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

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

Post  Panda on Tue 30 Jul - 6:29

Mo’s breaking records, but other migrants are breaking the law
Immigrants have a lot to offer Britain, but those here illegally have no right to remain, writes Boris Johnson

The Home Office vans encouraging illegal immigrants to 'go home or face arrest' Photo: Rick Findler
By Boris Johnson
8:06PM BST 28 Jul 2013

Uh oh, I thought, as we queued for the Korean burritos. I didn’t like the look of this one. A woman stood in front of me, her face working with anger; and in her hand she had a full plastic tumbler of what looked like sangria — red wine with a slice of orange. It was just the sort of thing that a lefty lawyer might suddenly decide to chuck in the face of a hapless Tory politician; and so out of the corner of my eye I watched that sloshing drink as she waved it furiously under my nose, and I groped for ways to calm her down.

It was otherwise an utterly fantastic day. The weather was perfect, the rain holding off, and across a vast stretch of the Olympic Park there were thousands of families having fun on the stringy white grass. There was a bouncy-castle Stonehenge and rock bands and a delicious smell of exotic food from around the planet. Here a crowd watched a display of sheep-shearing; there they cheered some traditional Newham break-dancing and good old-fashioned hip hop. All we needed was welly-wanging and whack the rat and it would have been the biggest English summer fete you had ever seen.

I was euphoric — because the family festival was such an unexpected success; because the Olympic park looked so wonderful; because we were nearly at the front of the queue for the Korean burritos, and the kids would at last get fed. Above all, we were all elated because we had just had the privilege of leaping to our feet — eyes brimming, napes tingling — as London’s Mo Farah had won the 3,000 metres in utterly spectacular style.

You had to be there to understand how the crowd has taken Mo to their hearts. Mo! Mo! Mo! they shouted as he broke from the field; and then the syllables melded into a single roar that sent him surging 50 or 70 metres clear of his nearest rival — and in a world class field. There were 70,000 or 80,000 people tearfully hailing a Muslim Somali-born west Londoner, and they hailed him again when he said, in his authentic London voice, that he just wanted to make Britain proud; because he sure as hell had.

He made us proud, just as he did last year. If anyone had asked for a sermon in what immigrants can achieve if they work hard, there it was. If you wanted a text to prove what immigrants can do for their adoptive country, there it was. And so as I looked around the park I found that every prospect pleased — with the exception of this wrathful woman. I took a while to focus on what she was saying, but I gathered that she was offended by the Home Office mobile posters that have been going around some boroughs, urging illegal immigrants to go home.

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It was a scandal, she said; it was going to be damaging for race relations; and what, she wanted to know, was I doing about it? She was a barrister, she added, as if I wasn’t already apprehensive enough. As every politician knows, you cannot possibly hope to win in a position like this — the whole crowd listening as some well-spoken and well-educated woman decides to give you what for – and especially if she is armed with a lethal-looking glass of sangria.

“Er, I haven’t actually seen the posters,” I ventured, which was true — though I had been made vaguely aware of the controversy. That wasn’t good enough, she snapped. I should be speaking out, she said, witheringly, and so on and so forth. After about 10 rounds of pummelling, I was able to escape by promising to have a look at the offending propaganda, and to make up my own mind.

Well, I have — or at least, I have studied them online. The tone is certainly blunt. The message is uncompromising. “Go home or face arrest,” says the Home Office to illegal immigrants, in words that have even offended the tender sensibilities of Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip.

I suppose it could have been more gently drafted. How about: “Illegal immigrant? Worried about being arrested? Need help getting home? We can help! Just text HOME to 78070 and we will act as your personal travel agent.” That might have at least sounded a bit friendlier — but I wonder whether it would have appeased my angry friend with the sangria. As far as I could tell, she objected to the whole concept of urging illegal immigrants to do the right thing.

She seemed to think it wrong and downright racist even to point out that they were breaking the law. On that point I am afraid I have to disagree. Illegal immigrants have every opportunity to make their case to remain in Britain, and we have courts full of eloquent lefty lawyers — like, I very much suspect, my sangria-charged friend — taking prodigious sums of taxpayers’ money to vindicate the human rights of their clients.

Such is the ingenuity of these lawyers that all government strategies to deal with these illegals have so far failed. Indeed, we already have a de facto amnesty for all illegal immigrants who have been able to stay here for a long time. Ask the Home Office how many illegal immigrants have been deported, after being here for more than 10 years. The number is tiny. For most hard-working and otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants there is virtually no chance that they will be deported — and yet they cannot pay tax, cannot take part in the legal economy, and certainly cannot run for their country.

It is certainly not racist to point out this absurdity, since illegals come from all ethnic groups. It is not anti-immigrant to point this out, since illegals make a nonsense of the efforts of other immigrants to do the right thing and secure leave to remain. One way or another illegals need to regularise their position, and preferably to pay taxes like everyone else.

This poster campaign is unlikely, in itself, to solve the problem that expanded so massively under the last Labour government. But you surely can’t blame the Coalition for trying to enforce the law.

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

Post  Panda on Mon 5 Aug - 18:31

'Gollum-like cyclist' admits hurling abuse at Boris Johnson during 100-mile bike race
A cyclist has admitted hurling abuse at Boris Johnson during a 100-mile bike ride on Sunday – but claimed he was only trying to encourage him because he looked so 'sickly'.

Tough going: Boris Johnson crosses the finishing line of the inaugural Prudential RideLondon race Photo: PA
By Alice Philipson
12:51PM BST 05 Aug 2013
1 Comment
Bob Carter, 52, encountered the London mayor as they cycled up Leith Hill during the RideLondon race from the capital to Surrey and back.

Mr Johnson, writing in Monday's Daily Telegraph, said he spotted Mr Carter – a "Gollum-like creature" whose "Lycra appeared to be shrink-wrapped about his spindly form" – pedalling beside him.

The next moment, he faced a volley of abuse from his fellow cyclist, who told him: "Put your back into it, you fat b------."

Mr Carter, who belongs to a Norwich cycling club, told the Evening Standard: “I was only trying to help him on, he was really in trouble and looked very sickly. He seemed to take it in good heart.

“Hell would have to freeze over before I voted for him but fair play to him he completed the ride, which was very tough. I was giving him a bit of abuse and I think he thought I called him 'a fat b------' but I didn’t. In Norwich we are far too polite for that.

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“As for Gollum, he is a cheeky so and so saying that, I have never heard that one before.”

“I am glad he finished and if he wants to get fitter he is welcome to join us in Norwich on Sunday for our club ride.”

The RideLondon event saw more than 70,000 riders take to the streets of the capital. The event began at the Olympic Park and finished on the Mall.

Mr Johnson wrote in his column: "There are times when our suffering is so intense that any form of human contact is unbearable. Such were my feelings on Sunday morning as I cycled up a vertiginous Surrey incline that goes by the name of Leith Hill.

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone imitating me – pedalling alongside and puffing with satirical glee. He was one of those Gollum-like creatures whose Lycra appeared to be shrink-wrapped about his spindly form.

"His legs were as brown and thin as Victorian dining room chairs, and he seemed to be so totally hairless that one could imagine he applied Veet to every portion of his anatomy in order to minimise wind resistance. A sign on his bony pelvis proclaimed that he belonged to a Norwich cycling club.

“'Garn, Boris,' he cackled, 'put your back into it, you fat b------.' I smiled weakly, and tried to indicate that though his advice was no doubt excellent, I preferred, like some wounded animal, to be left alone with my pain. 'What?' said the cyclist, mock-offended. 'I’ve waited years for the chance to torture you, and I’m not going to miss it this time!'"

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Even Gollum can't spoil the day....

Post  Panda on Tue 6 Aug - 7:39

Even Gollum can’t spoil the day as cycling’s revolution rolls on
The sport in Britain is ready for the next leap ahead after Sunday’s 100-mile extravaganza

Tough going: Boris Johnson crosses the finishing line of the inaugural Prudential RideLondon race Photo: PA
By Boris Johnson
8:44PM BST 04 Aug 2013
178 Comments
There are times when our suffering is so intense that any form of human contact is unbearable. Such were my feelings on Sunday morning as I cycled up a vertiginous Surrey incline that goes by the name of Leith Hill. I was in the lowest possible gear, and my legs were churning and my heart was pounding and gouts of sweat were running off my nose and splashing on the crossbar of my bike; and then I became aware of a companion.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone imitating me – pedalling alongside and puffing with satirical glee. He was one of those Gollum-like creatures whose Lycra appeared to be shrink-wrapped about his spindly form. His legs were as brown and thin as Victorian dining room chairs, and he seemed to be so totally hairless that one could imagine he applied Veet to every portion of his anatomy in order to minimise wind resistance. A sign on his bony pelvis proclaimed that he belonged to a Norwich cycling club.

“Garn, Boris,” he cackled, “put your back into it, you fat b------.” I smiled weakly, and tried to indicate that though his advice was no doubt excellent, I preferred, like some wounded animal, to be left alone with my pain. “What?” said the cyclist, mock-offended. “I’ve waited years for the chance to torture you, and I’m not going to miss it this time!”




So it went on; and he was not the only torment on that mad 100-mile caper. My toes went numb; my fingers got the tingling weakness that afflicts the operators of pneumatic drills. My back tyre had a blow-out in Cobham; my gears would periodically freeze; and as any long-distance cyclist will tell you, the level of chafing was frankly not fit for description in a family newspaper.

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And yet at the end I felt overjoyed; exhilarated; more enraptured than I can remember for a long time. The RideLondon 100 is a sensational event, and will have a huge future. It was a triumph of organisation by Surrey county council, Transport for London, Hugh Brasher and others. Thanks to the far-sighted support of Prudential Insurance, tens of thousands of cyclists, some proficient, some mediocre, were able to imagine – for a few brief hours – that they were in a prelapsarian paradise where the motor car did not exist.

We rode in a spirit of happy and amateurish emulation (my friend the Norwich goblin was in a tiny minority) and as we streamed in a foaming Limpopo of helmets, we imagined that we were making a statement about cycling in Britain: that it is ready for the next leap forward.

British cyclists have now won the Tour de France twice in a row – a thing that seemed unimaginable in my childhood. British cyclists have stormed the world in two successive Olympics; and now we have just put on the biggest inaugural mass participation cycle event in history.

For all of us on that race yesterday, it felt like a dream come true: to cycle on the roads with a carefree confidence that is normally impossible. My eyes were opened to enormous support for cycling, since we could have filled the marathon with would-be entrants many times over. But above all it opened my eyes to the astonishing beauty of countryside that is only a few miles from London.

It’s called Surrey! I mean to say: Surrey! Forgive me, please, all you rural Surrey-dwellers, but hitherto the word has generally conjured up an image of handsome semi-detached houses, and stockbroker Tudor, and Joan Hunter Dunn and the pine-y smell of Betjemanesque suburbia. All I can say is that I now know that Surrey is also wild and heart-breakingly lovely.

There are honey-coloured churches nestling in valleys that look as though they have been more or less untouched since Norman times. As I have mentioned, there are surprisingly big hills – and at the top of those hills there are primeval views of unspoilt deciduous forests. There are cheering little pubs, and places selling cream teas, and as we toured this Elysium I asked myself: why don’t I know about this? After all, I have driven through Surrey zillions of times – and there is the problem. We drive so fast in our cars that we don’t appreciate the countryside; we aren’t capable of walking far enough to do it all justice. To enjoy Surrey as I just have you need to go at bicycle pace. How can we possibly hope to do that?

As the British cycling revolution gathers pace, I predict a growing gulf between city and countryside. In the big cities, we can make cycling safer. We can do all sorts of things with cycle lanes and road space, to give cyclists more confidence to venture into an environment where average traffic speeds – in London – are only 9.3mph. But on country roads it strikes me that we have a real problem. I don’t know about you, but I would be very reluctant to let my nearest and dearest cycle on those fast country lanes, with cars whipping up behind them, in a narrow space, at 50 or 60mph. And we can’t infuriate the motorists, as we did yesterday, by closing the road.

What to do? As I cycled along I elaborated a bucolic vision: of a gigantic Rooseveltian scheme to get tens of thousands of young people into work – building a beautiful rural filigree of cycle superhighways, and making use of the old Beeching railway lines. At a stroke, we would allow everyone to do what I did yesterday, and enjoy our amazing country in a completely different way.

Euphoric with such thoughts, I finally made it home, to find a furious text from an old friend. What, he raged, was this self-indulgent orgy of cycling? London was paralysed. He couldn’t get to lunch with friends. It was a disgrace, he said.

I know he speaks for many, and I apologise again for the inconvenience that we caused by temporarily reserving some roads and bridges for cyclists. But I could not help myself as I texted back. “On your bike”, I said.

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

Post  Panda on Wed 21 Aug - 11:28

Boris says he would never ‘shaft’ his brother like Ed Miliband did
Boris Johnson has suggested that it is “very likely” that his brother will become the Prime Minister - as he attacked Ed Miliband for “shafting” his brother David in the battle for the Labour leadership.
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By Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent
9:01AM BST 20 Aug 2013
363 Comments
The Mayor of London accused Mr Miliband, who defeated his brother in a leadership election in 2010, of being a “socialist” who regards familial ties as “trivial”.

He said that Mr Miliband is a “leftie” who sees people as “discrete agents devoid of ties to society or to each other, and that’s how Stalin could murder 20 million people”.

Mr Johnson, who is currently on a trip to Australia, praised his brother Jo, who was earlier this year promoted to become David Cameron’s head of policy in Downing Street.

In an interview with The Australian newspaper, Boris Johnson was asked whether his brother could become Prime Minister before him.

He replied: “I think it very likely and I think he'd be brilliant.”

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There has been regular speculation about whether or not Boris Johnson has ambitions to take over the leadership of the Conservative Party from David Cameron.

Although overshadowed by his high-profile brother, Jo Johnson, a former journalist for the Financial Times who only entered Parliament in 2010, is regarded as a fast rising Conservative star.


Like Mr Cameron, he attended Eton College before Oxford University, where he was a member of the notorious Bullingdon club. He has previously been tipped as a future Prime Minister.

In his interview, Boris Johnson was asked whether he and his brother could have a similar political rivalry to Ed and David Miliband.

Since being defeated by his brother, David Miliband has regularly made his disappointment clear and has used articles and media appearances to snipe at the Labour leader.

He last month said that he would never be able to “erase” the memory of being beaten by his younger brother.

Asked whether he and his brother are “like” the Milibands, Boris Johnson said: “Absolutely not. We don't do things that way, that's a very left-wing thing ... only a socialist could do that to his brother, only a socialist could regard familial ties as being so trivial as to shaft his own brother.

“I mean, unbelievable. Only lefties can think like that ... they see people as discrete agents devoid of ties to society or to each other, and that's how Stalin could murder 20 million people.”

Elsewhere in his interview Boris Johnson said that immigration has been “the lifeblood of London” but added: “But if you want to live in London, there are certain things you've got to sign up for - gender equality, freedom of speech, religious freedom.”

He also described immigrants attempting to enter Australia by boat as having “a lot of balls”.

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

Post  Panda on Sat 24 Aug - 22:43

Oh for a handsome hero on two wheels
Boris Johnson surprised the world of politics by claiming that he may write a Mills & Boon-style romantic novel. With a little help from Michael Deacon, we proudly present an exclusive extract

An unlikely superhero: the Mayor of London at work in his study Photo: Andrew Parsons/ I-Images
By Michael Deacon
8:01PM BST 23 Aug 2013
13 Comments
The slim, buxom, pouting, red-haired, leggy, blue-eyed and all in all tremendously fruity young woman was in trouble. Pretty jolly serious trouble. Her bally old bicycle had a puncture. And if she didn’t get it fixed sharpish, she was going to be late.

Late for The Most Tremendously Fruity Young Woman of the Year competition. A competition she was the favourite to win. The red-hot favourite. The sizzling, scorching, steaming, searing, scalding, hang on a minute, just flicking through Roget’s, ah yes here we are, downright thermogenic favourite.

Drat this puncture, she thought. It really was the most rotten swizz. If only someone would come to her rescue. Ideally a tall, dark, handsome stranger. Well, not necessarily tall – height wasn’t really so important in a man, pretty dashed overrated actually, forget height. And come to think of it, not dark either. She much preferred blond men – yes, blond was best. Handsome was fine, though. Handsome in a cuddly, foppish, dishevelled sort of way.

She sighed. If only such a superman existed.

Suddenly she heard a noise. “Ting!” it went. “Ting! Ting!” It sounded terribly like the bell of a bicycle.

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The really quite extraordinarily attractive young woman swung round. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Emerging from the dynamic, go-getting traffic of London – universally renowned as the planet’s numero uno city for business, banking, nightlife, tourism, architecture, culture, restaurants, transport, weather, girls, romance and basically everything except airport construction – was a figure known to every man and more importantly woman in the capital. And he was cycling straight towards her.

“Can it really be…?” she gasped. “The most famous cyclist, panel show guest, author, newspaper columnist and future prime minister in the country? Rushing to my rescue in this, my hour of need? Why, yes! Yes it is! It’s him! It’s really him!” She could hardly contain herself. “It’s Horace Thomson!”

“What ho,” said Horace Thomson smoothly, as he squeezed his brakes, stopped, flew headlong over the handlebars, landed helmet-first on the pavement, got up, tried to take off his bicycle clips, got his watch-strap caught in one of them, and managed to free himself only by wriggling his left hand out of his watch. “What seems to be the trouble, madam?”

“Oh, Horace,” sighed the desperately pretty young woman. “I’ve got a puncture, and I simply don’t know how I’ll make it to The Most Tremendously Fruity Young Woman of the Year competition, which incidentally, I am the red-hot favourite to win.”

“This, madam,” declared Horace, “is your lucky day. You say you want to go to The Most Tremendously Fruity Young Woman of the Year competition. As fate would have it, I happen to be on my way there. For I, naturally enough, am the judging panel. In point of fact, it is the most important of my mayoral duties. Hop aboard my trusty Horace Bike and we’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s jiffy.”

“Oh, Horace!” cried the damned near eye-poppingly exquisite young beauty, as they clambered on to his bicycle, her arms wrapped around his sinewy albeit suit-clad torso. “You’re my hero! How can I ever repay you?”

“Gosh, steady on!” replied Horace. “I’m a happily married man!”

And through the thrusting London traffic, off the two rode towards City Hall.

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


  

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

Post  Panda on Mon 26 Aug - 6:07

Home»News»PoliticsBritain must look 'beyond' the EU and focus on links with the Commonwealth
Britain must rekindle its relationship with the Commonwealth countries that it “betrayed” in favour of the European Union, says Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson was the keynote speaker at the Melbourne Writers Festival Photo: EPA
By Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent
10:00PM BST 25 Aug 2013
208 Comments
The Mayor of London calls for Britain to “raise our eyes beyond Europe” by “forging and intensifying links” with countries such as Australia.

Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson calls on the Government to open its doors to an unlimited number of Australian immigrants by setting up a “bilateral Free Labour Mobility Zone”.

He says that the UK must have a “truly global perspective” and not think of itself as “little Europeans run by Brussels”.

“We betrayed our relationships with Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand, and entered into preferential trading arrangements with what was then the European Economic Community,” Mr Johnson says.

He adds: “We need to raise our eyes beyond Europe, forging and intensifying links with countries that are going to be growing in the decades ahead — countries that offer immense opportunities for British goods, people, services and capital.”

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Mr Johnson has just been on a family holiday in Australia and was also the keynote speaker at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

He says that following his speech he was approached by an Australian teacher, Sally Roycroft, who had been teaching at a school in London but was forced to leave the UK because of “disgraceful” immigration rules.

“She isn’t a citizen of any of the 27 countries of the European Union,” Mr Johnson says. “She is Australian; and she has been told to bog off by the authorities in our country because it was, they said, too much of a palaver to go through the business of ‘sponsoring’ her to stay.

“That is the infamous consequence, as we all know, of a historic and strategic decision that this country took in 1973. We betrayed our relationships with Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand, and entered into preferential trading arrangements with what was then the European Economic Community.”

The Mayor says that the UK must now distance itself from the EU and “seek a wider destiny for our country”.

David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU before holding an in-out referendum on the UK’s membership in 2017.

However, Mr Johnson says that as well as altering our relationship with Europe, the Government should now “intensify” links with the Commonwealth countries.

He says that “you could not do better than by starting with Australia” and calls for freedom of movement rules to apply between the UK and Australia.

Mr Johnson adds: “I suppose there might be some objection from the EU — but they should be told firmly to stuff it. There is already variable geometry in EU border control arrangements. It is basically outrageous and indefensible that Sally Roycroft is deprived of a freedom that we legally confer on every French person.”

Under current EU freedom of movement rules, any citizen of a European member state has the right to live and work in the UK.

Just over 20,000 “skilled workers” are each year allowed to come to the UK from outside the EU but they need to be sponsored by an employer and pass a complicated points-based assessment.

Commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent who was born in the UK can also apply to come and work in Britain for five years. They can then apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

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

Post  Panda on Sun 1 Sep - 8:19

Boris Johnson says David Cameron will be PM for a 'very long time'
David Cameron will be Prime Minister for a “very long time”, Boris Johnson has said, as he described Ed Miliband’s policies as “pitifully thin”.

Boris Johnson has said David Cameron will be Prime Minister for a 'long time'
By Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent
9:32AM BST 22 Aug 2013
300 Comments
In his strongest endorsement of Mr Cameron yet, the Mayor of London said that the Tories will win the 2015 election and that the Prime Minister will remain in his post for a “long spell”.

Mr Johnson is regarded by many Tories as the strongest contender to replace Mr Cameron.

However, some suspect the mayor of talking up a Tory election victory in order to increase the chances of the party removing Mr Cameron in the event of a hung parliament in 2015.

The Mayor’s comments, made during a radio interview in Australia, come after he predicted that his brother Jo Johnson, the head of Mr Cameron’s Downing Street policy unit, will one day be the Prime Minister.

Asked about his own leadership ambitions Mr Johnson said: “[David Cameron has] got to get on and be Prime Minister and he will go on and be that for, I think, a very long time.”

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Mr Johnson added: “If you look at what’s happening I Britain, the offering from the Labour Party is pitifully thin. It’s not at all clear what Ed Miliband and his guys stand for and I think David Cameron’s set there for a long spell."

The Mayor is in Australia for a family holiday as well as an appearance at a writers’ festival.

In his interview Mr Johnson also criticised the response of the Left to the banking crisis.

“The Left…nowhere around the world, not in America, not in Britain and not in Europe, nowhere did the Left produce a new critique of the market economy that was really valid after the banking crisis,” he said.

“They never really came up with a new model. They moaned about banks and they moaned about rich people but they never really came up with a new solution, a new way forward. All we had was the Occupy movement with a few flapping tents everywhere and that didn’t really add up to much.”

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

Post  Panda on Mon 2 Sep - 18:43

By Boris Johnson
8:52PM BST 01 Sep 2013
917 Comments
Well, that was quick, wasn’t it? Over in a flash, eh? I mean Britain’s period of global irrelevance — the humiliating epoch that began on Thursday evening with Parliament’s decision to vote against military action against Syria. It only lasted about 24 hours, this national eclipse, and yet it was long enough for people to talk perhaps the most concentrated and undiluted nonsense we have ever heard.

We were finished as a world player, said a more than normally depressed Paddy Ashdown. It was the biggest fiasco since Suez, said others, the most epic parliamentary cock-up since Lord North. We had flunked the global virility test, and in military terms we were a bunch of useless, toothless eunuchs who no longer had the political will to waggle our missiles at anyone. The French were tougher than us, for goodness’ sake!

The French — no longer les primates capitulards toujours en quête de fromage — but the number one buddies of the Americans! The old US-UK special relationship was dead, said influential newspapers, and there was no reason why Barack Obama should listen to us ever again. Was there?

Well, I couldn’t believe the nonsense I read on Friday: anyone who travels will be amazed at the continuing cultural, political, commercial and intellectual influence of this country — to say nothing of the multiple engagements of British troops overseas. And by yesterday the self-abasement was looking positively ridiculous. We did indeed hear from the White House on Saturday; and did Barack Obama announce that he was going to blast on regardless — ignore Parliament and send the Tomahawks down Assad’s chimney?

Was he going to get up in a crate with François Hollande and start blamming Damascus from 30,000ft? On the contrary: he decided that the views of London were too important to ignore. He iced the plan to bomb today and he announced a postponement of at least 10 days — so that he could actually imitate David Cameron, emulate Parliament, and have a proper debate in Congress.

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That delay is a huge tribute to the Prime Minister. It is a recognition of the role he has played in leading the response to the atrocities of Assad of Syria. It is also, frankly, a reflection of the quandary we all face. It seems overwhelmingly likely that the forces of the Syrian regime have indeed used chemical weapons, and killed hundreds of civilians in an act of utter savagery. I wrote in this space a few weeks ago of my deep anxieties about our getting embroiled in Syria — and I still have them.

But to use gas for mass murder is a crime that we cannot allow to go unpunished. It is no use saying that we let Saddam get away with using chemicals at Halabja: so we did, but doing the wrong thing once is no justification for doing it again. Nor is it relevant that the Americans used defoliants and napalm in Vietnam. Even if you accept the moral equivalence, one form of barbarism does not legitimate another.

This was a peculiarly nasty attack on innocent people, and the most likely account seems to be that it was perpetrated by Assad’s sinister brother, in the belief that it would teach rebel communities a lesson they would never forget – and that the West would never get round to a response. As the debate in Parliament showed, there was some shrewdness in that view. It is thankfully very difficult to get democratic politicians to vote for military action. They require hard facts, and there are still many questions to which the answers seem vague at best. There are some who say that the gas was unleashed not by the Assad regime, but by rogue elements.

You will find plenty of seemingly authoritative reports on the web — mainly emanating from Russia or Iran — that suggest the chemicals were in fact in the possession of the rebels, or had been supplied by the Saudis. There may still be some who are puzzled as to why the regime was so arrogant and insouciant as to use chemicals when they knew the weapons inspectors were nearby. All these questions can no doubt be answered — and perhaps already have been — but you can see why Obama would want them properly masticated in a debate.

Then there is an even more difficult question: what does the “strike” consist of, and what is it meant to achieve? Is this a slap on the wrist, or six of the best? Or is it regime change? The world needs to hear how Obama’s plan will be commensurate and effective — and that discussion will now take place in Congress. If the President can articulate such a mission, I doubt that US legislators will stand in his way.

There is one British figure that excites the unanimous scorn of all American politicians, and that is Neville Chamberlain. The Americans have a horror of appeasement and the notion of failing to stand up to dictators. After due consideration, I bet Washington will endorse a limited and punitive strike against Assad — provided it can be shown that the intervention will not escalate and provided there is no hint that it will lead to boots on the ground. By then, too, the evidence against Assad may have solidified.

The UN will have had longer to report. If there is new and better evidence that inculpates Assad, I see no reason why the Government should not lay a new motion before Parliament, inviting British participation – and then it is Ed Miliband, not David Cameron, who will face embarrassment. The Labour leader has been capering around pretending to have stopped an attack on Syria – when his real position has been more weaselly.

If you add the Tories and Blairites together, there is a natural majority for a calibrated and limited response to a grotesque war crime. I predict that by the end of this episode it will be Labour that looks divided, and David Cameron who looks the statesman. In the meantime, the West has longer to weigh up the two evils – doing nothing and doing something. That is a delay for which we can thank the British Parliament, and proof (if you really needed it) that Britain matters a great deal.

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

Post  Panda on Sat 7 Sep - 18:31

Home»Comment»Telegraph ViewGood work at risk
Universal Credit is a lesson in how not to handle a major public sector project

Iain Duncan Smith introduced the Universal Credit welfare reforms Photo: Geoff Pugh
By Telegraph View
8:08PM BST 04 Sep 2013
71 Comments
The remarkable success of the Government’s crackdown on welfare has been obscured by Parliament’s recent preoccupation with foreign affairs. Official figures published last Thursday showed that the proportion of UK households where no adult aged 16 to 64 is in work is at its lowest since comparable records began in 1996. The fall of more than 400,000 since 2010 reflects the slow improvement of the economy and, above all, the imposition of tighter conditions on claiming benefit.

However, there is a real danger that this good work will be undone by the ham-fisted way in which the Coalition’s flagship welfare policy – the single Universal Credit – is being introduced. A report today from the National Audit Office (NAO) suggests that the programme risks becoming an object lesson in how not to handle a major public sector project – which is all the more reprehensible given the many similar schemes that have gone wrong before. While such a far-reaching reform was always going to be difficult to implement, it is hard to comprehend the incompetence exposed by the NAO: it found that the Department for Work and Pensions even “lacked a detailed view of how Universal Credit is meant to work”.

The thinking behind Universal Credit is laudable: to simplify an overly complex tax credits system and make it worthwhile for people to return to work, thus reducing the numbers mired in dependency and cutting the cost to the public purse. But it has been dogged by unrealistic expectations, top-heavy management, poorly defined policy objectives and ludicrously ambitious timetables. A team of troubleshooters is trying to put things right. But if it is not going to work, the Government should stop it and think again, lest the advances made in rolling back the welfare state are placed in jeopardy.

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

Post  Panda on Wed 11 Sep - 18:22

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/10294191/Boris-Johnson-gets-medal-as-Paralympians-return-to-Olympic-Park.htm



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Boris tells Labour Committee Member to "get Stuffed"

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

Post  Panda on Wed 18 Sep - 22:18

By Matthew Holehouse
11:52AM BST 18 Sep 2013
The London mayor said the country is on the verge of an "economic renaissance" as he endorsed Chancellor George Osborne's economic plan.

He likened Britain's economic recovery to the salvaging of the wrecked cruise ship, the Costa Concordia. Thirty-two people died. Two bodies have not been recovered.

The ship is now being recovered from a rocky reef, ahead of being towed for scrap.

In an analogy that may raise eyebrows at the Treasury, Mr Johnson said: "It's fair to say that the UK economy has finally reached its Costa Concordia moment.

"Because after two-and-half years of parbuckling the labour is complete and the rotation has been accomplished and though the damage is still I think manifest and the caissons have not yet been entirely drained of debt, I think you would agree that the keel is off the rocks and at last we can feel motion, relief.

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"And I have no inclination whatever to hand back the wheel to the people who were on the bridge when we ran aground.

"And to claim to have abolished boom and bust, they were frankly only half right.

"To continue this nautical metaphor I believe that we should continue on the course we have set and that George Osborne has set.

"We are starting to see signs of an economic renaissance in Britain of the kind that my generation once thought would never come."

Mr Johnson, who was speaking at the Institute of Directors, said British brands are the first choice for many at the forefront of growing economies around the world.

He said: "In our lifetimes this country will not only be demographically one of the biggest economies in Europe but in output as well we have every chance of being the biggest economy in Europe."

He went on: "Around the world I see British brands catching on wherever people are in the process of embourgeoisment, which we Conservatives support and which is happening all over the place in huge numbers."

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

Post  Panda on Thu 26 Sep - 21:38

Is Crispin Blunt MP being forced out to make way for Boris Johnson?
Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP for Reigate, has said he will “fight on” following claims Boris Johnson is to replace him as an MP in the area.

Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP for Reigate, has said he will “fight on” after being told to re-apply for selection despite holding the safe Parliamentary seat since 1997. Photo: PA
By Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent
4:00PM BST 26 Sep 2013
Mr Blunt, the former prisons minister, was this week told to re-apply for selection following a decision by the executive council of local Conservatives. He said that he will now go forward to a ballot of local Tory members.

He has held the safe Parliamentary seat since 1997.

Mr Blunt made headlines in 2010 when he announced that he had separated from his wife so that he can “come to terms with his homosexuality”. There have been rumours that some local Toris were not supportive of him following the disclosure.

It was also reported that some Reigate Conservatives had been hoping that Mr Johnson, the Mayor of London, would be willing to stand in the constituency.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly denied that he is planning a return to Parliament. Mr Blunt described suggestions that local Tories could be plotting to replace him with Mr Johnson as “garbage”.

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Mr Blunt said: “I go to a ballot of membership of the Conservatives locally. I’m disappointed that the executive council of Reigate Conservatives have made this necessary.

“Our processes exist to deal with situations of this kind which is why I have the option of going forward to a ballot of the members. That’s what will happen. There’s a formal process. It is my intention to do that.”

Asked if he will “fight on”, Mr Blunt referred to Baroness Thatcher’s battle against Conservative rebels who were plotting to oust her and said: “To echo a certain great Lady – yes.”

Asked why the executive had told him to re-apply for selection he said: “I invite you…to come to your own conclusion.”

He refused to respond when asked if his sexuality could have influenced the decision. “I’m not going to comment on that,” Mr Blunt said.

Asked about rumours that the local executive have spoken to Mr Johnson about taking the seat, Mr Blunt said: “That’s complete garbage. You’ll get that from Boris’ office as well. That’s a fun theory but this is nothing to do with Boris as well.”

A source close to Mr Johnson dismissed suggestions that the Mayor could run for the seat.

Mr Blunt was elected as the Conservative MP for Reigate in 1997 and was appointed as the shadow Northern Ireland secretary in 2001 by Iain Duncan Smith.

He resigned less than two years later after describing Mr Duncan Smith as a “handicap” to the Tories.

After Michael Howard’s appointment as Tory leader, Mr Blunt was reappointed to the front bench as an opposition whip.

He was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice in 2010 – a role he had until 2012.

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

Post  Panda on Thu 3 Oct - 15:47

He said: 'The face veil is a difficult thing to make work in a school'


By Tim Shipman

PUBLISHED:00:32, 3 October 2013| UPDATED:00:38, 3 October 2013






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Quizzed: Mr Johnson debated the burka with a Muslim mother who called in to the show



Boris Johnson backed a ban on veils in the classroom yesterday after he was confronted by a Muslim woman who wears the burqa on a radio phone in.

The London Mayor said schools should have the right to force pupils to show their faces to teachers.

He told London radio station LBC: ‘Normally I’m in favour of liberty and people wearing whatever they want. Where I do draw the line though, I think that the face veil is a very difficult thing to make work in a school.

‘I think that you’ve got to teach in a way that you can see how the kids are responding. They’ve got to be able to participate in the class. I think that it’s only fair that they should be able to react and take part in that way.

‘I don’t think that it can reasonably be called a standard piece of uniform to get little girls to cover their faces.’

Mr Johnson was quizzed by a woman identified only as Milam from South Norwood in South London, who said that her 15 year old daughter has voluntarily worn a full face veil since she was 12.

She said: ‘I myself wear the burqa.

‘My daughter is 15. From the age of 12 or maybe 13, she decided for herself, her own free will that she would like to do it.

'As parents Boris, we are expected in society to teach our children to respect one another, to respect schools and so on. On the other hand Boris, you are asking us to go against school policies or school rules if it involves wearing the face veils.’




More...
Islamic schools in Britain forcing girls as young as 11 to wear full-face veils
Islamic school that told female teachers to wear hijab regardless of their religion is CLOSED after first day of Ofsted inspection


But Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m afraid that is my view I think in places of instruction where you’re asking kids to participate in a class, to have fun together when the teacher has got to see how the lesson is going down.

‘I’ve been a teacher, very ingloriously in the past. It is a terribly difficult job and you’ve got to know what, how your pupils are responding. And I think that is what I would like to see in classes financed by the British State that’s what I believe in.’



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2442202/Boris-Johnson-says-ban-burka-classrooms-schools-right-make-pupils-faces.html#ixzz2gfcYYPY3
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook:grin: 

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

Post  Panda on Sat 5 Oct - 10:10






David Cameron has Boris under his thumb. How on earth did he do it?




By Will HeavenPoliticsLast updated: October 1st, 2013

73 CommentsComment on this article



(Photo: AFP/Getty)

It may go down as one of the great achievements of his Prime Ministership. David Cameron – for now, at least – seems to have Boris under his thumb. How did he pull it off?

Last night, for example, the Mayor of London warned Tory members not to defect to Ukip. His joke was: "Ukip if you want to. David Cameron is not for kipping… unless, obviously, when he's at his sister-in-law's wedding." That's cheeky, but it also strikes me as borderline affectionate. (He also said a vote for Ukip would hand power to Ed Miliband, mirroring precisely the line that No 10 is putting about.)

The good behaviour continues. In his speech just now to Tory conference, there was still no hint of malice. He spent most of it addressing "Dave" directly, who was chuckling away in the audience. He acknowledged the "wisdom" of the Government and praised George Osborne's "brilliant speech" yesterday. The only mischief was his mention of Alain Juppé who, Boris said, was Mayor of Bordeaux "when he was French Prime Minister… Joke!"

There's still time for Boris to kick up a stink – just as he did at the 2009 and 2012 conferences. And David Cameron probably won't breathe out until the Blond One is on a train back to London. But whatever the terms of their gentlemen's agreement – and Cameron was being suspiciously positive about the idea of Boris returning as an MP this morning – the Mayor of London is sticking to it religiously.
 

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

Post  Panda on Tue 8 Oct - 8:38


By Boris Johnson

8:29PM BST 06 Oct 2013



178 Comments





The other day the clothes crisis became finally intolerable – not to me, but to those who have to live with me. Frankly I don’t give a monkey’s about clothes, and believe in wearing them until they have more or less disintegrated. I have professional suits and shirts and shoes that look (or so I like to think) pretty darned smart; but when it comes to casual, I have been told that I evoke a tenant farmer from rural France.


By the summer of this year, my last pair of supermarket jeans had worn out at the crotch and my much-loved green Boden corduroy jacket had lost all its geography-teacher chic. I had no non-work shirts, a sock famine; and there was nothing for it: I had to get to Marks & Spencer, and buy some stuff to last me the next 10 years.


But how to get there? I couldn’t go by bike, since my plan was to load up with more kit than I could easily fit into a rucksack. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to lug the bags around the Tube. A taxi would cost about as much as an Easyjet flight to Milan. Then it hit me: I would do the simple and commonsensical thing – the thing you do when you want to go shopping in Oxford Street. I took the bus, with my wife to supervise the shopping, and what a blissful experience it was.





Rollover for sound




We travelled in Club Class, in the very front row seats on the top deck; and though the day was gloriously sunny and our view panoramic, we were kept in perfect climactic comfort by an air-conditioning system that gently riffled our hair with cooling zephyrs.


We got from Islington to the West End in two shakes of a duck’s tail, and as the fare was sucked anaesthetically from my Oyster card, I thought what a bargain it was – what a tiny proportion of the cost of the shopping expedition was taken by the transport.



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And yet for millions of people who have to use buses every day – and who have no choice about which mode to use – the feeling is very different. If you have to use public transport morning and night, then you know that it can take a huge slice of your income – and that is why we politicians cast around so desperately for ways to reduce the burden.

Every autumn we face the same dilemma. If we follow the pleas of our officials, and raise fares – to cope with inflation and the cost of investing in our systems – we are tightening the squeeze on people who have already seen their disposable income shrink over the past five years.

If we are irresponsible, on the other hand, and we fail to replenish the “fare box”, then we risk disaster. We are coping with the oldest underground train network in the world, and with a city that is growing faster than any other European capital. If people are to have any hope of living near their place of work, we have to supply them with adequate trains, buses and Tubes. We cut costs at every opportunity – selling buildings, introducing automation, axing bureaucracy – but the trouble with a universal fares freeze is that it takes a huge chunk out of the budget. It means indefinitely postponing or cancelling schemes that are essential for growth, such as replacing the clapped-out signalling on the District line, or ordering new trains for the Piccadilly.

And then there is a second problem with an across-the-board fares cut – namely, that it is a hopelessly blunt instrument. Think of me luxuriating there on the Oxford Street bus, on my once-in-a-blue-moon shopping trip. Do I need a fare cut? Think of the millions of tourists who use our transport networks every day, and who probably don’t even notice how much they are paying. Would they be any more inclined to come to this country if the cost of their urban transport was a little lower? Do they need or deserve an abatement in their fares? I don’t really think so.

Look around you on the bus, and you will see that almost 40 per cent of the complement are travelling free or at cut price: the pensioners with their Freedom Passes, the kids, the veterans, the disabled, those in search of work. No politician is easily going to remove these concessions (try telling the affluent bourgeoisie that their Freedom Pass is at risk, and see what mayhem ensues).

The result is that the entire burden of fare-paying is carried by the 60 per cent – and that includes the people who make this country work, the people on low or moderate incomes who travel large distances every day to their places of employment and who have absolutely no choice in the matter. It is time we did something specifically to help them, and that something is to give tax relief on travel.

We need a scheme that is analogous to the government help currently given to child-care vouchers or cycle-to-work schemes. Employees should be allowed to pay for their season tickets from their pre-tax income.

To see what I mean, take a customer who buys an annual bus pass for £784. At present, he or she buys that season ticket after paying tax. Under the tax relief scheme, the employer would buy the season ticket and deduct the cost from his or her pay packet – and only then would the employee be assessed for tax. With their taxable pay reduced, the employee would save £251 in tax and National Insurance, and the employer would save £108. The administration costs would be kept minimal by doing it all online, and of course the relief would only apply at the basic rate.

Yes, there would be a cost to the Treasury – but then every year the government spends huge sums trying to hold fares down. This scheme strikes me as one George should consider further. You would allow continued investment in transport, and you would target your help at exactly the people who need it – not the millionaires and the tourists and the casual shoppers, but the hardworking people who are really turning the wheels of recovery

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

Post  Panda on Sun 13 Oct - 12:55

http://news.sky.com/story/1153752/boris-and-osborne-in-china-to-push-trade

I don't know what the Chinese will make of Boris but it is significant that Cameron is not going with Osborne, he blotted his copy book for meeting the Dali Lama . Neither is the Minister for Trade going so it looks like Boris is looking like the next PM. Boris was interviewed earlier and Murnaghan kept asking Boris if Cameron was not going because he was out of favour . Boris would not be drawn and pointed out that Jaguar Cars sold to China was £3 billion and more should be done on British Exports. If he comes back with a toy Panda as a gift from the President we will know he is in favour. 



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

Post  Panda on Mon 14 Oct - 9:59


Politics








It's a vigorous, voracious press that keeps our country honest

Regulating the media would undermine its ferocious ability to highlight wrongdoing, writes Boris Johnson







I hope the press will tell the Privy Council to stick it in the privy Photo: Alamy









By Boris Johnson

8:07PM BST 13 Oct 2013



250 Comments





Good for Fraser Nelson. It strikes me that he is 100 per cent right. The editor of The Spectator has announced that his ancient and illustrious publication will have nothing whatever to do with any new system of press regulation. He will neither bow nor truckle to any kind of control. He will not “sign up”. He will politely tell the new bossyboots institution to mind its own beeswax, and he will continue to publish without fear or favour.


I think the whole of the media should do the same. Stuff all this malarkey about the Privy Council and a Royal Charter. Who are the Privy Council, for goodness’ sake? They are just a bunch of politicians, a glorified version of the government of the day. We are on the verge of eroding the freedom of the press. We are undermining the work of everyone from John Milton to John Wilkes – men who fought for the right to say and publish things of which politicians disapproved.


Why are we embarking on this monstrous folly? Because of a string of essentially political embarrassments that led to the Leveson Inquiry – and at the beginning of it all was the expenses scandal, and the sense among MPs that they had been brutally treated by the press.


It is true: they were mercilessly kicked for what they thought was a venial sin – padding out their pay with expenses claims that did not stand up well to scrutiny. But then it should have occurred to Parliament – collectively – that they were not being entirely frank with the public about the way the system worked. They were allowing the world to think their salaries were relatively modest, when in fact they had found ways of inflating them – and some of those ways were innocent, some were baroque, and some were criminal.


Yes, it is true that many good and honourable people (and their spouses) were made to feel like lepers. But you could not seriously argue that the story should have been suppressed, or that the actions of the media were in any way improper, or invited some new legislative curb. That was the political context in which Leveson was called into being, with MPs seething for revenge. It was the hacking cases that gave them their pretext, the deep public revulsion against what appeared to have been done in the case of Milly Dowler by the News of the World – and the sensational potential implications for the No 10 spokesman, Andy Coulson, a former editor of that paper.



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A public inquiry became inevitable, and before that inquiry there trooped a succession of famous people who felt that the media had been not so much wrong as plain beastly; just horrid in the way they behaved, the kinds of questions they asked, the appalling things they wrote. By the end of the whole fandango – and it was a long time coming – it was obvious that we would have some kind of attempt at regulation; and it was also obvious that any such regulation was a nonsense.

We already have abundant law against obscenity, or breach of official secrets. We have laws against libel and defamation, against bugging, hacking, theft, bribery of public officials. We have a growing tort of breach of privacy. We have no need of some new body backed by statute, or the Privy Council, and it is wrong in principle. You either have a free press or you don’t. You can’t sell the pass, and admit the principle of regulation – because it is in the nature of regulation that it swells and grows. You can’t be a little bit pregnant.

Every day I see signs of investor confidence in London – and why do international companies and individuals want to put their money in the British capital? It is not just because of our bikes and our beautiful new buses. It is because of the rule of law, the absolute certainty over title, the virtual absence of corruption. They know that the British system is as transparent and honest as any on earth, and I am afraid that is not just because of the natural purity of the British soul: it is because we have a vigorous, voracious and sometimes venomous media. And that is why the ruling classes don’t dare bend the rules, in the way they do in other countries; because no one wants to be dangled before that great media beast and look into its bloodshot yellow eyes and feel the hot carnivorous breath of its displeasure.

I am afraid it is inevitable that a vigorous media will cause occasional heartache, and dish out the odd uncalled-for insult. It strikes me that Ed Miliband was well within his rights to stick up for his father, for instance. But you can’t regulate the press just because they are insulting, or subversive, or find stories in tainted sources. We need someone to tell us that we are all being spied on by the American security services – that strikes me as being an invaluable bit of news, if hardly surprising. And if papers are genuinely at risk of compromising our national security by their revelations, then we have the D-notice system – to which all editors subscribe – to keep them in order.

The last and most powerful point against any new regulation of papers is that it is so completely pointless. We live in a world in which vast quantities of news can be instantly disseminated across the internet, and by companies way beyond any conceivable reach of parliament or government.

So I hope the press will tell the Privy Council to stick it in the privy; and if you are bothered by those nasty people from the media, and they won’t go away, and they continue to sit outside your house asking questions to which you have already told them the answer, may I recommend that you do as my children and I once did years ago. We imitated Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, and we stuffed bananas secretly up the reporter’s tailpipe, and I remember us laughing helplessly at her air of puzzlement as she kaboing-ed up the road. Far better than regulation.

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

Post  Panda on Mon 14 Oct - 18:41

Boris Johnson out-charms George Osborne in China
The Mayor of London and the Chancellor have spoken to students about investing in the UK, with Mr Johnson seeming to win the popularity vote.


560
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11:59AM BST 14 Oct 2013
George Osborne has insisted that he and Boris Johnson are like "the yin and the yang" on their separate visits to China despite the Mayor of London engaging in some jovial one-upmanship at a joint speech.

Amid questions over the timing of Mr Osborne's visit which coincides with the Mayor of London's, Mr Johnson joked with Beijing students that they were like a "pair of harmonious doves" but found that Mr Osborne's quip about the ancient Chinese concept of harmony was better appreciated.

The two prominent Conservatives, who have both long been touted as future party leaders, were all smiles as they sat on a bench with students at Peking University's campus even though the Chancellor had to urge Mr Johnson to sit closer to him.

Asked who was in charge, Mr Johnson said: "We are representing our country. It's a nest of singing birds is how I would describe it. It's total harmony, there's probably some Chinese expression that completely perfectly culminates it."

The Chancellor intervened: "The yin and the yang."

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Mr Johnson then turned to a Chinese student, asking: "The yin and the yang. What do you say for a harmonious, sounds like one of those Chinese fireworks, a harmonious dove or something like that? A pair of harmonious doves. What is that in Chinese?"

After she looked back blankly, Mr Osborne said: "I think she likes the yin and yang comparatively."

Earlier, the mayor could not resist a friendly dig at Mr Osborne, who in a speech at the university mentioned that his 10-year-old daughter was learning Mandarin.

Mr Johnson then told the same audience that not only was his daughter learning the language but also planned to visit China next week.

Mr Johnson said: "George mentions his daughter, I have a 16-year-old and she is not only learning Mandarin George, she's coming here next week to pursue her studies."

After the speeches, Mr Johnson proved more popular in a question and answer session, with just one question directed at Mr Osborne.

The mayor and the Chancellor have long been touted as successors to David Cameron as Conservative Party leader and their visits come at a time of thawing relations following a diplomatic row over the Prime Minister meeting the Dalai Lama last year.

Both Mr Osborne's and Mr Johnson's trips have been in the pipeline for months but the timing of the Chancellor's visit was revealed more recently than the mayor's.

Yesterday, Mr Johnson stressed he was "very pleased" that Mr Osborne was visiting while admitting the timing was handled by the Government.


Sources: ITN/PA

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Boris in China the best moments

Post  Panda on Thu 17 Oct - 16:40

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10385747/Boris-Johnson-in-China-the-best-moments.html

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

Post  Panda on Fri 18 Oct - 10:56




Boris Johnson visits M&S in Shanghai

Mayor of London Boris Johnson visits a Shanghai-based branch of Marks & Spencer during a trip to drum up more Chinese investment in London.


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3:44PM BST 16 Oct 2013





The Mayor, who is just over halfway through a six-day trade mission in China, took the opportunity to visit the M&S branch.


"It's so great to see a brand like Marks and Spencer, which is something I grew up with all my life, here in Shanghai", Mr Johnson said.


"It's a real sign of the strengthening of economic ties between London and Shanghai." Mr Johnson is visiting the country to promote investment ties between London and China.


Earlier in his visit the Mayor of London, who is learning Mandarin, said British schoolchildren should be given the opportunity to learn Chinese.


The Chancellor George Osborne is also on a visit to the country to promote investment in the UK.

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

Post  Panda on Fri 18 Oct - 20:29

BORISMANIA


Boris's informal style has made an impression on the Chinese. He's been the subject of around 800,000 posts on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. In particular, many Chinese were surprised to see him using the underground in Beijing. "He's so funny that I regret not learning English well enough to understand everything he said," wrote one user. "I like his hair, so messy," said another. " A third added: "He looks like an honest man. So different from Chinese mayors. And no bodyguards."



I told you didn't I  When I bet the £10 the odds were 12/1, now they are down to 5/1. He is not perfect by any means but behind the buffoonery there is a sharp mind as his Sister said .


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

Post  Panda on Sun 20 Oct - 4:27


Boris and George, a pair of Chinese characters

Watching George Osborne and Boris Johnson suck up to their Chinese hosts and fight for our attention at home made for excruciating viewing





Boris and George prostrated themselves before the new Chinese Empire, desperate to snaffle some dosh. This was award-winning sycophancy, comparable with Tony Blair's bear-hugging of Colonel Gad





By Matthew Norman

8:39PM BST 18 Oct 2013

Comments102 Comments





If any seeker of tax-reducing write-offs is looking for a British film to back, I believe I have the perfect hearse. The purpose of investing in movies that are virtually guaranteed to fail spectacularly has long been that – for reasons far beyond me – the tax relief massively dwarfs the initial layout. Stick in £100,000, and so long as it does not become an accidental smash in the style of Springtime For Hitler, you get a cool £1 million in relief. Something like that, anyway.


The Chancellor may already have closed this gaping loophole – as I said, my knowledge of the tax system is hardly exact. But if so, he may wish to reopen it and invest some collateral from the wallpaper empire himself, since the movie will largely concern him.


“Boris and George’s Excellent Chinese Adventure” is the working title for an exceedingly minor motion picture dramatising last week’s richly bizarre joint visit by Mr Osborne and the Mayor of London. While it is almost certain that this will be the worst buddy movie since the Dustin Hoffman-Warren Beatty motorway pile-up that was Ishtar, there remains that faint chance that it would be a triumph. It might even emulate the massive success of Rain Man, that other Hoffman road movie, though with the Mayor and the Chancellor it would be in poor taste to speculate as to which is the Tom Cruise pretty boy, and which the one fixated with Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” routine.


In strictest sooth, both of them looked a little peculiar while making merry in the People’s Republic. The nominal purpose of this trip, planned long ago by Boris and far more recently by George, was to prostrate themselves before the new Chinese Empire, and snaffle some dosh (in the form of loaded Chinese students given visas to spend their renminbi here, and energy firms capable of doing what this country cannot by building nuclear power plants). This they both did splendidly. We may not have seen such elegant sycophancy to a repressive regime by a Western democracy since Donald Rumsfeld went to Baghdad, long after the gassing of the Kurds, to tell Saddam he was a force for modernity and a dear, dear friend – though Mr Tony Blair’s bear-hugging of Colonel Gaddafi will have its fans as well.


Britain and China have not been mates themselves since David Cameron met the Dalai Lama 18 months ago. But even if his old Bullingdon compadres thawed diplomatic relations a smidgen, there was a humiliating end-of-the-pier flavour to their abasement. Once, you felt, watching the uneasy body language as they sat side by side on a university dais, chaps like these were trained to run an empire. When that went, the route to self-abasement was going to America to be patronised in the Oval Office and ignored by the US media. Now, they grovel to the Chinese (not a dickie bird about human rights or Tibet) in the hope of diverting bright 17-year-olds from Apple factories, and inveigling Chinese firms into saving us from the coming energy nightmare of which this week’s price hikes offered a handy hint.


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The subtext to this jolly, in which our heroes strove to outshine one another in the twin fields of ingratiation and wit, was wholly domestic. This was so transparently a rehearsal for the next Tory leadership battle that the only surprise was Theresa May’s failure to gatecrash the party, explaining that she somehow mistook a Boeing 777 to Beijing for a black cab from Whitehall. Had she done so, on her colleagues’ showing, she would doubtless have emerged from a guided tour of secret police headquarters to say something admiring about them.

In the absence of Mrs May to play the Katharine Ross eye candy to Boris and George’s Butch and Sundance, the lads had the ring to themselves – though which took a tight split decision is a tough one to call. George looked as puny and uncomfortable as usual (Michael Heseltine, who always managed to look powerful in a hi-vis jacket and hard hat, should tutor him). Boris went that step too far in the quest for laughs by sporting a pudding bowl haircut that would, if administered by a parent in the bath, persuade any judge to grant a child’s application to be declared an emancipated minor.

Curiously, both men did adduce their daughters in the cause of pleasing their hosts. Fresh from an ego-boosting meeting with the No 6 in the Chinese treasury, George threw the first blow by mentioning that his 10-year-old has been teaching him Chinese characters. Boris came back with a haymaker, revealing that his girl is not only learning Mandarin, but will be in China this coming week.

What the Chinese people and media made of their honoured guests is anyone’s guess – mine being very little indeed. Now that China has purchased Africa, the relevance of begging-bowl-carriers from a broke little island with no mineral resources must be minimal. Not, of course, that impressing China was the primary concern of an embryonic double act – potentially the most hilarious since Cannon and Ball, or possibly Burke and Hare – more concerned with electrifying the audience back home.

Whether cinema audiences will be wowed by Boris and George’s Excellent Chinese Adventure, only time will tell. But even with the Oscar-festooned double act of Tom Hanks as the Chancellor and Boris-doppelganger Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Mayor, it looks every inch a banker for the tax dodgers to me.


 

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

Post  Panda on Tue 22 Oct - 9:39

 
Boris Johnson
By Boris Johnson

8:33PM BST 20 Oct 2013



Comments1465 Comments





Bloody foreigners! That’s the zeitgeist, isn’t it? That’s the feeling that comes bubbling up on left or right – that the blooming foreigners are the cause of all our discontent. There’s the rich bloody foreigners who come here with their billions from Kazakhstan or the Gulf or France – and God knows how they got the loot by the way – and then they make life intolerable by buying all these homes in London!


They are ruthlessly investing in our capital, encouraging the development of all these new flats, treating the place as a bank, pushing up property values and driving freeborn English people to less fashionable areas – or, heaven help us, the provinces. And then there are the ones who aren’t so rich; you know, the migrant workers. First they come and take our jobs with their ruthless habit of getting up early and working harder than freeborn English people. Then they lose their jobs and claim benefits paid for by us, the groaning taxpayers of the UK!


Foreign billionaires or foreign bludgers: it’s hard to decide which set of bloody foreigners is more resented, but the message is clear. Hop off, beat it, and scram: that is what people seem to feel, and it is very important not to underestimate this sense of indigenous injustice. People are angry, confused, and apprehensive, and in some ways their analysis is spot on.


It is true that London is now globally recognised as such a desirable city that its property is treated effectively as another asset class – a safe investment in a turbulent world. It is also true that this phenomenon has helped – I stress helped – to buoy property values and to fuel the anger of professional people who cannot live in districts where their parents grew up, and who cannot see how their kids will ever be able to afford to buy in London.


But the answer is not to try to persecute rich foreign investors with new mansion taxes, or complicated and unenforceable taxes on the tiny proportion of homes they leave empty. The answer to house-price inflation is to build more homes – as we can, on London’s 33 brownfield opportunity areas. We can build hundreds of thousands of homes for rent, for affordable rent, for market sale and for part-buy-part-rent.

See what I mean? I think Boris would be a great PM.

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

Post  Panda on Wed 23 Oct - 19:06




Boris should stand for the Commons in 2015

Paul Goodman
By Paul Goodman

Last updated: October 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm


BORIS open mouth

Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 16.23.47The Croydon South Parliamentary selection continues, but without Boris Johnson – which raises the question of why he isn’t in it (or in other contests), and whether or not he should be. There is one very good reason for him not to stand for the Commons in 2015; if he has already decided to fight a third election for the London Mayoralty. He is a successful Mayor and a global figurehead for the capital, so there is absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t do so. If any Conservative can win a third election running in what is at heart a Labour city, it’s Boris. But since his ambitions are evidently larger than London, it’s impossible to believe that he has settled on standing again.

That they are bigger isn’t in doubt, as his interview in a recent Michael Cockerell documentary confirmed. He said that he would like to “have a crack” at being Prime Minister “‘if the ball came loose from the back of a scrum”. Why, then, has he not declared that he wants to re-join the team on the playing fields of Westminster? The apparent answer is that he would were he confident that there will be a leadership election after 2015, but that since he isn’t, he won’t. He is said not to wish to serve under David Cameron. Perhaps he believes that he wouldn’t be treated fairly by a leadership with which he has tense relations (though less with the Prime Minister than the Chancellor), and that to soldier on as a Minister until 2020, only to find some younger face poised to succeed Cameron as Conservative leader, is not a pleasing prospect.

I can understand why Boris might not be convulsed with enthusiasm at the prospect of being greeted by a triumphant Cameron, after an election that sees the latter returned to Downing Street and the former to the Commons, more or less as follows: “Boris! Come in! Great to see you! As the senior figure in local government until very recently, you’re just the man for CLG!” Or: “Boris! Just the man! Have a seat! As Britain’s most eloquent advocate for Crossrail, you’re just the man for Transport!” But while such reservations would be understandable, would they also be reasonable? Being a Cabinet member isn’t a bad gig, even in the most unglamorous department. Helping to sort out bin collections and T-junctions is all part of public service, whether it marks out a route to Downing Street or not. Were the Mayor less popular in the Party and elsewhere than he is, these points would already have been made, and forcefully.

All in all, a return to the Commons may have a downside for Boris, but it would be all upside for everyone else – in the Conservative Party, at any rate. If it is in government after the next election, he deserves the chance to run a department. (The leadership may distrust him, but surely couldn’t, in such circumstances, keep him out of Cabinet.) And if it is not in government, it deserves the chance to be able to consider him as a candidate for the leadership. I appreciate that simultaneously being London’s Mayor and serving as Conservative leader are apparently irreconcilable (though there is certainly no difficulty about being the Mayor while also sitting as an MP). But suggestions that the Party could, after a 2015 defeat, wait for a new leader until after Boris stands down as Mayor in 2016 are also deeply problematic. A leadership election without him could all too easily be portrayed, both by his admirers and the Party’s opponents, as having no legitimacy: of playing Henry IV without Falstaff or, to be more exact, Prince Hal – the wayward roisterer who, by grace of state, is transformed into “this star of England”. Boris should stand for the Commons in 2015.

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

Post  Panda on Fri 25 Oct - 5:21


Boris Johnson: Greece should leave the euro

Mayor of London Boris Johnson says Greece should be allowed to default on its loans.


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Mayor of London believes that Greece should be left to go bankrupt and allowed write off many of its debts.


This would probably involve the country leaving the euro and a return to the drachma as a currency.


"It's become so difficult for the Greek productivity has begun to go down rather than up," said Mr Johnson.


"So the ability to repay their debt is actually diminishing rather than increasing."


Greece has been paralysed by strikes and riots in recent weeks.


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It is in talks to receive another £100 billion from EU funds as it struggles to avoid defaulting on repayments on last year's rescue package.

The money is likely to be granted on the basis that Greece launches a new, deeper austerity drive

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This was written in 2011,,,,,,,,,bearing in mind that Greece is indebted more than ever, Boris was right.





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

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