Thursday, 21 August 2008

Boris Johnson goes for gold after Beijing 'snub'

Anyone else remember this classic piece of Boris Johnson demagoguery?

"Mr Johnson is also travelling economy class — although he is likely to get an upgrade from BA — and moving from the £400-a-night hotel booked for Mr Livingstone to a more modest establishment."

(Evening Standard: 'Boris Cuts £1m off cost of Beijing Trip' - 12th June 2008)

Good old Boris eh? Man of the people that chap. Man of the bloody people. 

And again in his memo to City Hall staff:

"I look forward to seeing you all when I get back from Beijing – with a flag in the adjacent (premium economy) seat."

(Memo from Boris Johnson to City Hall Staff - 19th August 2008)

What a guy. So I wonder how he got on?

"British Airways denied the Mayor an upgrade from his economy seat on the nine-hour overnight flight to the Olympics... the incident is certain to be viewed as a snub by mayoral aides who were convinced their boss would be treated like a VIP."

(Daily Mail 'Weary Boris refused an upgrade' 21 August 2008)
Oh dear. Didn't see that one coming did you Boris?

"If he had travelled Club World, BA's business class, Mr Johnson would have had a fully reclining seat-bed, 73 inches of legroom and on-demand meals.

"Instead, he had to put up with just 38 inches of legroom, and meals and snacks when the cabin crew distributed them."

Poor chap. Still at least he will be saving us some money on his hotel bill. But hang on what's this?

"He had promised to cancel expensive hotel suites booked by Mr Livingstone and downgrade to a cheaper hotel.

"But the Mayor and his team are staying in the official International Olympics Committee hotel, the five-star Beijing Raffles Hotel, where rooms start at £400 a night."

You what?

"A spokesman for the Mayor said: "We were told it would be easier for us to stay at the IOC hotel for security reasons and also because that's where we'll be having meetings with [IOC chief] Jacques Rogge and Seb Coe about the handover to London." 

Oh well, never mind Boris. Maybe you will find it easier to keep your promises next time.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. Basically he's complaining about having to sit in the seat that he had booked.

Someone should tell him that he can't have it both ways. Either he wants to be treated the same as everyone else or he doesn't. What a showman!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. You should also take a look at Gilligan's latest, in which he admits he spends most of his time writing about 'non-stories'.

Tom said...

With the hotel thing, it's entirely possible that as a *major elected European leader attending a major world event where he's taking a major part in the proceedings* the local security detail might want him in a major hotel where they have secure routes, evacuation plans etc. worked out?

I can't imagine the London 2012 security team being too pleased if, say, the Prime Minister of wherever gets the 2016 gig decided to stay in a B&B in Harlow to save a few crowns.

Of course Boris would have checked this before announcing that he was ditching the bookings, wouldn't he?

The Troll said...

Yes I've seen it. I especially liked this bit:

"It suggests that - rather like Tim Parker, in fact - he came to office without any real understanding of the new job he had just won."

No shit Andy!

Smarter Than The Average said...

Didn't Johnson say he would reduce the Mayor's salary on the pre-election Newsnight debate? Still waiting for that to happen...

The Troll said...

You'll have a long wait.

A casual observer said...

Has anyone spotted that the Standard have re-written the article since this morning?

The £400 a night hotel stay has been conveniently deleted.

Still - the fact that Pippa's article, which refers to him being "denied an upgrade", is a blatant contraction of the linked Comment piece, which claims he "made a point of travelling economy" is still laughable.

Jack said...

With the hotel thing, it's entirely possible that as a *major elected European leader attending a major world event where he's taking a major part in the proceedings* the local security detail might want him in a major hotel where they have secure routes, evacuation plans etc. worked out?

Tom, absolutely. There would be something very wrong if that wasn't the case. However you'd imagine that Boris would check these things before announcing something publicly like he did.

Anonymous said...

From the tone of the 'Standard' piece, it looks like even the likes of Gilligan are preparing to distance themselves from him. I think we're in for an interesting few months.

Mark said...

British Airways' staff are very used to turning down upgrades from celebs who think that saying "Do you know who I am?" will get them bumped up to business class (Club World as BA call it) and their government affairs chief is well-practised in batting off angry phone calls from outraged celebs and patiently explaining that if they want to travel First or Club they will need to buy a First or Club ticket. Boris should have known better.

(Okay, I can't believe I just typed that last sentence.)

white rabbit said...

£400 a bloody night??? :-O

Tom said...

Gilligan's view of the Boris mayoralty (that it was going to be a front for Policy Exchange and the politically correct bashing loonies therein) just got shat on this week in favour of running it like a big Tory council. Not surprised he's peeved, there goes his potential meal ticket.

ivegotanasbo said...

What boring, petty, sniping silly little comments. So typically UK lefty, which is why I,(as a Scandanavian type socialist - less misery gutses there) got bored with the likes of Ken and all that petty sniping stuff and the endless, yawn, 'diversity' patronising stuff that black people actually do not like So I voted for Boris - who is I think too independent to be a real Tory.

ivegotanasbo said...

What is this, My comment has to be approved by the blogger? This is Stalinism surely!

The Troll said...

Yes I believe Stalin was known for his strict blog moderation policies.

Tom said...

So, you're a 'Scandanavian style socialist' who prefers a patriarchal old school war-supporting public transport hating low-tax-on-the-rich Tory with some very unpleasant friends merely because you disliked a particular brand of left wing politics? Voting completely against your principles because of petty dislikes is taking silliness to stratospheric extremes, to my mind. You're therefore a troll, and not a particularly clever one. Do try harder next time.

Alex said...

This really is pathetic, isn't it? No dignity whatsoever.

Further, when I used to travel all over the sodding place on business I always had to fly cattle class, and I see no reason why BA should subsidise Boris Johnson. Although, if he was in the next seat, I'd be very happy for him to be upgraded...

It reveals a lot of the Tory mindset about the mayoralty, really. It's all an outrageous socialist fantasy extravagance, and we can just get rid of it all. Except for the photo opportunities. Oh, and the opportunities to work out our bitterness on anything the last guy achieved. And the perks.

What, you can't have the perks without paying for them? [fainting fit] What, it actually involves work? [stroke]

ivegotanasbo said...

I would be surprised if Boris could care less! This is just news paper selling rubbish and you guys are right into it...

The Troll said...

And you?