Tag Archives: conservatives

Ski helmets have a lesson for us … on ‘localism’



Boris Johnson rails against the centralization of power that has caused the cost of government to rise like a rocket, saying the sensible way forward is to simplify and devolve.


In an article in The Daily Telegraph Boris Johnson admits — despite the economic rigours the population generally is suffering — to going ski-ing.  He does claim in mitigation that it was a cut-price affair with, as he puts it, “home-made sandwiches for lunch, washed down with eau de robinet”.

It is not, he says, just that he loves ski-ing and is addicted to hurling himself down the slopes and that his children are quite keen.  A collateral purpose drove him to take this vacation :  journalistic research.

Continue reading Ski helmets have a lesson for us … on ‘localism’

Boris urges Chancellor, “Explain how you will cut taxes ?”

Boris JohnsonIn an interview with The Daily Telegraph to-day, reports political editor Andrew Porter, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, expresses himself shocked by the levels of income tax, saying he never thought he would see the day when other large European countries had lower rates of personal taxation than those in Britain.  He fears this high taxation is harming her competitiveness.

In the face of criticism that high taxation is harmful to Britain’s global competitiveness the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have been vague in assuring critics of their intention to lower it ;  Mr. Osborne has refused to cut the 50-per-cent. rate on highest incomes — instituted by the Labour government — despite being urged that, although it acts as a disincentive to the entrepreneurial creators of jobs and economic activity, it generates little extra revenue for the Treasury.

Continue reading Boris urges Chancellor, “Explain how you will cut taxes ?”

Quotes of the week …

… ending 25th. September 2010

~ · ~ · ~ · ~ · ~ · ~ · ~

As he accepted the leadership of the British Labour Party at its annual conference Ed Miliband said —

“I get it and I understand the need to change.  I need to unify the party and I will.”

~ · ~

Continue reading Quotes of the week …

Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012

To-day’s announcement by Boris Johnson of his intention to seek a second term as Mayor of London will be welcomed by many Londoners and come as a huge relief to the current leaders of the Conservative Party.  A recent discussion of the question “Should Boris return to Parliament ?” prompts a well-wisher to offer —

Some Suggestions


For some time a popular, although little organized, movement has been proposing the adoption of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, as leader of Conserv­atism in the u.k.  Let us first consider the reality of the situation.

David Cameron, smilingSome years ago David Cameron, either off his own bat or at Mr. Johnson’s suggestion, stood for election to leadership of the Conserv­ative Party (c.p.) ;  his period as leader of H.M. Opposition was reasonably successful and, as 2009 drew to a close with a general election just six months away, the c.p. looked set to take power, after thirteen years, by a margin that brought to mind the days of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Mr. Cameron however, although enjoying general popularity, espoused many ideas decisively unpopular not only with swing voters but even with the core supporters of the c.p. :  most of all the subjugation of the British parliament to the profligate and unaccountable European Union (e.u.) and — in line with the vast majority of the scientifically illiterate body politic — the supranational anthropogenic-global-warming fraud.

On May 7, when the votes had been counted, the consequences were clear :  as the electorate had come to realize just how close these critical policies of the c.p. were to those of not only the Liberal-Democrats but even the retiring Labour administration, the vital marginal support the c.p. had enjoyed at the turn of the year had evaporated

The beneficiaries ?  The U.K. Independence Party ;  perhaps the British National Party ;  in all likelihood, however, the greatest winner of the lost ballots was the ‘none of the above’ party.  I suspect even the Liberal-Democrats benefited from the fact that there was nothing to choose between them and the c.p. in the two most important matters before the British people.  (“The Conservatives are no different from the Liberals :  might as well let the Liberals have a go.  They can’t do any worse, can they ?”)

Labour, despite having presided over the most disastrous phase of British history since the Civil War, managed to turn its own vote out ;  despite their strenuous efforts, c.p. workers — under the burden of the product they were having to sell — could not match their opponents’ performance.

Continue reading Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012

Cameron is PM

Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron is the Prime Minister


Ministers announced here

First Cabinet appointments in the Cameron-Clegg Cabinet here 

See photos of Dave’s first days in Downing Street via flickr

Keep up to date with all the Cabinet and Ministerial appointments on the Number 10 website including the Cabinet appointments list

Boris Johnson is delighted at the news and felt that the public would:  “want to hear what these guys are going to do to sort out the country .. it’s a robust and interesting new specimen.”

Gordon Brown still in Downing Street

Read Boris’s take on Election Night here.  Look out for Rachel Johnson’s up to the minute tweets @RachelSJohnson

London is the goose that lays the golden eggs

More latest news and this column in The Daily Telegraph here

The whole thing is unbelievable. As I write these words, Gordon Brown is still holed up in Downing Street. He is like some illegal settler in the Sinai desert, lashing himself to the radiator, or like David Brent haunting The Office in that excruciating episode when he refuses to acknowledge that he has been sacked. Isn’t there someone – the Queen’s Private Secretary, the nice policeman on the door of No 10 – whose job it is to tell him that the game is up?

Off in Brussels this zombie Labour government is in the process of obliging future generations of Britons to pay “whatever it takes” to bail out the euro, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. The Lib-Con negotiations are still going on, in a foretaste of the Belgian orgies of tedium and paralysis that proportional representation will inflict on the country. Everyone is trying politely to work out exactly how many Cabinet seats to give a party that came a resounding third and did worse than in 2005. Will Vince Cable be needing Dorneywood in addition to his Red Box and his seat at the Cabinet Table? And if Chris Huhne needs a ministerial car and a driver, will Mrs Huhne require someone to help with the shopping?

Will Gordon ever leave the bathroom?

Continue reading Gordon Brown still in Downing Street

Boris’s Second Anniversary as Mayor on 1st May

London illustrates what a bold, Conservative administration can do

I’m a one-nation Tory

He believes in the capacity of human ingenuity

Dave, he says,  will be seen in a completely different light

Benedict Brogan interview with Boris

Boris Johnson was at work on Wednesday when Gordon Brown crashed into the northern rock that is Gillian Duffy. As a connoisseur of forced apologies – Michael Howard once sent him to Liverpool to grovel for criticising the city’s “mawkish sentimentality” – the Mayor of London is forgiving. “If we judged everybody by the stupid, unguarded things they blurt out to their nearest and dearest, then we wouldn’t ever get anywhere.”

Apart from the obvious lesson about never allowing anyone near you with a clip-on microphone, he is more interested in the subtext of the blunder than the mechanics. “The thing I thought was revealing, and went to the way he runs things, was the instant blaming of Sue Nye [Mr Brown’s long-serving sidekick whom he held responsible for introducing him to Mrs Duffy]. It’s always someone’s fault and the world is always organised by a hidden hand to conspire against him. It’s a slightly paranoid view of the universe. But it’s fundamentally insignificant. What matters is his stewardship of the country and the complete mess that he has made.”

Which is why Boris, as he is known from Bromley to Beijing, is more interested in the crisis engulfing Greece and the ramifications for Europe’s financial capital. We are in his office to mark his second anniversary as mayor, which falls tomorrow. It is no surprise that a classicist who is also a big fan of the City is keeping a worried eye on the drama unfolding in Athens. He fears we could be next if we end up with an indecisive result next week. “If we get things wrong next Thursday, this could be something that we have to face in this country. That’s why I worry about a hung parliament. If all we get is drift and indecision, then we will get the same response we have seen in Greece.”

Continue reading Boris’s Second Anniversary as Mayor on 1st May

Dave’s Ambitious Message

Boris to Dave:  “You have got to run for this thing … or else I will!”

GENERAL ELECTION: Parliament Dissolves today and the General Election campaign begins officially today with the Dissolution of Parliament – and the publication of the first of the party manifestos.

It is almost exactly five years ago that the Tories experienced yet another election defeat and Michael Howard unexpectedly decided – after a valiant campaign – to step down as leader of the Conservative Party. I remember staggering back to my office at The Spectator and wondering what should happen next. After about ten seconds’ reflection, I picked up the phone.

“Dave,” I said to the future Prime Minister, “you have got to run for this thing.” With his customary politeness David Cameron thanked me and said that a couple of other people had mentioned the same idea. In fact he was so polite I wasn’t quite sure that he was going to strike with the mamba-like swiftness required. I decided to raise the stakes. “You have got to run for this thing, Dave,” I said, “or else I will!”

At which point, as he later told Tory audiences, David Cameron was seized with the full urgency of the situation and the need to save his party and his country. He has done a fantastic job in the last five years, and triumphantly vindicated that small group of us who first supported him in 2005.

Continue reading Dave’s Ambitious Message

Will Gordon Brown return to No. 10?


I love newspaper headlines, the way that they shout at you competitively from the stand on a Sunday morning – imploring your attention like a bunch of gape-mouthed nestlings. I have always admired the art with which the headline writer will take the story before him and bleach it of conditionals, sharpening and condensing and pushing it to the limit of credibility so that the faltering fingers of the deluded consumer will feel unable to resist. And yet in all my years of knowing chuckling at the headlines, I don’t think I have ever come across such a brazen confection of suggestio falsi and suppressio veri as appeared yesterday in large print across one of the Sundays. “Brown on course to win election,” it said.

When I had regained my breath, I thought of some other propositions the headline writer might have touted – with an equal measure of foundation. How about “Pope on course to win Wimbledon”? Or “Simon Heffer on course to win Miss World”?

I have an answer for all those befuddled by the recent mutability of the polls. May I direct you to Betfair, a political betting website that in my experience is almost uncanny in its accuracy. Here you are looking at the predictions that people are willing to defend with their own money, and the money is still overwhelmingly on the Tories. The single most likely outcome – and you can actually watch as the bets go down and the stakes mount up – is that the Tories will have a comfortable overall majority, easily enough to govern for five years. As for the idea that Gordon Brown ‘s Labour Party could win the election, with an overall majority – that possibility has been flatlining for months at between five and 10 per cent. The reason I trust the punters of Betfair more than I trust a poll in a Sunday paper is that the punters have thought it through with the care of those investing their own money.

They have put themselves in the position of the tens of millions of sensible men and women who will be going to the polling stations in the next few weeks. The gamblers have focused hardheadedly on the reality of the choice.

There you are on May 6 (or whenever), pencil poised. Are you really going to give Gordon Brown another five years in Downing Street? This is a Government that has spent the past two years lurching disastrously from one abortive putsch to another. One by one, they have stepped up to plunge the rubber dagger into his impervious back, from Clarke to Hoon to Hewitt to Alistair Darling himself, while the atmosphere has become so poisonous that some talents – Siôn Simon and James Purnell, for example – have not only abandoned their ministerial careers, but given up on the Commons altogether.

Do we really want another five years of the holepunch-hurling horror of Gordon Brown’s management style? Do we want the Downing Street switchboard to be endlessly jammed with people bleating to some “bullying helpline”? Is this any way to run a country? And that is just froth compared to the real charges against Labour.

If Gordon Brown is on course to win the election, then Elvis Presley is on course to win The X Factor and Shergar to win the Grand National.

For more news, comment and to read this article in full go to The Daily Telegraph

The Prime Minister’s Behaviour

With apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford, let’s have another little song thanks to Dungeekin

New Labour’s legacy is money and blood,
Under them this country has been dragged through the mud,
The damage began with Grinning Tone,
Now the PM’s weak and it’s all gone wrong,

Continue reading The Prime Minister’s Behaviour