Tag Archives: Government

Now, about this ‘alternative’ …

London's burning

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If this hypocritical silence is the best ‘alternative’ The Labour Party can come up with, it will be in opposition for years.

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In his article this week
, Boris derides Labour’s ‘alternative’ to bringing the British economy back to a state of fiscal sanity :  attacks on Fortnum’s and the Ritz and the setting of bonfires, all to be controlled — as best they can — by 4,500 policemen at tax-payers’ expense.  Having paid close attention to Ed Miliband’s speech, he concludes that the ‘alternative’ amounts to “two-thirds of diddly-squat”.

Continue reading Now, about this ‘alternative’ …

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

schilaufer

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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.

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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’

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.

Continue reading Limo-Loving Politicians

The Eurozone

 

We can take no pleasure from the euro’s fall

Euro-sceptics should not gloat over the eurozone crisis – we’ll feel the pinch too, says Boris Johnson.

Talking yesterday to my old friend and colleague Phil Johnston, who happened to be editing this page, I was reminded how right we were, all those years ago, about the euro. In 1990, he and I were sent by this newspaper to cover the Rome summit – the one where European leaders ruthlessly ambushed Margaret Thatcher and tried to get her to agree to what was then called the Economic and Monetary Union of Europe.

It was a blood-curdling scene. Thatch was backed into a corner – a minority of one – as they all piled into her, Kohl, Mitterrand, Andreotti, Delors. Come on, they said, let’s create a single currency! Let’s scrap the franc and the Deutsche Mark, and let’s scrap the pound while we’re at it. No, said Thatch.

Continue reading The Eurozone

Liberal Conservatism and The Plight of the Lonely

there are so many people who never have a sense of communal exhilaration

according to a recent survey a sense of social isolation is the number one problem of our lives

we need to start actively re-knitting the coalition of British society

Dear oh dear, it’s just as well I never said anything rude about the Lib Dems, eh? What? Did I say that? You mean I once accused them of being a bunch of euro-loving road-hump-fetishists who changed their opinions in mid-stream like so many hermaphroditic parrotfish? And are you telling me that senior Lib Dem sources are accusing me of being a Eurosceptic classics crank? Dear oh dear.

Well, I am sure we can put it all behind us, because there was something about the amazing events of last week that has filled the nation – me included – with a giddy helium-lunged feeling of hope. We looked at that scene in the Downing Street garden – the dappled sunlight, the blossom floating past – and we saw an extraordinary partnership being forged. They were David and Jonathan. They were Achilles and Patroclus. They were Gilbert and George. They were Wallace and Gromit. And you know what, I truly believe it can work, must work, will work.

Of course, there will be strains, and the media will try to pull it apart, but over the next few weeks and months the two parties will discover that there is real content to the idea of liberal conservatism, wherever you put the capital letters, and that there is much more that unites them than they ever dreamt possible.

Continue reading Liberal Conservatism and The Plight of the Lonely

The 50p Tax is driving people away

 
We should worry that Tracey Emin, Hugh Osmond and Michael Caine are fleeing the 50p tax rate
The 50p tax rate will be a disaster for the economy – taking us back to the dark days of the 1970s, says Boris Johnson.

Not everyone will miss her as much as I will. Not everyone can relied upon to mourn the departure of Tracey Emin and her duvet. You may have seen that the gorgeous Britart supremo is off to France. She has had it with Britain, says the woman who famously embroidered a tent with the names of everyone she had ever slept with, and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

Some readers may feel that the country can rub along without her. Take up thy tent and walk, they may say, in the words of the gospel. And then there may be people who don’t give a monkey’s that Michael Caine is thinking of vamoosing, or that we are about to lose Eddie Jordan, the former Formula One chief, or the milk tycoon Lord Haskins. Some of you may not care a tinker’s cuss if the former bookshop king Tim Waterstone deserts these shores, and as for the impending absence of Hugh Osmond, an entrepreneur who has had a role in everything from pizza to insurance, you may feel that we just have to dry our eyes and get a grip on our feelings.

Continue reading The 50p Tax is driving people away

School Discipline

The real victims in all this are not just the teachers. They are the other kids whose education is being wrecked by a minority of badly behaved children

All we need is the politicians to have the guts to take on the bullying parents, the supine education authorities, and the crazed culture of health and safety

 

Teachers need the law on their side
We need a politician with the guts to stand up for reasonable discipline in our schools, argues Boris Johnson
 

Let’s be clear. I am not calling for the return of the cane. I do not want to bring back the great British thrashing. It seems amazing that in our lifetimes otherwise humane teachers would roll up their sleeves, flex the Malacca and – with or without a pervy Terry-Thomas glint in the eye – administer violent corporal punishment to the children they were supposed to be instructing.

My memory of an otherwise idyllic 1970s English prep school is that masters used virtually any weapon of discipline they could lay their hands on. There was the blackboard rubber, a heavy chalky object that teachers would hurl with great force if they saw you staring vacantly during maths. There was the ruler, which could be brought down so hard on the back of the hand that a friend of mine had a contusion that lasted for years. There was the jokari bat, for those who forgot their construe. There was the cricket bat for seriously argumentative types and also, I kid you not, the handle of a nine iron golf club. And then there was the cane. I remember being so enraged at being whacked for talking at the wrong moment that it has probably given me a lifelong distrust of authority.