Tuesday, 18 March 2008

How to Stop Boris

With little more than a month before the elections, and with Boris 12% ahead in the polls, the left are finally focusing on how to stop the man so many of them have ruled out.

Early attacks on Boris as a bungling racist toff clearly had little effect. They were a lazy effort which played only to their own side's already held beliefs. Even worse, they were a symptom of their complacency. No incumbent candidate, no matter how underwhelming their opponent, can ever expect an easy ride into a third term. Ken, a battle-scarred politician with a lifetime of enemies, was always going to find it especially tough.

And yet, when the left looked at their opponent, an incompetent bungler, a much-sacked man of letters, they just couldn't work themselves up to be frightened. 

How could this clown, how could this disaster-prone buffoon ever be a credible threat to an experienced and wily politician? And how could the public ever be so stupid or so careless, to vote in a man with little previous interest or experience in real politics? 

They took comfort too in Livingstone's satisfaction ratings. The majority of the public it seemed, were happy with Ken and London. Why would they be so foolish as to risk it on an established and notorious disaster-zone?

And yet, as the latest opinion polls show, that is exactly what they are prepared to do. Three months of campaigning from the Evening Standard and a tightly controlled and alcohol free Boris have left many with the sentiment of: "Time for a change".

Boris' team have run a deliberately low-key campaign. His appearances have been tightly controlled with interviews limited. His only 'serious' interview with Andrew Marr, was laughable with Boris blustering through a pre-prepared speech.  Marr was half-angered and half-amused by his own failed attempts to get a word in edgeways. 

Performances since then have been firmly in the hands of Lynton Crosby. Today they announced that Boris would take part in a 'debate' in a 'virtual speakers corner.' This debate consists of Boris making speeches to web camera, and users posting responses below. This is hardly the kind of presidential debate that David Cameron made such a fuss about.

In fact despite Cameron's mocking of Brown, both Livingstone and Paddick have tried and failed to secure a set of television debates with Johnson. And with his position in the polls, why should he risk it?

And yet if the left are to defeat Boris, this is exactly what they must achieve. Boris is safe when reading a speech or making a gag, but he has repeatedly shown a failure to grasp figures and detail. To expose him, Livingstone and Paddick must get him out into the open. This is where he will be on a daily basis if he becomes mayor, so that is where they must drag him now. 

Boris past and policies will not keep him out of City Hall. But seeing him scrutinised and flustered just might. 

(Images taken from the StopBoris campaign and Facebook group.)


The Tory Troll said...

Images taken from http://www.stopboris.org

Stop Boris said...


Any chance of a proper link to stopboris.org in your post to go with the pictures? I'm sure it was just an accidental oversight, hence your follow-up comment, but the posters and logo look a bit out of place without the link being in the post. And obviously some hits on our site would be nice ;)

Thanks for the defence on PoliticalBetting against ridiculous charges of the campaign being run by Ken's 'cronies' on £100k! I gather from your use of the original (non-Creative Commons) Stop Boris logo that you're in the Facebook group that the site did indeed spin off from.

Cheers for the support - and I don't mind if you delete this comment - I had no way to contact you directly so resorted to this, but it's not especially meant for public consumption. Don't mind either way though. My main objective is a link to StopBoris.org ;)


The Tory Troll said...

Yeah sorry I messed up the original link. You're all linked now and I've put you on the roll for good measure. Keep up the good work ;)

asquith said...

I'd be voting for Paddick, if I lived in London. I'm really glad that I don't live in a place where that pair of bells can become the two front runners!

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Labour Party since 1964, this will be the first time I have ever not voted Labour. I'm just not sure if I can bring myself to vote for Johnson but I know one thing, I don't want another minute of Ken running my city.

The Tory Troll said...

What reasons do you have for that anonymous Labour supporter?

tory boys never grow up said...

Need to remember that negative campaigning only tends to appeal to your core voters. If to want to attract floating voters better to concentrate on the positive stuff.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I have to say outside of London the rest of us are clueless about this. And that's from someone who can be a bit of a political junkie. BG