Monday, 30 April 2012

Boris and News International

Boris got very upset about this story here (original video half way down the page) about Boris' close links to Murdoch's News International.

What happened next:

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Why Cameron, Osborne and Lansley are so desperate for a Boris victory in London

An earlier post highlighted just how symbolically important the Mayoral election is on the national stage - the reactions of David Cameron and Andy Coulson sum up how much Tory candidate Boris Johnson's victory in 2008 meant to them

Well, this time, it means even more. The Conservative Party are currently trailing badly in the polls. They are lurching from one crisis to another. And, in between the staggeringly incompetent reforms to higher education and the jaw-dropping right-wing reforms to the NHS - of which voters where given no warning prior to the 2010 election - the Government are well on their way to alienating many of the key professions.

It is almost certain that the Conservative Party will get bruised at the local elections on 3 May. It is also likely that they will continue to suffer badly from the fall-out from Osborne's disastrous economic strategy, from the unravelling of Andrew Lansley's NHS reforms and from the aftershocks of years of Cameron's cosying up to the Murdoch empire now coming back to haunt the Party.

However, there is one chink of light, one symbolic contest, on which all Conservative hopes are pinned - on the contest for Mayor of London. This high-profile contest would give senior Tories enough of a victory to allow them to press on unhindered with their programme of government.

In policy terms, the two main candidates for Mayor are in fact fairly traditionally split between left and right, with Ken Livingstone focussed on housing, public transport, education (and in particularly the EMA) and energy bills; Boris, meanwhile, has a limited manifesto reflecting his right-wing small-government outlook, with his most noticeable policy being more public spending cuts (as if Osborne's strategy needs accelerating).

For these reasons, an awful lot rides on Tory Mayor Boris winning to protect Cameron, Osborne, Lansley and colleagues from further pain. Don't want to take my word for it? Then how about the press:

City AM: "Defeat for Boris 'would be lethal' for Cameron and Osborne"

Daily Mail: "A Boris victory is the only thing that can save the Tories now"

Evening Standard: "Conservative ministers desperately need a Johnson victory in London"

Guardian: "If the London Mayor wins again, it will be hailed as a triumph for the Conservative Party"

Political Betting: "The big hope for the Tories now is that Boris hangs on in London"

Telegraph: "If Boris loses it will become Cameron’s Black Friday... Johnson is the final bulwark between his party and a complete rout"

Daily Mail: "Boris is out to win, and he could just save Dave's bacon"

Guardian: "Johnson's London Plan is the vision of a complete and utter1 Conservative... Boris is a facilitator of Tory policies in housing, welfare, transport and crime that are worsening London's woes" 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

What a Boris win means for Cameron, Osborne and Lansley

If there is any doubt at all about what a win for Boris Johnson means for the Tory Party, take a look at the images and videos below.

They show David Cameron, George Osborne and Cameron's then right-hand man, the now-disgraced Andy Coulson, watching with mounting satisfaction as Tory candidate Boris Johnson wins the 2008 Mayoral Election.

This is what a Boris win means - success for the Conservative Party and vindication for David Cameron, George Osborne, Andrew Lansley and Michael Gove.

It means a tacit endorsement of the assault on comprehensive education and of the trebling of tuition fees.

It means endorsing the massive reorganisation and privatisation of the NHS, of the privatisation of the police force and of the fire service - of which Tory Mayor Boris Johnson is a driving force.

It means an endorsement of consecutive budgets that have shifted resources from the poorest in society to the very richest, whilst withdrawing support from the sick and disabled.

And, for Londoners, it will mean a rapid shift towards an every more unequal city, as the social mix that has made London such a unique - and liberal - city is replaced by homogeneity and ghettoisation.

Andy Coulson and David Cameron awaiting the result

Osborne and Cameron awaiting the announcement

Coulson and Cameron celebrate as Boris' win is announced [Click for Video]

Click here to link to video - if you can bear it. 


On a lighter note, Cameron does produce an unfortunate David Brent impression towards the end, by trying to high-five a colleague at 1 min.53 whilst the latter merely sticks out his hand for a conventional handshake.

Cameron definitely not looking silly [Click for video]