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Guido was a little surprised when earlier this month Louise Mensch described Boris as a “massive Europhile“, insisting he “would not leave [the EU] under any circumstances” and that his “hardcore pro-EU” position meant he could never lead the Tories. That wasn’t the Boris Guido remembered. And it isn’t exactly the sentiment reflected in his withering eurosceptic attack on the EU in today’s Telegraph.
Boris condemns the upcoming Euro elections as a “complete sham” and says that “the EU is a racket”. He makes clear he would leave the EU if renegotiation fails: “It may indeed come to that, if we cannot get what we need in a renegotiation”, and describes Britain staying in the European Parliament as “a growing if”. He concludes: “Euro-scepticism is rampant in large parts of Europe, and cynicism about the parliament is at an all-time high. I see no reason at all why Britain should not lead the way”. Boris is more in the Farage mould – he loves Europe but doesn’t like the EU…
Guido would like to wish all his English readers a happy St George’s Day. If a man of Turkish origin can become patron saint of England, there is no stopping that other English hero of Turkish origin, Boris…
Don’t you just hate those commuters who hold everyone up at the barrier when you’re trying to get on the tube?
You know how it is when your dad lets the cat out of the bag and gives away the whole plan for you to become Tory leader:
“100% not. As a matter of fact this is a purely hypothetical exercise because, as you know, the Conservatives firmly expect to win an overall majority at the next election. We firmly expect the leader to be in place then. It’s a question of just getting some appropriate system. It doesn’t seem to me to be reasonable in this day and age, you know, you have got plenty of candidates out there. Why should the candidates only be Members of Parliament? I’m really suggesting that there are other people who have been elected, there have for example been MEPs, you know these are a reasonable bunch of people – men and women. All I’m saying is there is a case for looking at the rules. You’ve got MEPs, you’ve got councillors, you’ve got other elected mayors, you’ve, by the way, got a group of Lords, elected Lords, they have an election. I am saying, surely the moment has come to have another look at the rules?”
Who could he have possibly had in mind…
James Forsyth’s Speccie column this week is getting a lot of follow up in today’s papers, he reports on a blue on blue between Boris and Gove over the Education Secretary apparently telling Rupert Murdoch he sees Osborne as the next Tory leader. One minister is quoted as saying:
“Michael is licensed to sink his teeth into Boris’s ankles in a way that neither the boss nor George can.”
Another Tory adds:
“It’s like Blair-Brown with them. A journalist calls them up and says: “They’re saying this about you.” They respond with some ridiculously over-the-top-quote.”
With all this attention on Boris, Gove and Osborne, Mandrake at the Telegraph reckons one minister is slipping under the radar. Michael Fallon is holding an “open session” for Tory MPs in the ministerial conference room:
“This is the sort of thing only the PM or somebody who wants to be the PM would do. I’ve been hearing an awful lot lately about how great Michael is and how rubbish everyone else is.”
Will all due respect to Mandrake, surely this is more likely to do with Fallon wanting the Tory chairman job…
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.
Well this morning’s Call Boris on LBC could hardly have gone any worse. Who could have predicted that Nick Ferrari would ambush him with an IQ test? Not the Mayor, it seems:
He didn’t fare much better on tube ticket prices either:
No one could have seen that coming.
It’s almost as if Boris is running a leadership campaign. Last night he gave the Centre for Policy Studies Margaret Thatcher Lecture, standing up for the wealth-creators:
“I hope that this time the Gordon Gekkos of London are conspicuous not just for their greed – valid motivator though greed may be for economic progress – as for what they give and do for the rest of the population, many of whom have experienced real falls in their incomes over the last five years.”
The stats show he’s not wrong. Figures from Reed say the average salaries of directors and senior management in the financial sector are down £6,125 since 2012, traders’ salaries are down £10,893 and equity salaries down by £43,703. Finally a politician willing to stand up for the hard-pressed one percent…
Can’t help thinking that giving £773,705.73 in donations to his rivals the LibDems kind of works against the Ministry of Sound. Not that cash donations influence licence applications in local government…
Longlist to Succeed Hague | ConHome
Newmark Nonsense An Excuse to Bash Tabloids | Spiked
Kay Burley’s Top Twitter Zingers | Buzzfeed
Why Tory Tax Cut Pledge is Good News | Allister Heath
ONS Admits Economy Stronger Than It Thought | Speccie
Cameron’s Concessions to UKIP | Nick Wood
#TM4PM: It’s On | Speccie
Path to Defeat Obvious for Both Labour and Tories | Rafael Behr
It’s Boris v May | Sun
Farage is Outflanking the Tories | Guardian
Boris is Right About Grammar Schools | Conservative Women
David Cameron on political promiscuity…
“On May 7 you could go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband. Not one bit of that works for me.”