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Boris Johnson......the next PM?

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Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Mon 22 Oct - 13:50

Iain MartinPoliticsLast updated: October 9th, 2012

100 CommentsComment on this article




The Conservatives started their day with a bout of burglar-bashing, which seems to have cheered them up no end. Bashing a burglar, or hijacking a hoodlum, is a rhetorical sport which the Tory tribe really enjoys.

Labour strategists, who were quick to present the decision to allow homeowners to beat up intruders as a lurch to the Right, should be careful. Many, many voters agree with the Tories that burglars should be bashed.

Many voters also like Boris Johnson. And today he produced another belter.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Boris phenomenon is the deliberate way in which he cleverly subverts the traditional conventions of speech-making. At one point in his address to Tory conference he appeared to remember that he was in danger of repeating a passage he had already delivered. He asked the audience: "Have I done this bit before? Oh never mind, it's still true."

For any other major platform speaker, this slip would be a disastrous moment inviting mockery and a lashing from newspaper sketch writers. Not for Boris. With a smile and a rustle of his hair, he just ad libs another beautifully crafted bon mot or meandering observation, and moves the audience on.

The effect is disarming, which may help explain part of Boris's appeal. Voters are by now wise to slick speech-makers who have not a hair out of place and try to copy the smoothy-chops Clinton/Blair/Cameron techniques. Boris is described as authentic, but actually he is consciously messing with the form and the audience is in on the joke.

There was another example of this when the Mayor wanted to highlight how dynamic and creative the London economy is, but stumbled into praising Soho and the "young people" involved in the film industry. The audience sniggered, forcing him to respond that Soho had changed. He then got into a confusing but amusing diversion about Hollywood films, which apparently rely on CGI offered by trendy firms in the capital. Afterwards he told aides of the Soho anecdote: "Even I didn't know where that one was going".

It was said that this was Boris on his best behaviour, and it was to the extent that he didn't launch a leadership bid, something he was never going to do (this year). Even so, there were moments where he obviously enjoyed toying with his rival, David Cameron. He observed that the Prime Minister had described him as a "blonde mop". If he is a mop, said Boris, then Cameron is a broom sweeping up Labour's mess. Michael Gove, he even suggested, is a J-cloth.

There was also an obvious and cheeky reference to the promises he has given to support Cameron to the hilt. Talking about transport policy he said with a smirk: "I kept my promise… as I keep virtually all my promises."

There was much more to the speech than jokes, however. In my book what stood out most was the Reaganite sense of optimism about the UK's economic, scientific and technological prospects. When Boris talks about lower taxes and enterprise, he doesn't make it sound narrow or exclusive, choosing instead to relate it directly to questions of social concern and extending opportunity for the poorest.

He also has a Teddy Roosevelt conception of government, wanting the state to be smaller and more efficient, but not rubbishing or discounting what government can sometimes help interconnected individuals and their communities to achieve. It was there in the success of the London Olympics. It will be an immensely powerful theme if the Conservatives want to start winning elections again

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sat 27 Oct - 7:16

Chance For Boris As Tory MP Stands Down


Tory MP Richard Ottaway says he will step down at the next election, meaning his safe Greater London seat is up for grabs.


6:00am UK, Saturday 27 October 2012

Boris Johnson would inherit a majority of about 16,000 if he took the seat














  • By Jon Craig, chief political correspondent

    Boris Johnson has been handed a golden opportunity to make a spectacular Commons comeback in 2015 and launch a bid for the Tory leadership.

    Veteran Tory MP Richard Ottaway, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has announced he is to step down at the next election after more than 20 years.

    There had already been strong speculation that Mr Ottaway, 67, would retire in 2015 and that London's flamboyant mayor would succeed him.

    If he did, it would be a year before his current term as mayor ends.

    The seat is ideal for Mr Johnson since it is inside Greater London and he would inherit a solid majority of nearly 16,000, leaving him well placed to stand for the Conservative leadership.
    Richard Ottaway will step down after 20 years
    Although he has been coy about his intentions so far, most Tories do not expect him to stand for mayor for a third time in 2016 because he will be back in the Commons by then.

    If he is elected in Croydon, he will be able to reject claims that he is doing two jobs by insisting he is speaking up for the people of Croydon and London as a whole in Parliament.

    After a colourful and at times controversial career as a journalist, Mr Johnson was elected for the safe seat of Henley, succeeding Michael Heseltine, in 2001.

    Coincidentally, Mr Ottaway served as Mr Heseltine's Parliamentary private secretary when Mr Heseltine was Deputy Prime Minister.

    He has also been the Conservative Party's spokesman on London in the Commons.

    After he was first elected mayor in 2008, Mr Johnson stood down as an MP.

    But after his narrow victory over Ken Livingstone for a second time earlier this year he has been seen as the Tories’ "king over the water".

    His support among Tory MPs as a future leader has grown spectacularly since his re-election as mayor and he was greeted like a rock star at the Tory conference in Birmingham, when the party faithful were overcome by "Borismania".

    As well as chairing the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Ottaway has been vice-chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee and served on the Intelligence and Security Committee for five years.

    He also chaired the All-Party Parliamentary London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Group.

    He has been Croydon South MP since 1992.

    Before that he was MP for Nottingham North from 1983 to 1987.

    Announcing his retirement, Mr Ottaway, who has chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee since 2010, hinted that he would be happy to accept a peerage if it was offered.

    "Today is far from the end of the road for me - there's plenty of important work to be getting on with in Parliament and in my constituency," he said.

    "I will be working at full speed, right up to the general election when I hope David Cameron will be re-elected as Prime Minister of a Conservative government. He's the right man to be leading the party and the country."
  • Related stories

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Tue 30 Oct - 18:05










Boris Johnson winched to safety again on Poppy Day


Michael Deacon watches Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, get winched aboard HMS Severn to launch London Poppy Day.



















By Michael Deacon, Parliamentary Sketchwriter

3:30PM GMT 30 Oct 2012





“I didn’t like it,” admitted Boris Johnson later, “when I heard there was going to be winching.” He probably wasn’t all that happy when he heard there was going to be boats, either. The Mayor of London doesn’t look a born seadog. A man who gets so easily stuck on a zipwire must be at fairly serious risk of tripping over a lifebelt and toppling headlong into the drink.


Still, the Mayor is nothing if not a sport, and so this morning he set off for HMS Severn, docked near Canary Wharf, to launch London Poppy Day, part of the annual Poppy Appeal. Unlike the waiting press, he wasn’t simply going to totter up the gangway – he would arrive on a speedboat, which would then be winched aboard.


Photographers beamed, visualising the front pages emblazoned with their snaps: Boris tumbling overboard; Boris hauled out of the water by the crew; Boris slipping on the wet deck and falling promptly back in the water, etc.


The photo op, as these things are called, felt in itself like some rigidly planned naval operation. “Ladies and gentlemen!” barked the captain. “The Mayor’s boat has entered the lock! Please get into position for your photographs!”


The press jumped to attention. There came a distant whooshing: the mayoral speedboat. “Now inbound!” barked our captain.



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Waving merrily, his hair streaming, Boris flew past. Obviously he wasn’t piloting the speedboat himself, or he’d probably have flown helplessly on, running aground somewhere in Oxfordshire. Instead the speedboat swung back, then for some reason flew past us again, before swinging round and flying past once more. It felt like watching a small boy do wheelies on a BMX.

Finally the speedboat came to a standstill. The press gathered eagerly. Look at that winch wobble. Boris was bound to fall in now.

Yet by some miracle he didn’t. He clambered out of his boat and shuffled on to the ship’s deck, brandishing a three-foot plastic poppy like some monstrous lollipop. Wearing his crumpled suit and familiar baffled grin, he shook hands with poppy sellers, and donated £20 using a new contactless bank card (you wave it at the machine and it instantly takes your payment. Boris tried it. It worked. He couldn’t have looked more enthralled if the card had just read him the shipping forecast).

“Hold up your poppy!” demanded a photographer.

“Ah yes!” replied Boris. Then, after a pause: “Where is the poppy?” It proved to be in his hand. He then held up his contactless bank card for the cameras. “Don’t show us your numbers!” cried a helpful photographer.

Reporters wanted to know about the proposed sale of New Scotland Yard. In the Mayor’s words, this will “raise some dosh”, thanks in part to the glory of the Yard’s “world-famous triangular doo-dah” (the revolving sign outside).

At this point, I tiptoed down the gangway to the safety of dry land. I didn’t know why, but with the Mayor aboard I had a bad feeling the big floaty metal doo-dah might somehow turn into sticky blue

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Mon 5 Nov - 13:49

Boris Johnson joins Labour's calls for living wage


Boris Johnson has joined Labour's calls for higher pay as the wage needed to keep up an "acceptable" standard of living rises from £7.20 to £7.45 in the last year.








Mayor of London Boris Johnson announces the new London Living Wage at City Hall, London Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA





By Rowena Mason and Tim Ross

10:32AM GMT 05 Nov 2012




Boris Johnson has joined Labour's calls for businesses voluntarily to pay higher wages, as people need to earn at least £7.45 an hour to have a decent quality of life.


The wage needed to keep up an "acceptable" standard of living has risen from £7.20 to £7.45 in the last year, according to experts. In London, it rose from £8.30 to £8.55, because of the higher cost of living in the capital.


The London Mayor, who is tipped as a future Conservative leader, urged businesses to "wake up to the huge benefits that paying the living wage delivers”.


"By building motivated, dedicated work forces the living wage helps businesses to boost the bottom line and ensures that hard working people who contribute to London’s success can enjoy a decent standard of living," he said.


More than 100 employers now pay the rate voluntarily, including many Government departments.



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His comments came as Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said he is considering ways to make the rate the new norm, even though it is more than £1 higher than the legal adult minimum wage.

Under Labour, listed companies who do not pay the living wage could be “named and shamed” through new corporate governance proposals. Whitehall contracts could also be limited to firms that pay their workers at the new hourly rate, he said.

Mr Miliband made the announcement with his brother, David, even though relations have been strained since he narrowly won the contest for the Labour leadership in 2010.

The Labour leader said: “You go out, slog your guts out...you deserve a decent wage if the company can afford it.

“We’ve got a growth crisis in Britain but we’ve also got a living standards crisis, because the proceeds of economic growth are not being fairly distributed any more,” he told the Independent on Sunday.

Writing in The Observer, in a joint article with the Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, David Miliband said called for “fair pay for a fair day’s work” as part of the “basic deal” for low earners.

“This problem needs to be mended if we are to make progress as a nation,” they said.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that for every person moved on to the living wage, the Treasury would save around £1,000 from less spending on tax credits and from increased tax revenue.

A number of major firms already pay workers and contractors a living wage - which stands at £8.30 an hour in London - or higher.

Barclays has paid the living wage in London since 2007, while 19 local authorities have been accredited as “living wage employers

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Fri 9 Nov - 10:53

This is not as far fetched as it seems. Cameron has as much chance of winning the next election as i have of winning the Lottery.

If he had only a few months to run as Mayor of london , a Tory MP would offer his seat by resigning and Boris could fight a by-election. However, he has over 3 yrs so cannot do anything at the moment.

Don't be fooled by Boris , he was President of the Student Union at Eton , has an agile mind, is more interested in the people than most MP's, is very popular and the Tory backbenchers have the knives out for Cameron.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Mon 12 Nov - 8:26

By Boris Johnson

6:30AM GMT 12 Nov 2012





You know, I am afraid that they still don’t get it. The people at the BBC show no real sign of understanding what they have done wrong, let alone making amends. We have heard an awful lot in the past 24 hours about the personal calvary of George Entwistle. We know of the agony of Lord Patten, who has told us that the resignation of Entwistle was “one of the saddest evenings” of his public life. We have been told of the grief of hundreds of BBC journalists, the anxiety, the anger, their fear for their jobs. Everyone at the BBC is agreed on one thing: that it is a “tragedy”. Yes, it is a tragedy for the poor old BBC.


It’s tragic for us! say Beeb journalists, who are all interviewing each other in a ludicrous orgy of self-pity. In all this nauseating navel-gazing and narcissism, there seems to be no one – from Lord Patten downwards – who appears to be remotely interested in the person the BBC has injured. Has anyone even begun to apologise, in a fitting manner, to Alistair McAlpine?


To call someone a paedophile is to place them, these days, in a special category. We loathe paedophiles, as a society, because we know more and more about their crimes. They groom and manipulate vulnerable young people. They are cunning, plausible, selfish and ruthless. They cause appalling physical and psychological pain to children – people who should be getting protection and support.


Paedophiles, therefore, do the rest of humanity a sort of service, because they confer moral superiority on absolutely everyone else. A convicted paedophile is a “nonce”, and a “nonce” is the person that every other prisoner – burglar, rapist, murderer, you name it – can spit on and feel good about it. Paedophiles are there to be jostled, beaten up and shanked in the showers, and the rest of the prison population will whistle and look the other way.


To call someone a paedophile is to consign them to the lowest circle of hell – and while they are still alive. It follows that you should not call someone a paedophile unless you are pretty sure of your facts. It is utterly incredible that the BBC’s flagship news programme decided to level this poisonous allegation against Lord McAlpine when it had not the slightest evidence to support its case. It was sickening yesterday morning, at 7am, to hear the BBC radio newscaster claim – as if it were some kind of mitigation – that Newsnight did not “name” McAlpine. Is it really claiming that it protected his identity?

This is why Boris would make a good PM




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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sun 18 Nov - 8:16

Conservatives hire Boris’s campaign guru for 2015 election


David Cameron is to hire the Australian strategist who masterminded Boris Johnson’s mayoral success to spearhead the Tories’ 2015 general election campaign








Boris Johnson with Lynton Crosbyon back in May Photo: ANDREW PARSONS






By Patrick Hennessy, Political Editor

8:00PM GMT 17 Nov 2012


34 Comments




The Sunday Telegraph has learned that Lynton Crosby, known for his political street-fighting skills, is set to start work at the party’s headquarters early next year.


It is understood Mr Crosby will initially work on a part-time basis and move on to full-time work when the election, set for May 2015, gets closer. A senior Tory source said: “The final details are being worked out, but the Prime Minister wants this to happen and we’re confident it will.”


The move comes in the wake of the party’s defeat in last week’s Corby by-election, when Labour overturned a 1,900-vote Conservative majority to win by more than 7,700 – with the United Kingdom Independence Party coming third with more than 5,100 votes.


Mr Crosby took charge of the Conservatives’ 2005 election campaign when Lord Howard was leader but was not called on in 2010 when George Osborne was the main strategist. There have been recent calls for Mr Osborne to give up his political strategy role and concentrate on his job as Chancellor.


Mr Crosby ran both Mr Johnson’s winning campaigns in London, in 2008 and in May this year. Earlier this month the Mayor told Tory MPs the party would be “mad” not to hire Mr Crosby for the 2015 general election and said they should pay him whatever salary it took.



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“They should kill the fatted calf, break the piggy bank, go for Lynton but give him a pretty free hand to run things,” Mr Johnson added. “He will be demonised by the media as some sort of attack dog.”

The Tory source said two current campaigning aides to Mr Cameron, Stephen Gilbert and Andrew Cooper, would continue to play key roles in the run-up to voting in 2015.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Mon 19 Nov - 13:39

Not a single penny more for the EU’s begging bowl


The demand for a budget increase amid such an abuse of public funds is outrageous, says Boris Johnson








Herman Van Rompuy wants a rise in spending by Brussels of 5 to 6.8 per cent Photo: REUTERS






By Boris Johnson

6:04AM GMT 19 Nov 2012


531 Comments




There are decisions in politics that are agonisingly tough. Sometimes you have to wrap a cold towel round your head and try to balance the outcomes. You might even sit down, scratch your chin and write a list of the pros and cons. And sometimes the choice is such a no-brainer that you can’t see how any reasonable person could disagree. That, surely, is the position on the EU budget, and the Commission’s amazing demand for an increase.


When David Cameron goes to the EU summit this week, I have absolutely no doubt that he will veto this package, and not only will he have every sensible person in this country — and in the rest of Europe — cheering him on, he will be right politically, intellectually, morally and on just about every ground that you can imagine. Herman Van Rompuy is asking for an increase in spending by Brussels of between 5 and 6.8 per cent, at a time when the whole of the Community has been enduring cuts in public expenditure.


You will be familiar with what is happening in Greece, where the cataclysmic result of euro membership is that GDP has fallen by 7.2 per cent in one year. Cancer patients are being deprived of drugs; the suicide rate has soared; youth unemployment is stratospheric and much of downtown Athens looks like a war zone after repeated rioting against the “austerity” measures demanded by this very same EU Commission. To a greater or lesser extent, the symptoms of the euro tragedy can now be seen not just in the Mediterranean countries, but even in Germany, where the collapse of export markets in the euro-Zollverein is starting to affect the output of the EU’s most powerful economy.


Here in Britain — the second biggest net contributor to the EU budget — we face continuing pressure on spending of all kinds. Welfare is being capped; we face difficult but necessary reforms of health care; and across the country there will be essential reforms to police and fire services. We have just seen cuts to school sports programmes — which you might have thought were an essential element of a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympics — and this is the moment when the Commission seriously thinks it can come to the British taxpayer and ask for billions more in subsidy. My message to M Van Rompuy is donnez moi un break, mate.


The people in Brussels must have been out of their tiny minds. It is like giving heroin to an addict. It is like handing an ice cream to the fattest boy in the class, while the rest of the kids are on starvation diets — and then asking them to pay for his treat.



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This is a budget so riddled with fraud and malpractice that in 18 years it has never been given a clean bill of health by the European Court of Auditors. Bear in mind, moreover, that this Court is itself an EU institution, with nothing like the resources it needs to invigilate the local politicians, farmers, business people and all-purpose crooks who are in receipt of funding from us all.

According to this toothless Luxembourg watchdog, there are at least 5.2 billion euros that go astray every year — and the proportion is rising again, not falling. The bureaucrats speak plaintively of a certain Spanish sheep farmer they came across. “A farmer was granted a special premium for 150 sheep. The court found that the beneficiary did not have any sheep. The corresponding payment was irregular.”

Irregular! It wasn’t irregular — it was a swindle. It was theft from you and me. You only have to imagine the ludicrous scene, of Luxembourg officials scrabbling over some dusty Spanish hillside in search of 150 non-existent merinos to see that they have only scratched the surface of the abuse.

There are fields that are forests that are meant to be farmed. There are forests that are meant to be fields, and we are paying subsidy for both. Last year the Commission itself confessed that EU spending on Romania — €515 million — had been almost all the subject of fraud or abuse of one kind or another. Hand on heart, said Brussels, it looked as though only about 10 per cent of the cash had got through to legitimate destinations. The EU budget will never be properly policed because the cash doesn’t properly belong to any nation — it belongs to “everybody”. And since it belongs to everybody, each individual country cynically reasons that there isn’t that much harm if its own citizens quietly loot as much of it as they reasonably can.

Which leaves it to the central EU institutions to try to police this Ottoman structure. They don’t have a hope. It is no particular comfort to learn that the Health Commissioner, a Maltese called John Dalli, has just resigned under a cloud, amid allegations of an attempt to rig a decision in favour of some Swedish snuff tycoons. Meanwhile, here are the officials of the EU Commission, arriving in Athens in their taxpayer-funded executive jets, with their message of hardship for the people of Greece. They wag their fingers at the Greeks, and tell them that they must mend their ways.

They must stop the waste and the fraud, says the EU Commission, before they have any hope of more bail-out funds. And yet these same EU officials preside over a vast and larcenous abuse of public funds, and now have the effrontery to tell us that they need a massive above-inflation increase to pay, inter alia, for the great unreformed caravanserai between Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

There is absolutely nothing to be lost from a veto. It may be impossible to cut the budget, since there is no other country actively proposing this excellent option. But there is no reason at all why EU spending should not be frozen exactly where it is.

The worst that can happen is that the existing budget will be rolled over, a month at a time. It is time for David Cameron to put on that pineapple-coloured wig and powder blue suit, whirl his handbag round his head and bring it crashing to the table with the words no, non, nein, neen, nee, ne, ei and ochi, until they get the message.

























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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Mon 19 Nov - 13:40

Not a single penny more for the EU’s begging bowl


The demand for a budget increase amid such an abuse of public funds is outrageous, says Boris Johnson








Herman Van Rompuy wants a rise in spending by Brussels of 5 to 6.8 per cent Photo: REUTERS






By Boris Johnson

6:04AM GMT 19 Nov 2012


531 Comments




There are decisions in politics that are agonisingly tough. Sometimes you have to wrap a cold towel round your head and try to balance the outcomes. You might even sit down, scratch your chin and write a list of the pros and cons. And sometimes the choice is such a no-brainer that you can’t see how any reasonable person could disagree. That, surely, is the position on the EU budget, and the Commission’s amazing demand for an increase.


When David Cameron goes to the EU summit this week, I have absolutely no doubt that he will veto this package, and not only will he have every sensible person in this country — and in the rest of Europe — cheering him on, he will be right politically, intellectually, morally and on just about every ground that you can imagine. Herman Van Rompuy is asking for an increase in spending by Brussels of between 5 and 6.8 per cent, at a time when the whole of the Community has been enduring cuts in public expenditure.


You will be familiar with what is happening in Greece, where the cataclysmic result of euro membership is that GDP has fallen by 7.2 per cent in one year. Cancer patients are being deprived of drugs; the suicide rate has soared; youth unemployment is stratospheric and much of downtown Athens looks like a war zone after repeated rioting against the “austerity” measures demanded by this very same EU Commission. To a greater or lesser extent, the symptoms of the euro tragedy can now be seen not just in the Mediterranean countries, but even in Germany, where the collapse of export markets in the euro-Zollverein is starting to affect the output of the EU’s most powerful economy.


Here in Britain — the second biggest net contributor to the EU budget — we face continuing pressure on spending of all kinds. Welfare is being capped; we face difficult but necessary reforms of health care; and across the country there will be essential reforms to police and fire services. We have just seen cuts to school sports programmes — which you might have thought were an essential element of a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympics — and this is the moment when the Commission seriously thinks it can come to the British taxpayer and ask for billions more in subsidy. My message to M Van Rompuy is donnez moi un break, mate.


The people in Brussels must have been out of their tiny minds. It is like giving heroin to an addict. It is like handing an ice cream to the fattest boy in the class, while the rest of the kids are on starvation diets — and then asking them to pay for his treat.



Related Articles




  • Be as strong as Thatcher on EU, Boris tells Cameron
    18 Nov 2012

  • Voters 'won't believe EU referendum pledge'
    18 Nov 2012

  • Labour’s tough talk on Europe fails to convince
    18 Nov 2012


This is a budget so riddled with fraud and malpractice that in 18 years it has never been given a clean bill of health by the European Court of Auditors. Bear in mind, moreover, that this Court is itself an EU institution, with nothing like the resources it needs to invigilate the local politicians, farmers, business people and all-purpose crooks who are in receipt of funding from us all.

According to this toothless Luxembourg watchdog, there are at least 5.2 billion euros that go astray every year — and the proportion is rising again, not falling. The bureaucrats speak plaintively of a certain Spanish sheep farmer they came across. “A farmer was granted a special premium for 150 sheep. The court found that the beneficiary did not have any sheep. The corresponding payment was irregular.”

Irregular! It wasn’t irregular — it was a swindle. It was theft from you and me. You only have to imagine the ludicrous scene, of Luxembourg officials scrabbling over some dusty Spanish hillside in search of 150 non-existent merinos to see that they have only scratched the surface of the abuse.

There are fields that are forests that are meant to be farmed. There are forests that are meant to be fields, and we are paying subsidy for both. Last year the Commission itself confessed that EU spending on Romania — €515 million — had been almost all the subject of fraud or abuse of one kind or another. Hand on heart, said Brussels, it looked as though only about 10 per cent of the cash had got through to legitimate destinations. The EU budget will never be properly policed because the cash doesn’t properly belong to any nation — it belongs to “everybody”. And since it belongs to everybody, each individual country cynically reasons that there isn’t that much harm if its own citizens quietly loot as much of it as they reasonably can.

Which leaves it to the central EU institutions to try to police this Ottoman structure. They don’t have a hope. It is no particular comfort to learn that the Health Commissioner, a Maltese called John Dalli, has just resigned under a cloud, amid allegations of an attempt to rig a decision in favour of some Swedish snuff tycoons. Meanwhile, here are the officials of the EU Commission, arriving in Athens in their taxpayer-funded executive jets, with their message of hardship for the people of Greece. They wag their fingers at the Greeks, and tell them that they must mend their ways.

They must stop the waste and the fraud, says the EU Commission, before they have any hope of more bail-out funds. And yet these same EU officials preside over a vast and larcenous abuse of public funds, and now have the effrontery to tell us that they need a massive above-inflation increase to pay, inter alia, for the great unreformed caravanserai between Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

There is absolutely nothing to be lost from a veto. It may be impossible to cut the budget, since there is no other country actively proposing this excellent option. But there is no reason at all why EU spending should not be frozen exactly where it is.

The worst that can happen is that the existing budget will be rolled over, a month at a time. It is time for David Cameron to put on that pineapple-coloured wig and powder blue suit, whirl his handbag round his head and bring it crashing to the table with the words no, non, nein, neen, nee, ne, ei and ochi, until they get the message.

























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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Tue 20 Nov - 7:23

Nut cutlet talk harms recovery, says Boris Johnson


Boris Johnson has challenged the Coalition to stop talking about austerity in terms of telling people to “eat nut cutlets” because it is harming the recovery.








The Mayor of London told business leaders the Coalition should collect more money from companies such as Google instead Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP






By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent

10:00PM GMT 19 Nov 2012





In a swipe at his party leaders, the Mayor of London said everyone must stop talking about being abstemious as it could kill off optimism about the economy.


Speaking to the CBI business group, he said: “We have moved from the age of excess under Labour into an age of austerity but if this country is to grow we need urgently to move on to a new age of enterprise.”


It was disclosed that Mr Johnson had been planning to demand that politicians stop asking people to “drink their own urine” but he decided to omit this detail from the final speech.


He told business leaders: “We need to abandon the rhetoric of austerity because if you endlessly tell people that we all have to eat nut cutlets and tighten our belts then you will be putting a big downer on growth and enterprise at a time when the global opportunities are growing, not shrinking.” His comments are likely to be seen as a challenge to David Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor, who are focused on bringing down Britain’s deficit.


Mr Cameron first claimed Britain needs an “age of austerity” in a speech to the Conservative Party before the election, in which he promised to put an end to wasteful spending and cut government debt.



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Mr Johnson called for an end to such gloomy talk just hours after Mr Cameron said he would continue to take “big, difficult decisions” on the deficit, while helping businesses to grow.

The Prime Minister promised to sweep away rules, reviews and checks that are holding companies back.

The Mayor, who is tipped as a potential future leader, urged the Government to go further in its efforts to support an “age of enterprise” by cutting personal tax rates and exempting new homes from stamp duty.

He told business leaders the Coalition should collect more money from companies such as Google instead of considering “absurd” plans for a mansion tax on individuals. “We should have taxes that are low but fair and it is absurd to be suddenly whacking up taxes on cash-poor people who happen to inhabit expensive houses in London when firms like Google are paying zero,” he said.

“Neither arrangement strikes me as being fair and so Google and co face a very clear choice — they can either change their tax arrangements or do much more to serve our society by visibly taking on 18 to 24-year-olds who are out of work.”

He said high personal tax rates in Britain mean that Andy Murray pays a greater proportion of his winnings to the taxpayer than any tennis player in the world. “I am afraid that high rates of personal taxation are likely to make us less competitive,” he will say.

“In the 19th century London became the biggest and richest city on earth because of its openness to trade and to talent.

“I am worried that we are losing some of that openness at a critical time.”

The Coalition is still considering Lib Dem proposals for higher taxes on the rich. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr at the weekend, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, insisted it is being taken seriously at the highest levels of the Government.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sat 24 Nov - 21:49

Boris Johnson Seeks To Boost Trade With India


London Mayor hopes to capitalise on Great Britain's appeal following successful Olympics and Diamond Jubilee during five-day trip


7:44pm UK, Saturday 24 November 2012

Boris Johnson starts his mission to India next week
















  • By Alex Rossi, India Correspondent

    The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, will spend the next week in India in an attempt to promote closer business ties between the English capital and the fast-growing nation.

    Brand "Great Britain" is very much in the limelight at the moment following the Olympics and the Jubilee, and Mr Johnson is hoping to capitalise on that success.

    British politicians from all sides of the divide believe increasing trade on the sub-continent makes sense at a time of austerity.

    On paper, India is a very exciting proposition at a time when growth in the UK is anaemic at best.

    It is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, recording an average growth of about 8% a year over the last decade.

    With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is a huge potential market.

    The nation is also very young - the average age is just 25 - meaning there are plenty of potential consumers.

    But despite the attractive figures, there are pitfalls.

    Many companies entering the Indian market are often overwhelmed by a chaotic business environment, bloated bureaucracy and corruption.

    However, the Confederation of British Industry's adviser in India, Mark Runacres, says there is money to be made with the right business plan.

    "Our business backyard in Europe is depressed. America is just beginning to emerge, and there are very few real growth markets - and India is one of them," he said.

    Therefore, he added, "for British business at the moment it is a very significant place both for sales of their goods and services and investment".

    The London Mayor will be visiting three cities in India - Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - over the next five days.

    As well as promoting London's business assets, Mr Johnson will also try to encourage more Indian students to attend the capital's universities.

    ===================

    I told you didn't I!!! Why hasn't the Minister for Trade been doing this.?????

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sun 25 Nov - 17:10

Boris: we are losing India to the Americans


Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has warned Britain can no longer rely on colonial sentiment as a basis for trade relations with India, as he warns young Indians are increasingly looking to the United States as a partner.








Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London






By Telegraph reporters

10:43AM GMT 25 Nov 2012





Mr Johnson, on a six-day trip to the country to promote business links with London, said to simply rely on India's history with the UK "simply didn't cut the mustard".


He said: "The objective is to build up what is a new partnership between London, the UK and India.


"We can't rely on sentiment. Everybody knows this. All this stuff about links and language doesn't cut the mustard any more.


"It's all about what London has - the brands we can offer, the opportunities we can offer to Indian business."


Mr Johnson is today visiting Akshardham Hindu temple, which has links with Neasden temple, before heading to India Gate.


The mayor is a known critic of the Government's decision to restrict the number of student visas, adding that he was concerned many young Indian people often decided to study in America.

Mr Johnson added: "On the way in to Delhi I saw a Jaguar car driving in from the airport which had been made in Coventry and now owned by an Indian company.

"Imagine if a million were driving Jaguar cars, you can see where the opportunities are.

"The worry is that young Indians are already orientated towards America. They think about higher education in America, we do much better with young Chinese for example.

"Visas is a point but it's not the only point. It's the mood music, so what I want to do is explain how welcoming London is."

The mayor said Transport for London was already looking at offering consultancy advice on how to run an underground system as Delhi has a brand new metro network.

At his hotel some Indian locals mistook Mr Johnson for the King of England. Others thought he was Wimbledon legend Boris Becker as he toured the Akshardhan temple in Delhi while one American businessman who had his photo taken with the mayor at his hotel just referred to him as "that guy on the zip line" - a reference to when Boris got stuck as he traversed Victoria Park during the Olympics.

Akash Bharadia, 18, is spending his gap year volunteering at the temple.

He said: "One of the locals shouted out it was Boris Becker while some people asked whether he was the King of England. They know it's Boris, that's the main thing."

Mr Johnson is seeking to capitalise on the rise in London's international profile following the Olympic games with trade trips to India, Brazil, India and China as well as some of the smaller Asian nations with fast-growing economies.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Wed 28 Nov - 18:06

Boris is turning into Britain’s Michael Bloomberg



By Will HeavenPoliticsLast updated: November 28th, 2012

52 CommentsComment on this article



Boris plays cricket with schoolchildren in Delhi (PA)

Borismania is catching on in India of all places. The Economic Times, a hugely popular English language paper there, calls him a “mop-headed, accident prone, headline grabbing Mayor of London who would be a once and future prime minister of UK”. Who could argue with that?

Yesterday Boris had an audience of Delhi's business leaders chuckling away after he mocked the French government. “Don’t wait to be put in the tumbrils by the regime of Mr Hollande,” he roared at them. “Come to London!”

There's a lot hanging on this trip. Not least because, as Boris advertised, 73 Indian firms are listed on the London Stock Exchange and Indian companies raise 53 per cent of their international equity in our capital.

But what’s in it for him? The Economic Times provides a hint, perhaps inadvertently. “London, Boris has said before, he wants to make the New York for Europe, not just the UK,” the paper comments.

If that's how Indians see it, Boris will be over the moon. London… an entire continent’s commercial hub, with him in charge of it all, like the prince of some almighty medieval city state.

There’s only one mayor in the world who has so far achieved anything like this: Michael Bloomberg, New York's mayor since 2002. The two men have much in common. Both achieved impressive careers in the media before launching themselves wholeheartedly into politics; both have strayed massively outside their political ideologies, being socially liberal/progressive (think gay rights, immigration) and fiscally conservative; both are enthusiastic campaigners on climate change but dodge the Right's bullets over it; both took on the Occupy movement while defending the financial sector.

The list goes on. But perhaps most importantly of all, both have created their own brand of personality politics in order to grab votes in the Centre and even on the Left. And then they've used their domestic reputations to climb towards global political stardom.

Boris is learning from the master. And won't Dave be pleased to learn that?


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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Wed 28 Nov - 18:17

Cameron and Boris were at Eton at the same time , but Boris was elected Head of the Students Union . He comes across as a bit of a Buffoon, but I think this is deliberate...don't like the fact that he thinks Britain should not quit the EU.

Cameron at Eton was not so popular and an Aunt who worked in Buckingham Palace pulled a few strings to get him a job in Conservative Central Office. Cameron is damaged goods now because of his closeness to Murdoch and Brooks and he keeps playing to the Gallery instead of forming his own persona. It says much that he is going to employ the same PR guy who helped Boris win another term as Mayor of London.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sat 1 Dec - 6:34

Boris suggests Osborne 'brood’ on cutting top tax rate to 30pc


Boris Johnson has suggested that the higher rates of income tax should be reduced ahead of the Government’s Autumn Statement next week.









Image 1 of 2
London mayor Boris Johnson rides a bicycle around the Gate of India in Mumbai, after meeting business leaders at the Bombay Stock Exchange, as part of a week long tour of India where he is trying to persuade Indian businesses to invest in London Photo: PA



Image 1 of 2
Boris Johnson and George Osborne Photo: GEOFF PUGH












By Robert Winnett, Political Editor

8:37PM GMT 30 Nov 2012




George Osborne should “brood” on whether the 40 and 45 per cent rates are too high, he said.


On a business trip to India, Mr Johnson highlighted the country’s tax rates of “only 30 per cent” and said business leaders had expressed concern over Britain’s tax regime.


In the previous budget, the Chancellor announced that he will cut the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p from next year. He is understood to have wanted to scrap the top rate altogether but was blocked by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.


Gordon Brown introduced the 50p top rate of tax shortly before the last election and Labour says it is necessary during the Government’s austerity programme.


Speaking yesterday on the final day of his tour, Mr Johnson said: “You’ve got tax rates here of only 30 per cent – a point George Osborne might like to brood on.



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“It’s 10 per cent for freelance income, and of course you have a market of about 600 million people under 25.”

He added: “One businessman said to me this morning that he loved London, he loved the quality of life in London.

“But another businessman asked about making London more attractive in terms of tax and regulation and certainly the tax regime. As I have said many times before, that needs to be looked at.” Yesterday afternoon, the high-profile London mayor was interviewed by Arnab Goswami, one of India’s most famous television broadcasters. During the interview, Mr Johnson renewed his attack on the Government’s strict immigration and visa regime.

“The Government has been trying to deal with a particular problem that was caused by the lax immigration policies of the last Labour government in 2004.

“It has been a blunderbuss approach that has hit and caused a lot of uncertainty and confusion in the vital markets like India. Although it is true that the numbers over previous years are up, we are worried that the numbers this year are down.”

During the interview, in which Mr Goswami seemed to veer between aggressive questioning and flattery, the mayor recalled the infamous incident when he was stuck on a zip-wire above an east London park during the Olympics.

He said he had asked his Special Branch protection officer if he could do something. “Very slowly he reached in to his pocket and took out his mobile phone and took a photograph. That was his contribution to my predicament.”

Asked later whether he would stand for parliament and eventually launch a Conservative Party leadership attempt, Mr Johnson said: “Three-and-a-half years in politics … we will have to see what will happen.” However, he then added when asked about becoming Prime Minister: “I can assure you that is about as likely as me being decapitated by a frisbee.”

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sat 1 Dec - 17:39

Boris Johnson Agrees Deal With Bollywood


The London Mayor says a top Indian producer has agreed to shoot two films in the British capital.


12:49pm UK, Friday 30 November 2012

Boris Johnson with Bollywood producer Sajid Nadiadwala













  • The Mayor of London has announced during a trip to India that two Bollywood films are to be shot in London next year.

    Speaking in Mumbai, Boris Johnson said the agreement was part of a bid to bring Bollywood to the British capital.

    Earlier in his visit, he called on Indian filmmakers to make London their movie set of choice, offering tax breaks and co-operation on clearing streets, and speaking of "the huge audiences that Indian films have in London".

    Producer Sajid Nadiadwala said he would film two movies, including the latest in the hugely successful Housefull series, in London.

    The 2010 Indian comedy directed by Sajid Khan and starring Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan, was shot over several months in London and Italy. It won few plaudits from the reviewers but was a huge box office success.

    Mr Nadiadwala's other movie to be filmed in London is Kick.
    Mr Johnson failed to recognise Bollywood superstar Kajol Devgn
    During his journey to Mumbai, Mr Johnson had to remain in economy class on his flight from Hyderabad after being squeezed out of business class by Bollywood megastar Kajol Devgn, who was occupying all the better seats with her entourage.

    The Mayor has been keen not to be seen as profligate during his £20,000 trip to India after his predecessor Ken Livingstone splashed out £740,000 on a similar visit, and has been booked on economy or premium economy seats for every flight, but had always been bumped up a class on check-in.

    However, this time that was not possible because there was no room.

    Just to show there were no hard feelings, the mayor shared a joke with the Bollywood icon as the pair waited for the bus to take them to the airport terminal after landing in Mumbai.

    But the flamboyant politician, who unlike his companion is little known by the Indian public, later admitted that he "didn't realise how wonderfully important Kajol was".

    He said: "I was too embarrassed and I didn't want to introduce myself but then I met her on the bus on the way to the terminal and she was very nice."

    He went on: "The key thing is that Kajol loves working in London and she does a huge number of movies in London. She is just one example of the way India and London can contribute to produce great movies."

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sat 1 Dec - 17:52

Actually, I do like Indian films, so colourful and musical, except slum dog Millionaire of course.

Years ago I was on Holiday in Goa, waiting in the Reception area and the Staff were glued to watching a film on a small T.V. I started watching and they were a bit wary of me, the film was a musical. There was a scene where the Suitor was serenading a Princess who was standing on the Balcony about 30 ft. up. Anyway, he tossed a necklace into the air and it landed up around her neck.!!!! I couldn't stop laughing , reminded me of Hoopla , the staff looked at me for a couple of minutes then they started laughing as well.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Tue 4 Dec - 14:40

By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent

10:43AM GMT 04 Dec 2012


687 Comments




Boris Johnson has condemned the government for urging eurozone countries to form closer economic links as he demanded a referendum on Britain's relationship with the European Union.


The Chancellor and Prime Minister believe it is essential that the 17 eurozone countries move towards closer union of their banking and fiscal policies.


However, the Mayor of London said the Government was backing an "intellectually dishonest" and "anti-democratic" approach.


In a lecture at Thomson Reuters headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London, Mr Johnson called for a change in the government's tactics.


"I don’t understand why we continually urge the eurozone countries to go forward with this fiscal and political union, when we know in our hearts that it is anti-democratic and therefore intellectually and morally wrong," he said.



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Mr Osborne has spoken of the "remorseless logic" in favour of a banking and fiscal union in the eurozone.

In June, he said the 17 countries with the euro as their currency needed "greater harmonisation of fiscal policies".

And the Prime Minister has backed moves towards fiscal union inside the eurozone but not the rest of the EU.

Mr Johnson said he wanted Britain to have a looser relationship with the EU, which is "boiled down" to membership of the single market.

Britain should pull out of EU-wide social policies, fisheries agreements and other unnecessary bureaucracy, he said.

"We want to be friends. We want a relationship in which we are not endlessly made to feel bad for not sharing every doctrine of the euro-religion," he said.

"We should use the opportunity of the Treaty changes – perhaps over the banking union – to convene an inter governmental conference in which we bring Britain’s membership in line with what people want.

"Boil it down to the single market. Scrap the social chapter. Scrap the fisheries policy.

"We could construct a relationship with the EU that more closely resembled that of Norway or Switzerland – except that we would be inside the single market council, and able to shape legislation."

The British public should then be given a say in a referendum over whether the UK should be part of the EU under these new terms or not, he said.

"It is high time that we had a referendum, and it would be a very simple question. Do you want to stay in the EU single market - yes or no? And if people don’t think the new relationship is an improvement, then they will exercise their sovereign right to leave the EU."










This represents another variation of Mr Johnson's policy on an EU referendum.

Last month, he called for an "in-out" vote, before saying he did not favour such a "simple" question a few days later.

Today, he has argued that the referendum should be on Britain's membership of the single market.

==========================
I think a simple vote is the right answer, the latest move to integrate the Banking system is the last straw IMO Britain has a Commonwealth to trade with as well as the Far East. I think Merkel did a deal when she was in China persuading the population to buy German cars, also if China lends money to the Eurozone it wants greater trade freedom to sell goods to Europeans.


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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sun 9 Dec - 16:50

David Cameron to offer in/out referendum on EU, Boris says


David Cameron will promise the British people an “in/out” referendum on the European Union, Boris Johnson has said.








Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has dropped his call for an "in-out" referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.






By James Kirkup

11:13AM GMT 09 Dec 2012


542 Comments




The Conservative Mayor of London said that the Prime Minister will ask voters to choose either a new, looser relationship with the EU, or complete withdrawal.


Mr Johnson’s prediction comes as Mr Cameron prepares to make a major speech setting out his thinking on Britain and the EU.


The Mayor’s prediction will add to the pressure on Mr Cameron to promise voters the option of leaving the EU, something the Prime Minister has said he does not think is in Britain’s interests.













Would a new, looser relationship with the EU work?
No, the UK would be better off leaving completely
Yes, a renegotiation will give Britain a better deal


VoteView Results








In a Sky News interview, Mr Johnson said that Britain should renegotiate the terms of its EU membership to “chop off” rules that are invasive or unjustified, such as social regulation, fisheries regulations and farm subsidies.



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“Let’s have a renegotiation in which we chop off the bits we don’t like,” Mr Johnson said. “That renegotiation is essential. We have got to go in and get a better deal.”

Mr Cameron has promised to seek a “new settlement” for Britain in Europe, then put the deal to voters for their consent.

So far, however, he has not committed himself to seeking that consent in a referendum. He has also expressed doubts about offering voter the option of leaving the EU altogether.

However, Mr Johnson predicted that the Prime Minister will offer an in/out referendum.

“I reckon he is going to commit to a referendum which will be broadly an in/out referendum on the new terms,” Mr Johnson said.

The Mayor, regarded by some Conservatives as a potential party leader, repeated his attacks on eurozone members for heading “full tilt towards fiscal union,” he said.

Such a union would be a “disaster” for its members, he said, but also raises an opportunity for the UK to seek a more distant relationship with the rest of the EU.

“The new deal, us allowing them to go ahead [with fiscal union], should be our price for the new arrangement,” Mr Johnson said.

===============================

See, our Boris is on the ball again.
Seriously though, the EU would miss Britain more than we would miss Europe. As some of the European Economists and
Journalists have said, Democracy is being eroded in EU Countries and there is no way a one cap fits all will resolve the EU situation .


Last edited by Panda on Mon 10 Dec - 8:10; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Mon 10 Dec - 8:06

Ignore the doom merchants, Britain should get fracking


It’s green, it’s cheap and it’s plentiful! So why are opponents of shale gas making such a fuss??








Fracking of one kind or another has been used in Britain for decades Photo: Alamy






By Boris Johnson

8:22PM GMT 09 Dec 2012


496 Comments




If it were not so serious there would be something ludicrous about the reaction of the green lobby to the discovery of big shale gas reserves in this country. Here we are in the fifth year of a downturn. We have pensioners battling fuel poverty. We have energy firms jacking up their prices. We have real worries about security of energy supply – a new building like the Shard needs four times as much juice as the entire town of Colchester.


Our nukes are so high-maintenance that the cost of disposing of their spent fuel rods is put at about £100 billion – more than the value of all the electricity they have produced since the Fifties. The hills and dales of Britain are being forested with white satanic mills, and yet the total contribution of wind power is still only about 0.4 per cent of Britain’s needs. Wave power, solar power, biomass – their collective oomph wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding. We are prevented from putting in a new system of coal-fired power stations, since that would breach our commitments under Kyoto. We are therefore increasingly and humiliatingly dependent on Vladimir Putin’s gas or on the atomic power of the French state.


And then in the region of Blackpool – as if by a miracle – we may have found the solution. The extraction of shale gas by hydraulic fracture, or fracking, seems an answer to the nation’s prayers. There is loads of the stuff, apparently – about 1.3 trillion barrels; and if we could get it out we could power our toasters and dishwashers for the foreseeable future. By offering the hope of cheap electricity, fracking would make Britain once again competitive in sectors of industry – bauxite smelting springs to mind – where we have lost hope.


The extraction process alone would generate tens of thousands of jobs in parts of the country that desperately need them. And above all, the burning of gas to generate electricity is much, much cleaner – and produces less CO2 – than burning coal. What, as they say, is not to like?


In their mad denunciations of fracking, the Greens and the eco-warriors betray the mindset of people who cannot bear a piece of unadulterated good news. Beware this new technology, they wail. Do not tamper with the corsets of Gaia! Don’t probe her loamy undergarments with so much as a finger — or else the goddess of the earth will erupt with seismic revenge. Dig out this shale gas, they warn, and our water will be poisoned and our children will be stunted and our cattle will be victims of terrible intestinal explosions. Yesterday the Observer found some political support for the gloomsters, in the form of a German MEP. His name is Jo Leinan, and it seems he is a prominent member of the Euro-parliament’s energy committee. There were only two countries interested in this procedure, he said – Poland and Britain.



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And according to Herr Leinan, neither of us knows what we are getting ourselves into. We are about to release the pent-up shale gas of Britain from its sinister cavities beneath Lancashire and Sussex, and anything can happen. Before we touch the integuments of the planet, he says, the European parliament will produce some regulations to “discipline” the operation.

Regulations? From the Euro-parliament? And these people wonder why we in Britain are increasingly determined to have a referendum on our membership of the EU. I am sure that the SPD politician means well, but just what in the name of hell has it got to do with him? Before he draws up any regulations for the British fracking market, he might care to look at what has been going on in America in the past four years, where the discovery of large quantities of shale gas is turning into one of the most significant political events since the end of the Cold War.

In 2008 the cost of natural gas in the US was $8 a unit. It is now $3 a unit. In China it is still up at $12 a unit – and the result is that the US is now competitive in industries such as fertilisers and chemicals that American politicians had long since assumed were lost to low-cost economies of the East. As a result of the use of gas, the Americans have cut their CO2 emissions to levels not seen since the Nineties, in spite of a growing population.

Indeed, the Americans have now actually met their obligations under the Kyoto protocol on climate change – and they never even signed up for it. The shale gas industry is a huge employer, and has so far contributed $50 billion in tax. As for the anxieties about water poisoning or a murrain on the cattle, there have been 125,000 fracks in the US, and not a single complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency.

It is no wonder that some of the more heroic spirits in the Coalition Government are saying that we should get our act together, and make use of what nature has bestowed on Lancashire and elsewhere. As soon as he became Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson announced that he was going to make life easy for potential frackers, with a one-stop permit system. He has the support of George Osborne, who hailed the potential of fracking in the Autumn Statement.

Alas, we are in a Coalition, and the Liberals run the Department of Energy and Climate Change. They have announced a moratorium on fracking, claiming that there have been earthquakes in the Blackpool area – even though there are tiny quakes every day. In what they thought was a cunning move, the Lib Dems also leaked the location of two big reserves of shale gas – in Tatton and Shropshire North. Much to his credit, Owen Paterson immediately announced that he was all in favour of fracking his constituency if it would deliver jobs and growth, and he is dead right. The shale gas discovery is hateful to the Libs and the Greens, because it destroys their narrative about the ever rising cost of hydrocarbons. It is glorious news for humanity. It doesn’t need the subsidy of wind power. I don’t know whether it will work in Britain, but we should get fracking right away.

===================================

You gotta like his sense of humour .......and down to earth approach.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Lioned on Tue 11 Dec - 15:17

I would rather have one of Ken Livingstones newts running the country than Boris the Buffoon.He is a Toff,in addition to his Mayoral salary he has trousered about £2mill quid in 'freelance' work over the last 5 years from the newspapers.In his favour he has paid a fair wad of income tax.
He has absolutely no clue what the ordinary working man/woman has to deal with on a daily basis.He has absolutely no man management skills beyond his bumbling jolity.

The chance of him ever being PM is zero.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Tue 11 Dec - 15:34

Lioned wrote:I would rather have one of Ken Livingstones newts running the country than Boris the Buffoon.He is a Toff,in addition to his Mayoral salary he has trousered about £2mill quid in 'freelance' work over the last 5 years from the newspapers.In his favour he has paid a fair wad of income tax.
He has absolutely no clue what the ordinary working man/woman has to deal with on a daily basis.He has absolutely no man management skills beyond his bumbling jolity.

The chance of him ever being PM is zero.

Well Lioned I am going to put a bet on and will tell you what the odds are, you might want to make a few bob.

We shall see , but there is not one MP in any Party that I would consider would make a good PM, you havn't caught on yet that behind the buffoonery is a sharp mind , a down to earth approach and he would be very popular.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Lioned on Tue 11 Dec - 16:05

I would even rather have David Mellor in his Chelsea shirt !

Look beyond the cover and one day you may see what he's really capable of,or not as the case may be.


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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sun 16 Dec - 11:37

Boris Johnson's 'preferred option' is for Britain to remain in EU


Leaving the European Union would not be "the end of the world" for Britain, London mayor Boris Johnson said today, but added that he would "prefer" to stay in it.








While he would prefer to stay in the EU, Boris Johnson said Britain should be prepared to walk away if it was not able to negotiate a new relationship. Photo: GETTY






By Rebecca Clancy

11:08AM GMT 16 Dec 2012


2 Comments




Mr Johnson said his “preferred option” was for the UK to remain in the Europe, but added that if it were to leave “I don't think that is necessarily the end of the world”.


“My preferred option is for us to stay in there,” the Conservative London mayor told The Andrew Marr Show.


While he supports Britain in the EU, he said the UK should be prepared to walk away if it was not able to negotiate a new relationship.


“I would like to be able to campaign for a single market and the withdrawal from a lot of the nonsensical policies,” he added.


He also backed calls for a referendum on Britain’s future in the EU and said the government could not put it off indefinitely.



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Mr Johnson said he would like to see the public given the chance to vote on the issue before the next general election in 2015 although he did not expect it to happen.

"We have never had a popular vote since 1975 on a European question,” he said, referring to the referendum in that year.

“I think it would be a good idea if they did it before 2015. It would be fantastic. I can't see them doing it before 2015."

Mr Johnson is the latest member of the Conservative party to urge the Prime Minister to let the public vote on Britain's membership of the EU.

At the end of last month, Mark Pritchard, a former secretary of the party’s 1922 committee, urged the Prime Minister to let the public vote at the next general election in 2015 - or even before.

Mr Pritchard wants the Coalition to publish a Referendum Bill to set the terms on a public vote. “This should be an in/out referendum – anything short of that simply won’t deliver,” he said.

Leading Tory eurosceptic MP, David Davis, has also declared that the British people must be given the chance to vote for a major repatriation of powers from Brussels by early 2014.

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Re: Boris Johnson......the next PM?

Post  Panda on Sun 16 Dec - 23:58

Boris Johnson: EU referendum before 2015 would be 'fantastic'


David Cameron should call a referendum on Britain's EU membership before the next election and be prepared to walk away from Brussels, Boris Johnson has said.








London Mayor Boris Johnson Photo: Paul Grover






By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent

11:23AM GMT 16 Dec 2012





The London Mayor said it would be "fantastic" to have a poll before 2015, piling pressure on Mr Cameron to set an early date.


The Prime Minister is preparing to set out his vision for Britain's future place in Europe in a major speech early in the new year. He is widely expected to promise a new relationship with Europe and a vote on Britain's EU membership after this has been achieved.


However, Mr Johnson, who is seen as the Prime Minister's main rival, yesterday joined the Conservative eurosceptics in urging a much faster timetable.


“I think it would be a good idea if they did it before 2015, it would be fantastic," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. "I can’t see them doing it before 2015. But all this will be revealed in a speech that is forthcoming.”


Mr Johnson has been accused of repeatedly changing his mind on Europe, first backing the "Better Off Out" campaign and then deciding that there should not necessarily be an in/out referendum on leaving Brussels.



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His latest position is that he wants a referendum giving a straight choice on whether Britain should exit the EU or remain a member under new, looser terms.

The Prime Minister is confident he can negotiate a new relationship, which he hopes could persuade backbench Conservatives to stop agitating for an exit from the EU entirely.

However, it may be tricky to secure an arms-length settlement with Brussels. Francois Hollande, the French president, claimed on Friday that Britain cannot choose which laws it wants to follow from an "à la carte" menu and insisted the EU "is for life".

Sounding a warning to Mr Cameron, the London Mayor said Britain has to be ready to walk away from the EU if the promised "fresh settlement" cannot be negotiated.

"That is correct, absolutely correct [that Britain should be prepared to exit the EU]," he said. "I don’t think that [leaving the EU] is necessarily the end of the world.

"Don’t forget that 15 years ago the entire CBI, British Industry, the City, everybody was prophesying that there would be gigantic mutant rats with two or three eyes swarming out of the gutters, the sewers, to gnaw the faces off the remaining British bankers because we didn’t go into the euro. But my preferred option is for us to stay in there. I will stress [leaving] is not my preferred option."

Sources close to the Prime Minister dismissed the idea that he would have trouble negotiating a new relationship with Europe.

“David Cameron has been the toughest Prime Minister we’ve ever had on Europe,” the source said. “At this week’s summit he was tough on them over issues like the single market and Syria. He has shown he can be tough all along.”

Mr Johnson is considered a potential Conservative leadership rival to Mr Cameron, even though the former MP has another three years left in his current job as mayor.

He has repeatedly denied any ambitions to be prime minister and yesterday stressed again that he is not planning to return to the House of Commons in 2015.

"I’ve got three and a half more years as Mayor of London and I’m going to stick to that," he said.

"Because I think we did a great Olympics but there’s an awful lot more of that that needs to get delivered. We need to show that we can get value from that £9.3 billion. The Olympic investments are going to be transformatory of huge chunks of East London and I want to be there to make sure that we get it right."

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