Alastair's Blog

Return to:  Blog | Articles | Videos RSS feed

Forget the anti-politics politician stuff about Boris – we are witnessing a ruthless power play

Posted on 1 August 2012 | 2:08pm

As Boris Johnson charmingly and ruthlessly exploits the Olympics to build and extend his profile, he is beginning to remind me of another blonde charismatic Tory, namely Michael Heseltine.

The more Boris protests that he is not seeking to undermine David Cameron, the more I am reminded of Hezza’s pitch when he was but publicly wasn’t out to get Mrs Thatcher.

Boris lacks Hezza’s policy reach and depth, but he is currently more than compensating by building, in this anti-politics age, a sense that he is not really a politician. He is banking on the possibility that whoever once said that ‘politics is showbiz for ugly people’ was right, and that he will rise to the top in the manner of a reality TV star who is liked in a way that others are hated, and is last man standing.

But to anyone tempted to buy the ‘anti politics politician’ line, be aware that what you are witnessing is a calculating display of raw politics at the expense of a currently rather vulnerable leader. As Mayor of London, he is expected to be round and about the place for the Games. But – his zip wire photo op today the latest example – he is going way beyond those expectations, and doing so in a way that he knows will allow the contrast between him and Cameron (not to mention George Osborne and Michael Gove) to be commented on more and more. By the time he hands over the Olympic flag to the Mayor of Rio at the end of the Games, he hopes to have secured, with the backing of a considerable number of media cheerleaders, two main objectives – table-topping popularity ratings at home, and a growing profile overseas.

He has shown the same ruthlessness in letting Cameron and Osborne take the political heat on bankers, and then defending the bankers as a way of getting business behind him; and in refusing to join the media bashing that has accompanied the Leveson Inquiry. Rupert Murdoch may be PNG with Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, and as a result Johnson, along with Alex Salmond, spots an opportunity. But I think even Big Eck would baulk at inviting Rupe along to an Olympic final. Johnson thinks he can get away with it. More, he knows just how far up Cameron’s nose it will get.

Walking in London recently, I bumped into someone I have known for years, who is now a committed Johnson supporter. I was frankly taken aback by the hatred for Cameron and Osborne being expressed. If Johnson was a real team player, he might be thinking about how to use his unusual appeal to help the Tory Party as a whole. But he is not, and so he is not. He is using it to promote himself at the expense of Cameron, and at the expense of anyone else who thinks they might be next leader of the Tory Party.

I have known Boris for a long time. I confess that I never took him very seriously, and I still think there is a fundamental problem with him that makes it highly unlikely he could ever lead his party, or be considered Prime Ministerial material. But he is defying gravity, and Cameron knows it. The PM has a fairly long list of problems. Boris Johnson is without doubt one of them.

Meanwhile, I reflect on how much Boris owes Tony Blair – without him, there would have been no London Mayor position, no Olympics to exploit and possibly, no Ken Livingstone as candidate last time.

  • Madame de Merteuil

    Surely undermining Cameron is a good idea. Not that I like Boris at all. If ridicule could kill, he’d be six feet under ūüėČ

  • Alex Gallagher

    It’s not “Big Eck”, it’s Fat Eck, and you’re wrong about his willingness to reward rich backers with baubles. If it was the Commonwealth Gams, Murdoch would be on Eck’s inside track.

  • Howard Hutch

    My guess is that his plan is to be the next conservative Prime Minister AFTER a Labour government. The only thing that will stop this is a strong Labour government next time that gets things right very quickly. In the meantime, he’s playing a blinder. The Olympics are his “Falklands” – boosting him (for free) into unbelievable levels of popularity with the UK public.¬†

  • Damoncoulter

    He is a lot smarter than he looks and is playing the anti-intellectual card in this anti-intellectual age. His quoting of Latin and other evidences of his education are seen as cute eccentricities when they are anything but. They are warning signs of his inability to understand the difficulties in the lives of the people hopes to lead even as he is able to connect on the superficial level with them. Can’t believe he is so popular with ordinary people.

  • JTC

    I think Boris also owes much to Angus Deayton – where would he be now had he not had the opportunity to chair a certain topical satirical news quiz?

  • Gavin Juniper

    I’d call him the anti-Churchill.

  • mattrp

    “I confess that I never took him very seriously, and I still think there is a fundamental problem with him that makes it highly unlikely he could ever lead his party, or be considered Prime Ministerial material.”

    Is this deliberately cryptic? ¬†I have a dim memory from one of your books that you have some secret info on him that you can’t or won’t disclose.

  • chrishughesuk

    Unless an equally charismatic candidate pops up from the wings, should the performance of the current government in the eyes of the electorate continues to the next election, Boris probably represents the Conservatives’ only real chance of securing a mandate. And, policy depth or not, he knows that.

    Amongst many things, these last couple of years have proven that the old Labour heartlands aren’t as robust as they once were. I honestly believe that with Boris at the helm, the Conservative party could make headway into the likes of Pennine Lancashire should Ed Miliband still be “leading” the charge.

    • Dave Simons

      Pennine Lancashire had better forget what Boris said about Liverpool.

  • Olli Issakainen

    But it was always a certain Mr Osborne who was said to be the next leader of the Tories…
    A shock fall in UK manufacturing data will not help his chances.

  • BigJ

    I worked for CCHQ from 2004 to 2010.¬† Just after Boris was elected the Party went out of its way to distance itself from Boris – everytime I needed a line to take ‘Boris speaks independently as the Mayor of London’ …. ‘that is not Conservative Party policy’.¬†

    Osborne and Cameron persuaded Boris because he had the profile to win and winning was an important step to winning the general election.  When he was elected they expected him to be a disaster and distanced themselves from him.  Boris is having the last laugh now.

  • Jctuten

    What is the “fundamental problem” with Boris – presumably something that makes him unelectable?

  • Anonymous

    “Without Tony Blair … no Ken Livingstone as candidate last time.” I don’t think even Tony Blair’s worst enemies have said anything as bad as that about Mr. Blair

  • New England Ben

    I think

  • Johnbenj

    I think Mr. Campbell might be saying that Boris isn’t all that bright.

    Interestingly enough, Jon Stewart was quite rude to him on this side of the Atlantic a few weeks back; he played it off to the younger studio audience as sort of just a moment of comedic madcaps overtaking what are his usually good interviewing skills. But Stewart is smart, Stewart reads the British and world news, and Stewart dislikes disingenuous wealthy Tory types on both sides of the Atlantic who are “nice guys” but are eager to destroy the social safety net. So I think this rudeness was quite calculated on Stewart’s part. Indeed, Stewart has been, in a below the radar way, quite strident against Cameron/Romney style austerity.¬†

  • KDouglas

    I dunno Рwe live in a dumbed down age and Johnson is giving us dumbed down politics.  You could say the two are meant for each other.  And he is clearly a very lazy man adept at shuffling his responsibilities off on to others.  So I suppose the question is whether the core Tory vote believes he could deliver for them.  

    If Robin Cook believed he was too ugly ever to run for PM, that surely must apply to Johnson’s rival Gove in spades. ¬†So who else is there? ¬†Johnson seems at home with his ugliness, cultivates it, even. ¬†I don’t wish to dramatise this too much, but that little mediocrity Adolf Hitler got a long way with his mixture of charm and xenophobia. ¬†You’d like to think that people outside the M25 would recoil at the idea of Johnson in a position of any real power – but…

  • Notafanofalistaircampbell

    Written like a true puppet master of politics. Everyone has an ulterior motive in politics Alistair Campbell. Unfortunately a seemingly envious bitterness of Boris’s aptitude for politics shines through in this article – At least Boris does it with charm!

  • Gilliebc

    This current situation with Boris coming to the fore, reminds me of a couple of other situations in the recent past.¬† The Tories got worried when Blair became leader of the Labour party then in opposition.¬† The Tories could see he was ‘good’ and therefore a threat to them.¬† Now that Cameron is almost a lame duck PM, Labour must be hoping that the Tories will keep him at least until the next GE.¬† Where once Miliband was seen as a gift to the Tories the situation has now completely reversed so that now Cameron is a gift to Labour.¬†¬†
    Funny old game Рpolitics.        

     Back to Boris. He is no fool.  One only has to read his pieces in the Telegraph to realise that.  He writes beautifully.  Sometimes I even agree with what he writes, he is so eloquent.  Whether or not he becomes PM one day is a matter of indifference to me.  It matters more to the Westminster Village and the journalists.         

    Whichever¬†one of the LibLabCon parties is in ‘power’ makes no real long-term difference to us plebs.¬†Both/all ruling parties do good and bad things during their terms in office.¬† So over any given period of time they balance each other out.¬† If the Banksters¬†didn’t have so much power, it might be a different story. Re-instating¬†
    ‘Glass-Steagall’ would be a step in the right direction.¬†¬†

  • Anonymous

    Muhahahahah. Its started already. This is the most annoying habit of the otherwise likeable, and credible, Mr Campbell. Mountain out of molehill, granny tax is going to kill osborne, leveson kill Cameron etc – nonsense! Politicians are bulletproof! Look at how many stupid things (in people’s minds) that have done by Thatcher, Ed Balls and the like – it doesn’t matter they are teflon!

    More to the point, Alastair can try and spin that Boris is a buffoon and that Gove is a Murdoch poodle and all the rest of it, but people just will not buy it. The fact Alastair is attacking these guys and not, for example Ken Clarke, Andrew Lansley, or Iain Duncan Smith – shows you who he fears. When there is a Tory leadership election, Johnson will scare everyone involved, including his rivals, and including labour.
    Should he win it, he will be equally frightening at a general election.

  • ambrosian

     I saw live footage of him after the riots (when he eventually returned from holiday) and was struck by his inability to connect with people in the streets at any level at all.

    In the 1982 election Michael Foot was mobbed by smiling crowds but few of them voted fo him. They just saw him as a comic character, which is how people view Boris.

    In London Boris persuaded a narrow majority to vote for him as Mayor – a post with few real powers. Whether people would vote for him as PM is another matter. And whether people in the crucial northern and midland seats would find him quite so appealing is doubtful.

  • Richard

    The Tories are a shambles, but a lecture from you about party unity is risible!
    Have you forgotten the loyalty shown by Brown towards the party and TB over so many years? It makes Boris look like Camerons No 1 fan!
    Your selective memory is getting much worse.
    Can you let us know soon whether Red Leader is wise to let the government continue to self destruct, tearing both paties apart internally? Or, has the time come for him to show where he wants the party to go and announce his array of policies?

  • Richard

    Boris articulated what most of the rest of the country thought but due to political correctness dare not say. But those days have gone. The police took a battering as though they were murderers: the fact remains that if a huge throng had not pushed and surged mindlessly forward the disaster could never have happened.

  • Anonymous

    It would be a good thing if Boris became leader of the Tory party Рat least it would be a transparent clown that is their leader, for plain sight for all of us to see. His latest zip-wire performance yesterday no doubt amuses everyone, from all sides. At least he is not a starchy card, as is a traditional Tory leader.

    And he may play the dumb arse, but he is very educated and knows stuff like greek tragedies and all that, but his mouth and body always seems to be about five minutes ahead of his brain. There is a definite time lag there.

  • Anonymous

    I have got a nickname for Boris for you, Notafanofalastaircampbell – Charmy Smarmy Barmy Boris.

    How’s that? Any good?

  • Anonymous

    At least Angus Deayton, and Alastair, can read an autocue. It is said when Boris introduced HIGNFY, it took hours to record it, well into the morning, allegedly.

  • ZacMurdoch

    I can’t bring myself to believe that he could ever be elected as our PM, though Tory leader may be a disctinct possibility.¬† He’s an effective self- promotionist, though – just this morning I heard Simon Mayo described him as ‘one of the stars’ of the Olympics, while Rupe Murdoch apparently believes that the Olympics were organised by Zeb (sic) and Boris.

    Your last para – spot on in all respects.

  • Anonymous

    Yes its a great example of the deceit and spin which Alastair has unfortunately descended back into. A quick search of this blog will reveal Alastair banging on and on about what a great job Ken would do as Mayor. I wouldn’t mind if he had said, look I don’t like Livingstone, I disagree with his policies, I wouldn’t have selected him, but I’d still prefer him to a Tory or to Boris Johnson. But no, AC painted a much rosier picture at the time.

    Poor show lately Campbell, poor show indeed.

  • Anonymous

    ref. Beeb coverage of Olympics Рit has been disturbingly disquietingly so far been biased towards tennis and horses.

    Well done to Gemma Gibbons in getting into her Judo final, for instance.

    If I see tennis balls and a mound of horseshit again, it will be too soon.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect Pennine Lancashire is probably as interested in Boris’s views on Papua New Guinean eating rituals as they are interested in his views on that marvellous, coastal Merseyside city.

  • Anonymous

    Boris is very intelligent, the only time I’ve ever seen him lose his cool was when an interviewer suggested Cameron was smarter than him as Cameron had got a 1st, Boris dropped his magnanimous facade for a second to note that they had done different subjects.

    Lots of politicians do not understand economics – Boris does.

    He does come across as a buffoon though – in a weird way if he ousted Call me Dave as leader, it would be a triumph of style over substance.

    However he is also known for his tardiness, lack of attention to detail, lack of preparedness. Perhaps he could be a George Bush type leader? Probably not – he was useless during the riots last year, but then so was Cameron. Couldn’t see any American president being so lame. Remember George HW Bush in LA riots, he acknowledged the injustice and said it would be put right, he also said there should be no more rioting, sent in the national guard, and then the marines – then no more riots. Thats what we should have done, and should do this time. Someone should have came on tv and said “If you are a drug dealer, you carry a firearm, and you get into a car chase with police, guess what? You might get shot. So we would advice refraining from those activities.”

    I want a riot referendum:
    “Do you believe rioters require:
    (a) Understanding
    (b) Shooting.”

    I believe the majority agrees with me. If I am wrong, fine prove it in my referendum. Either way I am the democrat.

    Sorry went off on one there, changed my own mind, Boris is a dick!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely. Campbell only slags off the ones he fears.

  • Dave Simons

    Have you asked ‘most of the rest of the country’? Of course you haven’t! You’re just a self-appointed spokesman, nothing more.¬† My memory of Hillsborough is that the fans took a battering first – especially from the tabloids. It took a few years before the police came in for criticism, except from ‘far Left’ groups who always vent their repressed hatred of the working class, to which they are ideologically committed, by criticising the police. But on this occasion the throng were encouraged to push and surge mindlessly forward by the police, who misjudged the situation. ‘Murderers’ is just plain silly. ‘Cock-up’ is probably more accurate,
    cock-up based on hierarchy and a collective mind-set with plenty of bitter history to it –
    whenever there was a match at Hillsborough shops and pubs had to be
    prepared. Don’t give yet more credit to Boris – Boris has probably never articulated anything in his life, especially in Latin!

  • Dave Simons

    You obviously don’t live in Pennine Lancashire. I doubt if Boris has any views on Papua New Guinea eating rituals, though I suspect he has plenty of views on his own. ‘That marvellous coastal city, by the way, has some marvellous civic buildings, admittedly based on the triangular trade, and Allen Ginsberg once regarded it as the focal point of cosmic consciousness. Boris’s comments on Liverpool were really just comments on his own extreme narrow-mindedness and it’s a poor reflection on the age that people get so easily seduced by such riff-raff.

  • Dave Simons

    ¬†Whatever you think about Michael Foot’s views he had principles, passion, conviction and intellectual depth. Boris has none of those attributes – just an inflated ego and a ravenous appetite for self-publicity. They shouldn’t share the same paragraph.

  • Dave Simons

    Can I use this opportunity to reply to your post on the ‘long and winding road’ blog of 27th July? Anything to get away from boring Boris! Early in the days of Beatlemania John Lennon said, probably echoing his Auntie Mimi, “I always vote Tory. They look after your money”. That was probably around 1963/4, maybe later. Beatles songs from ‘Taxman’ to ‘Revolution’ more or less kept up that sentiment. It was only after 1968 and the break-up that Lennon discovered Marxism and gave an interview in ‘Black Dwarf’ with Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, quotations from which rightly ended up in ‘Pseuds’ Corner’ in ‘Private Eye’. ‘Power to the People’, ‘Working Class Hero’ and ‘Luck of the Irish’ then ensued, not his best work by any stretch. Sorry Ehtch but the Beatles were no threat to the establishment. Bob Dylan was more of a threat, but didn’t they love him for it? Kinky or what? Witness that hilarious scene in Pennebaker’s film, ‘Don’t Look Back’, when the Sheriff of Newcastle’s wife invited Dylan back to her mansion ‘after June’.

  • simon

    ¬†Angus and Alastair may have read the autocue better (i.e reading what someone else had written) but Boris was funny when ad-libbing, which they weren’t. And incidentally it was Simon Heffer who wrote the offending article ; Boris -as editor – insisted on facing the music in Liverpool in his place.

  • Anonymous

    Yeh, I suppose the Beatles were nice boys, yeh-yeh-yeh. The Stones gave the establishment grief, getting arrested at their drug parties etc..But the Beatles did say they loved ‘Arold Wilson though.

    Ringo was a character, wasn’t he?¬†– he was the eldest of them all and was really from the backstreets of Liverpool. I remember¬†that film he did with David Essex, I’ve seen it a few times over the years, where they play redcoats at a holidaycamp. Think it’s Butlins, but could be bluecoat/Pontins. Very funny it was, but had it’s dark edges with about working class aspirations. See if I can find the trailer/clip of it,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bz9eEWRyJM

    That’ll be the Day, that is it. Funny clip of it.

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear – baton dropped in the ladies cycling sprint, very careless simple technical error. But well done the lads, new world record and everything.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry I meant that Boris has the substance, Cameron the style!

  • Anonymous

    I disagree regarding the intellectual depth, though it would seem there are grounds to question his principles, passion and conviction.

  • Anonymous

    You are leaving out the most famous Lennon quote from the Beatles years:¬†‚ÄúFor those of you in the cheap seats I’d like you to clap your hands to this one; the rest of you can just rattle your jewelry!‚ÄĚ

    That has a certain anti-establishment feel to it no?  

  • Anonymous

    I think with twitter aux faux’s, if your average of sensible comments across all platforms is just abouve a sensible level, the twitter police will let it go. They check you as a person online as well as twitter what you regularly come out.

    For instance, I have a queue of Torino solicitors, well conversed in euro rights law, saying say what what you want to say and we are behind you boy – dire quello che vuoi dire e noi siamo dietro di te ragazzo, after I posted this,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T31onKUj-xc

    An offer i cannot refuse, you might think, to sail right into the wind. I’ll keep it in mind – Un’offerta che non pu√≤ rifiutare, si potrebbe pensare, per navigare nel vento. Terr√≤ a mente.

    By the way, been practising my Italian and german, and a bit of french and spannish for years. I will no doubt get by if dropped into the middle of europe, if they are talking about moi.

  • Mel

    At last, an article which reminds me why I subscribe to your blog. Brilliant analysis.

  • ambrosian

    ¬†To clarify: I wasn’t criticising Michael Foot who I admired enormously. He had more intelligence and integrity than Boris has in his little finger. But that was the time of Spitting Image and many people saw Foot as a doddery Worzel Gummidge character and, unlike Boris, he had no friends in the press.

  • Mr V

    Tories have seen the future, they know Miliband will defeat Cameron at worst outright or at best for a Lib Lab coalition.

    They’ve also seen what Johnson did to the bland Livingstone. They want Johnson to do the same to the bland Miliband. Media tactic: ¬†divert attention from dodgy Johnson by focussing on how rubbish Miliband/Livingstone is.

    The thing about Johnson is… well, apart the affiars that he had behind his wifes back then publicly lied about, apart from the fact he supported a tax cut for everyone earning over 150,000 per year, apart from the fact that he supported Murdoch’s corruption (NB not phone hacking, corruption)… the thing is that the people don’t get to hear about these sorts of things repeatedly rammed down their throats by the media in the way that they rammed Livingstone’s tax down their throats (incidentally¬†whilst passing over Boris own dodgy tax which still has not been properly addressed).

    The working class people of the country think Boris is a laugh and vote for him, whilst at the same time Johnson’s Tory friends axe through their benefits and public services,,backs whilst Johnson smiles nicely in their faces. It’s a diversion trick, look over here, whilst my friends destroy your services over there.

    Come general election, Miliband needs to get his wife on the scene and go for the female vote. He also needs to have the backing of a seriously powerful newspaper eg Sun to show Boris for who he really is. The reason Boris won London is because of a relentlessly ruthless press campaign, and unless Milband can get serious support of his own he’s in trouble. Expect more of the same thing that happened in the Mayor elections come the general election, especially if Johnson is running it. Polls currently showing Miliband in the lead literally mean nothing until the Tory machine gets into gear.

    In summary, the thing about Johnson is he has a fat shadow. And in that fat shadow hide all manner of nasty Tories. He is like a mafia boss who completely dis-associates himself from the nasty work being done at ground level. The left need to relentlessly attack this aspect and expose his links, and expose the people behind him who are currently faceless to the public but who wield the axe, e.g. Edward Lister. The fat shadow – get people to see beyond the face.

    One further thing: as soon as you start putting someone like Boris Johnson as prime minster, you are on a very dangerous and slippery downward slope. The country becomes a laughing stock around the world and we would never be live the episode down in future and recover our dignity. You are heading into very dangerous George Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, tabloid territory by having a divisive clown at the helm because it undermines the public sense of authority which in turn leads to public unrest. If it is true that ¬†Paul Dacre doesn’t want Boris (it is an ‘if’) then his instinct is correct and both left and right should combine to prevent this dangerous egotism for the longer term economic and social benefit of the country as a whole.

  • Dave Simons

    No.

  • Dave Simons

    Ringo still is a character. And all the Beatles minus John were from the backstreets – I’ve seen the houses. Yes I’ve seen ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and thought Ringo was pretty good in it.

  • Gilliebc

    That really annoys me when athletes at the top levels of sport drop batons!     
    When I was at (a state) school our relay team was second to none.¬† We were brill. at baton passing.¬†I luved relay races and was also a good sprinter and hurdler.¬†I didn’t have either the stamina or mind-set for middle or long distance events.¬† Happy days, in the main.¬† When I left school, I never gave sport a second thought. There were other more interesting things to do.

  • Anonymous

    Thing with John though, he was brought up by his auntie, only met his dad a few times, and losing his mother, who wasn’t always around before he lost her when she got knocked down on the road.

    That obviously affected him, so we have got to give him some slack there.

  • Anonymous

    Penders made up for it last night. Hope she does the same in her third event.

    Just watch Helen Jenkins come fifth in the triathlon – bugger, she was one of the favorites. But she said she suffered an injury a few weeks back and couldn’t do the running training she wanted before the Olympics. That is how it is with the fine lines of sharp-end sport.

    The Brownlee brothers in the men’s triathlon tomorrow¬†should be interesting – they are hot favorites, especially one of the brothers, don’t know which one though, as you do.

    And Gilliebc, got to do some sport, even hiking. Walking up and down mountains is quite bracing, clears the lungs out and all that. I recommend it as to do something.

  • Anonymous

    Boris with reference to Liverpool was just ignorance – it works both ways, but people with influence have more power to do serious damage when they talk complete shite. It is called being a complete high-class arse, methinks, old boy!

    And same goes for his mate Heffer.

  • Michele

    We only have to keep in mind the humiliation BJ has put his present wife through to know how indecent he is.

    The pseudo-buffoonery makes some idiots go ‘Ahhhhhhh he’s so sweet’, even with that silly ‘ping pong’ palava in 2008, but the coldness of someone that marries only for breeding and lineage reasons, then plays away to such an extent is about lack of quality.¬† In what way does he ever display consideration for others?

    Is it still ‘only’ three workplace affairs?
    I don’t read the Wail or browse for it but in looking for recent info about BJ came across this :
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323066/Will-Boris-Johnsons-wife-Marina-forgive-latest-affair.html
    How few weeks ago is it that she was accompanying him to the Mayoral voting station.
    Perhaps we need some honesty from her, it’s not believable that his unscrupulousness is confined to his women.

    She should come clean, it’s time to stop being so long-suffering and exploited .

  • Michele

    ¬†¬† ‘bland Livingstone’ ?
    On first choice votes there was so little in it between BJ and Ken that second choice votes had to be counted.

    Candidate
    Boris Johnson
    Ken Livingstone

    Party
    Conservative
    Labour

    Popular vote
    1,054,811
    992,273

    Percentage
    51.53%
    48.47%

    First preference

    Popular vote
    971,931
    889,918

    Percentage
    44.01%
    40.30%

    Second preference[1]

    Popular vote
    82,880
    102,355

    Percentage
    44.74%
    55.26%
    Ken was sabotaged, it was the dirtiest tactic ever (almost as dirty as Clegg’s two years ealier), something I hope the London 2012 perpetrators will come to regret and am sure most of the national 2010 LD voters already have.

  • Gilliebc

    Pendleton did well.¬† Have you seen her advert. for a hair product?¬† She looks really good.¬† Was sorry that¬† R¬† Adlington didn’t get the Gold medal last night.¬† I shall still be glad when the Games are over though as I find most of it well boring.¬† btw,¬†I do a lot of walking – school run for grandchildren, which I enjoy.¬† I do like to keep reasonably fit ūüėČ

  • Michele

     
    When you describe something as ‘deceit and spin’ don’t you need proof?

    As far as I remember things KL did such a great job during two terms as Mayor that all of Labour hoped for his re-election this year (except the few idiots that swallowed the sabotage or felt coerced to pretend they did).

  • Michele

    ¬†Yep, hindsight allows a word like ‘misjudged’ to become credible.

  • Michele

    ¬†Given BJ’s string of affairs it’s bizarre to think he stays in post when Angus Deayton didn’t.

    BJ evidently has skill and shrewdness at finding discreet new partners, especially in the circumstances of workplace affairs.  I heard a person at City Hall interviewed last night saying BJ often sleeps over in the office!  Perhaps I dreamed it but I know I did a titter.

  • Michele

     

    That told you DS eh?

  • Anonymous

    Good to see you again me old chum.

    I think it is true that whatever else can be said about Ken Livingstone, he is not bland. And certainly not by politicians standards.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Victoria Pendleton looks really good, an english rose though I have not seen he hair advert.

    Jessica Ennis is very attractive as well.

    The girl who got silver in judo too.

    In fact they are all gorgeous, even those who people are unkind about!

  • Dave Simons

     My assessment of his intellectual depth is based on what he writes, which I regard as crap.

  • Dave Simons

    OK and maybe he was spoiled by his aunt Mimi in compensation for his family deprivation and tragedy. Paul McCartney once said John got £100 from his aunt on his 21st birthday in 1961, and £100 was a lot of money then!

  • Michele

    Catching up with news that’s now a bit old I read that BJ has dined recently with Murdoch.
    Displaying a fairly common selective morality (given that I’ve totally¬† ignored any published info from celebs’ machines) I do think it would be hard to resist reading any reports his hacks had from BJ’s answerphone.
    I can’t believe there aren’t any.

    Someone agrees with AC
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/05/sonia-purnell-boris-johnson-not-prime-minister-material

  • Anonymous

    Well, as I see it, Alastair has made a strong slight on Ken in the post above. Others seem to agree. It could foreseeably have been a mistake, but I think he would have noticed and corrected by now if so. Thats one fact, proof is a few inches above where I write this.

    Alastair was a big cheerleader for Ken in the London election. He may have had reservations but he wasn’t forthcoming with them. Thats another fact. A couple of clicks on this website will take you to the relevant blogs for proof.

    Now you might say that deception is a fair part of the game of politics, just as armies, sportsmen and many others rely on deception. But it is deception, it is spin, and there is proof.

  • Anonymous

    That must have paid for the tickets for the lads when they went to play in Hamburg in about 1961, and a fake passport for George, since he was underage.

    Never thought of that Dave, have you? ahhhh, got you. : ) 

  • Anonymous

    By thg way Dave, that clip I posted above, and my comment on bluecoats and redcoats Рit is funny how they were totally opposite to political colours.

    When young, been to both, both several times, our family used to alternate from one summer to the next with them, and I have got to say, I enjoyed myself in Pontins Brean Sands and Southport more than all. Minehead Butlins was the worst, but Pwllheli Butlins wasn’t too bad.

    What were we talking about again? Oh yes, the Beatles. Their early years were really interesting, that one that died of a brain hemorrage, and John lost his mother after visiting him, when he was seventeen. That affected him, if he didn’t needed to be affected more!

    And so what if Aunt Mimi was coiney?

  • Michele

    ¬†What’s the slight?

  • Gayle Court

    London has the best part of another 4 yrs of Boris as Mayor and so far he has been lucky enough to live off Livingstone’s past industry ie,¬† the Olympics, the bikes etc¬†¬† Now in his second term Boris is on his own. So far he has achieved nothing for London except to spend millions on a bus we didn’t need.¬† What will his achievements be over the next 4 yrs?¬† I suspect very little, apart from promoting his own self-seeking publicity. Londoners on the whole are pretty bright people and by the time of the next mayoral election will be questioning what Boris’ track record and asking what he has done to benefit London and the lives of its citizens.

  • reaguns

    I enjoy what he writes in the telegraph. It doesn’t mean he should be prime minister or that it’s worth the 250k he gets for it. He has a better understanding of economics than most politicians including Cameron. Not sure out of him and Ed M.

    His last two telegraph columns in particular are both funny but also sound rebuttals of the right wing anti olympics case. Hope Alastair has read, same hymnbook.

  • Anonymous

    “Meanwhile, I reflect on how much Boris owes Tony Blair ‚Äď without him, there would have been no London Mayor position, no Olympics to exploit and possibly, no Ken Livingstone as candidate last time. ”

    That, to me, implies that Alastair thinks Boris should be grateful that Ken was the candidate and therefore implies Alastair thinks Ken was not much cop as a candidate.

  • Anonymous

    Brownlee bros did well didn’t they, Gilliebc? Pity about the 15 sec pen for the younger one (still confused which is which), given for two cms of his foot mounting his bike.

    Song for them, the eh bah gum lads from yorkshire,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZZ9KOMLeVQ

    Harry Enfield on his throughts, ya knooo lad,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY4tD2Hbg_A

    James Herrioot waaalks oon waater for a vit, even if he scots, lad, sorted art me sowing Mary fur me he did….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa54yZABmOI

    not on google translate, lad…

    • Ehtch

      Always liked ‘Ari Enfield, and his dad Edward is a card too – you must have met his da Alastair , maybe oop MCC long room larck, perhaps? But where in heck Harry came from, gawd knows! Someone should ask his moother…
      Pity in that clip he didn’t use the “she’s got a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp an’ licking piss off a nettle at ‘t same time, wit hemmoroids”, for full effect.

  • Gilliebc

    The Brownlee bros. did very well Ehtch.¬†Three good links in your post there too ūüôā

  • Anonymous

    Glad you took it in a non-Cosmo magazine way Gilliebc.

    Average men are leopards – we don’t change the colour of our spots, as mentioned by ladies in their powder rooms…..

    : )

    I can guess what is said in them, oh yes, ex-girlfriends have told me, under interrogation – I have my ways to get them talk, oh yes Vicar, just got to pick the moment….

    wash-soap-mouth comes to mind, Gilliebc?

  • Anonymous

    And by the way Gilliebc, on the third vid, a James Herriot clip, a welshman playing a scots vit in yorkshire –¬†only the beeb London could dream that up. Yes, Christopher Timothy was a taff, born¬†next to Bala lakes in North Wales, of all places.

    Speaks posh though, must have gone to acting classes, larrrck, like Sean Bean!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVM4zru9JB8

    yer bastards! : )

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, Sean Bean certainly did look interesting last night in The Accused.
    Wonder what the lads will say to him next time he goes down ‘t’ see The Blades?

  • Anonymous

    furthermore – God Save the King, Major Sharpe? : ))))
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjN8G2FVLRA

  • Anonymous

    oh dear, Alastair, one of those coincidences again. She was a heck of a lady though, when I was a lad, always went to the Cosmo, when I went to the local hairdressers waiting for a haircut,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19252138
    Yes – I’ve spooking myself even more! They will be burning me at the stake soon if I go on like this!

  • Anonymous

    let alone what the lads will say oop Wednesday…

    • Ehtch

      Been sent this vid – now I am not saying anything, but I used to see the wars of the roses cricket match on telly when I was young, and it got me head scratching when Boycs and Freddie and Dave Lloyd were getting excited about it, it used to be shown on welsh telly, before Fred Dibnah and his Bolton chimneys..
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSiIAqGXgKM
      Leeds vee Manc U, five wun, yer shitting me…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwQGzXXDynA
      Ey, Fergie? : )

  • Anonymous

    Clip of Sean on the beeb One Show from the other night. Always had my suspicions with Manchester….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR8GKH2rp4c

  • Anonymous

    Don’t mean anything nasty at all here, but Manchester and Brighton do well out of the pink pound, outside that Lahdahn that is. Good clip of the Manchester and Brighton scene here, available to who ever fancies,
    Manch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kcr9T5Ni70
    Brighton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHdGFsnTOcc
    But some Swansea here too, but we do things slightly different down by here – “you don’t like the colour of my lipstick? – ‘ave it son!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJvLTWGs-SE
    Tidy, ummm, ladies. : )))

  • Anonymous

    two trannies gave us a kicking, officer….