Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The whited sepulchre

By special request, it's time to put the boot into Boris Johnson.

Essentially, I agree with Dave Osler, the chief characteristic of this campaign is the absence of policy, apart from a few populist gripes Johnson doesn't really say anything.

Of course, over the years he has said plenty, and is well known to be a hard Thatcherite and opponent of so-called "political correctness." And that is just it, it's known for those who care that he will veer to the wild right, and act in a manner to please the saloon bar bores of which he is one in extremis.

That's why he is policy light, because he is not a typical managerial machine politician, but a walking cipher for a certain Tory gut reflex - hence the "seat of your pants" approach he is trying to downplay.

The fact is, that his bluster plus his Chatshow Boris plus a few populist measures (lets plant some trees, do away with Bendy buses, etc.) might just sneak him in. Maybe the plan is to give him a competent team to delegate to like he did while he edited the Spectator; but, just as likely, he will blunder and bluster around like a loose cannon.

The real secret will be that he doesn't believe in doing anything, he will be sabbotaging the local administration so that his Tory mates, the city capitalists and the saloon bar bores can carry on without someone even having the temerity to try an alleviate the ills of capitalism.

Now, socialists are clear that the attempt to run capitalism against capitalist interests is doomed to failure; but Boris, behind the buffoonish facade represents capitalism's uncaring heart of darkness. It's easy to laugh at Boris the joke, but what he stands for, capitalism and elitism without even the pretence of caring, is no joke.

Whilst the wild ideologues have dreamed of such unrestraint, in practice, in power, they're usually kept in check by reality. Anarcho-capitalist wingnuts usually do not get within sniffing distance of power. Even Thatcher barely managed to reduce the size of the state, as she found after years of fruitless turmoil. Sadly, Boris' reality check would be unpleasant for us all.


Anonymous said...

Sorry I must disagree. You're clearly well out of your depth.

Boris has come up with a range of policy proposals - I advise you to look at his policies on

Manifesto's galore (just a small one for you, Ken's Housing Manifesto was 11 pages long, Paddick's 1 page long...Boris' 38 pages). He's the only candidate with new ideas and the only one capable of leading this city at a time where corruption in City Hall is rife.

Boris is the only one talking about the problem of Crime and gang warfare across the city and still Livingstone maintains his indifference to the situation.

Putting the boot in to Boris will only demonstrate one thing; the left do not recognise a moderate and reasonable human being (with a sense of humour - shock horror!) when they see one.

Darren said...

Interesting to note the rapid response that the Boris for Mayor campaign has on the blogosphere. Noticed the same thing on Dave Osler's blog.

We are definitely in the political age of the google alert. I guess it beats standing outside a tube station trying to pass out election leaflets to disinterested Londoners.

ajohnstone said...

Certainly due to the efficiency of Lynton Crosby , Boris Johnson's Australian cynical campaign manager .

During Australia's 2001 general electionsa false allegation that asylum seekers had tried to blackmail their way into the country by throwing children overboard - According to Paul Reynolds of the University of Queensland, . "It was a squalid lie about the children overboard," Lynton Crosby did not initiate the lie. "...But he went along for the ride and milked it. He was compliant."

Crosby ,the organ grinder and Boris , the monkey