Boris Website back live

Following a great meeting with constituents and some blogging supremos this lunchtime we, in Boris’s office, are now ready for action and the challenges ahead.

All we can say is that over the last few days the comments we received via email have been 100-1 in favour, so MANY, MANY THANKS for your warm support and encouragement.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Olly and Melissa

Special relationship or one-way street?

Can someone just remind me about this Special Relationship business. I know it’s very wonderful and important, and I know the whole country will be sitting on the edge of their sofas and dabbing their eyes, as they watch Dubya and Tony make their glistering-toothed expressions of fiefdom and fealty in Washington today.

But can someone explain, just one more time, what we get out of it? Here we are, giving our blood and treasure in support of an entirely US-inspired plan to conquer Iraq. We send the Black Watch. We lose British lives. We earn the barely veiled scorn of much of the world, for seeming to be the poodles of Uncle Sam.

Continue reading Special relationship or one-way street?

Boris, Wayne and Melissa


There have been a few requests for more photos, so here is a very exciting picture of myself, Melissa, and Wayne (who is our Local Constituency Agent for the South Oxfordshire Conservative Association).

I’ll try to post some photos from Israel tomorrow morning if you’re agreeable.

Time to scrap South East England’s Regional Assembly

North East referendum delivers fatal blow to regional agenda

Government plans for an elected regional assembly in the South East of England should be abolished, and the existing unelected assembly should be scrapped, Boris Johnson MP today said. This follows the people of the North East voting ‘no’ in the referendum for a regional assembly by a margin of almost 500,000; 78 per cent voted ‘no’, while only 22 per cent voted ‘yes’.

The present regional chamber for the South East of England is not directly elected but made up of officials, councillors, ‘community stakeholders’, and numerous committees. It covers an amorphous area from Oxford to Portsmouth to Canterbury and is based in Guildford.

Boris Johnson MP explained,
“People want action to deliver cleaner hospitals, lower taxes, school discipline, more police and greater accountability. The North East referendum result shows people think that a regional assembly means just one thing – more talk and higher taxes.

“This vote shows that people do not want an expensive extra layer of regional government. Regional assemblies take powers from existing local councils and local people, such as over housing, planning and local transport. They are less democratic and more remote. The existing, unelected regional assembly is an expensive talking shop which should be shut down, and the money saved should be spent on frontline services.

“The next Conservative Government will scrap the existing regional chambers, abolish regional planning, and implement real decentralisation, restoring power to people away from Whitehall and its regional quangos. We will give more control to local people who really know what is best for themselves, their families and their local communities.”

Bush owes Blair – and must deliver

In a hotly contested field, the most dismal awakening of my life took place yesterday morning, alone, hungover, in a hotel bedroom in Tel Aviv, when I found that the television was still burbling from the night before and that Don King, the infamous boxing promoter with the conviction for assault and the Van der Graaf Generator hair was on screen announcing to an appalled planet that the American people had awarded a second term of office to the cross-eyed Texan warmonger George Dubya Bush.

If ever there was a moment for burying your head in the many superfluous hotel pillows, and issuing a groan of self-pity, this was it.

Not four more years of a man so serially incompetent that he only narrowly escaped selfassassination by pretzel, and also managed to introduce American torturers to Iraqi jails. Who on earth, I moaned, can conceivably have supported this maniac with his monochrome Manichaean rhetoric that has done so much to encourage the nasty strain of anti-Americanism that now afflicts so much of the world?

Who did it? Who were the idiots who backed him, I whimpered, in that weak pre-breakfast state.

And then I remembered. I backed him, come to think of it. In fact, not only did I want Bush to win, but we threw the entire weight of The Spectator behind him. We wrote a magnificent leading article in which we recounted these well-known weaknesses of Dubya, and then set them beside the weaknesses of John Kerry: his air of Herman Munster gloom, his flip-floppiness over Iraq, his greater hostility to free trade, his love of higher taxes. We then closed our eyes and, in a tumultuous final paragraph, we exhorted the people of America to vote for Bush, as marginally the less undistinguished of two undistinguished alternatives.

It is well known that Spectator editorials can have an explosive effect, even among populations not normally thought of as avid readers. It may even be that we tipped the scales in Ohio, and there will always be part of my heart that suspects it was the Spec wot won it for Dubya.

But not all readers will be satisfied by this account, and will be wondering what other factors saved the President. A certain amount of mild tosh will be written this morning about the “lessons” for the Tories from the Republican victory, and the way British Conservatives need to become more like their hot-dang Bible-bashing church-going American cousins, and how we need to emulate the family values of the vast suburban flyover country that voted for Bush.

I am not certain that these qualities, however admirable, can be easily implanted into the brains of suburban Brits; but in any case, the championing of such attitudes was not the most important cause of the Bush triumph.

Continue reading Bush owes Blair – and must deliver

Visit to Israel

Boris is away on a long-planned trip to Israel this week as guest of the Conservative Friends of Israel Group.

During his stay in Tel Aviv he will be meeting economists, academics, national security advisers and Ministers – as well as leading Palestinians. He is having dinner with editors of the national press and the British Ambassador.

Last year he visited Sudan, Zimbabwe and Russia which proved to be very fruitful visits.

We shall hope to hear his reports about the situation on the ground very soon.