It’s been a bad week if you are a FOG (Friend of George). First Osborne’s big spending speech was obliterated from the news agenda by Warsi, then Sajid Javid’s second attempt disappeared under Boris’ shadow. Harry Mount in this week’s Speccie explains why the FOBs are beating the FOGs:
“Boris is already forming a loose-knit collection of supporters — FOBs, friends of Boris, to engage in mortal combat with the FOGs, friends of George Osborne, should there be a leadership contest. Jesse Norman and Zac Goldsmith are said to be keen FOBs — they have received little preferment under Cameron and bring powerful cadres of MPs in their wake. Alongside them is Nadine Dorries, one of the few Tory MPs to back Boris openly.
Boris’s deputy mayor, Kit Malthouse — who has the safe seat of North-West Hampshire lined up at the election — will be a staunch ally in the next Parliament. Interesting how Boris loyalists slip easily into safe seats while Cameron’s former advisers have to talk their way past grass-roots Tory opposition to coalition policies.
And here’s where the FOBs have the edge over the FOGs. George’s gang are largely in it for themselves. Their loyalty remains tied up with their own ambitions, which Osborne wisely satisfies from time to time. Boris’s gang are in it for the man himself. And the gang is growing every day. There are quite enough MPs — ones Osborne has been indifferent to — who will do anything to stop the Chancellor getting the top job.”
Are a FOB or a FOG? Maybe you are a FOT (Friend of Theresa)? A FOM maybe (Friend of Michael)? Perhaps you are looking ahead and have become a FOS (Friend of Saj)? Guido suspects in time others will decide to become a FOL (Liz, not Liam) or a FOP (Friend of Priti). Or even a bitter FOE (Friend of Esther). One thing is clear, there aren’t many left who give a FOC…