Limo-Loving Politicians

We will push up the age of retirement, and I believe it should go to 70

I just don’t see why the taxpayer should be coughing up for state-sponsored cars, so that some people can feel superior about the way they get around

It must have been about six months ago that I was treated to a symbol of everything that was wrong with the wasteful and incompetent Labour government that has just been ejected from office. Indeed, it was a symbol of everything that has been wrong with British politics over the past decade. I came across this object in Derby Gate, Westminster, round about lunchtime – and I can still see it in my mind’s eye, stationed in the gloom not far from the Red Lion pub.

What was this monstrous sight? What was this thing that still, to this day, makes me shudder with rage? My friends, it was the rear end of Mr Keith Vaz MP. Not that I have anything in particular against Keith or any part of him. Indeed, I could not actually see his hindquarters but I could see where they were located – cupped, cosseted, cocooned on the velour upholstery of a government car – and for the life of me I couldn’t see why.

The car paused as it drew abreast and Vaz hauled down the window to hail me. Actually, I can’t be sure that it was Vaz who pressed the button, causing the window to slide silently south. It might have been him, or the driver, or the bodyguard. But at any rate the window went down and Vaz addressed me in the kindly tones of Louis XIV leaning from his carriage to comfort a poor peasant woman struggling along in the mud.

“I say, Boris,” said Vaz, “do you want a lift?” I am sure he meant to be friendly, because, as I say, he and I have been perfectly cordial in our relations, even though he once produced a transcript of a conversation in which I had apparently told him to “—- off” about 24 times. “No, it’s OK, thanks, Keith,” I said, slapping the battered old handlebars of my machine. “I’ve got my bike.” And then, as an afterthought, I asked: “Where are you off to?” “Lancaster Gate!” said Mr Keith Vaz MP, as his limo swooshed off into the lunchtime traffic. And then I am afraid I saw red.

Lancaster Gate? Lancaster Gate, I could have pointed out – as the Chairman of Transport for London – is only four stops from Westminster. You take the Jubilee Line, change at Bond Street, and pow – you’re there. Why in the name of all that’s holy was Vaz being chauffeured from Westminster to Lancaster Gate?

Consider the total cost to the public purse of his car, his driver, his bodyguard, and compare it with the negligible charge that would have been made for one swipe of the Oyster card.

Consider the massacre Labour has made of the national finances, and then remember that by this stage Vaz wasn’t even a minister. He was just a chairman of a back-bench select committee. He didn’t face the slightest threat to his security, except possibly from people like me, and here he was cruising around London as though he was Charles blooming de Gaulle.

I neither know nor care who has succeeded Vaz as chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and the very fact that I don’t know confirms that he or she has no need either of a car or a driver or any other expensive flummery designed purely to gratify the ego of politicians.

David Cameron has made a good start in taking away some of these ministerial cars, but there is much further to go. We are going to take some very tough decisions in the next few years. We will push up the age of retirement, and I believe it should go to 70, rather than 68, and we will need to do it long before the current target of 2046. We must find ways of persuading huge numbers of people claiming incapacity benefit that they would be better off working.

We must make difficult reforms to the benefits system, and in those circumstances it is utterly nauseating that politicians – and anyone benefiting from the public payroll – should think they can swank around in taxpayer-funded cars just because it used to be one of the perks of the job.

London has one of the best public transport systems in the world, and in so far as it needs improvement and investment, we need to get the political class down the Tube to understand what needs to be done. I want them straphanging and armpit-nuzzling all summer until they understand why we would be stark, staring bonkers to cut Crossrail or the Tube upgrades; and I am not just talking about ministers and people who have been entitled to use the absurd Government Car Service.

I am talking about the entire clerisy of officials, quangocrats and public functionaries of all kinds – tens of thousands of them in London alone – who still believe they are entitled to be picked up in the morning, and then taken home in the evening, and ferried to lunch or shopping in between, and all of them – from NHS hierarchs to the ruling elite of the National Trust, more or less subsidised by the poor bleeding taxpayer.

And I also mean those who don’t have a driver, but simply have taxpayer-funded allowances for the use of a car in central London. Those allowances must go. The Treasury should immediately announce that they are no longer acceptable across Whitehall or any other emanation of government, and it must be made plain that the taxpayer is no longer picking up anyone’s congestion charge. It’s not that I dislike cars. I love cars, and am a proud former motoring correspondent of GQ magazine.

I just don’t see why the taxpayer should be coughing up for state-sponsored cars, so that some people can feel superior about the way they get around. They don’t need it. They can write or think perfectly well on public transport, and if they really want to be on their own they can either get a taxi or, from the end of July, one of London’s amazing new hire bikes. In an act of outstanding generosity we have made the first half-hour free of charge, which is more than enough time to get from Westminster to Lancaster Gate, even for Keith Vaz.

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46 thoughts on “Limo-Loving Politicians”

  1. I love it. You’re going to take away that cargo car that trails David “Mister Bicyclist” Cameron everywhere, ferrying the stuff he can’t be bothered to keep in the basket.

    And you’re going to do it under cover of attacking Labour.

    Beautiful. This is only going to get better.

  2. I’m with you, Bozza! The revolution is here! Next opening of parliament, I look forward to seeing Liz on her moped (can’t expect her to walk all the way there and back at her age) nipping through the traffic from the palace to the palace, without the expense of all of those soldiers, horses, carriages, police, secret service and ladies in waiting. Good on yer.

    And “Former motoring correspondent of GQ magazine”. At last! something worthwhile as your epitaph (although let’s hope it isn’t for a long time yet!)

  3. “slapping the battered old handlebars of my machine. “I’ve got my bike.” ”

    This is hypocrisy. Boris Johnson as far as we know still drives a people carrier when it suits him. He is not taken seriously as an advocate of cycling in London by the London Cycling Campaign because he is sacrificing the Congestion Charge Western Extension for the sake of popularity and votes.

    Not long ago, he wrote in a rather babyish way: [On driving a Ferrari]: ‘I seemed to be averaging a speed of X
    and then the M3 opened up before me, a long quiet Bonneville
    flat stretch, and I am afraid it was as though the whole county of Hampshire was lying back and opening her well-bred legs to be ravished by the Italian stallion.’

  4. …”said, slapping the battered old handlebars of my machine. “I’ve got my bike.”

    This is hypocrisy. Boris Johnson as far as we know still drives a people carrier when it suits him. He is not taken seriously as an advocate of cycling in London by the London Cycling Campaign because he is sacrificing the Congestion Charge Western Extension for the sake of popularity and votes.

  5. In his article in the Daily Telegraph today, (the newspaper that has caused David Laws untold pain and seems to have deliberately tried to ruin his career, never mind how much his loss will damage the country), Boris makes the brilliant point that politicians should give up limos and rub shoulders with the rest of us. A bas les aristos!

  6. Boris, can I come with you when you go walkabout in the outer boroughs that returned you to power, pitchforking the yummy mummies out of their elephantine 4x4s as they transport their precious darlings to their Montessori sandpits? They too can write or think perfectly well on public transport, even though they probably don’t do either.

  7. Boris, I have had a really good idea! If some ministers wish to act like toffee nosed twits, because they can’t bear the thought of rubbing shoulders with the hoi paloi, let them! Let them have their government cars! Just make sure they pay the full going rate for the car, chauffeur, petrol, the whole shebang. Acting like Lord Snooty should cost and that would deny it to poor people, which the most stuck up ones would love.

    I am so devious, maybe I should be a politician.

  8. You mean you only told him to f*** off 24 times? Why, sir, you are the very model of restraint. As A fellow bike rider(tricycle in my case) I salute you!!!!!!!

  9. Angelneptunestar: “… the newspaper that has caused David Laws untold pain…

    As you have raised the issue, I would like to say something: Lots of unemployed people live in rented accommodation and receive rent benefit from the state to pay for it and lots of them sleep with their landlord or landlady. Does this mean it is a relationship that needs to be declared to the benefit office who will then stop their rent benefit as they are now officially a couple and are no longer landlord or landlady/ lodger?

    As Mr Laws had never told his family, friends or anyone about his sexuality or his sex life, I don’t think they are officially a couple, partners or in a civil relationship. Meaning he was entitled to his rent expense claims. And that he did not deliberately cheated the state.

    Talking about MPs’ rent expense claims. Lots of them say they rent a room in their parents’ house or their son’s or their daughter’s house ( even the MPs paid for these properties themselves ) and receive rent benefit to pay their family members. Even these MPs don’t sleep there at all as they all have their own house somewhere in London which they have never declared or they prefer to go home outside London after work in Westminster.

    This is why I can’t understand the difference between Mr Laws’s case and those MPs’.

    Some said: It was because Mr Laws made public the insulting letter left behind by outgoing Labour Treasury Chief Liam Byrne, Labour ( Peter Mandelson that is ) took revenge by getting someone to phone the newspaper and tell them about Mr Laws and his landlord.

    Also, Mandelson thinks it is now time to spread gossips and rumours to disrupt the coalition government ( because Mandelson knew about Mr Laws but had always kept quiet to keep in line with Labour’s pro-gay policies ).

    They don’t call Peter Mandelson The Prince of Darkness for nothing.

  10. Edna, wasn’t Jacqui Smith renting a room from her sister….. I don’t understand that either. But why would the Telegraph, a right wing paper, oblige Peter Mandelson?

    Whatever their agenda, I’m appalled at the way the Telegraph has behaved. Some of their articles are like the lowest form of gutter press. I’m not blaming the Mayor, because the Telegraph is a great vehicle for him to put over his message every week. In my innocence, I thought the Telegraph was a reputable paper, with standards.

  11. I can not believe that other oil companies dont come up with ideas to help BP to shut the flow of oil! why nobody has any solution?? I cant understand how this is going on for over two months!! there must be some solution for this disaster – the company already spent 1 billion dlrs only to disperse the oil in the sea!!

  12. I don’t know why Boris picked on the National Trust. It’s an independent charity, funded by its donors and volunteers. It moved its HQ to Swindon to save money. If national and local government were as well-ornaised, frugal and successful as the National Trust we would have little to complain about.

    Perhaps National Government should go somewhere cheaper. They might enjoy having some decent working conditions instead of the gloomy, cranky and antiquated Houses of Parliament.

  13. When the state subsidizes two lovers’ living space, then that living arrangement becomes rightfully a matter of public interest.

    If your children are claiming to be your lodgers while sleeping with you, I’m afraid the state really DOES need to get involved.

  14. From Dr Beeching onwards, Conservative politicians have showed that their policies generally benefit the selfish motorist.

    Boris Johnson is no exception.

  15. Boris please encourage positive relationships between Europeens and Americans such as marriage and partnership before they wipe each other out of the map!! Marriage between different nations to maintain peace and prosperity was the remedy throughout the history! some old traditions are very wise!!

  16. The issue is one of policy dialogue. There are unbelievably huge cultural differences between Europeans and North Americans; this should be changed by more mingling and human relationships. The white race fighting for needy people around the globe, seems to have lost the sense of self-perseverance!!

  17. Boris Johnson criticises rich people driving around in expensive cars.

    Yet Not long ago, he wrote: [On driving a Ferrari]: ‘I seemed to be averaging a speed of X
    and then the M3 opened up before me, a long quiet Bonneville
    flat stretch, and I am afraid it was as though the whole county of Hampshire was lying back and opening her well-bred legs to be ravished by the Italian stallion.’

  18. Lorraine, of course, nobody is denying the awfully obvious point that you have made. That goes without saying.

    It’s probably better that we don’t talk about this though. Considering what you are like, and I want to stay sane. (joke)

  19. Wasn’t it Peter Mandelson who, while a Labour minister, helped a Brazilian male student obtain a UK permanent residence visa when his student visa was about to expire?

    And did Mandelson tell the State that this student was in fact his boyfriend and that he helped him get his permanent residence visa?

    No, he did not. He was exposed by the press on both accounts.

    * This Brazilian young man came to the UK to study… English ( don’t we all?! ), not medecine or anything difficult, so naturually when his English course had finished he should have gone back home as he had no higher qualifications to get a job good enough for the Home Office to grant him a permanent residence visa.

    Some people might wonder: if Mr Laws wanted to keep his sexuality secret, why didn’t he rent somewhere else and went to visit his partner?

    Well, Mr Laws is a very naive man in this matter. He even thought his family, friends and colleagues didn’t know about his true sexuality. I mean, a man at that age, still unmarried and no girlfriends, they must already have guessed but said nothing out of politeness.

    ( Daily Express said years ago Westminster Village started to talk about Mr Laws and his partner behind his back and none of them could believe that they were partners as they are very straight acting. This is why I don’t understand Labour didn’t want to out Mr Laws then. Is it because to them Mr Laws was not an important man at the time? ).

    So maybe he thought if he rented somewhere else and went to visit his partner then people would wonder why he kept visitting this young man and he might even get caught out by the press. So maybe he thought the best way was to rent his room, then they both would be living under the same roof as landlord/ lodger, then nobody would ask questions or suspect a thing.

    This explains why he naively thought if he never admit they were partners in order to hide his sexuality, then his landlord was right to charge him rent.

    This is why I don’t think he deliberately set out to cheat the State financially. Let’s face it: he could have rented a whole flate somewhere in London, went to visit his partner regularly ( but he might get caught by the press ) and nobody would have said anything and that he would not have in so much trouble as he is in right now. Poor David.


    It’s a right-wing paper alright; perhaps too extreme it doesn’t even like the idea of a Tory & Lib-Lab coalition. Otherwise, it would have also pointed out other real expense cheats like Jacquie Smith and the Mandelson & Brazilian student & visa scandal like the Sun newspaper did.

    The TIME, 31/5/10: ” Common rules since 2006 explicitly bar claims for renting from partners OR relatives “.

    Yet some newspapers, at the same time, deliberately obmit the word ” relatives ” in order to make Mr Laws’s case look really bad. And none of them mentioned Jacquie Smith’s dodgy expense claims or Mandelson’s visa scandal.

    Yesterday, the chairman, I mean chairperson of the UK gay STONEWALL organisation wrote in the Labour-supporting paper Daily Mirror (!): ” … Laws deserves to lose his job. It’s all about cheating. It’s not about homophobia… ” (!)

    Who is he kidding? If it’s about cheating, if he is so against cheating, why didn’t he mention Jacquie Smith or the Mandelson & Brazilian student & visa scandal in his article?

    Some gay people do believe that gay people mainly come from the working class and that they must always support Labour no matter what in order to stay true to their working class roots; even though they can see with their own eyes the damage Labour has done to this country the last 13 years. Out of date attitude like this only makes them look cheap and dim. And they want other people to respect them?

  20. This is the result of policies of dividing people:

    In the last ten years there was a fall of 350,000 in the number of married couple families, and a rise of 260,000 in the number of lone parent families. Over the same period the number of cohabiting couple families has risen by 900,000.(Office for Natinal Statistics, Winter of 2009)

    What was the problem of labour government with marriage? Was it because marriage decrease the level of government intervention into lives of people – because one is more independent and better off and better managed when one has a partner!

  21. Lorraine, this is part of what the Times said today, and i agree with this from the bottom of my heart. I have written about five blogs on David Laws, and the Times have summed up what I was trying to say in a few brilliant sentences.

    If we are grown up enough to hold our MPs to account, then we should be grown up enough to use common sense and compassion in the exercise of that scrutiny. This has already been a personal tragedy for Mr. Laws. Clumsy handling of his case would be a tragedy for public life.”

    What a brilliant way of putting it and what a brilliant newspaper The Times is.

  22. Loved the article Boris…..I wonder if any of them are actually looking over their shoulder and saying “Better make the most of it”….

  23. I have a radical idea…

    What if we didn’t actually supply members with an allowance for expenses. Surely if they were that intent on seeing this country working to the best of its ability and satisfied that they had actually made a difference.
    Would that not be enough for them?
    It would be more than enough for me knowing iv’e made a difference to peoples lives across Britain.

    You don’t perhaps think that people are only interested in helping others when it is of benefit/appropriate to them?

    At the end of the day how logical is it to drive around London anyway?
    How many of us would rather get a train into London and leave our cars at the station?
    London is as busy as it is , maybe if we stopped all members of parliament going around in limo’s that to be perfectly honest are not exactly made for English roads…
    We wouldn’t actually need the congestion charge?

    Then again…

    I can imagine a very large rise in air traffic as without the opportunity of a limo, they would no doubt just start hiring out helicopters at the tax payers expense.

  24. Wiser folk than me have let on that if we do raise the retirement age to 70, all those frightening international research papers about how the USA, UK and France are headed for hyperinflation or bust go away.

    They neglect to mention the effect this will have on unemployment in the younger generation who are struggling to find work as it is.

    The other thing is, as a 30 year old, by the time I’m 65 the top-heavy baby-boomer demographics will have gone away.

    Politicans like Boris find it far easier to play to the baby-boomer vote than face up to the elephant in the room and cut the age related baby-boomer liabilites. For 30 years they’ve been promising these folk all sorts of things and there’s no money in the pot to pay for it all.

    Solution? Fudge the books and hope the bond market doesn’t notice. Pull the other one Boris and face up to the harsh economic reality you like to bang on about!

  25. It seems unlikely that David Cameron will want to change the gun or ammunition laws too much, since he has showed a liking in the past for shooting living animals.

    Does anyone know if Boris Johnson owns a gun?

  26. “Boris JOhnson continues deliberately to take backward steps on air quality, particularly in respect of transport. In that respect, for example, the removal of the [Western extension of the congestion charge zone] would be a double whammy because air quality will worsen and Transport for London will lose over £55m income.”

    Sadly he has to go ahead with the removal of the [Western extension of the congestion charge zone] because he offered it as a bribe to get himself elected.

  27. “London has one of the best public transport systems in the world…”
    Apart from the lack of air conditioning on the tube trains!

    Grey is a depressing colour and depressives take their own lives.Were the platform barriers on the Jubilee line,installed to prevent the mass sucide of passengers?

  28. Jane Moore, bits & pieces journalist, The Sun 2/6/10: ” As an un-married 44 year old man with a young, handsome “landlord”, it was totally Laws’s prerogative to pretend he was simply too much of a workaholic to have found himself a blushing bride… ”

    The TIMES 31/5/10: ” … Mr Laws had misled The TIMES in an interview. Asked about his cherry situation… “, no I mean family situation ” … family situation, he had insisted that he was single. Asked again… ” again? how instrusive! ” … asked again whether he had a partner… ” partner? giggle, giggle ” … if he had a partner, Mr Laws had replied: ” No. ”

    When a man says NO, he means NO!

    ( People are not stupid, you know. They can tell if there’s something there! )

    Well, Mr Laws had never pretended to be a straight man. He has always attended parties, functions on his own, without a fake girlfriend. He can’t be accused of lying. He had also always kept his sexuality a secret.

    The word “partner” is a very foggy word. If the Times wanted to know what Mr Laws’s sexuality was, why didn’t it ask him directly, rather than trying to be politically correct beating around the bush?

    Other people, again, trying to be politically correct, say: ” We don’t care if you are gay or straight…”. But they are curious to know if you are gay or not, aren’t they?

    People were not born politically correct; they are forced to be, so naturally inside them there are still some human streaks like envy, jealousy etc…

    People say: ” We don’t care if Laws is gay or straight. He cheated and he deserves to lose his job. ”

    Yet, reading between the lines some journalists’ recent articles, you can see their thinly veiled joys at ( in order ):

    1) Mr Laws’s sexuality being exposed abrubtly.

    2) It was him who made the public spending cuts which some people hate.

    3) He has lost his job!

    4) Oh… erm, his expense claims.

    These journalists have been writing long, exciting, colorful articles about Mr Laws’s sex life, private life, only mentioning his expense claims a bit in between. I just immagine they were writing it on their laptops with a big grin on their faces! Think about the pain and humilation Mr Laws has been put through for a minute.

    Talking about pains, humilation and forgetful people. This brings us back to the time when Mrs T was PM and Gordon Brown was in opposition in whatever job he was.

    Anyway, one day Sue Lawley interviewed Mr Brown on her radio show. While talking, Lawley asked Mr Brown abrubtly: ” You are still un-married? “; or You’re still single? or something to that effect. ( People are not stupid, you know. They can tell if there’s something there! )

    Mr Brown hesitated and then mumbled something. The next day, there were uproars in the national newspapers, calling Lawley ” rude, unprofessional, instrusive etc. ”

    Mr Brown at the time was middle aged, un-married, no track of girlfriends…

    Fast forward to the years when Mr Brown wanted Mr Blair to move his ass so he could take over the PM job. Well, Mr Brown’s own spin doctors must have told him that if he wanted to get to the top in politics, he ought to get married first ( in order to avoid awkward, instrusive, personal questions? ). Because while being kept waiting by Mr Blair, Mr Brown suddenly announced his surprised wedding. Out of the blue. And no, the bride was not coming from India.

    Mr Laws said: ” It’s very difficult to get to the top in politics if you are gay; open or not. ” Enough said.

    Mr Laws’s expense claims are old snows; nobody had raised any issues about them at the time. Suddenly, now some tricks department tipped the newspaper off, saying: ” Double-check his expenses claims and WHO they were paid to! ”

    Clearly they wanted to expose Mr Laws’s sexuality first as they know it was his secret and once exposed he would be too ashamed to stay in his job.

    Daily Mail: ” … The immediate cause of Laws’s resignation was an investigation by the Daily Telegraph, the one paper with unedited copies of MPs’ expenses. Yet proving that two men who live together are lovers is a near impossibility unless there is a tipp-off.

    Given that possibility, it is fair to ask who has benefited from Mr Laws’s demise. Labour party has an interest in sowing discord in the coalition.

    Is it the Labour party, an outfit well known to harbour many well practised in the dark political arts – as the entire career of Alastair Campell readily testified? ”

    Daily Mirror 2/6/10: ” There have been secret talks to make Laws the new Treasury Chief’s unofficial advisor. This shows how inexperienced the new Chief is, who will be Laws’s puppet. ” HURRAY!!!

    Why not? Peter Mandelson was sacked time after time for financial fiddlings, yet each time Labour took him back as Blair’s and then Brown’s unofficial economic advisor or chief advisor. And look at the deep shite Labour has dropped this country in after 13 years in power under Mandelson’s priceless advises.

    The only way Labour can get rid of Mr Laws now is invite him to a London sushi restaurant for lunch.

    Glad that Mr Laws is fighting back, as for him to drop everything and hide himself at home and cry like a baby would make his enemies very satisfied in deed!

    They have kicked you down, you must get up and fight back. People don’t like an old fashioned Labour-supporting, self pity, cheap and dim gay loser like the UK gay Stonewall organisation.

    People prefer a brainy, bright, mordern gay man like you, Mr Laws.

    Why don’t some people like Mr Laws? His crimes: it was him who made the public spending cuts which they don’t like, not because of his expense claims. Well, he was only trying to get this broken, deeply in dept country back onto her feet for the benefits of everybody no matter which political party you support.

    The SUN 3/6/10: DEPT NOW AT £800 BILLION

    Briatain’s crippling national dept will smash through the £800 BILLION barrier at 2.17pm today.

    Labour’s unprecedented borrowing means our dept is soaring by £310,212 each minute and is eventually expected to hit £1.4 TRILLION.

    Matthew Elliot, of the Taxpayers’ alliance, said they would drive a giant clock around the UK to highlight the crisis.

    he added: ” The £6.2 billion cuts are welcome but they must go further, faster. ”

    Enough said!

  29. Wiser folk than me have let on that if we do raise the retirement age to 70, all those frightening international research papers about how the USA, UK and France are headed for hyperinflation or bust go away.

    They neglect to mention the effect this will have on unemployment in the younger generation who are struggling to find work as it is.(Steve)

    I agree with the wiser folks – why do we send our children so young to work to become a soft target for “forces of abuse”. They better stay with their parents or take voluntary jobs for another “five years” !!

    From the perspective of accounting, it is waste of asset to let 65 year oldies that are now still young because of health improvement and full of good knowledge to become of no use! I think policy makers should devise some useful programmes to allow pensioners to contribute to economy and society after the age of 70 and not feel ready for coffin.

    I remind you that there are great technology advancement to improve health problems of elderly that helps them to participate more in the society.

  30. Is Edna Boris?If you are, you really need to keep your words to a minimum,otherwise they won’t be read

  31. I’m fed up of all this shilly-shallying over the pension crisis. Let’s get to it! Incentivise suicide for the over-50’s. A sliding scale of tax breaks to enable a cash rich death for the individual, and huge savings in NHS, pension, and benefit costs. Put your country first – die now!
    You know it makes sense.


  32. “Designers of subprime mortgages were 27 years olds with a laptop !!” (consultant)

    Ah, but the people who kept voting for never-ending house price inflation were the baby-boomers.

  33. Ah, but the people who kept voting for never-ending house price inflation were the baby-boomers.Steve

    Your logic is not convincing!! it is as if you say, Ah but hungry people jump to eat delicious cake when offered!!! of course – people are lured into buying houses that they cant afford!!

  34. Ol’ Tom the Gardener, ( giggle, giggle )

    ( deep voice ) You must have read my comments !

  35. @Edna:
    i know exactly what you mean , i started adapting a different attitude after the whole Gary v mail where they targeted an innocent person leading to him losing his job damage of reputation etc.
    The sad truth is people love scandal, there is however i feel a way we can rise against this. This obviously will not appeal to a fair few people but those who still can define and uphold good morals should be grateful for the change.

    We can do nothing but support our side of the story with cold hard facts (perhaps carefully selected but cold hard facts all the same).
    If you meet with an argument that you are not entirely knowledgable you must first research it beyond belief and by doing so you will go much father than most papers are willing to to acquire a story.
    OK i personally will admit to not having (or wanting to really) much of a handle over the following subject but…
    EG; pre-budget report 09
    standard and poor gave the uk a credit rating saying it had dropped from a AAA resistant to AAA resilient (or vice versa) i believe moody’s say that the downgrade mentioned must of been a mistake as it is apparently the other way round. So the pre-buget was released stating that it had been downgraded to a higher credit rating and no one seemed to realize the mistake or take steps to amend this? Which doesn’t really bode well for those who took ‘all that time’ to produce it. To most that is nothing but if you were to really think about it then in theory the whole document could be full of mistakes far more serious.

    So my advice is to research, bookmark Wikipedia, file pile, even our butler friend Jeeves lol. And hit back with such a sheer arsenal of facts and undisputed figures without scandal nor targeting anyone. Maybe the odd sarcastic or subtle comment about the real issue at hand . Then no matter what is said in retaliation, or how full of profanity and ignorance, it cannot hold a candle to your fully supported statement.
    (i do however, tend to veer of course when it comes to politics, there must be some leeway but never making comments that hurt anyone or personal undeserved attacks)

    @ed gibb
    I realize that your comment was a valid argument and i do see your point but, im sorry that comment quite upset me. I can’t find the comedic value in that after experiencing palliative care(etc etc) at my fathers request.
    Like i said i fully understand but fail to be able to see the funny side, much the opposite. You weren’t to know though i suppose.

  36. I love your blog! I just stumbled upon it the other day while looking for information about the Cleggmania back in April and it is just a pleasure to read it!
    Furthermore, I can only agree with you on the quality of London’s public transport: I have just spent 2 months in your lovely city (February – April) and the tube was my dearest companion!!!
    Unfortunately the Mayor of Munich (that’s where i live…) is not that good with words.
    Best wishes!

  37. You never fail to amuse.
    I love your blog but please, please avoid the ConDem habit of answering every question by describing ‘what Labour would do….’
    It gets annoying and boring after hearing it two thousand (or so) times.
    Keep the job of Londons Mayor forever Boris, it keeps you well away from the real world, but keep writing about the Metropolis – it makes me feel good.

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