Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Boris skewers the Lib Dems

I hadn't tuned in to Boris Johnson's Telegraph column for a while, but this quote reminded me of why I enjoy his writing so much:

The Lib Dems are still down at about 20 per cent, or less. They show no sign of ceasing to be the third party in British politics. They remain a dustbin for the votes of all those whose policy on cake is pro-having it and pro-eating it, and who think you can govern the country by sucking and blowing at the same time.

As it goes, I have quite a lot of time for the Lib-Dems - I am, after all, pro-cake, pro-having it and pro-eating it - and it would be interesting to see what they would do in power. However, that particular democratic experiment is probably a luxury we can't afford for the time being. (The voters, of course, will have the final say on that).

Regarding the ongoing speculation about Ken Livingstone standing for Mayor of London in 2012, and the threat or otherwise that this poses to Boris, I think the following:

Only Boris knows to what extent he wants to hold on to the mayoralty - as opposed to returning to parliamentary politics. Like many a footballer, I'm sure he ultimately wants to play at the highest level. If Cameron fails to become PM after the next election, Boris as an election-winning Tory and reformed homme serieux would now be a serious contender for the leadership. On the other hand, in the event of a Cameron victory there might not be too much on offer for Boris in the short term. His best hope of becoming PM - which I'm sure remains his ambition - is to play the long game and wait until he is needed.

I'm not sure how things would play out in the event of a hung parliament, except to say that, as above, Cameron's leadership would have been discredited and he would have to give way to someone with more of a rapport with the voters. Enter Boris, stage right. In the meantime, though, being mayor is good for Boris's profile, and allows him the time to write his Telegraph column. Regarding the threat from Leninspart, he's beaten Ken once already, and I think he would beat him again using the same method of courting the "doughnut" of outer-London boroughs who will never agains subscribe to Ken's chirpy brand of identity politics.

Anyway, that's what I think.

PS For those who are interested, I can highly recommend Boris's novel, Seventy-Two Virgins.


Karen Burke said...

Boris is a good writer so I may eventually get around to Seventy-Two Virgins.

I remember reading an article some time ago about how Boris romanced one of his affairs by getting the driver to play opera into the back of their cab. Can't remember which opera, though.

Strawsonian said...

Perhaps a bit of the old Nessun Dorma. "None shall sleep" and all that...

Karen Burke said...

Well, I was hoping it might be Una Furtiva Lagrima from L’elisir d’amore - but then if it was, we would probably never see Boris as PM.

Strawsonian said...

Having Boris as PM would actually make me proud to be British, I've just realised.