March 3rd, 2014

SKETCH: Boris in Parliament

What a life it is, in politics. Having to satisfy the craving, constantly chasing a dragon.

So, Boris Johnson – the proconsular celebrity – appeared in front of the Communities and Local Government committee.

Had they asked him to declare his interests he might have confessed to the Aga Khan’s hospitality, a Hollywood superpass, oligarchical love interests.

But the committee were more interested in declaring their own interests. They said, a little competitively: I’m vice president of the local government association. I’ve got two members of staff of who are local councillors in Newcastle. My husband is leader of a district council.

Fair play to Boris for sticking it out. A man like him with all his assets and interests applying himself to local government fiscal devolution. Having to answer to these sober, worthy vegans, sitting it out for forty minutes discussing the suite of five metropolitan property taxes, council tax bands, a reset mechanism five years into the rationalization of the business rate structure – and all without recourse to alcohol.

He wore that private, complicit smile to let them know that despite their different stations in life, they were in on the same joke.

He flattered them by coming unprepared, to repeat the one point he’d got under his belt.

Let London keep its property taxes and there’ll be a Laffer boom in Treasury revenues.

That was the matter.

The manner was, well what the matter was, the matter was, let me say what the, incorrigible truth to tell, it would be fair to say, that the manner of it would easily, as we’d all agree, look, clearly, the many ways that we’d want to stress, it is narcoleptically plain, as to not, as to not need, as to not need the . . .

He does lack conciseness. When you’re not in the room with him, and there’s a screen between you and his tousled physical charms, it becomes more obvious. He’s not what you’d call prime ministerial.

Mind you, I’ve been wrong about Boris before.

In questioning: one of the committee got him to admit that business rates would go down and residential rates would go up.

And that a mansion tax was out but higher banding rates would be desirable.

At my age, there isn’t time to take an interest in this.

Clive Betts, the chairman, landed quite a surprise punch at the end. He’d said that Cameron was thinking of scrapping business rates altogether and replacing it with a local sales tax. “You have the advantage of knowing what the prime minister is thinking,” Boris said, and Betts returned: “I’m no closer to the prime minister than you are.”

Straight down the tramlines, Boris didn’t even try to reach it.

John Prescott was the Labour party’s Id. Boris is the Conservative party’s superego.


38 Comments

  1. 1
    constituency trainbound says:

    hes a little gem that boris

    Like

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    What?

    Like

  3. 3
    EC1 PhD (OE) says:

    Boris for PM, Farage for deputy.

    Like

  4. 4
    Lost in Clacton says:

    I love Boris Bikes

    Like

  5. 5

    Good to see you back, Simon. Hope you had a good rest and can now put some sense back in this place.

    Like

    • 7
      s of f says:

      hows your weather ?

      Like

    • 11
      C O (Ξ4) says:

      +1 on your sentiment: and feel for Mr. Carr having to sit through any govt meeting sporting ‘community’ and ‘local’ in the committee title.

      Looking forward to the follow up on this article tomorrow by the other guys.

      We do need a serious debate on the merits of hair as sported by Bojo, Osbo and Camo.
      :-)

      Like

      • 32

        I salute your patience…

        Have been catching up on things in the real world that needed doing.

        The U’kraine thing is not in the same league as Tibet which was an outrage IMO. They lost their chance. In any event they are not a cohesive historical entity. There is huge disparity between the oblasts and C’rimea. That is not to condone P’utin but the west misread the man.

        Not much to be done now.

        Like

    • 36
      Gerbil 7 says:

      Agreed, always an excellent read.

      Like

  6. 8
    Ed Balls Super Fan says:

    Just like any other MP, won’t give a straight answer to a question.

    Like

  7. 9
    Boris Carloffe says:

    Unless the sun freezes over Dave will loose the election. UKIP have their own voters and even if a deal was made most would not vote Tory.
    On BBC politics show on Sunday lunchtime it was said, probably rightly, that the Conservatives are going to need a complete new brand and name, and Andrew Neil wisely added new faces.
    Best for Boris to stay where he is until after the election, he could then stand and be elected as the new leader. A new face with a new direction to leed a renewed party.
    Heaven help us for the damage labour will do to the Country and with Milliband as PM, the UKs perceived position and prestige in the world and Boris and his revived party would have to fighta winning battle to secure a general election as quickly as possible to minimise the damage that Labour will do. It will need to mirror Churchill’s efforts after the wilfiul election of Labour at the end of the war. I think and hope that Boris is the man of the moment, because there certainly is no one else

    Like

  8. 10
    Sir William Wayde says:

    Boris is only a glorified bus captain, after all. Is he serious?

    Like

    • 16
      Monty's Cristo says:

      Boris has done what was required of him, keep Livingstone out of power until he was forgotten about, it’s worked, so now leave Boris fighting to retain the Mayor’s crown again, Boris won’t get as leader of the Conservatives as Camoron has tainted the name of the Conservatives, so they are finished until they get rid of Camoron until that people won’t return and if they leave it any longer they will lose them.

      Like

  9. 13
    Owen Jones (I'm no window licker) says:

    Evening All

    Now the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party has “analysed” the Ukrainian situation, it will be echoed in my timeline in the next few days.

    Like

    • 23
      Owen Jones says:

      If I support the Ukrainian people’s uprising against their elected government how do I simultaneously support the Venezuelan government as it suppresses a popular people’s uprising against totalitarian rule?

      Without making myself look like a Cnut.

      Like

  10. 17
  11. 19
    Tony Blair is a war criminal says:

    Channel $ news peddling lies. Russia has not ‘occupied’ Crimea. Russia has been in the Crimea for decades. It’s like claiming Britain is occupying Scotland.

    Like

  12. 20
    Bill Quango MP says:

    Public information advice about how the citizems of ghe UK should view the current situation in Russia.

    “If your grandmother, or any other member of the family should die whilst in the shelter… Put them outside, but remember to tag them first for identification purposes.”

    Like

  13. 22
    A 95 year old "mutton dressed as lamb" on crack says:

    chasing
    a dragon?

    0h dear!

    Like

  14. 24
    Nelson MainDealer says:

    I’ m still dead. Thanks for watching!

    Like

  15. 25
    C O (Ξ4) says:

    T’key FM has ruled out any involvement in Cr!mea re: T’rtars

    h**p://tinyurl.com/ox5x6ur

    ‘Thick of it’ style leak from UK indicates UK does not support trade sanctions, supports OSCE (EU) involvement:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/secret-document-suggests-uk-government-will-not-support-trad

    NB: R-Fed doesn’t care about OSCE as it knows it’s unlikely to get consensus for any action and is irrelevant. General consensus is that other than starting this situation, EU is irrelevant to process.

    R-Fed has veto on both UN / OSCE.

    Like

    • 35
      The view from Haifa says:

      Does it also have the power to bring the EU and all its works to its knees asap? If so, how can we help? The EU land grab is bloody outrageous and it is not in the least bit surprising that Vlad acted in the way he did – and all very peacefully too, so it looks like the folks there really want him in charge. The illegal “government” in Kiev needs to be deposed and the democratically elected President re-instated. If the Ukers don’t like him, they can vote him out again in a new election.

      Kerry, Hague and all the rest of the EU shit stirrers should get their noses out of where they are not wanted. Do not be surprised if Vlad puts pressure on Romania and Bulgaria to withdraw their membership of the EU whose borders have stretched far to far eastwards over the past 10 years.

      Now you know where our 50 million a day is wasted.

      Like

  16. 34
    Silly duffer says:

    Senator McCain is an arsehole

    Like

  17. 38
    Anonymous says:

    “Boris Johnson – the proconsular celebrity”
    Try to look on the bright side. If it wasn’t for these distractions, someone might have come up with an even worse idea. EG. British politician + born in the USA + with a Russian name…The ideal emissary to send to the Ukraine. If one seeks WW3?

    Like


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Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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