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 —
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.
Some 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.
… back at City Hall (which ought to be called County Hall but cannot, lest it be confused with a much more attractive building now used as a sort of plethorama) Boris Johnson was taking over from Ken Livingstone and founding a commendable government for the County of London ; he works hard for his new constituency and is well regarded by a surprisingly large proportion of its electorate. (‘Surprisingly’ because incumbents are not usually well regarded.)
Ought he to abandon this worthwhile part of his career, in which he has immersed himself and achieved considerable success, for the steeper slopes of Westminster ?
The interests of the country motivate the question ; how the answer, when he finds it, will affect the life of Boris Johnson and his family must be left for them to assess.
The purpose of the change
The first observation one might make is that a return, in the due course, to Parliament will serve the nation only if it result in his becoming leader of the c.p. and, in that capacity, taking the party back to its conservative roots. His becoming just another orator, albeit a colourful one, in an already swollen legislature — or even leader of the c.p., if all he did were to keep the party on a course many of its core supporters deplore — would merely deprive the County of London of its most able leader and champion since it assumed its current size in the last century.
Moreover it would be a pity — given his enthusiasm for London and the energetic way in which he has thrown himself in to the organization of the Olympic Games of 2012 and the campaign for London to play a major part in hosting the soccer World Cup in either 2018 or 2022 (should that honour be awarded to England) — were he not to see at least the former through.
There is, of course, the possibility of his not being re-elected in May 2012, in which case the question likely answers itself.
One possibility that had occurred to me is his not standing for re-election as Mayor of London in 2012 but being appointed to the Olympic Delivery Authority, in command. Whether the government (sc. the Prime Minister) could be persuaded to make that appointment — and how he might be persuaded — themselves are questions not easily answered !
New – coherent – policies
Hitherto the Mayor has shewn every sign of toeing the party line on the most important policies. This will clearly be of no use to him — or the country — in the event of his returning to Westminster : he must have not only his own platform but one in which both he and potential supporters can believe.
The European Union
He has expressed his views on the e.u. ; without becoming, or seeming to be, a ‘Europhobe’ he needs to continue drawing his constituents’ and readers’ attention to the failings — not to say the ‘undemocratic’ nature — of the e.u. project and the dire consequences of its policies for the u.k.
The coalition government — at least its Conservative element — mouths dissent from e.u. diktat but the policy is patently unaltered from that of the preceding administration : follow every order handed down by the European Commission without question. To quote Bismarck : “When one says one approves of something in principle, it means one has not the slightest intention of putting it in to practice.”
A bigger problem for the Mayor and his chances in the wider political game is his stance on environmental matters. The reason this is so important is that current environmental policy threatens the entire u.k. economy.
His concern to minimize pollution is what ought to be expected from a true Tory. He seems, however, trapped in a milieu in which all politicians feel bound to be part of the ‘consensus’ : never to express dissent from the international-socialist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (i.p.c.c.) and its ‘climate forecasts’ — despite the now well known fact that they contradict the scientific data. His recent piece on the receding snow line around Kilimanjaro with its reference to a ‘relentless expansion in the number of human beings’ was entirely unhelpful — unless, that is, he was merely seeking to establish credentials as yet another scientifically illiterate politician swallowing the environmentalist line.
The vast majority of scientists with knowledge of the relevant fields — geology (especially plate tectonics), astronomy (especially solar physics), meteorology and economics — regards the i.p.c.c. and its works as a form of secular religion motivated partly by a desire to destroy capitalism but largely by personal greed.
The views of these scientists are, unfortunately, suppressed by not only the i.p.c.c. but also the media : after all, you cannot sell newspapers or television-advertising time, if your news programmes report merely that, in the last dozen years, nothing has changed. On the other hand, alarming news reports indicating that rises in global temperatures of seven degrees and in sea levels of twenty feet (six metres) are likely, even certain, over the next century — and all owing to human activity — sell copy.
A intelligible platform of his own
The next question is : how long will this state of affairs prevail ? When, in other words, will humanity — impoverished by a combination of ‘carbon’ taxes and the shortage of virtually everything that modern industrial society produces (particularly food) — rise up against the fraudsters and their political accomplices and force a change of public policy ? Never mind the Tea Party : it’ll be the T-Paper Party !
When — to put it bluntly — will it be expedient for the Mayor to relinquish his apparent position as an ‘environmentalist’ in favour of one that reflects the scientific and economic reality ? Cynical ? Perhaps but, as Bismarck also said, politics is the art of the possible.
So, what should be the planks of Boris Johnson’s platform ?
A cohesive society. Not Labour’s entirely bogus ‘multi-cultural’ society, promoting alien practices and attitudes at the expense of the indigenous and resented by the vast majority of Britons (especially Englishmen) ; a society in which, as always used to be the case, other cultures did not dominate and were not promoted over the indigenous but were accepted in a spirit of tolerance.
An independent country. His plan for the relationship between the u.k. and the e.u. — whether it entail the u.k.’s leaving the e.u. or the e.u.’s being returned, by a new treaty, to the international-trade organization for membership of which the British nation voted in the 1975 plebiscite and not the Reich 3.2 it has become — will have to be fully formed in order to be credible and to receive the support of the electorate as a whole.
The idea that the u.k. could not, were it necessary, survive outside the e.u. is mere scaremongering by supporters of the dastardly project. This country is well able to forge links of all types with countries around the World and, whilst pleased to do business with other European nations, has no need to belong to a body whose purposes are the domination of the nation states by the unelected eurocrats and the spread of socialism. Her progress is indeed fettered by her membership.
Scientific policies on the environment and resources. He will have to stop thrashing around blindly in these vital fields. The actions of governments around the World — especially those of the developed countries — and of the United Nations Organization have led to a substitution of politics for science and — with ample help from grant-seeking scientific institutions — brought science itself in to disrepute.
The infamous hockey-stick graph (Mann, M. E., et al.)
Climate science is not ‘settled’. As any true scientist will tell you, science is never settled : it progresses from one hypothesis to the next ; even the ‘laws of physics’ are merely hypotheses that scientists have, with limited resources and better things to spend their time on, stopped trying to disprove.
A Johnson-led administration would have to start with an immediate reclamation of policy in these fields from the politically motivated and destructive environmentalist movement ; to set the World an example, leading it back to policies justifiable by reference to proper scientific evidence and procedure.
However comfortable he might find doing so, sitting on the fence in this matter will not suffice. The projected cost of so called ‘green’ policies (including eye-watering subsidy to ‘green industry’), together with wholly unrealistic restrictions on ‘carbon emissions’ (not, incidentally, being pursued by our competitors in the East that follow real science), threatens to bankrupt this already highly indebted nation and to make her commercially uncompetitive for generations.
All performers know how important timing is … and Boris Johnson is nothing if not an accomplished performer.
What, then, is ‘the due course’ ? Were he to take that step, when ought he to plan his return to Parliament ?
The recently formed coalition has only just started on its mission and, quite apart from loyalty to his friend the Prime Minister, Mr. Johnson is constrained by the prospect of his coming to be perceived as the one that wrecked its chances of success : a triumphal entry in to the House of Commons in the near future is out of the question.
He has already indicated the intention of continuing his service to London till at least May 2016. A wise decision, I suspect : the next general election will be held — we are assured by the coalition (sed cave) — in 2015 ; the outcome of its policies will then be judged by the electorate.
It will likely suffer defeat ; less perhaps through failure of its policies than by virtue of, on the one hand, being the unpopular incumbent government and, on the other, having to campaign against itself (i.e. as Liberals and Conservatives, rather than as the coalition). Justly or otherwise this will give rise in the c.p. to the search for new leadership — just in time for Boris Johnson to retire gracefully from County City Hall and take up the challenge.
ΠΞPericles (his paw print), 2010-09-10
15 thoughts on “Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012”
Thanks for putting the poster design from the 1948 Olympic Games on this article, Pericles. A fine way to remind us of how appalling is the broken-biscuit logo favoured by the groovy designers employed for the 2012 Games. I wonder what the relative costs are, in adjusted values?
As for the meat of your article, didn’t Bismarck say that ‘only a fool learns from his own mistakes’? On reflection, I think Boris is probably very wise to keep at arm’s length from the unpopularity that is going to rain on the fatally compromised coalition. The Tory parliamentary party is destined to repeat the conflict of the last Major government, as the government finds itself under fire from euroscepics on the Tory backbenches, and eurosupines inside the cabinet. Chaos….and then Boris as saviour, just before the next election.
“The Mayor has called 2010 the ‘Year of Cycling’ and has made a high-profile commitment to increase the 500,000 daily trips currently made by cyclists in London to 1.5 million by 2026.”
Unfortunately [Ed: excluded], Boris Johnson committed to letting more cars into West London by virtually guaranteeing the abolition of the Western Congestion Charge zone.
Bismarck died quite old, Ed, so had the opportunity to say much. Perhaps his comment was aimed at von Clausewitz.
I should not be surprised, if your prognosis on the European aspect of parliamentary developments proved correct.
This is an excellent, electable platform (for, you know, one of those people, but I don’t think it’ll be Boris Johnson’s. He’ll run on the “Hi, I’m Boris, Vote Me” platform as he always does. The Olympics, as I said over on the Guardian, are highly mayor-focused, and he will make the most of the media attention which will be so saturated with Olympic coverage and rah-rahism that it will leave essentially no time whatsoever to cover the actual issues.
So it’ll be Boris and probably Ken going head to head on personal charm and mediagenicity. How’s THAT going to end up? Exactly.
And if he doesn’t get re-elected as mayor in 2012, whoever is head of the Conservative Party had better hire a food taster.
Boris and Ken are a sort of fixture, aren’t they? Maybe in their dotage, they could complement their pensions, touring as a double act. Kinda like Eric and Ernie. Who would be the straight man?
Gosh! Who wrote this? Pericles, who comments sometimes? Really really brilliant, interesting article.
angelneptunestar, you’re most gracious.
Pericles, no! This is a brilliant, thoughtful, opportune article and I am really impressed. You should write regularly on this website. Honestly. Because you have the brains to do Boris justice. ( Especially with the Mayoral contest being launched.)
@Ed Gibb: Ed, I think there’s no question that either is straight. The question is: which is kinky?
I wish the headline said that Boris was going to stand for Mayor. Americans run for office.
You’re quite right, Tiresias.
When I put in ‘stand’, three out of three browsers — Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari — wrapped the heading on to a second line, which looked bad. Unfortunately I am constrained by the WordPress software, which, although it will allow me to introduce a ‘style sheet’ within — and thereby to format the rest of — the text, will not let me reduce the font-size of that heading itself.
On the other hand, given that the election will take place in the year of the Olympics, perhaps it will do the Mayor no harm to run a little for the office !
Warmwell, I’m not sure you should attribute my description — ‘dastardly project’ &c. — to Boris Johnson. He might hold that view but, if so, should be allowed to express it for himself. (I did put my Friedrich-Wilhelm at the foot of the article.)
Please become next PM. At that stage, please deport/execute all Labour voters, take us out of the EU, build up British industry and our armed forces and declare war on France.
Some may contest these policies but then you will always get dissenting voices. All in all they seem fair and forthright. I look forward to voting for you and watching you enact them.
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