last thing the French (or anyone) need is more detailed prescriptions from Brussels about the labour market or anything elseContinue reading DT column – French vote on new European Constitution
ON election night itself it was a privilege to watch Steve Lake, the returning officer, at work. Just before announcing the result, he called all the candidates to examine the dodgy ballot papers, of which there seemed to be an unusually high number. One voter had used his ballot paper to express an unprintable view of all politicians. Another had drawn a series of enigmatic flowers. About 40 UKIP voters had also voted Conservative (which tells you something), so spoiling their ballots. One man had voted UKIP, and then crossed it out and voted for me, initialling his decision as if correcting a cheque. Steve Lake said that this rendered the vote invalid, since he was potentially identifiable. But the best ballot paper had a series of smiley faces in each box. I was about to claim it as a Tory vote, since ours was plainly the smiliest face. But then I thought that might look like gamesmanship. Continue reading Election Night Special – comments from Boris
life isn't like coursework ... It's one essay crisis after anotherExams work because they're scary Well I don't know about you but I like Prince Harry's aboriginal crocodiles. Speaking with the authority of a former shadow minister for the arts, I would say that they are jolly colourful. And, um, bold. And who cares if - as is now suggested - he did not paint every detail of the little Abo critters himself? Harry, old chum, we have all been there. Continue reading Prince Harry’s Art
*Alert - watch Question Time on Thursday 12th May at 10.35pm on BBC1*
STRONG WIN FOR BORIS Majority: 12,793 (last election 8,458)
As in the DT column today Boris was seen to be going begging recently .....
I threw off my bedclothes and charged out into the rain to continue knocking on doors and accosting strangers in the hope of persuading them to vote ConservativeLabour has run out of hope, money and ideas Look. Please. I know it is always undignified when a grown man begs, but I woke up recently and had a horrifying thought. I seemed to see Tony in power for another four years. There he was, once again on the steps of Downing Street, with Cherie draped all over him like a flannel, and then the camera zoomed in for the tight head shot, and the look of holy rapture on Blair's face started subtly to mutate, and omigosh, I thought, it's coming, here it comes, here it comes... And aaargh, I thought. This is it. The lips drew back; the corners of the mouth went up, and there it all suddenly was, that gigawatt dentistry, grinning a smile of luminous and incandescent prime ministerial triumph, like a cross between the Joker in Batman and a sex-crazed chipmunk. And with a howl of horror I threw off my bedclothes and charged out into the rain to continue knocking on doors and accosting strangers in the hope of persuading them to vote Conservative, and I hope you will not think it amiss, dear reader, if I now ask you, at this eleventh hour, to consider doing the same. Continue reading Vote Tory for freedom, democracy and taxpayer value