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.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Who Said it: Blair or Smith? Who Said it: Blair or Smith?
Labour MPs Love Theresa May As Well Labour MPs Love Theresa May As Well
Labour Adviser Created “Theresa May for PM” Campaign Labour Adviser Created “Theresa May for PM” Campaign
FARAGE TO TRUMP “I COME TO YOU WITH A MESSAGE OF HOPE AND OPTIMISM” FARAGE TO TRUMP “I COME TO YOU WITH A MESSAGE OF HOPE AND OPTIMISM”
Max Mosley Funds Tom Watson’s 11 Advisers Max Mosley Funds Tom Watson’s 11 Advisers
“JEREMY, JEREMY, JEREMY” “JEREMY, JEREMY, JEREMY”
FANCY A JOB IN DANCZUK’S OFFICE? FANCY A JOB IN DANCZUK’S OFFICE?
TEAM GB SING NATIONAL ANTHEM ON VICTORY JET HOME TEAM GB SING NATIONAL ANTHEM ON VICTORY JET HOME
HOW BRITISH EMPIRE BEATS EU FOR OLYMPIC MEDALS HOW BRITISH EMPIRE BEATS EU FOR OLYMPIC MEDALS
PRCA Complain to Carolyn Harris Over Lobbyist’s Pass PRCA Complain to Carolyn Harris Over Lobbyist’s Pass
Oily Smith the Devolution Dodger Oily Smith the Devolution Dodger
Times Runs Full Page Ad for “China Heroes” Times Runs Full Page Ad for “China Heroes”
SONG FOR JEREMY SONG FOR JEREMY
DROMEY CUTS SHORT ATTACK ON CORBYN TO GREET CORBYN WARMLY DROMEY CUTS SHORT ATTACK ON CORBYN TO GREET CORBYN WARMLY
LABOUR MP GIVES LOBBYIST PARLIAMENTARY PASS LABOUR MP GIVES LOBBYIST PARLIAMENTARY PASS
BILL ETHERIDGE SPEAKS: “IT’S BEEN HARD TIMES” BILL ETHERIDGE SPEAKS: “IT’S BEEN HARD TIMES”
JAMIE OLIVER’S SUGARY, FATTY ADVERTISING HYPOCRISY JAMIE OLIVER’S SUGARY, FATTY ADVERTISING HYPOCRISY
LABOUR CONFERENCE CRISIS TALKS BREAK DOWN LABOUR CONFERENCE CRISIS TALKS BREAK DOWN
BRUTAL TORY ATTACK AD SAYS LABOUR SOFT ON ISIS BRUTAL TORY ATTACK AD SAYS LABOUR SOFT ON ISIS
CORBYN TO ATTEND MOMENTUM EVENT WITH VILE INTERNET TROLL CORBYN TO ATTEND MOMENTUM EVENT WITH VILE INTERNET TROLL