17 July 2007

Boris may be good for a laugh but politics is a serious business.

Boris Johnson is seriously scary. Polly has got her twopenneth in before me, but this guy is loved by the right-wing lunatic bloggers and that says it all really.

It will be no joke if Boris wins and becomes London mayor. Thankfully Ken Livingstone has his own massive fanclub and is a serious political operator as well as being a brilliant mayor - so hopefully he will trounce this Tory clown.

Boris will have the might of the Tory press (including the London Standard and Metro (Daily Mail owned) and of course 'the london paper' (owned by Murdoch)) behind him roaring him on. They could hardly distort Livingstone more than they already do, but now they have a Tory candidate (and he will surely win the primary) that has populist appeal (I am not too sure why this is - the man is an idiot reactionary bigot - but apparently a lovable one).

Boris will do all he can to make cutbacks to London Transport after all the work Ken has done. Free travel for under 18s will be the first to suffer, then over 60's free travel on trains and tube. From next year the mayor might finally have some real powers to do something about housing and the recycling mess that the local boroughs have got themselves into but a Tory mayor would continue these problems unconcerned at the plight of those who cannot afford somewhere to live. London cannot afford Johnson - I have faith they will see through the Cameron PR drive that has so far been impressive.

The campaign in Ealing-Southall has 'stole a march' on the Lib Dems by playing on the factions in the Labour Party. This was the height of opportunism and full of risks, but Cameron was media savvy enough to know that stealing councillors and good looking donors from Labour (even within days of their campaigning for Labour) is a coup de grace and held little risk in a seat where they needed a miracle to win. It could backfire but it would be difficult for Tories to do any worse with ethnic voters so it probably could do them little harm. Cameron is proving himself a formidable player of the media - Labour may have a seven point lead at the moment but we have to be on top form against this Tory spin machine.

Lets hope serious politics and actually having policies will win against Tory media spin - for the sake of democracy it needs to.


  1. Your story is incorrect as is Pollys. Im no Tory. But i think youve shot yourself in the foot here.

  2. Well, Neil, it's got people talking about politics again, which is no bad thing. I have doubts about Boris's ability to run a multi-billion pound city state but don't doubt that he would surround himself with people who know how to. Let's see how things develop over the next year.

  3. AF: What have I said that is incorrect?

    icedink: If you have ever seen Ken Livingstone in the flesh you will know why he is so popular. His knowledge of subjects is fantastic and that is what we need running London, not some floppy haired media favourite with reactionary right-wing views. Boris is no joke.

  4. The very fact that you and Pollyanna hate him so much is reason enough to vote Boris in my book.

  5. Ideology over comment sense. Even if I was a Tory I would vote for Ken. Have you ever seen Ken speak? Competence is the name of the game, Boris even without his warped ideology is an incompetent disaster waiting to happen. People will realise his sheer stupidy when the campaign starts.

  6. If he is such an incompetent baffoon then what are you so afraid of? Surely his campaign will discredit the Tories and his candidacy should therefore be quietly encouraged by Ken supporters.

  7. After Thatcher managed to get elected for so long, I am always nervous about right-wing Tories. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic. Livingstone is a shrewd political operator, very popular and second to none when it comes to detailed knowledge of how to run London but I still worry.

    Livingstone has a budget of over £8bn and this is set to rise as the Mayor gets more powers next year. Livingstone has been so far restricted mostly to transport policy - which he has proved a hug success at runnning.

    I am worried about Boris because he will have the support of the Evening Standard and Metro, possibly the londonpaper and 75% of the National press. Livingstone has beaten these odds before - but Norris was little known. Hopefully people will vote for policy over personality (like they did in Ealing-Southall) but you never know how people think on these things - they might just plump for a joker thinking that Mayor of London doesn't matter too much - it does matter. It doesn't pay to be complacent - we need to highlight exactly the dangers of electing someone like Boris Johnson.