+++ YouGov Whisper Number Has Boris Ahead 6% +++

Mike Smithson has the whisper from a reliable source that YouGov’s last poll has Boris “leading Ken 44%-36% on first preferences. After second preferences that becomes 53% to 47%.”

Guido Predicts…

Boris will win and nothing else will really matter tomorrow. Polly Toynbee and all the rest of the chattering classes will choke on their words. Labour will finally understand in their collective consciousness that they made a terrible choice in replacing the triple election-winning Tony with the triple election-avoiding* Gordon.

They will also know that if Boris can win London, Cameron can win Britain. Gordon is a loser…

*1994 avoids risking challenging Tony for the leadership. July 2007 engineers a coronation through menace and intimidation to avoid a challenge for the leadership. October 2007 funks calling a general election to obtain a personal mandate in the face of a resurgent Conservative Party.

How Do You Like This Big Tent Gordon?

Kate Hoey will be Mayor Boris’ sports adviser in the run-up to the Olympics and if some rumours are to be believed, Brian Paddick, not Boris himself, will be his chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority. That would be sweet revenge for Paddick, although it might not be so comfortable for Sir Iain Blair…

One Labour insider has just told Guido that Labour will implement a scorched earth policy in an attempt to sabotage Boris at every turn. Just as they have squeezed the SNP government in Scotland budgetarily from the centre they will do the same in London. Central government under their control will collectively punish London’s voters for not voting Labour…

+++ YouGov: Boris 11% Ahead on First preferences +++

10% after second preferences…

Boris is Right, Tories Wrong. London Should Be a Shining City

Anyone who believes in free markets and free trade has to believe as a corollary in the free movement of people. Guido is the son of immigrants who came from Ireland and India to London in the 1950s and 1960s for economic and social reasons. They came, primarily, to better themselves. Now having lived and worked in some of the world’s greatest cities Guido still believes that London is the best of them all and is grateful that the city took in his parents.

Sure the roads are congested, they are in Tokyo and New York as well. Culturally New York is very self-centred and less internationalist, Tokyo is a bit of a mono-culture that just about tolerates foreigners. London is much more cosmopolitan than even New York with better French food than Paris, more bankers than Frankfurt and better nightlife than Berlin. Many people have come here without the right paperwork, they have come here to work and better themselves. They are not the problem and should be allowed to stay and given if necessary an amnesty to make them legally resident. They enrich us all. It is the people who come here to abuse the welfare state and commit crimes that are the problem.

Cameron disavows the policy and ConservativeHomies are up in arms about Boris supporting an amnesty for illegal immigrants. They should remember that one of their heroes, Ronald Reagan, supported and implemented an amnesty. London should be a beacon to those who want to be free to prosper for themselves and their families. Disqualifying newcomers from abusing the welfare state and deporting convicted foreign criminals might reduce the opposition to immigrants. Ronald Reagan did something like that when he had an amnesty for immigrants in 1986, because to him, the ultimate conservative optimist, immigration was a vital part of his vision of his country as “a shining city upon a Hill”.

Boris is an optimist in the Reagan mould who would like London to be a shining city for those seeking freedom and prosperity. An amnesty might not be a popular stance to take, illegal immigrants don’t have any votes, but it is the right stance.

Boris Will Do PMQs Tomorrow

Guido can confirm the Times’ Sam Coates exclusive that Boris will lead for the Tories against Harriet Harman tomorrow at PMQs. Repeated misleading references to Boris by Gordon Brown were the trigger for Cameron’s decision to give Boris an unprecedented right of reply in the PM’s absence. The last time a backbencher was given such an opportunity was during Asquith’s time.

“Lets face it, Boris is better known than most of the shadow cabinet, this will give him a chance to show leadership, he will crush Harriet Harman at the dispatch box“. Is this a high risk strategy? Not really, he is up against Harriet Harman…

“Block Boris” Says Ken’s Transport for London Commissar

As panic starts to grip Ken and the London Labour Party things are getting pretty desperate. Gordon lies at PMQs regularly that Boris wants to cut police numbers – as if a Tory mayor would ever cut back on coppers. Now Ken is pulling whatever levers he can to hold on to power. London’s transport commissar, Peter Hendy, has ordered his spin team to counter the popular Boris message on killer bendy-buses. Transport for London has also told taxi drivers not to issue receipts with “Back Boris” logos. Guido understands that 50,000 books of these receipts have already been snapped up by cabbies. This is a mistake by Ken, cabbies are not ones to succumb to authority. Petty diktaks like this will only get their backs up and ensure they do back Boris.
More sinister are the implicit threats to police funding hinted at if police sources don’t stop telling the truth about the appalling safety record of Ken’s bendy-buses. Ken clearly favours his friend Castro’s policing methods, where the police follow the party line…

UPDATE : In the comments there was some dispute about whether Hendy threatened police funding. Here is the quote from an email: “The statements clearly come from the Met traffic officers involved in the investigation (and are manifestly incorrect). It makes me inclined to cut support for TOCU in future budgets as clearly their support for us is limited to taking money and is one way.”

TOCU is the Transport Operational Command Unit, the Met division charged with tackling road safety and bus crime. Funded by TfL, it has 1,200 police officers, community support officers and traffic wardens and is a key part of the Met’s anti-crime strategy.

Even Buskers Have Spin Doctors Nowadays

Guido got an email yesterday with a story claiming that Boris posed for a photo-op with a busker handing over a twenty pound note. When the photo-op was completed he put the twenty back in his pocket. Cheapskate!
Having not been invited to yesterday’s “Bloggers for Boris” lunch (Tories only) Guido was in the mood for a bit of Boris bashing. So Guido contacted the busker, Claire Toomey, and she gave a surprisingly carefully worded explanation.

I was busking in Croydon in November (ish) and Boris Johnson came up to me and posed in front of me for pictures. He didn’t really speak to me. When he left, a passer by came up to me and said did he give you that £20 and I said what £20? When I looked in my guitar case there was nothing there and I thought that was a bit odd.

Fantastic. Guido hunted around for the picture. Guido asked if she knew anyone who had the picture. She suggested Guido contact her PR company. A busker with a PR agent?

Anyway Guido did contact her PR. No picture. She also admits she didn’t actually see Boris proffer a £20 note either.

Claire has a nice MySpace site and an album coming out shortly which needs publicity…

UPDATE : Have now got hold of the photographer for the local paper – he says Boris threw some change in the hat – there never was any note. Ken backing bloggers are of course running with the spin

Boris Now Punter’s Favourite

Guido managed to get a few extra quid on Boris before he went better than evens. Guido has felt ever since Mike Smithson drew attention to the second preference polling that Boris should be odds on. He is now.

The sheer ferocity of the attacks from Labour figures at their spring conference suggests they know it as well. Labour activists don’t like him and therefore don’t understand how he could win. Two months to go before they will find out…

Create Your Own Boris Finger-Puppet

What with Gordon, Clegg and Dave doing Blue Peter, it falls to Guido to demonstrate that you don’t need double sided sticky-tape to be a politician. See it on GuyNews.TV.

Taxi for Boris

Very amused to be handed this receipt by a London cabbie. Apparently the campaign is giving away the books of receipts free to cabbies. Ambient marketing…

How Much Did Hugh Muir Pocket Courtesy of Ken?

The Guardian’s diarist, Hugh Muir, gave Boris a good going over yesterday in his diary column, all but accusing him of being a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan.

Only on Saturday another Hugh Muir piece also appeared in the Guardian, headlined Boris Johnson Faces Conflict of Interest Charge Over Office, over Boris taking free office space from a Ken hating business.

Conflict of interest charges are serious indeed and should be answered. So how much did Hugh Muir get for his contribution to a report commissioned by Ken – The Search for Common Ground? We know it cost the Mayor’s taxpayers £22,000. We know of course it had a foreword by Mayor Ken. What we don’t know is how much of the taxpayers £22,000 Hugh pocketed courtesy of Ken.

Guido has tried to contact him to find out, but no reply so far. Hugh’s article on Boris concluded that Boris “should know there is no such thing as a free lunch”. Quite, so how much did Hugh get from Ken Livingstone?

Charity Commission Warns Ken Backing “Charities”

The Charity Commission has rapped a dozen Muslim charities for supporting Ken Livingstone’s bid to be re-elected as Mayor of London. They wrote a letter which was posted on the Guardian’s CiF a few weeks back (3 January).

It read: “We the undersigned believe that it is in the best interest of the Muslim communities of London, and indeed all Londoners, to back Mr Livingstone in this year’s mayoral elections.” The Commission received several complaints that the letter breached charity law, which forbids charities from supporting political candidates or parties.

The Commission says: “We have written to the charities involved to advise them on the type of political activity a charity can be involved in.”

Frankly Guido is surprised that Muslims are so keen to back someone so keen on alcohol*…

*Watch Dispatches tonight at 8pm on Channel 4 to find out more about Ken’s drinking habits.

Why is Ken Sending The Londoner to Scottish MPs?

The Londoner is a Ken Livingstone financed propaganda sheet. The SNP’s Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie reckons Ken is “wasting public money on a lavish scale” sending the newspaper, subtitled News from the Mayor of London to the constituency offices of Scottish MPs and MEPs, and at least one MSP. Some 5,000 copies are being sent to each postcode district in the UK according to the publishers.

Since Ken is quoted in nearly every article throughout the 20 pages, on concerns ranging from London’s housing shortage, Tube fares, a Metropolitan Police survey, Oyster Cards, offers for Londoners to get half price bus fares and crime in London, Hosie says: “This is an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money to provide propaganda for Ken Livingstone’s mayoral campaign. The newspaper articles have little or no relevance to anyone outside London. Bad enough that taxpayers’ money is wasted on propaganda but then to have it posted throughout the UK adds insult to injury.”

Boris Bus Beats Ken’s Killer Bendy Bus

Boris is backing the futuristic clean, low emission, hydrogen-powered wheelchair and pushchair friendly double decker bus. So us cyclists will have two good reasons to support it, less chance of being crushed to death by a bendy bus or having to choke on diesel fumes. Autocar commissioned this design. Of course we were told by Ken that “only a dehumanised moron” would get rid of the Routemaster. Ken got rid of the Routemaster in 2004.

Londoners want, and tourists especially expect, to see the famous red bus silhouette against the backdrop of the Capital of the World. Bizarrely Ken’s supporters now no longer able to object on disability legislation grounds now object on cost grounds. When have they ever worried about cost before? Boris is on to a populist vote winner here…

Andrew Gilligan in this evening’s London Standard has another story about the whirlpool of corruption and graft surrounding Lee Jasper, Mayor Ken Livingstone’s aide.

Cash has been dished out in wheelbarrows to Jasper’s pals. Now a whistle-blower of impeccable credentials has come out to describe a catalogue of demands for hush money, political interference and financial irregularity.

The Tories are now calling for the District Auditor to come in and go over the books. In any organisation where one individual faced so many allegations he would be suspended pending an investigation. What does Ken do? He calls everyone racist and gets his echo-chamber of ratepayer funded self-serving community groups to join in the chant. It won’t work this time.

Brenda Stern, who was the programme manager for the LDA’s Diversity Works initiative, is a former director for the Commission for Racial Equality, who was brought into the LDA in March 2006 to rescue Diversity Works. She comes from a background in anti-apartheid activism. Her credibility is not in question. Lee Jasper should be very worried.

So why is Ken still so vehemently defending his aide? Could it be that Lee Jasper knows where the bodies are buried?

Ken Not So Confident

Ken was overheard at his office in the lift by a co-conspirator who emailed this in

He was quite happily telling his companion that if (and he did say “if”) he wins a third term, he will be evicting the Conservative Group from their offices and taking over the area for his own staff. Apparently the Conservatives are hardly ever there and don’t need as much room as they have.

Not so certain of victory?

UPDATE : Ken’s henchman Lee Jasper is, as Guido has said before, a shakedown artist. He lives in an upmarket period property owned by a Housing Association which receives £80 million a year to house low income families. Lee Jasper earns £117,000 a year and pays just £90 week rent. According to the Evening Standard the market rate, which he could well afford, is £550 a week for this period property worth some £750,000. So this is what Ken means by affordable housing.

Boris Attacks Ken Over Jasper’s Missing Millions

Boris speaking at Prospex, a charity helping disadvantaged young kids said pointedly today;

“it is galling to know that millions of pounds of LDA money has allegedly not got through to the many community groups that need it most. The Mayor should now apologise for this outrageous abuse of hard-earned taxpayer’s money. We always knew the attacks on me were a put-up job, and in no sense represented the black community. The attacks are a smokescreen to hide the fact that his administration has ripped off community groups across London and failed to improve the lives of the very people he claims to champion. I am delighted that the curtain has gone up to reveal Ken pulling the levers. The incompetent puppetmaster has been exposed by his own puppets.”

Ken has a history of diverting cash supposedly for good causes into furthering his political self interest. If it is proven that Jasper, who is a bit of a shakedown artist at the best of times, has misused public money, Ken will go down with him.

Boris Ups His Work Rate

Londoners tuned into Capital Radio this morning to hear Boris on with Johnnie Vaughn, not sure if it was to do with his new single release. Wednesday he gave a speech on housing, yesterday he was banging on about Heathrow and the execution of De Menezes. Earlier in the week he did a photo-op down Portobello Road.

He has now visited every one of the 32 boroughs in London, a campaign source tells Guido he has also completed a month long immersive education in the details of policy. The grid for the campaign kicks off in earnest in January. Ken’s policy response is a proposal to nationalise all trains coming into London. With the LibDems choosing the PC PC, Brian Paddick, it is all going to be fun…

Incidentally, the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh have Boris as guest speaker next Thursday night. If you want to attend and see if he can make it through dinner without upsetting another nationality, email Jane, (tickets are £15).

Boris Bombs the Bass

Those who say he is nowhere to be seen just aren’t listening. You can hear his just released homage to FatBoy Slim here.

Hat-tip : BorisBorisBoris.com

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Boris as Hulk…

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