Goodbye to Blair

Blair has nothing more to say to us: he should go at once

Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. You have only to read the latest memo from Downing Street to see that something in the bunker has finally snapped. Maybe they are putting Orozac in the water cooler. Maybe they’ve disconnected the television. Maybe they have special dummy editions of the papers, produced by Alastair Campbell’s gnomes in the dungeons and then brought up on silver salvers to where Tony and Cherie recline on their couches and dangle grapes into their crazy mouths.

Here we are, with British soldiers being killed almost daily in Iraq and Afghanistan on missions that are growing in scale and horror. We have rises in gun crime, rises in unemployment, rises in interest rates — and these flaming lunatics in Downing Street seriously expect the nation to line the streets with bunting and shower Tony with confetti as he goes on a six-month lap of honour, a “farewell tour” in which he accepts the praises of a smiling people.


Rather than sorting out Iraq, it is proposed that he should “reconnect” with his public and spend his glorious swansong on shows such as Blue Peter and Songs of Praise. We must rebuild public affection for the grand finale, say the Downing Street maniacs, thought to be Lord Gould, Jonathan Powell and Benjamin Wegg-Prosser. “He needs to go with the crowds wanting more. He should be the star who won’t even play that last encore.”

I don’t know which of the three wrote that last sentence, but he must be clinically insane. Do they seriously imagine that, after nine years of irritation, culminating in the Iraq war, they can persuade the British public to give way to a fever of Blair-o-mania, with women throwing their knickers at his departing beam and men sobbing and begging him to play that “last encore”?

How monstrous, how sickening, that they should target poor old Songs of Praise, watched by millions of lusty religious warblers in a state of apolitical innocence. They want to sing hymns. They don’t want Tony Blair popping out from behind a pew and using the programme to reinsert himself in public esteem. They want to Praise the Lord, not the blasted Prime Minister.

And yet the really terrifying thing is that Blair seems to share the assumptions behind the Downing Street memo. He wants to go out with that sensation of triumph. He wants the laurels on his brow, and the captive tribesmen manacled before his chariot, and the matrons ululating his name from the rooftops.

In his indifference to reality, he is chilling, Neronian. This is no longer about the interests of the country. It is not even about the Labour Party. It is all about him, his desire to prosecute his long-running feud with Gordon Brown, and his vainglorious desire to be well remembered — to have a “legacy”.

Well, it is not a good enough reason to remain in office. The point of being prime minister is to serve the interests of the country, not himself. It is obvious that Blair intends to spend his last year simply luxuriating in power, while all 3,000-odd government spin Γ©doctors (or as many as remain loyal) squander untold millions burnishing his image.

It is a disgraceful project, and it must be prevented. I say this with no selfish, strategic or party objective. In fact, from the Tory point of view, it would be ideal if he stayed on and on and on. Blair has the distinction of bringing civil war not just to Iraq, but also to the Labour Party. It is quite stupefying that SiΓ΄n Simon MP — the man we all assumed would be Ney to Blair’s Napoleon — should revolt in this way. How many ministers and understrappers resigned yesterday, because their Prime Minister would not resign immediately himself? Was it six or seven? For 10 years, we in the Tory party have became used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing; and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party.

There is a case for hoping that Blair hangs on, and that the violence intensifies, and that, when Brown finally takes over, the damage is irreparable and the earth sown with salt. Let them spend another six months in strife, and then the whole party will be riddled with resentments of Bosnian durability.

Yet even as I make this case, I feel a sense of weariness. Whatever the narrow calculations of party-political interest, they are outweighed by my overwhelming feeling that Blair has had his chips. If we are going to have Gordon Brown or Alan Johnson in six months or a year, why can’t we have them now? Let’s see what they have to say, and get stuck into them. What’s the point of a Blair Queen’s Speech in November, when we know that none of its promises will be enacted by Blair?

It was absolutely fatal for Downing Street to concede this week that he would definitely be gone by next May 31, because that means there is no reason why he should not go by February; and, if he might go by February, there is no reason why he should not go now.

Except one, as we discover. He wants his “farewell tour”, complete with cheering crowds at “iconic buildings”. We should not waste a penny of taxpayers’ money in supporting this fantasy. He should scrap his trip to the Middle East, not least since Brown (or Johnson) may take a very different line next year. The venture has no function beyond show-boating and self-puffery.

Blair has failed in his great ambition to take Britain into the euro; he has failed to reform the welfare state. He has done some good things and he has some excellent qualities. But he has nothing more to say to the British public except that he wants to give them another six months to show that they really love him and will really miss him.

That is no basis on which to claim the tenancy of Downing Street. If he wishes to avoid an assassination, he should stay not upon the order of his going, but go at once.

248 thoughts on “Goodbye to Blair”

  1. Well said. I had thoughts that it could be better for the Conservatives for Blair to stay, but the country does need to be governed by someone. Tony has become such a buffoon that we need a new New Labour leader (and PM). No-one could do any worse than the empty headed actor we have just now.
    S.H-C

  2. Is this the first time we have had a lame duck premier ? surely if he had done a Harold Wilson or Michael Howard he could go around basking in the warm glow of his acolytes, but I think the risk is that these guys will disappear to fawn elsewhere. Well written Boris, nice classical allusions

  3. Well said Boris. And I like your new posters too. And you’re ever so handsome.

    Is praising you enough to warrant getting a signed book? I would so love one….

  4. They are going to have to drag him out kicking and screaming and crow bar him off the door knocker.

    I volunteer to help.

    The thing is then what?
    Brown.
    Oh goody.

  5. Congratualations Boris. Even I, who would much prefer my child to turn out a paedophile serial-killer than a member of the Tory party. think you’re spot on.

  6. Boris. 8 out of 10 for style, 1 out of 10 for substance. You have nothing to say, but do it quite well. Whereas this is a great asset in your career as blogger, as a politician it simply places you in the middle of the steaming pile of rudderless, idealless and useless tossers who populate the palaces of Westminster.
    Blair, Brown, Cameron, Rod Hull and Emu, it’s all the same to me.
    For your prep today, see if you can name any clear distinction between the major parties. This should not include theoretical rhetoric, but should focus on substancial differences in policy that will make a difference.

  7. Jaq, that quote “a decision that of course turned out to be the greatest disaster in the history of modern British politics” has set me thinking (although it was made in a different context, and by someone pretending to be Peter Hitchens).

    I believe time will show that New Labour IS the greatest disaster to befall modern British politics.

    Governments have always changed things; nowt wrong with that. But NuLab is different – the damage it has wreaked on our country is all but irreversible. It has altered our national character permanently and left us with an overcrowded, divided island in the grip of intrusive rules and regulations that would take many years to unpick – if, indeed, anyone had the bottle to do so. Only the bravest would challenge human rights / health & safety “truths” or call for the restoration of foxhunting, for instance. Some laws and practices, when changed, cannot be un-changed because the act of doing so is seen as an attack on those who may have benefitted from them – regardless of the damage they do in other ways. While it crows about being a “visionary” party, Labour’s crystal ball is smothered in dirt.

    The civil service has become politicised with a generation of staff who know no other way of working. Town halls, for all their posturing about “service”, have become mini-Kremlins bulging with right-on people with degrees from the University of Nowhere telling us how to conduct our lifes. A tweak of working practices can never be enough; this deep-rooted culture will be impossible to shift, certainly not without throwing many thousands of strategisers, networkers and empire-builders onto the streets. Their way of doing things has become institutionalised, leaving the essential tasks of teaching children, healing the sick, mending roads and emptying the dustbins as little more than a side issue.

    Even some of Maggie’s radical reforms – weaking trade union power, council house selloffs – could be, and have been, undone over time. But to repair the mess left by Blair would involve cleansing on a scale many would consider beyond the pale.

    Yes, he will go down in history as the man who destroyed Britain as we knew it. I hope he sleeps easy in his retirement.

  8. Blair, Brown, Cameron. What is the difference. They all sing from the same hymn sheet nowadays. However one thing I do know. After 18 years of breaking the backs of the everyday person in this country, in order to satisfy the rich and the few, I never, ever want to see a Tory Government of Thatcherism ever, ever again.

  9. Nice one Boris, a good polemic against political vanity and wasting tax payers money.
    I’m not a natural Tory ( mother lib councilor, farther trade unionist ), so the question
    I ask is what have your as a party got to offer ? I can’t help thinking that the old adage
    ” opposition parties don’t win elections, governments lose them ” has never rung more
    True.
    Its not that I dislike Blair and his Scottish Mafia, like most people in this green and
    Pleasant land, I don’t care. What I dislike is the enblandishment (new word ?) of
    Politics. As a nation we need more Boris’s, Ann widdecombe’s, more people with
    An independent mind ( regardless of political hue ). The big agenda for Neu-Labour has
    For my money been to make politics a turn-off for 99% of the population. There has
    Been a blurring ( Blairing ?) of the boundaries between Party interest, national interest
    And government machinations.
    The old anachist adage ” whoever you vote for, government wins ” has become a
    Depressing fact. PLEASE, Boris, you have the public ear, make a difference.

    As for Andrew Withers comments ” Is this the first time we have had a lame duck premier ?”
    The short answer is no, we had to suffer John Major, or does he view recent history through
    Blue tinted specs ?

  10. PaulD

    Yes, he will go down in history as the man who destroyed Britain as we knew it.

    Amen to that brother.

    (and there was no pretending about it)

  11. PaulD said ” this deep-rooted culture will be impossible to shift, certainly not
    Without throwing many thousands of strategisers, networkers and empire-builders
    onto the streets.” Your say that as if that would be a bad thing : )

    We reap what we sow. This culture has been allowed to develop over the last
    25 years or more. The cult of the middle manager. They bring nothing to the table,
    And like parasites they leach the soul and imagination out of any organization, public
    Or private sector.

    PaulD also said ” he ( Blair) will go down in history as the man who destroyed
    Britain as we knew it “. its un-fair to blame one man -however annoying he is –
    It’s the faceless autocrats, The PC brigade, and our collective apathy that has
    flushed our nation and heritage down the shitter. That a turd like his Tonyness
    has risen to lead us to the edge of the abyss says more about us than it does
    about him.

  12. A story from the local elections is that Blair visited part of my (now ex) borough at the behest of the local Labour party (whose campaign manager was the sone of some minister or something).
    They went round beforehand trying to get people to take down oposition election posters so as not to offend Blair.

    If that is typical of the way things are managed then it is no surprise that he thinks he’s more popular than he is.

    Of course, the main thing is that his delusion is greater than even Thatcher’s, he is so convinced of his own rightness and infallibility that he does not even see the problems.
    Or perhaps he does see them, but blames them on others and tries to paper over the cracks with new initiatives.

  13. That a turd like his Tonyness has risen to lead us to the edge of the abyss says more about us than it does about him.

    bloody ex-socialists – so annoying when they make a good point. I blame Grange Hill and convenience food.

  14. “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. ”

    Well if contemporary Britain is anything to go by they also make them fat.

    With all respect to Boris’s classical education is he talking about Blair or the British electoprats(*) for voting him in in the first place?

    Let’s be honest here, the guy (Blair) is a colossal fraud. During his second term of office I really thought he was a Tory plot to prevent Labour from ever being elected again. Inexplicable Conservative leaders like the Duncan-Smith twins and Howard only confirmed these suspicions and WHY ON EARTH you voted that imbecile Cameron in over a solid and sensible bloke like David Davis completely escapes me.

    It’s interesting that Boris uses the term “Neronian”; Anyone who has read Robert Graves’ book ‘Claudius the God’ may recall that Emperor Claudius’s plot was to get his adopted son Nero on the ‘throne’ because he was a complete nutter. His hope was that Roman citizens would end up so sick of being ruled by card carrying psychos they would chuck the whole imperialist thing out and re-institute the republic.

    Did they? Did they arse!

  15. Emperor Claudius’s plot was to get his adopted son Nero on the ‘throne’ because he was a complete nutter

    Is that the same as the Peter principle?

    The only ex-trot I know of did get arrested now you come to mention it. Spookily though the detail of the offence escaped me.

  16. “It is all about him, his desire …to have a “legacy”. Well, it is not a good enough reason to remain in office. The point of being prime minister is to serve the interests of the country, not himself”

    Dead on Boris. Normally that would sound like a politician’s cliche but Blair’s problem is that he never really had things he wanted to do – it was always about him being a star.

  17. Well he got what he wanted, he’s famous – bit like The Monkeys Paw though, I don’t think he’s famous in quite the way he hoped.

    Bliar – may you continue to live in ‘interesting times’.

  18. Old gags dusted down by Jaq & Scoplin , is that he best you could do : )

    You both touch on a serious point. Television and bad diet. Reared on a
    Diet of garbage, both literally and metaphorically, its small wonder that
    The public would fall for someone who is both photogenic ( by Politian’s
    Standards ) and dynamic. His sound bites and Spin, his fake sincerity,
    All easily digestible. I hate to rain on your parade, but Blair’s victory tour
    Will be lapped up by a subservient media and feed to the brainwashed
    Public. Keep watching the Soaps, Keep following the footie, don’t dwell
    On the weighty issues ‘cos they make your head hurt. Sad but true.
    It’s no coincidence that many of my left-wing ex-friends are in the media.
    ” he who controls the medium, controls the message ” It only happened
    Courtesy of the BBC. If you think I’m talking Bollocks, think on this :
    When was the last time you heard or saw a favorable story / item about
    A Tory, or Tory policy ? You may have to go and have a lie down, it could
    Make your head hurt …

  19. This culture has been allowed to develop over the last 25 years or more. The cult of the middle manager. They bring nothing to the table, and like parasites they leach the soul and imagination out of any organization.

    Never a truer word from Ex-socialist.

    Let me tell you about a housing confererence I (reluctantly) attended last year. The speaker was some junior minister whose name I quickly forgot. The perfect Blairbabe, all power suits, flat vowels and pirhana smile. I call her “speaker”. She didn’t talk, she positively rattled – a solid half hour of impenetrable, unmodulated management babble from which I learnt absolutely nothing.

    The best bit was the “signer”. A bloke doing sign language was parked alongside Ms Junior Minister (although I couldn’t see anyone who actually needed him). The poor chap seemed to find it increasingly hard to keep up as the words got longer, the torrent grew faster, the meaning more obscure and the nu-speak more abstract, until he could take no more. His hands thrashing like a shuttle on a weaving loom, he finally threw his arms in the air, gave a shrug and sat down. It was pissingly funny, although few of the earnest-faced conference junkies would have seen it that way. In fact I overheard two of them afterwards solemnly agreeing what an “impressive” speaker she was. No, sorry. She was a on-message drone without an original thought or word in her head whose only talent was to make the others feel comfortable in the knowledge that they were part of the same club. I remember thinking how the world would be a better place if everyone like her got off their fat arses and went out to run a youth club, sweep the streets… something of practical use… anything other than leeching off me to support her pampered, pointless life. And there are thousands upon thousands of them.

    Gosh, nearly got carried away there.

    As for Tone, I agree it’s hard to work up a big hate for the man himself because he’s probably a nice enough dude. He may genuinely think he’s doing good. What I cannot forgive him for is presiding over the destruction of Great Britain as we knew and loved it, along with all the other disastrous products of his reign. The emergence of a large underclass of welfare-dependent people who, in turn, spawn welfare-dependent kids – another of those “near irreversibles”. If not directly responsible for them, he has encouraged the moron culture, the wheelclamp economy, the erosion of family and marriage, the dangerous division of immigrant and indigenous communities… all extremely hard to turn around. Maybe it would have happened anyway – but demonstrably his methods did nothing to halt it.

    Goodbye and good riddance. My biggest fear is that nothing will change.

  20. “demonstrably his methods” actively encouraged it.

    But who would you cite as the biggest destructor: Roy Jenkins or Tony Bliar?

    And anonymous ex_socialist – “You may have to go and have a lie down, it could Make your head hurt …”
    Cheek!! We’ll have none of that nonsense here thankyou, if I lie down I involve my head only to think of England, our dear, sweet, ravaged country. I know just how she feels.

  21. I feel a sense of weariness. (Boris)

    Oh God, me too. I’ve been feeling it for the last 3 years, each time I reach for the mute button when Blair once again showboating on the box. I’ve been wondering for years how long we will have to endure this conceited man as Prime Minister, a Prime Minister who lied his country into two disastrous wars. He should have gone years ago.

    But I listened to him today, as he muttered platitudes outside a school, and realized that one of the reasons I hate to even hear his voice is because he never has anything to say. He’s now told us he will be gone in a year, but I don’t believe him. All he said today is that he’s not going for another year. And he is hoping that in that interval somethng will happen to restore his tarnished credibility. I think he’s really hoping that if (or rather when) Bush attacks Iran, and the Tommies on its border go charging in, he will promptly be recognized as a new Churchill, and a Great Leader for World War III (or is it IV?) against Islamofascist mullahs bent on restoring the Caliphate in Norway, just like there used to be one.

    He looks more and more like Nicolae Ceausescu, standing on top of a bit of wedding cake architecture, waving at a crowd that are booing him, and who are going to shoot him in a few days time.

  22. Weary is the word, my friends. I can’t bear the thought of more years of Labour, nor the knowledge that it will take another decade, at least, to get this nation of ours back to something resembling a proud country. So many of our ilk have taken their money and run, exiled to the far-flung shores of Spain and France, and I can’t say that I blame them. If Labour ‘wins’ a fourth term, I shall be joining them.

  23. But who would you cite as the biggest destructor: Roy Jenkins or Tony Bliar? [Jaq]

    Yes, Jenkins was responsible for some radical (and some would say morally destructive) reforms, including relaxation of censorship and divorce laws and decriminalisation of homosexuality. He was also a Euro fanatic. But the changes he championed would probably have happened anyway; his views were a reflection of the times and at least Woy was reasonably transparent. Heath dragged us into the EEC but even that can be undone.

    Blair’s reign has been marked by infinitely more sinister developments. In less than ten years he has allowed the very nature of our country to change for the worse. He has presided over the near-destruction of our national character. He has stripped us of virtues which made people the world over look to Great Britain as a model of democracy, stability and fair play. All this through highly devious methods, misguided motives and sheer neglect of the fundamentals.

    Importantly – and I cannot say this loudly enough – it has been done without the consent of the majority. Democracy has failed us.

    The one thing you can say for Blair is that he’s an extremely clever guy to have outwitted democracy itself.

  24. Same old record, different chorus,

    I’m blogging from a backpackers hostel in Bloomsbury tonight – seeing someone about a possible job tomorrow.

    Andy,

    Some of us don’t really have the choice of running away (unless, of course, I bugger off to Tenerife and flog bogus holiday club membership to you bunch of morons..haha).
    No, I think we should stay and vote the **gg*** out!

    I hate to think what Brown will do to the country, I really do…..

  25. Whom the God’s wish to destroy they first make mad

    excellent article, Boris. I totally agree with you, Blair’s barking – and dangerous with it. He must go very soon, not least because he’s latching onto vile, Nazi eugenics myths now in an attempt to take the heat off himself and his war mongering. The sick wretch will clearly use and abuse almost any obnoxious initiative to buy his wretched ego a few more months or years at the trough of corruption and abuse of power. That’s if he’s able to pull himself together sufficiently for that.

    Another great man – as his Party and many others painted him in his glory days – bites the dust in an orgy of self destruction.

    I wonder if we should perhaps expect a high proportion of lunacy among those mere mortals – often people with a tendency towards obsessive-compulsive disorders – on whom we as a society lay the albatross like mantle of greatness?

    Boris’s article made me remember something Joan Plowright, widow of Sir Lawrence Olivier, said about Sir Larry.

    ‘If a man is touched by genius he is not an ordinary person. He does not lead an ordinary life. He has extremes of behaviour which you understand and you just find a way not to be swept overboard by his demons.’

    ‘Such men are also normally attended by demons. And he would fight to overcome those demons. Sometimes he would and sometimes he wouldn’t.’

    Sir Larry was a very fine actor, however, was he really a genius and a great man? Or was he over indulged in this by his public? Were Sir Larry’s demon’s perhaps exacerbated by the huge expectations his public had of him? An actor, and maybe a politician too, has to be everyman and no man in a sense, so many things to and for so many people. It’s not hard to imagine how a slightly fragmented personality could unravel to the point of disntegration under such pressure. That is what seems to have happened to Blair. A breakdown. He couldn’t even string together a coherent sentence together today, could he? Only when he fell back into his well rehearsed ‘greatness’ mantra was he able to get a few words out.

    We humans so love to transform ordinary mortals into heroes or celebrities, because they can then offer us an escape from reality. In the case of politicians, they even offer an escape from responsiblity – from the many decisions affecting our lives. Yet we too often invest far too much responsiblity in our heroes – and in doing so we risk turning them into monsters.

    If there was ever an argument for taking more personal responsiblity for our lives and ensuring our politicians are fully accountable to us, it’s the monster we’ve allowed this Prime Minister to become, standing outside that school today, babbling like an incoherent child, the PM who screamed edicts at us just days ago.

  26. Guido points out on his blog that Blair has said he will stand down as Party leader but has said nothing about standing down as Prime Minister. If Blair stood down as Labour Leader but not as Prime Minister, Guido says, Blair could keep say he was keeping his promise to stand down and to serve a full term, even going for a fourth term. God, it’s unthinkable.

  27. Boris is getting a lot of credit for a line that Euripides actually wrote, but that’s okay; Euripides is out of copyright.

    Good writers borrow, great writers steal.

    Which I stole.

    I had planned to post a line from Gore Vidal, re: Blair, but I did a quick Google and found that the #1 entry for that line is, in fact, this very blog, over on this entry.

    You have to scroll down though. To my theft of the line.

    Gore Vidal once wrote about a government official who had “left the post via defenestration, a method of resignation that should be much more common than it is.”

    Does that sound like a better exit strategy?

  28. Gore Vidal once wrote about a government official who had “left the post via defenestration, a method of resignation that should be much more common than it is.”

    Does that sound like a better exit strategy?

    Only in the event that Tesco’s is out of disembowelling swords and iron maidens.

    Being torn apart by wild horses sounds like a good wheeze if it works and I can’t think of a better candidate than Blair to try it out on.

  29. Vicus

    Great challenge!

    Will we be going the Blair way and adopting his clothes or are we going along a new invigorated path …..

    I like to think the latter

  30. Apparently Blair just bought a suit for 2000 quid, are these the clothes you’re after? I wouldn’t have thought Boris would get into anything of Tone’s, amazing.

    There’s an Oxfam near where I live but I suppose Blair’s got some better gear than them.

    Is an invigorating path a sort of yuppie treadmill?

  31. —-“So many of our ilk have taken their money and run, exiled to the far-flung shores of Spain and France, and I can’t say that I blame them. If Labour ‘wins’ a fourth term, I shall be joining them.”—–

    So, in response to New Labour excesses you’d go off to live in two of the most socialist countries in Europe.

    Still, no worse than the girl I knew who went to live in Sri Lanka, ostensibly because there were too many “pakis” in Bradford.

  32. Hi Anon Ex socialist- thanks for for comment on lame duck premiers- The above is my real name, I have not yet been cowed by the Stalinist tendancy to write ‘anon’, remember who said first they came for the socialists, and I did nothing etc etc. The analogy I was making was on the influence on public policy- John Major was incompetant and promoted way over his capabilities- but he had the balls to come out with his put up or shut speech in the Rose Garden, and by the way I am not a Tory, never voted Tory and probably never will- but I do like people like Boris, Benn and Skinner who are characters- and have the balls to put the name to their views, not skulking in corners. Come on Anon live dangerously put your name to your writing and views !

  33. Do you know what happens to people who admit to being ex-socialists?

    They don’t become fervent right-wing holier-than-thou anal retentives do they?

  34. Well done, Boris. Thank god there’s someone who tells it like it is left in this poor, benighted country. I agree with everything you say, and believe you are truly the spokesman for a New Britain, a Britain without wholesale immigration – every street corner here has a foreigner on it and you never hear the English language spoken. You are the spokesman for a New Britain where the lameduck health service is sold off, the universities make those layabout students work – and pay – for their privileges; for a Northern Ireland that is British and Protestant and proud of it. A Britain we can be proud of once again. Boris, you have my vote and my respect; I pray to God that you become our leader, and I will acclaim your triumph.

  35. He has presided over the near-destruction of our national character. (PaulD)

    Much as I would like to pin this on Blair, I find it difficult to do so.

    Our national character would seem to be the sum or average of our individual British characters. And I can’t say that I have noted any particular change in the character of the people I know, nor indeed in my own character, during the Blair regime. That is to say that most of the people I know are not compulsive liars who speak in soundbites.

    I suppose that national character must change slowly over time, but I doubt that any Prime Minister has very much effect. Indeed the public revulsion at Blair (whose popularity is now at 23%, I read somewhere) surely signifies a deep rejection of what Blair stands for, which is essentially spin over substance, perception over reality. Blair ended up believing his own spin, and in that manner entered a delusional world.

    I have thought for years that the following quote says much of this kind of delusional thinking:

      “In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend – but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

      “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'” (Ron Suskind)

    Blair bought into this upsidedown idea that reality could be created, rather than studied. It is essentially magical thinking. And the consequent wreckage can be now be seen (and studied) everywhere.

    What is badly needed in the governments of Britain and America is a return to an old-fashioned common sense or pragmatism which neither the British nor American people have themselves lost.

  36. So, in response to New Labour excesses you’d go off to live in two of the most socialist countries in Europe.

    A clever answer, Mr Jones. Too clever by half.

    It has little to do with the political hue of governments in France and Spain. These countries are attractive simply because they haven’t been Blaired. They are still true to themselves; traditional values are in place and their national identities reasonably intact.

    And next year you’ll be allowed to smoke in at least some bars in France and designated rooms in Spain. The famous British compromise is now only to be found elsewhere, thanks to the arrogance of New Labour.

  37. Shame on you, Idlex. Didn’t you know “common sense” is an offensive, divisive expression? It discriminates against those who do not conform to mainstream opinion, implying they are stupid. Please be more careful with your language in future.

    He has presided over the near-destruction of our national character. (PaulD)
    Much as I would like to pin this on Blair, I find it difficult to do so . (Idlex)

    I thought hard after writing that line but decided to stick with it. There are pockets of UK, ever increasing in size and number, where our national character has not only been “nearly destroyed” but wiped out altogether. When Rudolf Hearst above (a wind-up merchant?) says “every street corner here has a foreigner on it and you never hear the English language spoken” he is uncomfortably close to the truth. I fail to see how any national character can remain intact with everyone speaking a different primary language.

    The Eastern European influx has been a good thing in one respect; it proves that the immigration debate was never really about colour but about numbers. Dilution of the national character is partly down to the sheer number of “Γ©trangers”. Another very NuLab phenomenon is also to blame – the emergence of a selfish, moronic, welfare-dependent underbelly, embodied in the Chav culture, whose influence on the next generation is frighteningly real.

    Your acquaintances have not changed, Idlex. I’m talking about the emerging generation, many of whom are in the grips of the chav/gangsta culture sweeping schools and colleges. It has close parallels with Blairism; what is trash fashion, swagger and bling if not another form of spin over substance? What is texting – the only form of written communication some of them know – if not a soundbite? As for compulsive lying, the kid who’s led by an education system to believe he is brilliant at everything, when he’s not, is sadly suffering from gross delusion.

    Yes, near-destruction of our national character was perhaps an overstatement. Just give it time to feed through…

  38. Boris? Beautiful Apologies

    Boris Johnson has such a wonderful way with words, his apologies are so well crafted that sometimes I wish he’d insult more cities and countries?.

  39. Boris, if you would like me to cover your journalistic duties while you are away apologising in the far east, just let me know. Usual rates apply. I would offer to cover your political duties as well, but regret I am not quite silly enough to pass for a Tory MP.
    Next time, say something disparaging about north east Hampshire – Jane Austen being a tart for example – then you can call in for a cup of tea and a snack while you are on your apology tour. Provided, of course, that you bring Melissa along.

  40. Still, no worse than the girl I knew who went to live in Sri Lanka, ostensibly because there were too many “pakis” in Bradford. (Stephen Jones)

    I met someone who was buying a house in Spain. “Too many pakis here,” he added, apropos of nothing.

    “And how do you think the Spanish might feel about all these Brits descending on their country?” I enquired.

    The idea seemed not to have occurred to him, as if the British must be automatically welcome everywhere. But after a while he said, “Well, there are only about 2 million of us in Spain.”

    The Brits in Spain tend (as ever) to form communities which preserve the English language and English traditions, much like, well, Muslims in Britain. If welcome at present, it is not hard to imagine a time when they may not be.

    How would we feel if an armada of 3 million Spaniards arrived in Britain, lived in Spanish-speaking communities, and organised bullfights on village greens?

  41. Good Grief!

    I’ve just seen the thing on the Beeb about Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner in London having a severe sense of humour failure over the: “For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party” comment.

    Has the world gone mad?

    Well OK, don’t answer that, move on.

    Completely ridiculous.

    Plus they wouldn’t have a prayer in a libel case.

    I was at a party a few years ago swapping “corpses I have dug up in the line of duty” stories, like you do, (Feature film Art Department small talk, I could only contribute a partially rotted maggot ridden sheep) with a much respected Production Designer who won hands down by admitting she had inadvertently found herself digging up a cannibal pit on a beach during the filming of “Longitude”.

    So really. If they are so desperately affronted they can retaliate with witch burning allusions or something.
    Just ridiculous.

  42. Voltan too intends to cause madness those he seeks to usurp. Such is the god-like cunning employed by Voltan in pursuit of world domination.

    Your first sentence pleases Voltan. The rest is so much piffle. (Voltan believes you are au fait with the concept of piffle.) You would do better to let Blair’s power-crazed nature speak for itself. Rhetoric such as you display here serves only to over-egg the pudding and may cause indigestion in the reader.

    In any case, it is of little importance. Soon he shall be annihilated and his fiefdom brought under the iron rule of Voltan!

  43. How would we feel if an armada of 3 million Spaniards arrived in Britain, lived in Spanish-speaking communities, and organised bullfights on village greens? [Idlex]

    The worst the Brits (retired ex-pats) might organise is a cake stall. Therein lies the difference.

  44. im papua new guinean, and i am a vet, i live in northern ireland, i consider myself failrly bourgeoius, thought i would invite mr johnson over for a meal sometime, we can discuss how his comments may have offended some papua new guineans. this over a good meal, tell him not to bring any food, i’ll make the dining arrangements.

  45. Firstly, an excellent article, Boris. It is a shame it was not delivered from the benches.

    The piece flows. It has cadence, imagery, historical references, pace, fire, immediacy, colour, panache. It should be part of the National Curriculum!

    Paul D:Another very NuLab phenomenon is also to blame – the emergence of a selfish, moronic, welfare-dependent underbelly, embodied in the Chav culture, whose influence on the next generation is frighteningly real.

    This underbelly is the 3rd Generation of the children of Welfare. The second generation was a tragedy and now we see the farce. Blair is less to blame than “means-tested” Gordon. BTW, I note the UTTER UTTER hypocracy of the Lefties over the term “means tested” – which was used against Thatcher but now is seen as ok when uttered from a slackjaw. I also recall that they hounded Thatcher over the concept of “in real terms” over rises in health spending and the rapidly rising Compo-educated and in-denial believe-anything-red brigade thought that “real terms” meant a coverup for lower percentages.

    This is why Sociofascists hate Grammar Schools – they educate. Sociofascists like their “lumpens” in the “lumpen-illitariate” variety – ignorant, distracted and dependent. Grammar schools create educated, focused and independent people.

    Rotodynes and Maglev.

  46. ‘So, in response to New Labour excesses you’d go off to live in two of the most socialist countries in Europe.’

    No, I’d go to live in Portugal, as I speak the language and it is a country that has over 700 years of joint history with England, being our oldest ally. I do sympathise with those who read my message and thought ‘if only’ or ‘it’s not that easy’. I’m not wealthy, but I am young and can speak the language, so I’d have a good chance of integrating and settling well in Portugal. It’s an option only if things become desperately bad here.

    The problem with voting Labour out is that it is very difficult; Labour has skewed the system so much in its favour and against the Conservatives that it will take a significant swing towards the Tories if we are not to have a hung parliament.

  47. it is a country that has over 700 years of joint history with England

    You’d have thought they might have picked up a tiny smattering of English after 700 years of joint history.

    But then, I guess it depends what sort of joint.

  48. How come we start off with Blair, and end up in Portugal? I feel it my duty to haul the thread back to the political storm that has broken out in the Labour party.

    Today, ex-Home Secretary Charles Clarke (fired by Blair a while back) attacked Gordon Brown for smiling broadly after leaving his meeting with Blair.

    I mean, really, what’s wrong with smiling? Is ‘smiling in public places’ going to become another NuLabor offence, like smoking. Imagine the storm if Brown had pulled out and lit a panatella in the back of that car.

    Anyway, my guess is that Charles Clarke will now be subjected to personal attack:

    “OK, fatso, can you tell us why you never shave these days?”

    I hope this ‘restores the situation’.

  49. Boris Johnson is a legend

    So Mr Johnson has had to apologise for cannibalism and chief-killing remarks. He supposedly read about them in a book and he backs up his claims by the fact that he thinks that the book was genuine, adding “Papa New Guinea to my global itinerary…

  50. Yup, Roger is certainly a dunce when it comes to spelling, but fair play to the man – he knows a hawk from a handsaw. The fact is, Blair is a hopeless twat and dear Boris is a genius. Boris understands that most people in this country are morons who’ll vote for anyone who comes along offering a few baubles and a bottle of firewater. In this they’re not unlike the headhunters of Papua New Guinea. He also knows to the core of his being that we’re awash with immigrants and losing our sense of national identity. He has the potential to be a leader who straightens this country out, who rids us of all the scum and sees through to the shining truth, that we are on the dangerous edge of things and need to be pulled back before it’s too late. I don’t care if he supported the Irag war and is an advocate of gay marriage. He’s a great character and deserves to be in power. I pray to God that it will happen soon.

  51. Roger Thornhill certainly made fewer spelling mistakes in his first posting (on this page) than Vicus managed in his.

    Stuff it up your arse Vicus. You’re just an arrogant prick

  52. Idlex is dead right. Reality has been “created” by all those who can’t deal with “reality”, in the manner the Laputans created their floating island with wonky houses designed by mathematicians and countless flappers attending its “royalty”. Satire is officially dead, long live satire, Boris. Keep it “real”.

    The trouble is there’s nothing magical about reality, is there? Which is why it’s dangerous to let people with grandiose political dreams loose on reinventing the wheel. However, we live in a time when the “spin” on what you do and say is everything, and revolution a laughable concept. But if you examine the world, however many times it may be recreated for your entertainment by those who would rather you didn’t question their motives and bring them up short on them, you can still see the emperor is not wearing new clothes, however often people will say he is.

    The truth of what is done and said is independent of the spin put upon it – the nameless laws will wreak their revenge on those with the hubris to override their hamartia (apologies for this florid allusion). Blair will not leave office riding the crest of the wave playing his air guitar…nor do personal attacks put people off when the whole set is rubbish.

    But that could be said about any political party with pretentions to build Laputa again. Yes, Boris, we’re all weary with these posturings, which is sad, since our political system is not that rotten, we still have a press that can ferret out stories, we still have a country which is remakably tolerant despite the spin put upon it, and as for the newspeak we don’t treat is as seriously as they think we do. But what happens when the emperor’s clothes disappear, and all those jobs and positions dependent on them vanish? What happens to the economy? What have we left?

  53. I find it highly surprising the Blair wants a ‘farewell tour’, I was under the impression that he had gone off the public and was sick of the sight of us all.

    Recent comments such as we should all stop ‘whingeing and complaining, and that we wouldn’t need the NHS if we ‘took more exercise’ had me in two minds whether he was taking the mickey or had decided he doesn’t like us after all.

    According to the BBC, number 10 has said Blair has ‘no new plan’ for the Middle-East, I guess he has gone to say farewell there first while there’s still some of it left.

  54. Melissa dear, I am worried by people who use two or more exclamation marks and deeply suspicious of anyone called Gerald.[Ed: er… ok got your point Paul]

  55. Steven_L said:

    I find it highly surprising the Blair wants a ‘farewell tour’, I was under the impression that he had gone off the public and was sick of the sight of us all.

    Recent comments such as we should all stop ‘whingeing and complaining, and that we wouldn’t need the NHS if we ‘took more exercise’ had me in two minds whether he was taking the mickey or had decided he doesn’t like us after all.

    Very true. Didn’t he always detest us, even before he took office? Look at the way he had all of his public appearances so heavily stage managed to shut out the public and anything resembling a real person. Much of his security was surely just to keep us well away from him. He hated meeting us. Only brain washed NuLab supporters were good enough to be in the royal presence as they could be relied on to adore and shut up. The man’s riddled with fear and distrust of other people. There’s surely some deep seated personality disorder which makes intimacy painful at the heart of Blair’s psyche. One of the periodicals – The Economist? – had him analysed and the report concluded that he has very serious psychological problems. Thank God he’s going before he can do much more damage.

  56. This is why Sociofascists hate Grammar Schools – they educate. Sociofascists like their “lumpens” in the “lumpen-illitariate” variety – ignorant, distracted and dependent. Grammar schools create educated, focused and independent people. (Roger Thornhill)

    Blair could not build a lumpenproletariat any more than he can empty my dustbins.

    However, he does know that a gullible sector of the public can be manipulated. He couldn’t even do that properly, as he has found to his cost.

  57. I’m not so sure about the Blair’s the Papua new Guinea, I’m sure Mr. Brown would make a far more substantial main course.

  58. raincoaster – what a good idea!! In fact I’ve been thinking that myself but haven’t got a scanner, all recommendations welcome people but remember I’m on a tight budget and my emphasis has always been not on size but performance. Think i’d better leave it there πŸ˜‰

  59. Off topic, I suppose, but I’ve learned that the Disney/ABC Path to 9/11 due to be screened on BBC2 tonight is a Republican smear job that sets out (as ever) to blame Bill Clinton for that misfortune.

    I wonder if Auntie is going to be find herself being sued for libel?

  60. It is Bill Clintons fault – if he had started arming Saddam in the late ninties instead of bombing him we wouldn’t be in the mess with Iran.

  61. BBC 2 are showing that sh*ite? Good lord. Here’s a piece on that:

    Scheduled to air the night before the five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, ABC’s docudrama “The Path to 9/11” has elicited a firestorm of criticism for being an inaccurate and deeply-biased account that blames President Clinton for the 9/11 attacks while praising President Bush’s response. Written by avowed conservative Cyrus Nowrasteh, the film claims to be based on the bipartisan 9/11 Commission report despite containing numerous factual inaccuracies which have no basis in the Commission’s work. Feeling the heat and recognizing its errors, ABC “has in recent days made changes to the film” and is claiming “the editing process is not yet complete.” As the Families of September 11 indicate, the events surrounding 9/11 are far too important to play politics.

    Take action now — join over 69,000 who called on ABC to tell the truth about 9/11.

    “Path to 9/11” is heavy on “drama” and light on “documentary.” In recent days, the film’s writers and consultants have begun distancing themselves from the factual inaccuracies contained in the film. Nowrasteh has said that a key scene in the movie–which falsely alleges that former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger failed to pull the trigger on a surefire opportunity to kill Osama bin Laden–was “improvised” by the actors on the set. Former 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, who acted as a senior consultant and was credited as co-executive producer of the movie, “admitted…some scenes in the film are fictionalized.” But in fact, ABC publicized this film as the official rendering of the 9/11 Commission report. For ABC now to suggest that the miniseries was not billed as a documentary is disingenuous. Steve McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment, has ironically explained the project in the following way: “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

    Criticism of the film is coming from all directions. While some conservatives have tried to argue that critics of “The Path to 9/11” are simply partisans who are “whining,” the truth is that complaints have come in from all circles, including conservatives, former Bush officials, and 9/11 Commission members. Conservative author Richard Miniter, who wrote a book blasting President Clinton’s counterterrorism policies, has acknowledged that there is “zero factual basis” for the “idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger.” Conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell said ABC should “correct” the scenes that “do not have any bearing on reality.” Former counterterrorism officials Richard Clarke and Roger Cressey, who worked for Presidents Clinton and Bush, have blasted the movie and confirm that scenes in the movie are completely made-up.

    Scholastic Corporation rightly cut their partnership with the movie. Scholastic Corporation, one of the leading distributors of educational materials for children, announced yesterday that it was ending its partnership with “The Path to 9/11” film. Scholastic and ABC had earlier announced a pact to produce “online study guides” related to the film and to send 100,000 educators a letter from Kean informing them of such materials. As Media Matters documented, the discussion guides were “rife with conservative misinformation” and key omissions which resulted in a distorted account of pre-Iraq war WMD capabilities and misleadingly suggested a tie between Iraq and 9/11. In a press release, Scholastic stated the educational materials “did not meet our high standards for dealing with controversial issues.”

    http://maryannaville.blogspot.com/2006/09/path-to-misinformation.html

  62. Do you know I am getting slightly weary of this sub Wodehouseian stuff .In the last week we have seen the most important political shift of the last ten years and I am struggling vainly to find any evidence that he Conservative Party understands what is going on . Perhaps as court jester at the court of Cameronalot Boris is not the right person to ask but who is ?
    Talk to some Labour activists and you will see that fundemental doctrinal belief submerged for ten years are splintering apart . The question is what do the Conservatives do now . Implode would be my guess and the sheer inadequacy of the inner circle will hasten the process.
    I must be in a really bad mood because I feel obliged to mention that having met BJ I can report he is like the public BJ reflected in a spoon in real life .
    Boring .

  63. Boring?!!! Frankly I thought he was sexier than a bag of scratchings but I am female, with a brain incidentally so it’s not a blonde thing. Mind you, lately I think my brain needs an upgrade – everything I write people either go off on a tangent then blame me or seem to deliberately misunderstand my meaning. Thank God for planet Boz.

  64. Paul Newman said:

    ‘In the last week we have seen the most important political shift of the last ten years and I am struggling vainly to find any evidence that he Conservative Party understands what is going on.’

    Seen as you’ve analysed this ‘important political shift’ and worked out that it’s the most important in the last 10 years perhaps you should tell us all what’s going on?

    Personally I think that the sheer weight of ‘evidence’ in all sides of the media suggests that Tony and Gordon have had some sort of argument, the backbenchers are getting restless and no-one in the labour party seems to know where they are going.

    I would say that we will not know the full extent of the split in the labour party until the time to vote on some new-labour legislation comes around when parliament is back in session.

    As for ‘political shift’ I think only the next raft of bills through parliament and the November budget will show us what direction the government is trying to move in.

    Although I do seem to remember them saying they wanted to go ‘forward not back’, not one of the labour voters I spoke to at the time could shed any light on where we were going forward to. They just seemed to be happy enough going forward anywhere, as long as it wasn’t ‘back’ to a tory government.

    I suggested that if labours second term was anything to go by this might be going forward to a place where we were all tied up with red tape and bashed on the heads with clip-boards until we agreed by an army of bureaucrats; and the bureaucrats I was speaking with seemed to like this idea.

    I made up my mind and said I was going to vote for Michael Howard, much to the horror of my fellow bureaucrats. The only reasons that they could come up with for not going ‘back’ were that they didn’t like the tories, there might be cuts in spending on bureaucrats and that Tony had promised he wouldn’t serve a full third term.

    My analysis would be that everyone was sick of Blair before the last election, but we got sick of Michael Howard during the Thatcher era. In my view everyone went off Blair around 2002 when he started getting all neo-conservative on us but voted on the strength of their house prices and based on the fact he promised he wouldn’t hang around for another 5 years.

    Although quite why large swaiths of the general public want Gordon Brown to be Prime Minister I haven’t the foggiest idea, maybe some of you guys can shed some light on this mysetry.

  65. Talk to some Labour activists and you will see that fundemental doctrinal belief submerged for ten years are splintering apart…
    …having met BJ I can report he is like the public BJ reflected in a spoon in real life. Boring. [Paul Newman]

    Since we can hardly understand a word you’re saying, is it possible you bored the pants off BJ rather than the other way round?

  66. Paul Newman said:

    In the last week we have seen the most important political shift of the last ten years…Talk to some Labour activists and you will see that fundemental doctrinal belief submerged for ten years are splintering apart . The question is what do the Conservatives do now . Implode would be my guess and
    the sheer inadequacy of the inner circle will hasten the process..

    It doesn’t look like that from where I’m standing. I see contenders for the NuLab crown simply rebranding and repackaging the same old doctrines that have got them into the mess they’re in now.

    Milburn, Brown, Miliband and the whole NuLab pack claim the answer to the public’s alienation is to open up NuLab and give the public more choice, opportunities and political involvement:

    more choice in education – i.e. parents get to chose between more of the same failing schools.

    More choice in services – i.e. in the NHS, they’ll claim to rectify the disproportionate funding between England and Scotland all the while nudging and winking at the Scots that nothing really changes.

    more opportunities – i.e. opportunities for even more students to incur huge debts through their failing higher education system.

    greater political involvement reaching out into communities – i.e. watch out because the tentacles of their quangos and hegemonic public sector’ are coming out into our homes to get us.

    Nothing’s changed in NuLab. There’s too much payroll vote self interest at stake for them to chip away at the elitist contract NuLab have made with the public sector and Scotland.

    Brown/NuLab is undoubtedly going to try to pull a fast one with a few sleight of hand fiscal policies. NuLab will claim to be managing and controlling immigration while making purely cosmetic changes and manipulating the figures. The job of the opposition is to thoroughly expose the lies.

    However NuLab spin it, they’re too late. Too many people, the people of England in particular, feel so outraged outraged and threatened. The sheer volume of NuLab chaos – sleaze, runaway immigration, breakdown of law and order, failing national security, attacks on State and private pensions, NHS bankruptcy and the breakdown in political trust – these are all shifting the centre towards Cameron and the progressive Conservatives – solely because of Cameron’s radical policy shift. I’m not saying Cameron’s got everything right, but he’s grabbed this life long Liberal’s support. I’m joining Cameron’s lot on Monday.

  67. BBC2 aired the first half of The Path to 9/11 tonight, with disclaimers front and back that denied that it was a documentary entirely based on the 9/11 Commission report.

    However, it seemed to me that they retained the part in which Madeleine Albright says that they phoned Pakistan to tell them that cruise missiles were on their way to Afghanistan (and thus allowed the information to be relayed to bin Laden, to escape before they landed). Albright has denied that this happened.

    Writs?

  68. I have read all the comments with interest, except obviously the uncomplimentary one (s). Leaving aside the agonies of the Labour party I am concerned that the Conservative consensus around David Cameron will itself fracture over such issues a tax and Europe now that victory may require less discipline. Will we campaign for blue rinsed Blair if we don’t have to? It has mystified me for a long time that Labour activists many of whom are at heart old style socialists could put up with Tony Blair and in the past I ascribed this to an utter lack of principle. It is this tension that I was alluding to and the reaction of Libertarian Conservatives may be chapter two of the story
    On my own analysis I notice that events have overtaken a piece I wrote for our web site only a couple of weeks ago which began as follows

    `Nice Polls But Now We Need Discipline

    Labour is heading for London Poll disaster and this is according to six months worth of you gov polls. Around the country there is a modest 4 % swing but in Greater London it is 9% with the government down by eight points and the Conservatives up by ten. This puts over a dozen Labour London seats in the danger zone………etc

    It is remarkable how irrelevant most of this has become and I do feel the importance of what is unfolding has generally been underestimated

  69. “Anyone see his picture in the Mail? (MUST stop buying that rag) BoJo looked truly scrumptious, yum!”

    Don’t people (I use the term loosely) get embarrassed by saying things like that?

    ‘Yum’: a term employed by under fives and considered retarded if used by any other group.

    God preserve us.

  70. Paul Newman said
    I am concerned that the Conservative consensus around David Cameron will itself fracture over such issues a tax and Europe now that victory may require less discipline. Will we campaign for blue rinsed Blair if we don’t have to?

    The small, though significant, Europhile minority among Conservatives are viewed as a lunatic fringe by the majority of the electorate who are anti-EU. There is perhaps no clearer indication of the extent of this fringe’s lunacy and conflict with the electorate than their desire to commit national and political suicide by leaping over the precipice towards European enlargement with the inevitable consequence of even more uncontrolled immigration.

    You believe that victory is more certain now and therefore requires less discipline. Few would agree with you. Cameron has a far stronger prospect of winning the next election than NuLab, a prospect which Conservatives can reinforce – or try to blow sky high. Former Liberal, Lib Dem and Labour voters who are now switching their votes, or considering doing so, are switching their votes to Cameron, not to the Conservatives. This perfectly mirrors the switch of those who voted for Blair, not Labour – some of whom are now switching to Cameron too. The Conservatives have a lot to prove in practice before the electorate trust you with our mortgages again.

    People right across the political spectrum would love tax cuts. However, given the complexity of the mess the country’s in, few really believe that any significant tax cuts would be possible without the economic growth a new government must – and would -generate. Cameron is entirely correct in this.

  71. What was I saying about people taking something I’ve written, something totally innocuous, and bashing me over the head with it?!!

    Toxic squirrel – no, I don’t get embarrased at all. In my opinion (and many others) Boris Johnson is very sexy. I see no harm in publicly announcing that opinion on his blog – it’s not the only opinion I announce and whilst I am still free to do that, I will. I have neither sought, nor do I need your permission to do so. I also use the term ‘yum’, another innocuous practice, and feel no embarrassment in doing that either. There are so many things in this world, in this government, in this society that we can take issue with and you choose to spend time taking issue with my harmless choice of phrase. Get a life!

  72. Delighted to see the government is at last getting its priorities right. The maximum penalty for riding a bike without a bell will be increased to Β£2,500 (according to this morning’s Daily Wail).

  73. Auntie Flow

    To some extent we may be at cross purposes. I am a supporter of David Cameron and it was the anti EU `Lunatic fringe` such as the Bruges Group I was thinking of. I had better make it entirely clear that I do not find the position of say, a Christopher Booker remotely unbalanced myself but the issue is still potentially destabilising for the Conservative Party and the easier victory looks the pressure there will be on David Cameron to appear more `Conservative `. I agree that the electorate is broadly Euro sceptic but that is not all this grouping stands for. I went to hear Norman Tebbit speaking recently and noticed how electorally unattractive was the cocktail of semiotic messages his supporters give off . Again I had better make it clear that I also greatly admire Norman Tebbit, much of what he says and like most of his supporters myself . Liberals however, can be very `prejudiced` by appearances
    In fact I was more the amorphous position of DC on tax that I envisaged unravelling our own unity and I cannot agree with your view of tax cuts which are themselves a prerequisite of sustained growth in the UK .( Say I ) The state managed spending as a proportion of GDP in the UK has risen from 40% to 45% during the Blair period which is vastly more significant than it sounds and halting the states growth would be a good start for me
    Incidentally David Cameron has said that he puts stability before tax cuts as if the one was a pawn sacrifice for the other and the intellectual weakness of this political expedient is noticeable even to those, like me, who accept the need for middle ground politics . The real issue here are public sector and state subsidised workers in marginal seats especially in the North away from the huge Conservative Majorities .
    … much more to be said on this but moving on

    I think what you say about David Cameron running ahead of the Party in the swing vote areas is a good point those of us who broadly support the leader should emphasise . I can` t help recalling however , the contradictory polling results Margaret Thatcher produced `personally ` and I suspect it is possible to read to much into personal popularity charts
    It sounds to me that you think the boy David is right. I would regard him as partly right and partly useful but accommodating such a `narrow` church is an entirely reasonable position for a Party serious about winning.
    Others however are not the paragons of sweet reason the writer is and winning is all about maintaining a broad coalition. The scale of Tony Blairs achievement in this regard is beginning to become apparent.

    (By the way, I have applied to run for Mayor, it isn’t an entirely meaningful gesture but I would like to see how far I can get . If anyone has any ideas as to how I might encourage the great and good to give me a hearing I would be grateful ….I `m not a deluded fantasist honestly it seemed a worthwhile exercise , to what end I `m not entirely sure ) ………………..

  74. Hear, hear, Jaq! If a gal wants to tell it like it is, then just go ahead. Anyone who signs themselves Toxic Squirrel is probably in need of a life anyway – too many nuts, I guess. The only nuts that interest me are BoJo’s – or, if what I hear is accurate, BloJo’s. I tell ya, Jaq, he gets this gal’s heart a thumpin’ and a pumpin’ too.

  75. Fazack1 – Blojo? Ooh!! (sorry Melissa) Makes me think of Chris Hitchens and ‘American Apple Pie’ I’m sure Boris would be lipsmackinthirstquenchinacetastinmotivatingoodbuzzincooltalkinhighwalkinfastlivinevergivincoolfizzin…ahhhhhhh. Yum!

  76. Boris,this is saying cheers from india.I read your articels for the language and the pun intended, and wish from the bottem of my heart that one day you lead the torries and the euro back into the rennisance.Wao!

  77. Mr Boris – we in China also love your puns and love of Enlish college bisness. I love your visitment here to get college money and bisness. I pay good money fore Enlgish degree from university of Wakefield an dnow making good money as teacher. Thank yo u Mr Boris, from haert of botom

  78. Another dotty one? You read it here first.

    A major action plan to tackle barriers to women’s achievement in the workplace and transform the culture in Britain ‘from the playground to the boardroom’ was launched today by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

    The Government’s action plan includes a raft of practical new measures addressing almost forty recommendations made by the Women and Work Commission in their ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’ report.

    Measures include:

    – The roll-out of new ‘Equality Reps’ across England. The scheme will step up awareness among workers of flexible working rights and discrimination issues by working alongside statutory union representatives.

    – A new half a million pound fund to support companies and organisations in increasing the number of senior and quality roles available part time.

    Minister for Women Ruth Kelly announced on Sunday that all jobs in her own department will now be advertised as available on a flexible or part time basis.

    So now they think they can “transform the culture in Britain”. Is it just me, a reactionary git wondering if these people are just making work for themselves at a time when public finances are at breaking point? Or are they really blessed with divine powers?

    Perhaps Ms Kelly would like to have a cosy chat with Alan Sugar about his employment policies. I’m sure he would welcome a visit from the new equality police and warm to making all his jobs available on a flexible or part time basis.

    I’m also wondering exactly how the half million pounds will be spent “supporting companies” to increase their number of part time roles.

    Jaq, Fazak, Raincoaster and all you ladies out there – what do you think?

  79. PaulD – what do I think? Well first of all I have a soft spot for ‘reactionary git’s’, especially those who ask me what I think.

    Anyway, what do I think:

    Long answer – the feminist movement was necessary, no two ways about it. However, we are deeply in danger of taking the consideration and revision of an astonishingly unfair, misogynist, paternalistic society (largely left over from Roman occupation) to ridiculous and unworkable lengths. Not every job can be done by a woman. Just as not every job can be done by a man. And not every job is suitable for job-share. Some jobs just need the same person, there, all the working time for continuity. What tends to happen is that, mums especially, tend to do the work of a full time employee in 3 1/2 days. They ALWAYS feel guilty if their child is sick or if they have to leave to attend some event and a full-time person without children will ALWAYS eventually resent carrying the can. This does not mean that job-share doesn’t work, it can be very very succesful and rewarding but not every job is suitable. Some jobs just NEED you to be able to drop everything and be ‘available’. Of course Ruth Kelly has a point, they have created so many useless activities and bourgeois administrations and moved the goal posts so often that I’m sure no-one in government knows what’s going on from one week to the next. So with such established chaos, any half-witted dog could do it. They’ve created the perfect imperfect State machine.

    Private companies have had very little real support from this government, a government which seems to mistake statementing for business.

    Short answer – I think Mr Kelly has ‘issues’.

  80. Oh and on a private note can I just add that I resent this government assuming they know what fulfills me and just forging ahead with public money to force women into schemes that are just an elaborate mechanism to try to claw BACK revenue. They tried it with the CSA and what a travesty of spin that was. They assume that working long hours in a call centre will fulfill women whilst their children scream the days away from their family home and it gets burgled, generating another crime number. Will they transform the culture in Britain? Sadly Paul, I believe they already have. For who will right the wrongs of this government when they themselves hold the greater powers Bliar has drawn around himself and his government? With such a rich cloak, do you really think that Cameron will cast it off for tommorows shabbier suit? And the Lib Dems will sell the whole wardrobe to Europe. The king is naked folks, and we all know it, and all the pretenders want to wear his clothes.

  81. Perhaps someone should tell Labour that there is nothing new about women going out to work. In Victorian times women were expected to work down mines and the like. Labour, however, are forcing women to work while at the same time clapping themselves on the back and reassuring each other how grateful we must be to them. Many women thanks to labours benefits system have no choice but to work yet are really only making enought money to cover childcare and travel expenses. These plans of ruth kellys will only cause resentment of women in the workplace and make it harder for smaller businsses. They will also belittle the achievements of women in general, in much the same way as labours women only candidate short lists and other forms of social engineering.

  82. Its funny isn’t it. It is ok for a stranger with an NVQ to be paid to look after a child yet a mother who looks after her own child 24/7 and recieves benefits is considered to be scrounging off society.

  83. I’m so sorry that could have been better written, I wrote ‘government’ twice (when 3 times is more than enough). What I should have put was:
    ‘For who will right the wrongs of this government when they themselves hold the greater powers Bliar has drawn around himself and his brown-nosed sycophants, now hell bent on savaging him to drain the dregs of privilage?’

  84. Looks like Ruth Kelly is taking up where Prescott left off to me – more crazy protocols and bureaucracy, more boxes to tick and more non-jobs created to tick them.

  85. Boris

    I run my loving fingers
    Through his tousled hair –
    Wild finches darting from his golden wheat field…

    I look deep into his eyes-
    Blue sky kissing high summer…

    Eliza,
    11 Sept 2006, for my Boris, the one and only…

  86. So, lurching back to the matter in hand, how are we ever going to get Blair out, rid ourselves of all the tax and fine nonsense that doesn’t improve anyone’s life except the minions paid with our money to harass us with it, re-instate proper healthcare and sensible policing and try and pick up the pieces of our shattered country?

    And “Yum” isn’t as bad as “LOL”, all users of which should be summarily executed, and Eliza that just looks pathetic. If you fancy him put on something low cut and uplifting and hang about outside parliament or something. Don’t come bothering the rest of us with truly sad poetry. Are you twelve?

  87. Aww Thalia don’t be too hard on Eliza. Bless.

    I run my fingers, tips searching for the taste of happiness,
    Through his tousled hair.
    My hand draws down his cheek, barely touching skin,
    drawing all attention,
    the journey lingers, swerving head to neck,
    He smiles,
    Both hands engage and caress broad shoulders,
    His skin rises to meet them,
    Slim hands caress muscle and hold firm,
    Then shake,
    As I cry out in frustration ‘WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU LEADING THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY?’

    So sorry, couldn’t resist that.
    Rhyme and scan? I think they’re in the loft somewhere.

    Yes, well, that was a particularly fine Merlot. Back to the matter in hand then (hic!) πŸ™‚

  88. Although I am female I hope I will be excused for not posting re: Boris’ bonkability.

    And PaulD, I don’t consider part-time work, flextime, or parenting to be feminine-specific issues. That the general populace does is clear, and it is also why Kelly is announcing this now. Blair’s poll numbers with women are in the toilet and he needs to do something fast to improve them. If this was in the pipeline but introduced under Brown, Brown would get the credit, and Blair wouldn’t want that.

    The only person I know who’s working flextime is male, and he loves it. Four ten-hour days and every weekend is a long weekend.

    In sociological news, when an economy stalls it’s better to divide full-time jobs up into part-time ones, as it keeps people off welfare and participating in the community, thereby lowering crime, depression, unemployment, and social assistance costs. Eventually there may not be any official full-time jobs left. Here in Vancouver a typical work situation is contract work at the same rate as employed work, but with no benefits; this effectively means you’re paid a third less than an employee, but you must do the same work under the same terms. Have you heard of “Permatemps?” Prepare to permatemp, yourselves.

  89. My vote for PM, in order of preference: Boris, Jaq, K, Thalia.

    Eliza gets the job of supervising BJ (eek, woddid I say?).

    Ladies, your replies were truly enlightening. Thank you. It’s what I guessed but we blokes are not supposed to think such thoughts.

    Looking back to the Nineties, I remember the inner shudder on reading about NuLab’s plans to get all women back to work, brought on by reasons you have touched upon, but the public reaction was surprisingly muted at the time. Such is the power of correctness – it’s hard to challenge unless you are prepared to be accused of being an uncaring, chauvinistic, misogynistic cynic.

  90. Raincoaster, you posted while I posted. Apologies – you’d make the PM list if you didn’t live so far away and insist on presenting yourself as an unreconstructed Bolshevik (kiddin’ of course!).

  91. raincoaster – being semi-serious for a mo about this subject. But, I try to say good things about most people really. Not so much commenting on Boris’s bonkability as I have no idea to be honest. And I’ve politely stopped more than one woman before now just to tell her how fantastic she looked, because she did. That’s the kind of barm-pot I am. It’s all true though and completely without agenda. Actually I’d like to put a photo of me on my blog but, unlike you, I’m not young and beautiful. Ah those were the days, when flattery fell like rain πŸ™‚

  92. ‘The only person I know who’s working flextime is male, and he loves it. Four ten-hour days and every weekend is a long weekend’ (raincoaster)

    What? A 40 hour week? We wouldn’t dream of working a 40 hour week in Europe. Councils that work you on 37.5 hours flexitime are seen as oppressive these days over in socialist Europe. These days full time is 35 hours a week on flexitime.

    As as for ‘permatemps’ as you call them, these are just unqualified dogsbodies we get in to do the unqualified dogsbody type work. Any professional bureaucrat can command at least a 70% premium over his/her full-time employed colleagues by going ‘permatemp’ (or becoming a ‘consultant’ as we call it) and giving up his/her pension/work-life balance and the other perks of being a state-sponsored bureaucrat.

    And raincoaster, this announcement by Ruth Kelly co-incides with the annual TUC conference – more to do with trade union support than womens votes methinks.

    As for women working – have you seen the property prices that young couples face these days? No girlfriend of mine would stay at home minding the house or work part time – she’d have to pull her weight and help pay the rent I’m afraid.

  93. Although I am female I hope I will be excused for not posting re: Boris’ bonkability. (raincoaster)

    Me too.

    I don’t consider part-time work, flextime, or parenting to be feminine-specific issues. That the general populace does is clear, and it is also why Kelly is announcing this now. Blair’s poll numbers with women are in the toilet and he needs to do something fast to improve them. If this was in the pipeline but introduced under Brown, Brown would get the credit, and Blair wouldn’t want that. (raincoaster)

    Exactly, this is so clearly a political move and an ‘up yours’ with love from Blair to Brown.

    The only person I know who’s working flextime is male, and he loves it. Four ten-hour days and every weekend is a long weekend. (raincoaster)

    My secretary works four days a week now – I’m a progressive employer. It works well for both of us. However it can be a problem in some situations.

    when an economy stalls it’s better to divide full-time jobs up into part-time ones, as it keeps people off welfare and participating in the community, thereby lowering crime, depression, unemployment, and social assistance costs. Eventually there may not be any official full-time jobs left. Here in Vancouver a typical work situation is contract work at the same rate as employed work, but with no benefits; this effectively means you’re paid a third less than an employee, but you must do the same work under the same terms. Have you heard of “Permatemps?” Prepare to permatemp, yourselves.

    That won’t happen here. Our EAA – Employment Agencies Act -specifically outlaws it. All staff, temporary or permanent receive the same platform of employment rights – 4 weeks of paid holidays (soon to be 5 weeks 3 days) each year, 26 weeks sickness leave with statutory sick pay each year, statutory notice periods, set disciplinary procedures and associated rights. We also have the statutory minimum wage which rises to Β£5.35 per hour (age 22 and upwards) from 1st October – that affects all pay differentials across the board. There are Working Time regulations controlling hours and rest periods and so on.

    What is happening here is that an increasing number of UK companies are moving to Eastern Europe where staffing costs and overheads are considerably lower. We also have a huge influx of migrant workers, from Eastern EU in particular. As a consequence we’re seeing an increasing number of staff redundancies.

  94. Especially if she depended on you to do it, sweetie.

    Don’t whine to me that your middle management is overpaid; ALL middle management is overpaid. In fact, middle management positions were invented because workhouses were eliminated and they needed to find something for all those people to do.

    You should all totally support me for PM. The Bolshevik position is: when the train comes in, everybody rides! House parties at Chequers every weekend! Let them eat profiteroles prepared by the chef at #10!

  95. I think, re flexitime etc, the important thing is to be able to live your life according to your lights.

    The thing is to have the choice and not somebody else’s doctrine forced upon you. The practicalities are that most of us have to go out to work, whether we want to or not, so not so much of a choice there but not wanting to be put upon or taken advantage of when we do.

    It is an issue that those who do want to go back to work after having kids are often sidelined, underpaid or even fired no matter how hard they work and this is no good at all.
    Fair play is what it’s about really.
    On the other hand where things go too far the other way, the rest of us get somewhat fed up of having to work late in order to repeatedly cover for those of either sex who are reportedly off work child wrangling.
    Everybody has to take the odd day off work here and there to see to their kids or go to the dentist or whatever, the thing is not to take the piss.
    The one time this happened in a place I was working it was always the same bloke, there was no issue of chronic sickness and he was not a single parent. More of a lazy git who was found in the pub on more than one occasion after having pleaded child sickness to the boss to get an afternoon or a day, almost invariably Friday, off. This sort of thing lets the side down.

    However, someone has to look after the kids and it may as well be the parents as hired help of possibly dubious quality if that works out best for those most nearly concerned.

    It’s a fair play thing. If only it was feasible to have a perfectly straightforward Fair Play Law, we could get rid of a lot of the other really confusing and unhelpful ones and it would make life so much easier.

    I am immensely flattered PaulD to be fourth in line to number 10 and sorry if I was a little hard on poor Eliza. I do not deny the sinister attraction of Mr Johnson, and he makes me laugh, but let us not get soppy here. Get on with it girl I say, don’t moon about wilting at the edges, it’s not as though he’s legendarily hard to get. Allegedly.

  96. Oh and Raincoaster does have a point. Middle management aren’t evil, bloodsucking fiends from beyond the grave. They make evil, bloodsucking, fiends from beyond the grave look good.

  97. Thalia dear, you would have been placed first for denouncing “LOL” but then you slagged off Eliza for her little fantasy about Boris. Not fair. I’ve met him and the sex was terrific.

  98. Just read Cameron’s speech a couple of times and – aside from his support for Blair’s illegal invasion and that’s a big proviso – I’m amazed by how impressed I am with it.

    He’s surely reconnecting Conservatism with its purest roots, the English radicals who (re?)invented the centre ground and who’s energy and Non Conformist fire provided the intellectual, philosphical and political thrust of the industrial revolution. Sheer brilliance, Cameron.

    One of the English radicals was so like Boris – can’t think of his name. A journalist (and satirist?), he published political pamphlets. The people loved him so much they had him reinstated every time he was sacked for upsetting someone or other and eventually made him Lord Mayor. Wish I could remember his name.

  99. “… He has done some good things and he has some excellent qualities..”

    In view of the present political climate I find that joke in very poor taste!

  100. Dear PaulD,

    Was not slagging, merely suggesting a more pro-active stance and I couldn’t cope with the “poetry”, it was making my teeth ache.

    On the other front I’m delighted to hear it!

  101. The overly-personal stuff gives me exactly the same feeling as when I’m in a restaurant and one of the people at my table starts feeding someone else.

    Oh gosh, is that the time? Well, I must be going…

  102. Just read Cameron’s speech a couple of times (Auntie Flo)

    Which speech was that, Flo? Could you point us to it?

  103. Auntie Flo , you disappoint me

    Just read Cameron’s speech a couple of times and – aside from his support for Blair’s illegal invasion and that’s a big proviso – I’m amazed by how impressed I am with it.
    He’s surely reconnecting Conservatism with its purest roots, the English radicals who (re?)invented the centre ground and who’s energy and Non Conformist fire provided the intellectual, philosphical and political thrust of the industrial revolution. Sheer brilliance, Cameron.
    One of the English radicals was so like Boris – can’t think of his name. A journalist (and satirist?), he published political pamphlets. The people loved him so much they had him reinstated every time he was sacked for upsetting someone or other and eventually made him Lord Mayor. Wish I could remember his name.

    Well I tried very hard to find some common ground with you Flo( if you look back) and its probably important that people like you and I can find some , but I was just thinking myself `Now you`ve gone to far Cameron`. I `ll put up with a disingenuous position on tax cuts and much else but being described as a `Liberal Conservative ` is a personal agony( For god’s sake we spend all our time campaigning against them in Islington ). This meretricious speech strikes many notes that will infuriate party members but the most irritating element is the way Cameron is using every opportunity to `distance himself from Margaret Thatcher` . ( See also silly comments on South Africa ). This is what is called anti marketing as practiced by Burberry eg to get rid of unwanted customers and thereby get back upmarket. Am I such an unwanted customer?
    David Cameron accuses American policy of being `driven by easy sound bites` and in doing so proves himself utterly ignorant of the very different language assumptions behind US political discourse . Foreign affairs is often the arena where core principles are easiest to see having been long ago compromised domestically . Some of us have been waiting for exactly the moment when DC entered the fray to see what we have . Alarmingly what we hoped was a moderniser sounds more like a Liberal than I can cheerfully stomach.

    The Liberal Party I think you`ll find, is chiefly associated with 19th Century Non Conformism. One nation Conservatives which , if you are anything , I suppose you are , associated itself with a sort of romantic Anglicansim .
    Interestingly it has been a commonplace for years that the true heir to Victorian Non conformism was Margaret Thatcher, both Economically and morally. David Cameron is no Margaret Thatcher and while he may be wise advertise the fact `electorally` un chivalrous is the best possible construction I can put upon it . I suspect far worse .

    I dread to think what Simon Heffer will make of it

    By the way I had a go at versifying recently.I thought bot the efforts wer rather good

    The Liberal is a puzzling creature
    This journalist or bearded teacher ,
    Believes in something so he says
    But what it is we cannot guess

    He seems as worthy as brown rice
    He cooks with `whine` and says he`s nice
    His colour from a certain view
    Can look quite red , or look quite blue

    He stands for principles that bend
    And never fails to tell his friends
    He cares about community
    But use the schools, oh no not he

    This Liberalism often means
    Quite the reverse , or so it seems
    With running laws both hot and cold
    To make us do as we are told

    Oh yes there’s the environment
    He say the rest of us are bent
    On killing off the bio -sphere
    God knows where he got that idea

    But any way the lectures flow
    Most freely with his weed that grows
    In Asia , often farmed by slaves
    Best smoked whilst talking of fair trade.

    The answer’s yes , now what’s the question
    This `intellectual abstention `
    Is what we call the Liberal stance
    So lets all sing
    ` Give Quiche a chance`

    `
    Liberal Conservative !!!!!

    Lastly stop being silly about Boris Johnon he is an amiable chubby little man who means little harm .Thats all

  104. Paul Newman – I hope you don’t mind my saying this, old chap, but that last effort was about as enjoyable as one of your chilli pasta sauces. Why do you waste your time like that? Perhaps you should go out for long walks or take up a hobby, like knitting or basket-weaving- I’ve heard that’s good for people like you. Carry on like this and you might end up as one of those journalist-cum-politican celebrities who flutter their bogus self-deprecation at us like a demented harlot.

  105. Funny you should say that Mr. Pirranah that as my own site is about to be launched….I was trying to enter a debate about Camerons 9.11 speech mostly though, why do you only notice the trivial part?
    Incidentally the word trivia is derived from the Latin meaning three ways ie a junction where the women would gather to exchange gossip.
    Remind you of anything?
    (Notice the double irony of the above trivial fact about trivia and just to thoroughly dispel any suspicion of bogus self deprecation …Look how clever I am!)

  106. WOW! I go away for a long-weekend and return to find that the debate
    On when Blair should leave office, has taken in the following :Blairs vanity,
    the disastrous new labour legacy, immigration, Spain, European
    socialism, Portugal, More on Blairs vanity, Sadam, Nine Eleven on TV,
    Boris the sexy one, David Cameron, Feminism, More on sexy Boris,
    Flexi time, More on David Cameron. Liberal conservatism.

    Nobody could ever accuse the Right of focus : ) all very entertaining. What next ?

  107. What next? Um…..

    Is our absorption into Europe inevitable?

    Is ‘childhood’ a thing of the past?

    Does ‘freedom’ include the tolerance of someone’s innate silliness?

  108. Paul – may I call you Paul? – you’re proving my point even as you try to wriggle out of it. You’re in danger of disappearing up your own etymology here, so if you’re really starting your own site I say to you, watch out. You’re already sounding deeply bogus. Avoid gratuitous references to Latin – it doesn’t cut the moutarde, as they say in Paris (oh yes, and keep away from rejigging cliches and passing it off as wit, as a blond bombshell we all know and love is apt to do). Please, for goodness sake, be careful – or go for the basket-weaving option. It’s a much safer bet.

  109. Edward – this thread has strayed simply because the original proposition “Blair should go at once” can be answered in one word. Yes.

    Or, to use a few more, he should go when someone other than Brown is chosen to replace him.

    Or, since there’s no-one suitable, a General Election should be called. Could one of you constitutional experts say if this is possible?

  110. It doesn’t take a constitutional expert to answer you, PaulD. Almost anything’s possible, but will it happen? No. The government has a majority the last Tory administration could only dream about. So you dream on…

  111. What’s wrong with the term ‘liberal conservative’? (apart from the fact that I don’t think DC is one).

    I’m a liberal who tends to vote Conservative simply because this country hasn’t had a real Liberal party since Gladstone’s departure.

    I mean real ‘hands off’ 19th Century liberalism, which is about as far from Tony’s patronising approach as you can get. I also disagree that Thatcher was a natural liberal. In the 19th century (the heyday of true liberalism) the Liberal party was both economically liberal (as was Thatcher, most of the time) and also socially liberal(which Thatcher most certainly wasn’t).

  112. Chris Morriss – “real ‘hands off’ 19th Century liberalism” – is that the same as “the liberal elite” that have taken over society since woy er thingy. (Oh gosh where’s a montor when you need him) Roy erm, oh you know…

  113. What on earth had Roy Jenkind to do with Liberalism? Methinks that you are using the word ‘liberal’ in the bastardised American manner.

    Real liberalism in the 19th century had much more in keeping with what is now (often in a put-down way) termed libertarianism.

  114. Jaq your right, silliness / humor is the only thing that keeps us sane.
    If the Monster Raving Loony party were still a going concern they
    Would sweep to power as voters decided to kick the other parties
    Into touch, just for the hell of it. After all, new labour wasn’t new
    And abandoned its Labour roots. Come to think about it, didn’t
    New Labour appear after the demise of the loonies ? Perhaps they
    Have already been elected but we didn’t know it ! As Frank Zappa
    Said ” what happened to all the fun in the world ?”

    PaulD, your right about the short answer . Blair Out. No argument
    There , but no one is getting up on their hind legs about that one
    eyed Scottish robber baron, Gordon Brown. He speaks new labour
    But cut him open ( now there’s an idea .. ) and he’s old labour, as
    We are all about to find out the hard way : (

    I hope you all are not going to get stuck into 19th century liberalism.
    The more I read about it, the more I warm to it. Libertarian values of
    choice aligned with self control and hands off Govenance, now there’s
    A novel idea.

  115. Back to the Blair thing…

    …I think it will be interesting to see what sort of questions his rebel backbenchers, and those junior ministers who resigned, ask him in PMQ when Parliament resumes – this will give us the clearest indication of what sort of a pickle he is in.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for PMQ’s they’d like to ask Blair if they could when the new season begins?

  116. If I was an MP I’d ask the Right Hon member for Sedgefield why, when his constituents voted against the creation of such an establishment, has his government taken the ‘no’ vote to the North-East Regional Assembly as a ‘no we don’t want to elect members, so you will have to appoint them instead’ and proceeded with the project regardless?

    The damn thing is still there, I wonder if his Toniness will visit on his farewell tour?

    http://www.northeastassembly.gov.uk/

  117. Chris Morriss – Ooh this is all good stuff. Can’t say I wholly agree though Chris – I’m in favour of a welfare State as sometimes unexpected things happen and generally I support it’s existence for humanitarian, democratic, ethical, altruistic, utilitarian and religious reasons. I believe social programs promote and define objectives that are common and important to society, such as education, family, work and health care. However, I believe the present government has abused the more noble priciples of the welfare State and corrupted them to make a far more sinister machine. At the risk of banging on about Bliars wake, I wonder who will restore the checks and balances once provided in our democracy to guard against such sinister State Capitalism now endemic in Brirain?

  118. Sorry Boris old chap but did anyone hear about Cameron slagging off UKIP? I thought DC went to Eton did he not? Don’t they teach manners there? Was he sick that day? Get some gravitas man.

  119. So sorry for posting again (3 times a lady?)

    Edward_exSocialst – my apologies, got my bloggers mixed up there for a minute (can smart!) “As Frank Zappa
    Said ” what happened to all the fun in the world ?” I think Bliar made it a hate crime against Islam didn’t he? Along with Morris Minors and potted meat sandwiches.

    And spam…

    ..spam wonderful spaaam.
    (now then now then, I ave reason to believe you are in the posession of luncheonmeat, oh it’s only cannabis, move along then)

  120. Although I am female I hope I will be excused for not posting re: Boris’ bonkability. (raincoaster)

    Well, yes, you are excused – if only because you already have posted on that matter several times already.

    And Melissa, might we have a separate permanent thread for all the girls to scream and hurl their knickers at Boris? It’s slightly distracting from serious political debate.

    Which reminds me that I was staring into my beer yesterday, and wondering to what depths we have stumbled when a row breaks out in the Labour party because Gordon Brown was smiling while he sat in his car after meeting Bliar last week. It was even more ridiculous that Brown actually responded by saying that he was talking about the latest arrival in his family when he was smiling so broadly. And even more so when it emerged that Bliar ‘accepted the explanation’.

    Knickers to the lot of them. They are a ridiculous bunch of clowns.

  121. Although I am female I hope I will be excused for not posting re: Boris’ bonkability. (raincoaster)

    Well, yes, you are excused – if only because you already have posted on that matter several times already.

    idlex, I have watched this website deteriorate from a forum for rational and informed debate to one characterized by ad hominem abuse, non sequiturs, doggerel, and Tony Blair, but even in the current environment I believe you have gone too far.

    Where, exactly, on this website have I posted my opinion of Boris’ bonkability?

    My lawyers await your response.

  122. Paul Newman said:

    Auntie Flo , you disappoint me…

    The Liberal is a puzzling creature
    This journalist or bearded teacher ,
    Believes in something so he says
    But what it is we cannot guess

    …But any way the lectures flow
    Most freely with his weed that grows
    In Asia , often farmed by slaves
    Best smoked whilst talking of fair trade.

    I’m too bemused by this to bother giving you a verbal bopping for it, Paul. Are seriously suggesting that I’m a bearded teacher who cooks with whine, lives on quiche and smokes puff?

    I’m a female businesswoman who tried one joint 20 years ago and didn’t like it. Cooking, what’s that? Why do you have such a chip on your shoulder about Liberals or, in my case, former Liberals?

  123. Paul Newman said:

    Well I tried very hard to find some common ground with you Flo( if you look back) and its probably important that people like you and I can find some , but I was just thinking myself `Now you`ve gone to far Cameron`.

    Eh? Pardon?

    Are trying to give me brain damage, Paul? What are you going on about?

  124. Paul D said:

    > Melissa dear, I am worried by people who use two or more exclamation marks and deeply suspicious of anyone called Gerald.
    ———————-

    rele? er… ok got your point Paul

  125. And just as I thought there were intelligent people on this website.

    Idlex, Raincoaster: Don’t you realise that bonkability is a HUGE influence on voters, perhaps almost as strong as the policies themselves. And for once I’m not being flippant, even if the electorate is. We live in a celebrity age. How else did Schwarzenegger get elected?

    Discussion required.

    As for you, Melissa!!!

  126. Paul Newman, I’m going to let the Guardian argue with you this evening as I’m too bushed to do it:

    Guardian’s report on Cameron’s foreign policy speech
    12 September 2006

    ‘The speech impressed with the ease and confidence with which the Tory leader seems able to say moderate, sensible and liberal things that strike the the right note.

    It is genuinely refreshing and a real reprimand to Labour, that Mr Cameron should so effortlessly transcend the simplistic and polarised cliches that curently pass for foreign policy debate on the left, before setting out his own priorities.

    Like Tony Blair earlier this year, Cameron was right a stand against anti-Americanism…But unlike the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron then had the sense to carry this through and to recognise two other simple truths…that the actions of the Bush administration since 9/11 have fanned the anti-American phenomenon that has swept the globe…

    Mr Cameron set out five practical principles which might help future governments on both sides of the Atlantic to lead from the moral high ground while avoiding the disastrous empowerment of fanatics and weakinging of moderates that have marked Mr Bush’s neo-conservative foreign policy…’

    There’s a minor moan that Cameron didn’t mention the EU – which I call a plus point.

  127. Blast. I apologise for the gaps and typos in my previous post, nevertheless, it gives the spirit of the report.

  128. Auntie Flo

    Bushed eh ? I have worked all day , disrupted a Council Meeting this evening and written two letters on it when I got home .Wimp ( Google Islington Gazette and you will probably read them in a day or two )
    1 The rhyme wasn’t about you it was about Liberals and obviously not very serious ( , I didn’t know you had a murky and reprehensible past . )
    2 Please feel free to abuse any substance you like . I generally do
    3I have nothing against Liberals its just that I am a Conservative

    As you are not a Party member ( I am ) you may not appreciate the sense of betrayal that will be felt at what appears an admission that the people we have been arguing with for years were actually right all along . I am only a very moderate member indeed and miles left of Neo Cons a other sub groups . If you look at Ian Dale`s site for example you will see that even he , a real Cameroon was uneasy about insulting Margaret Thatcher for electoral effect . He is well known to be a very astute observer and remarked that this was dangerous territory indeed. What the Guardian has to say is interesting but this is not the place to find out how Conservatives are feeling .In the Telegraph and Standard it is spun as an attack on Thatcher and an insensitively timed insult to our allies the Mail is balanced I think but having read the whole speech I feel the Telegraph has a point .

    I`m not sure I`m the sort of contributor that you would generally find in this sort of place but the sheer exuberance is welcome and the female input gives it a very different tone for Conservatism which I like ( of course ) and see the vital need for .I may misjudge the tone of what I say , if so sorry
    DC has to get the balance right between attracting new votes like you and retaining party activists like me . I think he has misjudged this speech but I have not given up on him.

    That was all bit pompous but bushed also .
    I `m right .
    Woman know thy place .

  129. My lawyers await your response.

    Raincoaster: Since Boris’ blog trails out into the black infinity of cyberspace without any record (although I have asked for one), I only have my memory – which was that you once offered Boris a place to stay should he ever visit Canada. It wasn’t explicitly about bonkability, but I read it as “Come up and see me sometime.” If I was wrong in my interpretation, I apologise. But I know that post is there.

    More generally, I’m astonished at the number of women who sigh here over Boris’ tousled locks. If this was the website of some attractive woman, would we be getting lots of posts along the lines of love-to-get-a-leg-over-you?

    Idlex, Raincoaster: Don’t you realise that bonkability is a HUGE influence on voters, perhaps almost as strong as the policies themselves. (PaulD)

    You’re right, of course. But ultimately it’s the policies that really matter.

    Or not. There’s a new movie out called Idiocracy, in which the President of the United States is a wrestler-turned-porn-star, and the electorate are slack-jawed morons who like loud explosions.

    Maybe that’s the way it all goes?

  130. idlex:

    In fact, I accurately remember the comment you are misremembering. Boris was getting a great deal of flack at the time and I offered him a drink, should he be passing through Vancouver on the way to, say, Beijing or somewhere… You’ve obviously never seen my apartment or you’d know I am not about to ask anyone back to my place. At that time three commenters from here (including Mac) had offered me a drink, should I ever make it over there, for the sake of my family’s role in looting and burning the white house, and I thought that was the least I could do in return.

    You simply have a filthy mind.

    As for whether or not bonkability has any effect on the voters; I am indeed sensible of its effect, but that knowledge does not compel anyone (particularly anyone as Canadian as me) to write love poetry in the comments section. Although Tory HQ should definitely take note; can’t wait to hear about the campaign tactics they’ll dream up over a pitcher of Martinis.

    Are there comments like this made on attractive female candidate’s websites? I don’t know: are there any?

    As for the Gouvernator of California, I have the infamous naked picture, and I can say that decades of steriod use does not enhance one’s…

    appeal to the voters.

  131. Idlex, I may have said something similar before: Where would Blair be now if he looked like Michael Foot? It’s a tantalising thought.

  132. PaulD – hurrah! Someone gets the point. If you look back on this thread you’ll find my contribution to ‘Boris’s bonkability’ was in answer to a chaps impression on meeting him. He maintained Boris was boring, I thought he was sexy and he is. I’m not the only one to observe that ammunition in his political armour. Watch him in action, especially with women, he’s very likable and engaging and yes, sexy. That ability wins votes. With politics fought in the media it’s something you can’t ignore, however good your policies are. Let’s face it – Cameron did not win on much but his looks are bankable. Personally I don’t think there’s much else to the man but there’s time yet. As this is Boris’s blog I wear no embarrasment whatsoever in heralding his assets as a politician. And if I occasionally do that with a smile or in verse then that’s my business. One of the other things about Boris is that he’s not a pompous old windbag – he finds time for humour and tolerance and appreciation of beauty, art, literature, music and the ridiculous. Norman Tebbitt – another politician I have a huge liking for, finds room in his political rhetoric for humour. A sense of humour and a wicked twinkle in the eye, backed up with intelligence, is sexy in any man. Any man. The size of their publication is unimportant.

    And if Eliza wants to post love poems to Boris then I would let her, she doesn’t do it that often and is good-humoured about the joshing afterwards. Or are we all going to get politically correct about poetry too?

  133. jaq, just as it’s Eliza’s right to post erotic poetry in the comments section here, it’s my right to post my opinion of erotic poetry in the comments section here, as I have. Surely, if we are to open things up to eroticism we are opening it up to anti- as well as pro-, or is it compulsory now?

    There is no need to be defensive; we are simply different in how we choose to express ourselves and what we feel comfortable with. I am, as I have explained before, Canadian; I can’t help it.

    No-one is calling for anyone to be silenced. I am simply saying “Ew,” much the same way I do when Steven L posts one of his lush and sweaty paeans to Dubya.

  134. Doesn’t seem to be too much wrong with Canada. Any country that can produce both “The Cowboy Junkies” and “The Wailin’ Jennies” must have something going for it.

  135. ‘I am simply saying “Ew,” much the same way I do when Steven L posts one of his lush and sweaty paeans to Dubya.’ (raincoaster)

    How do you think I feel when you post a thousand words of the incessant ramblings of the Oblerman fellow?

    It’s funny isn’t it, how a quick quote from the Bush armoury grates people so much.

    What would he say about Blair?

    ‘Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain has shown much resolve in the War on Terror. He has shown great determination in the face of adversity and shares a will with the American people to stand tall against terror, wherever it may reign. Having spoken with Prime Minister Blair I can promise you he shares my vision of a better, a safer, a free world, he understands the importance of bringing freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, people who know of only tyranny and oppression. Ladies and Gentlemen I give my friend, Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain.’

  136. You simply have a filthy mind. (raincoaster)

    I know. I know. I know. All. Too. Well.

    Where would Blair be now if he looked like Michael Foot? (PaulD)

    I never thought Blair was particularly handsome. But then, I tend not to look at men the way that women do. Indeed, for the most part, I rather wonder what they ever see in them at all. And, indeed, I think they sometimes wonder as well.

    That said, I suppose that Michael Heseltine in his heyday was indeed a bit of a Tarzan, as well as a contender for leader of the Tory party. And Michael Portillo always oozed a certain Bogarde machismo, and was another contender. Perhaps even Tony Benn had rather aristocratic good looks.

    Elsewhere, JFK was something of an idol, and wife Jackie was too. And Clinton had a certain animal magnetism.

    But the great dictators, who have inspired almost religious fervour among their followers, were a pretty nondescript lot. Mussolini was fat and bullet-headed. And Hitler was dumpy and squat. In the latter case, it has always surprised me that the heroic Aryan Master Race was led by people as unheroic as the likes of Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler. But maybe looks didn’t matter, because they were principally orators.

  137. As for Jaq’s remarks on Cameron, I’m reminded of a couple of perceptive paragraphs by Charles Moore in a recent issue of the Spectator:

      There is much anxiety at present at the ‘epidemic’ (a word which now means almost nothing) of obesity. It is attributed to junk food, etc. One cause of fatness not mentioned by health promoters is the decline of smoking. It is well known that people who stop smoking almost always get fatter, and since roughly half as many people smoke as did so 30 years ago, the connection is obvious.

      This would also explain, by the way, why David Cameron looked a bit tubby on the beach this summer. He gave up smoking after Christmas. In my view, it would be a mistake for him to get muh thinner, though. Vicki Woods has pointed out that he has an 18th-century face, and it is true. Put a peruque and breeches on him and he would look very like someone in a painting by Arthur Devis or Zoffany. He has those rather featureless, expressionless, English good looks that speak of benevolent prosperity, frequent but moderate amounts of fresh air, and a dislike of what was then called ‘enthusiasm’. He is the Whig Interpretation of History made flesh, and if there were less flesh, he would be diminished.

    I think this is very accurate. He only stopped smoking because he had become a contender for the leadership of the Tory party, and presumably his image consultants told him that the smoking had to stop, because it clashed with the athletic, clean-living, mountain-cyclist-cum-glacier-explorer image they had invented for him.

    I would prefer a rather leaner and more dangerous Cameron, upon whose frame the flesh has shrunk enough to reveal some grit and character beneath the otherwise featureless expanse. Taking up smoking again would produce this result, and also send a signal that he was a man with his own convictions, and not merely some trendy puppet.

  138. Schwarzenegger may have got in to office on his Terminator kudos but he is not bonkable and decades of steroid abuse have a well known downside. So to speak.
    Idlex – Tony Blair is not attractive he is slimy, I never saw the attraction of Micheal Heseltine and does any woman think Portillo is sexy? Some of the men maybe. Clinton’s “animal” magnetism was entirely due to being President of the United States and famously even then a number of women he accosted were not amused.

    Sex appeal or lack thereof is a secondary issue in politics which is as it should be. Not that I’m in favour of the politics of most of the above but that’s not the point, the point is they should be judged on performance not looks. Political performance I mean.

    Actually perhaps that is the point. None of the Dictators were exactly charmers as you pointed out, maybe sexy people would have nicer policies and voting on the strength of bonkability is as good as any other criteria.
    Perhaps we should do an experiment.

  139. raincoaster – I did not mention anyone’s ‘rights’ as we do not have any save those sanctioned by the moderator – I merely said I would allow it.

    Nowadays many advocate freedom as a propensity to or defense of contention. On the general subject of freedom, the constraints of which are in others hands here, I simply advocate a little more Tolerance which is not to say that I object to teasing or disagreement, which can be constructive. But a matter of taste, towards someone elses guests, seems a bit…. πŸ˜‰

  140. idlex – I too am blessed with a thoroughly filthy mind. When you pointed out “But the great dictators, who have inspired almost religious fervour among their followers, were a pretty nondescript lot” I must remind you that the ‘great’ dictators lived in an age where the media was in it’s infancy. A television was NOT in every home, in colour, 24 hours a day. There was not central heating so the family fractured into different rooms to enjoy their electronic lives alone. And news coverage in the papers wasn’t as it is now (it tended to focus on news). But having said all this, Che Guevara was very good looking. And looks didn’t really matter, not because he was a great orator, just that he was a charismatic and very effective murdering b-b-b-icon. If he looked like Andrew Marr, how many T shirts would have been sold?

    Sadly I believe looks do matter in todays politics. And a leaner and more dangerous Cameron would be like putting your teddy bear on a diet – it looks cute but ultimately does nothing.

  141. ‘Perhaps we should do an experiment’ (Thalia)

    Which politicans did you have in mind for this experiment?

    Haven’t you guys heard the saying ‘politics is showbusiness for ugly people’?

  142. sorry, sorry 3rd post again πŸ™ just wanted to assure any of you that work for the health service that just because I acknowledge that someone is attractive or sexy or has broad shoulders or whatever, it does not mean I have an agenda or indeed would want to er be intimate with them. (no pilgramage to Cuba with a spade then… sorry) Portillo for example is, in my opinion, good-looking. I don’t want to get too personal but my particular bent lies elsewhere.
    In fact, as a single mother of small children I tend to fantasise about just going out for the evening. I fantasise about someone starting a conversation without the words ‘Mummy I want’. So I have to confess ladies that I do not, in fact, spend my days in delicious carnal imaginings. Chance would be a fine thing!

  143. Paul newman said:

    DC has to get the balance right between attracting new votes like you and retaining party activists like me . I think he has misjudged this speech but I have not given up on him.

    I `m right .
    Woman know thy place .

    Piss off, Paul!

    Stereotypes like your bearded, rice eating, puff smoking Liberal bear little or no relation to reality and your sexism is pig ignorant.

    Anyway, David Cameron is not transforming the Conservatives into the Liberals in order to attract voters like me. What would be the point when those of us who have switched to supporting Cameron have rejected many Lib Dem policies?

    Cameron’s attacting lots of new supporters from across the political spectrum because he’s the first politician in years to engage with, trust and respect us people out here. In return, we respect and trust him.

    In common with many others, I was alienated from the Lib Dems before Cameron came along, primarily because of their support for the corrupt EU. I’m also angry with my local Lib Dems for forming a pernicious alliance with NuLab. For all intents and purposes, we now have a NuLab LA here – one which has killed off any semblance of local democracy in my district. NuLab completely dominate the Lib Dems, yet have only a third of the electorate’s support.

  144. Poor Jaq.You hero!
    My Mother used to make dark mutterings about gin in the milk when we were babies to make us sleep, but if could have been in jest. If not it would explain a lot.

  145. Jaq, you beat me to it. The “great dictators” operated in an era before television, OK! and Hello! They were, by definition, bullies – not gentle persuaders.

    Today it’s all very different. The public is seduced by good looks, a plausible manner and policies which promise ME a better standard of living (“I want it and I want it now”).

    Mercifully there are still enough people around to appreciate the virtues of one-offs like Boris. But I still wonder if he’d have the same appeal as a Michael Foot lookalike.

    Make the most of it, Bozza. Your country needs you.

  146. Auntie Flo

    `Piss off, Paul!
    Stereotypes like your bearded, rice eating, puff smoking Liberal bear little or no relation to reality and your sexism is pig ignorant.
    Anyway, David Cameron is not transforming the Conservatives into the Liberals in order to attract voters like me. What would be the point when those of us who have switched to supporting Cameron have rejected many Lib Dem policies?
    Cameron’s attacting lots of new supporters from across the political spectrum because he’s the first politician in years to engage with, trust and respect us people out here. In return, we respect and trust him.
    In common with many others, I was alienated from the Lib Dems before Cameron came along, primarily because of their support for the corrupt EU. I’m also angry with my local Lib Dems for forming a pernicious alliance with NuLab. For all intents and purposes, we now have a NuLab LA here – one which has killed off any semblance of local democracy in my district. NuLab completely dominate the Lib Dems, yet have only a third of the electorate’s support. `

    ……So if I could summarise then . Firstly you are all emotional because of a little joke Secondly you support David Cameron because he sort of gives you nice feelings about trust and engagement and other wise you are sulking because of some slight you have clearly taken overly personally Oh yes and you are inventing an argument about nothing for reasons mysterious to me . … I `m off for a pint until you`ve cried it all out .

    Woman know thy place

    I `m only kidding .. Isn`t it obvious . As a rule of thumb I usually am . Incidentally the phrase `Rule of thumb` was originally because beating your wife with an implement wider than your thumb was unlawful` Do you sometimes think I our helter skelter rush to change everything we have lost sight of the virtues of a quieter life ?

  147. Those who heard the Nixon/Kennedy debate on the radio overwhelmingly thought Nixon won. Those who watched it on television thought Kennedy had. Looks do matter in politics since the invention of television.

    jaq, I guess you’re just going to have to tolerate me. Feel free to post “Ew” at any point.

  148. Thalia
    I am not any sort of sexist. If you look at my various contributions you will see that I made an attempt to enter the debate and thought quite hard about the implications of the Cameron 9.11 speech . I was also trying to find ways that Cameroons and others in the party could get on which I think is important. When I have been noticed however it always seems to be only for the silly joke at the end ( directed at noone and just for fun) and with a wilful determination to take offence where none was intended. It’s a bit harsh when some are writing poems about Boris`s hair to expect me to be entirely po faced isn’t it?

  149. ‘It’s a bit harsh when some are writing poems about Boris`s hair to expect me to be entirely po faced isn’t it?’ (Paul Newman)

    Thank goodness it’s Thursday tomorrow!

  150. I must remind you that the ‘great’ dictators lived in an age where the media was in it’s infancy. (Jaq + PaulD + Raincoaster)

    Well, they had the press, radio, and cinema, and used them all. I imagine that most people in Germany knew what Hitler looked like. Did the advent of television really change the situation that much?

    And it might be said that our media are still in their infancy. Here we are, after all, chattering away using an entirely new medium. And it’s one that appears to be of a much more grass root nature than any other. With the old media, owning a newspaper, radio or TV station put the power to form opinion, in a one-way information flow, into the hands of their proprietors. The internet would seem to be now redistributing that power, and giving everyone a voice, in a two-way information exchange.

    500 years ago, Europe had a single moral authority in the form of the Roman Catholic Church, and you went to church every Sunday to be told what to think, and the price of thinking anything else was your life. The Reformation might be regarded as the product of Gutenberg’s printing press, which allowed other ideas to circulate, and break the Church’s monopoly. And as new media have been added, there’s been an ever-widening diversity of views. That process seems set to continue.

    I think that part of that process also involves bringing people back down to a human scale. The Popes were, in their heyday, superhuman figures. But in the television era, it seems that the best performers are the most natural and relaxed and humorous. The end result of that process is that we will all become ordinary people. And Boris will just be somebody else we know.

    A corollary of this is that it’s really only in information-poor regions of the world that it remains possible to control public opinion. Our various modern fundamentalisms all appear to flourish in the poorest regions of the world. Rather than bombing Afghanistan, we might do better to wire the country for broadband.

  151. Continuing on my theme above, it might be said that if the explosion of new media acts to scale us all down to human size, modern politicians do best the more ordinarily human they appear.

    Thus Margaret Thatcher’s earliest manifestation was as a no-nonsense housewife who’d balance the household budget.

    Blair, likewise, started out as an ‘regular guy’, and in touch with the mood of the country.

    If both ended up being detested, it was because as they continued in office, they both became larger than life figures, intoxicated by the power of their office. They were hated because they had ceased to be ordinary people.

    The lesson of which would seem to be that, if you want to be a highly successful politician, you should not only come over as being an ordinary person, but you should take very great care to remain an ordinary person.

  152. Thalia – gripe water used to contain alcohol, something surprising like 47% but I can’t find out exactly. Anyway, years ago parents really did put a drop of spirits in the last bottle, so your Mum was probably telling the truth. Of course nowadays if a white middle class child so much as sucks a wine drop social services are called.

    raincoaster – Nixon? Kennedy? Eewww!! Actually I thought you raised an interesting point and I’ve been thinking about that very thing. Watching HIGNFY re-runs (yep, think Ian Hislop sexy too, well his wife does and she’s such an icon of mine that I’m prepared to believe her, that and I’m secretly curious about hairy chests) Anyway Ian mentioned the election of Shaun Woodward, you know the one with the butler who was voted in by constituents of a place he hadn’t even been to, allegedly. Well it wasn’t cause he was pretty I’m sure. Now who was it who said you could stick a rosette on an alsation dog and people would vote for it? Stick it on a poodle and it becomes leader of the Labour party. If only it was about policies raincoaster, if only. Sadly most people tend to vote for who they think is a nice bloke. So Boris wins all round then πŸ™‚

    Paul Newman, I do indeed expect you to be po faced, and assume a typo and that you meant ‘poo’. I hate to drink alone. Pass the gripe water someone?

    Steven – yeah, roll on Boris tommorow then we can all savage and worry over his prose like a pack of hounds on a sunday afternoon. View Halloo!

    Night night ;+)

  153. idlex said,

    Rather than bombing Afghanistan, we might do better to wire the country for broadband.

    I think you’re right, idlex.

  154. idlex said,

    The lesson of which would seem to be that, if you want to be a highly successful politician, you should not only come over as being an ordinary person, but you should take very great care to remain an ordinary person.

    Well argued and very true, idlex.

  155. Jaq, I loved gripe water! It was exquisitely delicious, obviously all the alcohol, explains everything!

    Seriously the Daily Mail thing above about Blair banning families of British soldiers from the Labour conference is nasty.

    And Paul Newman we all know the thing about the rule of thumb as certain types of chap insist on reminding us at regular intervals. Generally the type of chap one does not date on grounds of health and safty or at least any desire for an interesting evening.
    You would be a big hit with the Saudi funded fundamentalists, they love this stuff.

  156. but what about Ruth Kelly?

    Any member of Opus Dei is almost by definition not an ordinary human being.

    I think that the extraordinary thing about so-called Blairites is that they seem to have learned nothing at all from Blair. The refreshing thing about Blair when he first came along was that he did seem to be the ‘regular guy’ he said he was, and not just another machine politician. He was charming. Naturally charming. And a political phenomenon that was studied all over the world.

    But none of the Blairites seem to have taken this on board. Nor, for that matter, has Gordon Brown. They all learn their bullet points and their sound bites, but they can’t do ‘natural’ like Tony Blair.

    The politicians who did learn were, in the first place, Charles Kennedy, and then Boris, and now David Cameron is giving it a try. But I can’t think of anyone in the Labour party who gets anywhere near Blair.

    Blair’s failure was perhaps that he lacked any coherent political philosophy, or any coherent set of values. And in this respect he was indeed a ‘regular guy’. So when it came to really deep questions – like whether to follow America into Iraq -, it seems that he simply decided that we had to be on America’s side, whatever it did, Abu Ghraib and Fallujah and all. And, equally, when it came to moral questions, he regularly fell back on simplistic black-and-white notions of ‘good’ versus ‘evil’. He has for years been saying that it was the ‘right thing’ to do X, and Y, and Z – but he has never ever given any indication exactly why he thought it right.

    But would Boris have been any better? Under all that charm, does Boris have a coherent and internally consistent moral and political philosophy?

    Not that I’ve noticed, so far.

  157. Well argued and very true, idlex.

    Thank you, Flo’.

    When everyone came piling in saying “But they didn’t have television sets in 1930 Germany”, I was at first inclined to simply concede the point – along with my now well-known filthy mind.

    But then I found myself constructing a couple of counter-arguments. I do this quite a lot: argue one side, and then argue the other. Put things together, and then pull them to pieces.

    Hegel had a name for this process, but I’ve completely forgotten what.

  158. I found myself constructing a couple of counter-arguments. I do this quite a lot: argue one side, and then argue the other. Put things together, and then pull them to pieces.

    Hegel had a name for this process, but I’ve completely forgotten what

    The dialectic, or dialectical logic. Socrates and Marx used it too.

    Colleen

  159. Dialectic?

    idlex, you own this thread. It’s wonderful to read comments I have to think over before replying to.

    When you say a politician… “should not only come over as being an ordinary person, but … should take very great care to remain an ordinary person” I would alter this slightly to “should take very great care to remain to appear to be an ordinary person.”

    Everyone wants to vote for somebody like their smartest, best friend, but when times are tough they want someone with a great deal more of the “divinely chosen” about them, which hearkens back to Boris'(Euripedes’) first sentence. It’s instructive to watch Dubya switch between good ol’ boy and Yale-trained scion of Prepitude, a switch best observed in this video post from Metro’s blog (2nd video, although the first one is brilliant and fun, too).

  160. must remind you that the ‘great’ dictators lived in an age where the media was in it’s infancy. (Jaq + PaulD + Raincoaster)
    Well, they had the press, radio, and cinema, and used them all. I imagine that most people in Germany knew what Hitler looked like. Did the advent of television really change the situation that much?
    And it might be said that our media are still in their infancy. Here we are, after all, chattering away using an entirely new medium. And it’s one that appears to be of a much more grass root nature than any other. With the old media, owning a newspaper, radio or TV station put the power to form opinion, in a one-way information flow, into the hands of their proprietors. The internet would seem to be now redistributing that power, and giving everyone a voice, in a two-way information exchange.
    500 years ago, Europe had a single moral authority in the form of the Roman Catholic Church, and you went to church every Sunday to be told what to think, and the price of thinking anything else was your life. The Reformation might be regarded as the product of Gutenberg’s printing press, which allowed other ideas to circulate, and break the Church’s monopoly. And as new media have been added, there’s been an ever-widening diversity of views. That process seems set to continue.
    I think that part of that process also involves bringing people back down to a human scale. The Popes were, in their heyday, superhuman figures. But in the television era, it seems that the best performers are the most natural and relaxed and humorous. The end result of that process is that we will all become ordinary people. And Boris will just be somebody else we know.
    A corollary of this is that it’s really only in information-poor regions of the world that it remains possible to control public opinion. Our various modern fundamentalisms all appear to flourish in the poorest regions of the world. Rather than bombing Afghanistan, we might do better to wire the country for broadband.

    Dialectic I assume is the word meant I didn1`t know it was especially associated with Hegel though , surely this Platonic or at the very least Greek originally . The concept of Dialectic is ingrained of in our Parliament Court and like` `rhetoric` a concept that is part of the Hellenic stream of culture often against the Christian . It is suggestive I think that the post Christina Environmental new agey modern religion-lite ideas seem to instinctively come into conflict with the classical legacy which was important I to the Enlightenment period . We are at bottom here talking about a conflict between feeling and rational thought which you can dress in a number of conceptual dualisms ( sorry couldn`t think of better words).
    In the development of English Common Law dialectic was Saxonised and the presence of opposing views in court , not one expert , was a guarantee of balance and truth . You will see that in this idea is the admission that absolute truth is beyond us and therefore religion is antagonistic also to the Anglo Saxon tradition as well .
    I can see that this sounds a bit pretensions but these ideas are the long view to the Cameron /Blair problem that we have been talking about .

    I like your Gutenberg / Protestant point and I think in talking about media you are really getting to the heart of the problem with politics today. I first came across the idea of the effect of the medium on the message years ago in Marshall Macluhan . I don1`t know if this is still famous it certainly was the men are from Mars of its day in the 60s ( I wasn`t there !!!) In this book there is much discussion of Gutenberg man , his typically `dialectic` or linear modes of thought and why he is becoming extinct .
    Trying to pull some threads together David Cameron , learning from Blair is trying to appeal not only beyond the party but also `subliminally` to the electorate . Tree hugging , female A lists and other attempts to alienate sections of the party are really anti marketing ,( se Burberry losing clients to move brand up market etc.). So this is sophisticated marketing operating below the level of dialectic or even rational thought .

    These ideas are well known. The dumbing down of and emotionalising of discourse is a process that many of us regard as virtually barbarian. This is the world in which David Cameron has to play his image games and that is why some of his `thinking` is barbaric in that it is by passes old style debate completely . It is no coincidence that the Nixon Kennedy debate with its famous demonstration of image over content was years ahead of the process here and whilst I love the good old US there are many things I prefer about the British tradition with its attendance to traditional `Gutenberg` thinking . In many ways it is under attack , legally Constitutionally and in particular by the Blair administrations preference for media and briefing over parliament. So Idlex there are pluses but also minuses to the develoment of media

    I hope that ( Jaq) is po faced enough for you . Or if Poo faced .. a fact . Every 8 days the human race produces Poo the size of the great Pyramid . Is the above analytical genius or a contribution to the pile ?
    Not sure myself.

    And Thalia you may have know my rule of thumb thing but I bet you don1t know the top selling artist /group ,single in the UK and Europe in the 80s . It was shakin Stevens . I have won money with this suprising fact . feel free to use it .

    Apols for spelling , at work and must do some !!!!!!

  161. Paul Newman – PAUL!!! I was jokingly referring to being s—faced as in drunk, which you no doubt understood. Cheek! I’ve never been ‘pretty’ but there’s no need to rub it in! What shall we do with him Thalia – is it hessian sack and excess kitten time?

  162. I know you like short snappy answers, even though you write long, tedious messages, Paul, so here’s one just for you: that was not analytical genius, nor even a contribution to the pyramidal pile of excrement, but wind, vast amounts of wind. No doubt you can – and probably will – give us chapter and verse on the amount of methane being released into the earth’s atmosphere by cattle farts. Please resist the temptation to add to it.

  163. Doug Pirranah, sorry about that , I did wonder if I was trying to take on to much( I usually cut and edit considerably if I `m trying to get my stuff in anywhere

    This any better its for our local Paper but the summary transcript is fabulous ( ie niot my bit)
    Dear Sir

    Richard Reid was, of course, one of many Terrorists associated with Finsbury Park Mosque during the piratical reign of Abu Hamza . I got an insight to his life talking to a Croydon based friend who used to play pool with him at his South London haunt the `Governor General` pub. In those days he was just a common or garden `nutter` but a terrifying one nonetheless . Islington residents may not have followed his subsequent career closely. He was caught trying to blow a plane full of Americans out of the sky by the passengers. The recent anniversary of 9.11 will have reminded us of what has driven US foreign Policy ever since . On that plane, on that day, it drove his would be victims to tie him up with their belts and beat him to a pulp before the authorities could apprehend him. What a terrible shame..

    We may find the way Americans do things funny sometimes but on this occasion I like the style of the judge who finally sent this maniac to his richly deserved incarceration … here is the end of the summing up

    ` courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, ! to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice. See that flag, Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will. Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.`

    Perhaps the patriotism of Americans can sometimes be misguided but many reading these stirring words will regret that we are no longer allowed to take any pride in our own country at all .`

  164. raincoaster – just seen the tragedy in Montreal, frightening.

    Also saw a good prog on 9/11 tother night: The Falling Man. Excellent prog. It highlighted the damage well meaning journalists can do to folk. Made me think about the current etiquette journa;ists adopt towards ‘the public’ – especially those with the financial power of big national newspapers. It’s a big brother world!

  165. The dumbing down of and emotionalising of discourse is a process that many of us regard as virtually barbarian. This is the world in which David Cameron has to play his image games and that is why some of his `thinking` is barbaric in that it is by passes old style debate completely. (Paul_Newman)

    I sometimes wonder whether this dumbing-down process might be the consequence of simply not having enough time to think clearly. In his book, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, physicist Richard Feynman wrote:

      To do high, real good physics you need absolutely solid lengths of time, so that when you’re putting ideas together that are vague and hard to remember, it’s very much like building a house of cards and each of the cards is shaky, and if you forget one of them the whole thing collapses again. You don’t know how you got there and you have to build them up again, and if you’re interrupted and kind of forget half the idea…

    And what’s true of high physics is true of any sort of rational thinking. It takes time. And in our increasingly frenetic modern world, not many people have that kind of time. If you want to get a message through to such busy people, you have to condense it into a newspaper headline or a 5-second TV soundbite. And since a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, there is an increasing tendency to use images to try to convey quite complex ideas. And if it can’t be done, then the ideas are simplified to the point where they can be expressed in the available time or space.

    And even if we happen not to be particularly busy, we are constantly being interrupted. Living in a modern city entails being regularly interrupted by ambulance and police sirens, car horns and alarms, ringing telephones, bawling children, shouting drunks, low flying jets and helicopters, etc, etc, etc. Any train of thought is, in such circumstances, regularly derailed.

    I found myself reading David Hume a while back, and noticing the gentle conversational style of his writing, and thinking that it must have all been composed in some placid circumstance that allowed him to think and write for hour after hour, back in the 18th century, painstakingly constructing arguments. Nobody writes like that any more – perhaps because nobody can. And if anyone can, few people have the time to read it.

    So I’d suggest that a significant contributor to the dumbing-down process is simply a lack of time in which to think, muse, ponder. And once we become unable to think clearly, we necessarily fall back on emotional gut feeling or instinct, making snap decisions which are inherently ill-considered. In that manner we indeed become barbarians.

  166. ‘I sometimes wonder whether this dumbing-down process might be the consequence of simply not having enough time to think clearly’ (Idlex)

    Surely any of us who have got enough time to be sharing our thoughts on here have no excuse for not thinking clearly.

    I know what you mean though, the working day now often starts with having to troll through an inbox through of bollocks emails that people expect you to read. you knwo that if you ignore them some irritating person is going to successfully navigate the switchboard and catch you offguard, asking about the bollocks they sent you three weeks ago you never had the courtesy to reply to.

  167. Idlex
    What I particularly like about your contribution is that the ruminative form it takes is of a piece with the content.. I agree and yet I feel that somehow there is something more to be said . As I `m a bit rushed I `ll have to forego rhyme and meter for this last thoughts

    Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable.
    What might have been is an abstraction
    Remaining a perpetual possibility
    Only in a world of speculation.
    What might have been and what has been
    Point to one end, which is always present.
    Footfalls echo in the memory
    Down the passage which we did not take
    Towards the door we never opened
    Into the rose-garden. My words echo
    Thus, in your mind.
    But to what purpose
    Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
    I do not know.

    Its not up to the level of fingers searching through his hair for a taste of happiness but its from the heart….( or is it ?)

  168. Steven_L – yeah I know what you mean, especially in this electronic age where you press ‘send’ before running the content through the moopoo checker (do you get that with Norton utilities?). I think part of it is that when people used paper and pens there was time to better merge what one really thinks with what is acceptable or advantageous to say. So I think if this were a paper exchange with letters published in a monthly journal then we would probably be less inclined to say ‘Paul at least my poetry’s supposed to be rubbish, man that’s just painful!’

  169. Idlex you really are a clever bugger…..good joke don`t you think and at least Jaq and Pirranah leapt before they looked.

  170. Paul newman – no I reject that charge: apart from the fact that mine was an example of someone saying something before checking (er that WAS the point) I feel it compulsory to have the consideration of T.S.Eliot’s poetry and the word ‘painful’ in the same sentence. I remember reading The Wasteland at A level and I think that was one of his better offerings. I thought T.S. Eliot could be a pretentious git.

  171. JAQ -…and ( TS Elliot )was anti semitic ( but then that seems to be acceptable nowdays if you are
    a ken Livingstone
    b Islamic
    c Any commentator on Middle East affairs from the BBC

    A bottle of wine ,a quiet table in the Piazza di Spagna ,and you and I could spend a golden evening discussing our favourite pomes JAQ .See you there tommorow , I `m the Italian looking person

  172. Oh Paul, you are a one – but as an Eliot scholar you will have recognised my quotation from the great poet. Dull roots, man… It is you, old boy, that have fallen into my trap, ha, ha, ha. Seriously, though,it’s not The Four Quartets that are painful, but your tedious assumption that you’re being clever by quoting from from them… Think about what people are actually writing before you leap in…

  173. huh? I’m not “anti semitic” (anti-Semitic actually) – I AM jewish under jewish law though wasn’t raised a jew.

    Apart from that charge the bottle of wine and quiet table sound lovely.

    Can I admit a REAL girly passion? Without raincoasters breakfast coming up? I’ve got a bit of a thing about Placido Domingo, I just think he’s the epitome of everything heaven in a suitor – tall, dark, handsome and he used to serenade his wife when they were courting, from underneath her window, and in THAT voice! My mother would have had a fit but in Spain or Italy it’s fine. I just love that. We’re so closed off here, so afraid of ‘getting involved’. That’s what comes from so many people living so close together – you have to learn to ignore each other.

  174. Pirranah . DAMN YOU TO HELL , FIEND… April is the cruellest month … I missed it . The scream of defeat rang around the office, ( I hope you don`t think I don`t read everything though , just because I`m not up to answering fully )
    JAQ …Not you anti-semitic just TS Elliot ( which he was more or less out of a literary tradition).Placido Domingo not my cup of tea .Try Gigli for the most magical tenor . He can sing higher in his full voice than I can in falsetto.
    ( I `m listening to Old Ska,Wilson Pickett and .. um embarrassing things at the mo)
    I think what you say about seperation is interesting.The film `Crash` was in part about this , the play `Closer` also . Both of these I would call `Conservative ` in formal sense (incidentally) and I must admit from a Libertarian base camp, I have been ascending recently into One Nation ideas on Community tradition even dare I say it a sort of quasi-spiritual puzzlement..

    The Conservative Party has for a long time been regarded as the Party of the Philistine. In a discussion of a Conservative ( general) Reading list I saw recently for example .Niall Ferguson cropped up endlessly but of Jane Austen ,Rudyard Kipling( who I would defend )Fielding the Cavalier Poets (I would claim).etc. nothing
    .I stand with you in defending our right to a broader emotional range than `Men and There Arguements`( Wendy Cope … know it ?)

    In the application for candidature for London mayor there is a section requiring you to demonstrate excactly this range. David Cameron clearly thinks it as important as you do

    ( And yes I have applied…10% seriously really although …, why not ?)

  175. Wendy Cope – Men and their arguments? Yes, know it well. She was at the Times Literary Festival in Oxford this year but I missed that. And Hay πŸ™ And Chris Hitchens was at Hay πŸ™‚ (reading CH at mo, along with others, depending on what mood I’m in) Wendy Cope apparently gave out tea and cucumber sandwiches – I would have liked that. Gigli? Oh yes, another fave – I want to find if there’s a good recording of him singing the duet from the pearl fishers but can’t source it so, if you know? Favourite aria? ‘They call me Mimi but my name is….’ go on Paul, name that tune.

    Having difficulty ignoring an inexplicable hurt which always seems to be remembered at about 4am and wakes me up so excuse me, I’m going for a nap. Sayonara πŸ™‚

  176. I know very little about Opera but Puccini , a teeny bit , Mimi is La Boheme with the coughing and the tiny frozen hand and so on . I saw this at the Albert Hall(which didn`t work well as a space for this )
    I prefer Soul and Guitars myself( but oddly I do have a recording of Gigli singing the Pearl Fishers Duet not on me!)
    Wierd last sentence JAQ

    Ta ta

  177. Not wierd at all, just honest. Things that are easy to ignore, or forget, at 3pm amongst the noise and distractions of the day often come to haunt when quiet and off-guard, usually for me around 4am. So if someone’s done something to hurt or annoy that I can’t explain away, it’s easily dismissed when busy, or when I can’t think of the answer to a song say that someone’s asked me about, i’ll usually end up waking up with it in my head, then annoyingly it stays in my head throughout the next day. Murder if it’s the Crazy Frog. (Had to go to McD’s for the toy – the children left the food and pocketed the toy: crazy frog. ARGGHHH)

  178. I wonder how many Labour and Liberal (and even Conservative) MP’s are learning all those mushy poems you guys wrote to Boris – so they can taunt him all Autumn in the corridors of power. If I was an MP reading this that’s exactly what I’d do.

  179. Mushy poems? Hardly! I can’t think of any poem you may be aware of, of mine, that cannot be included under the micturition-take banner. In the best possible taste of course and with with the greatest affection for the subject. Actually my favourite is still ‘PH is like a bacon sandwich’ – just the title should win the turner prize, I should spray paint it on a condom and submit it next year.

    but raincoaster – good suggestion. I’ll leave the worthwhile submission to Eliza but will strain to offer my support, and it is a strain, I’ve never been able to take erotic poetry seriously. You see, as a mother, I know only too well that parents can no longer indulge in the free abandon of leisurely sexual play. You hear singles at work don’t you? ‘Well she had leather handcuffs on chains built into her waterbed and I rode all night through her entire Beach Boys collection – talk about good vibrations, she had more toys than Hamleys’ Well ok, you proably don’t hear that now I’ve left. Anyway, married persons sexual office boasts tend to take the form of (if honest) ‘My wife was ironing in her good robe and I thought hey, I can watch Spooks anytime.’ But the truth is you’ve just got the kids to bed and you’re running down the corridor, tearing off clothes, whispering at the top of your voice ‘START, JUST START WITHOUT ME, I’M COMING’ when you hear those three little words – ‘mummy I’m scared’.

  180. I am also a parent Jak and you made me laugh a lot . I `m afraid I can`t claim my sex life has ever been that exciting … for her . But who cares about that take it away Mr. J Brown

    `I got mine, don`t worry bout yours
    Get up get on up
    Stay on scene
    Like a sex machine`

    Forget me knot are you seriously in need of help .Call the Samaritans please

  181. Melissa has been alerted about ‘forget me please’.

    For me, writing erotic poetry is a bit like living in a famine and writing odes to a roast beef dinner. It’s just best ignored lest you end up salivating and chewing the furniture – not a good look.

    ‘Get up offa that thang,
    and dance till you feel better’

  182. JAQ JAQ JAQ! Can`t tell anyone ( in real world )but wife pregnant this AM with second .

    and I`m really sorry about the FORGET ME NOT thing I confused a feast with a Lion Bar it was supposed to be (even more ) obviously a spoof.You guessed I assume

    Your bottom hunts me / Can`t get comfy !!!!!

    If I promise never to do it again will you please forgive me..( Wendy Cope does some great pastiches )

    In desperate need of attending to my clients so will not be about so much.

    MAY YOU ALLL BE AS HAPPY AS I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  183. Congratulations Paul, I can understand how delighted you must be πŸ™‚

    However, best not to be silly like that again, I’m sure Mrs Boris wouldn’t have thought it funny AT ALL. I’m guessing a ticking off from the Mel-meister is in the pipeline.

  184. OOH!!! Allow a mini rant will you please:

    Melanie Philips really gets my goat she really does, pompous stupid mare. I would say she spends FAR too much time in the company of Peter Hitchens after her latest indictment of single mothers but I’m guessing she just didn’t pay attention. Try reading his work Melanie you stupid woman then actually check in with a single mother cause I’m guessing you wouldn’t know one if one hit you in the face. (forgive me but I’d rather bite simon hoggart in the arse).
    urghhhhh

    By the way, Boris is on ‘Any Questions’ next week, R4 8pm ish fri or around this time sat

  185. Bloody good answer from one contributor to ‘Any Answers’ on the subject of ‘Depression in Children’ – childhood is a Victorian invention for the upper classes. It wasn’t too long ago that kids aged 6 years old were working down the mines! Some childhood huh? Now it seems if ANYONE does not follow the media prescriptive nuclear family then THEY are to blame for ALL the social ills.

    Ooh this gets me so mad I could just stamp on someone’s feet.

  186. ‘Melanie Philips really gets my goat she really does, pompous stupid mare.’ (Jaq)

    I bought her ‘Londonistan’ book, I was in London at the time and it freaked me out. By chapter 4 the Israel / Lebanon thing had kicked off and I stopped reading. It ended up getting lost.

    So from what you’re saying she doesn’t like single mothers huh? I know she sure as hell don’t like Muslims and that’s coming from an Islamosceptic like me.

  187. Yeah Steven, another woman who blames societies ills on single mothers – like we CHOSE to be on our own – I wonder how often SHE bakes??

    I see the Pope regrets any upset but won’t back down. Very diplomatic I thought.

  188. HIGNFY Boris episodes are now online:

    Part 1 of his first appearance on HIGNFY


    Just type Boris Johnson into the search engine on youtube to get all the other parts.

  189. Why is it that people tend to assume, because one has gained fame, that one is an expert on anything one cares to comment on? I mean, even in the US Britney Spears is understood to be nothing more than an occasionally hot pop tart. In the UK she’d have a book deal and a column in the bloody Times.

  190. Oh yes, so true raincoaster. For some reason Peaches Geldof springs to mind (and I’ve been reliably informed that Celia Walden should too – mind you I reckon Celia could get a column in any mans times). I wonder how both would get on if 4′ tall with a face like a dogs backside?! For some strange reason I don’t think their ‘lirerary skills’ would be appreciated.

    The transition from grubby gin-soaked hack to automatic celbrity status intrigues me. Like they’re the demi-Gods of social knowledge. Vintners knowledge more like :-\

  191. NOT A REAL COMMENT:
    i posted in response to a journalist’s response to boris’s response to people’s response to a couple of words in this post. (wheee.)
    clearly this is world-shaking and someone just reminded me i should have put in a trackback. oops. and now i can’t see any way to do it other than by a comment.
    so: hi. i referenced this and Boris’s follow-up reply:
    >’I meant no insult to the people of Papua New Guinea who I’m sure lead lives of blameless bourgeois domesticity in common with the rest of us.’

    , in this post:

    It’s fascinating to watch [journalists’] Needs create Errors

    >… Boris was
    (a)
    genuinely pointing out he’d been typing about something QUITE different and had not intended to insult PNGians by referring to a less-than-PC aspect of their history
    , and
    (b)
    very elegantly ripping the living shit out of the wittering parasites who live those lives of (shoutingly displayed) “blameless bourgeois domesticity” which are overwhelmingly the lives of those pseudo-leftwing webels struggling for attention and status in the meeja who had seized upon him as the subject du jour.

    Go Boris, go!

  192. ‘Why is it that people tend to assume, because one has gained fame, that one is an expert on anything one cares to comment on?’ (raincoaster)

    It’s all part of the ‘dumbing down Britain’ process that the media and government seem to have embarked on.

    I mean, has anyone seen the God-awful premium rate quiz show on ITV that comes on in the small hours for a start? Come on, we’re not that stupid yet, are we?

    Then there was the other week I watched a film on ITV2. Afterwards they announced that ‘I would be pleased to know’ they were going to repeat it the next night? Come on for God’s sake! I might not be Oxbridge material but I can get the gist of a Hannibal Lecter film in one sitting. Why the hell would I be pleased to know the are putting the same damn movie on 2 nights running?

    I don’t know what they are playing at to be honest raincoaster. Perhaps they thought they were losing too much market share of thick-headed people to Murdochs channels. Maybe advertisers pay more for commercials during programs that are guaranteed to be watched by gullible morons. Maybe the ads people have a system of calculating the ‘value per head’ something like:

    Number of viewers/average IQ of viewer x number of viewers = slot’s value ratio

    No, I think the main reason is they want everyone to switch to digital TV, and the media are so hooked on conning us all the time it’s theonly way they can think of to achieve it. They want to bore us to death with terrestrial TV, whilst constantly trying to persuade us that digital has dozens of channels that all have better programs on, they use selective trailers to do this.

    Once you get digital TV of course you find that is not the case. It’s umpteen channels of low budget bollocks like ‘Peaches Geldof goes to bloody Morocco to climb a mountain and discover Islam’, ‘reality’ TV, premium rate quiz shows aimed at the mentally challenged, repeats of old sitcoms, even repeats of old current affairs programs and the same damn movie every night for a week.

  193. I don’t understand why they’re making such a ridiculous fuss over digital/analog tv in the first place. This should really only be an issue for the people who make their living delivering the TV to the viewers. It shouldn’t matter to anyone in the real world what method the video takes to get to your screens. This is a bullshit issue, frankly.

    I’m old enough to remember the expression “Pay tv” and we all laughed, thinking nobody would EVER pay for television. Then they told us it wouldn’t have commercials, and we laughed again because we knew they were lying.

    Fortunately, there are some mavericks out there with aerials, and at least the CBC will never abandon it. We’ve got too damn much land to lay cable everywhere!

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