Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Why Boris Johnson should tell Cameron to back off

The Financial Times carries the latest damning verdict from a 'senior member of David Cameron's Conservative Party' on Boris Johnson's time in power.

The off the record source describes the new administration as being 'a bit of a shambles' and is the latest attempt by a nervous Team Cameron to distance themselves from the Mayor.

But with four months of (pretty bruising) executive experience under his belt, I can't help but feel a little defensive of our new Mayor.

Because although Boris has made a bit of a mess of things so far, he is still by far the most powerful and electorally successful conservative politician in the country.

And if I was Boris Johnson right now, I would feel mightily pissed off to be taking anonymous criticism from the ranks of pompous gasbag nobodies at the top level of the Conservative Party.

In fact the standard line emanating from Team Cameron that "Boris is just Boris and he's nothing to do with us guv" is a fantastically patronising one. 

And when many of the problems in Boris Johnson's first few months have been caused by the duds imposed on him from central office, it is also incredibly misleading.

So as Boris Johnson gears himself up to begin his new term in office my advice to him is to ignore the intellectually bankrupt know-nothings nudging their way into power and to start listening to his own instincts about how the capital should be run.

-UPDATE- There is a sign today that some common sense may be creeping through with this appointment.


Anonymous said...

'start listening to his own instincts'?! Have you gone crazy? You don't really want him running the capital do you?

The Troll said...

What I would want is neither here nor there. He was elected to run London and it's about time he got on with it.

When people voted for Boris, they didn't do it so that he could pass on the power to other people. They did it because they thought he would be the best man for the job. And whatever other reasons they had for voting for him, they didn't vote for him so that the real decisions could go to Policy Exchange wackos, local government rentagobs, or CCHQ gasbags.

Londoners elected Boris. It's about time he had the courage to show what he's made of and for both him and CCHQ to stop passing the blame for the things that have gone wrong. Boris is in charge now. Let voters see what he does with it.

Will said...

Well if you think Boris has made a mess of things just wait until the Cameroons get their hands on the country. Boris might fuck things up a bit in London but at least he can do it while giving us a laugh. Can't see much fun coming up with Cameron.

Will said...

I love that picture by the way. Slap da foo Boris. Slap him up!

angelneptunestar said...

Adam I never thought I would say this, but I agree with you one hundred percent. And he has got the courage to take charge. I know it.

Tom said...

He's got the courage to appoint *gasp* a woman to a senior role, Angela. Moreover, a woman who's been in a senior role at TfL most of the way through Ken Livingstone's administration and, so far as I can find, wholly disapproves of Tory policies as we've understood them up to now, particularly around transport and land use planning and the role of the state in changing behaviour.

Boris is definitely tuned into something other than Radio CCHQ these days.

angelneptunestar said...

He probably didn't think whether she was a woman or not, he just assessed her ability and gave her the job.

Tom said...

Yes. Just as Ken Livingstone did. Refreshing, isn't it? See, there *are* women qualified to work at senior levels in city government.

angelneptunestar said...

Tim Parker said that and look how it ended up for him.

Probably the least said about Ken's professional attitude to women the better!

Roger Evans said...

Of course there are women who are qualified for senior positions at City Hall, often bringing special skills from other spheres. The challenge is to find them and persuade them to consider playing a role - a process I refer to as 'chasing excellence' in my work with potential candidates for elected office.

The difficulty is in avoiding the temptation to take on the first dozen who turn up and using them in a cynical photo opportunity to prove how 'inclusive' you are.

The Troll said...

Yes doing that kind of thing can often come back to haunt you.

You have to admit though Roger, that your party has a pretty dismal record for chasing that excellence, at a national level.

sarah hart said...

Like a clock that's stopped - Boris has to be correct occasionally - how can anyone who appointed Tim Parker be accused of having common sense?
Still, a woman in a senior post is not to be sneered at - especially as Tim Parker didn't think women were up to it. (By the way Angela, given the number of women in senior positions at City Hall 2000 - 08, it's a bit difficult to criticise Ken's attitude).

angelneptunestar said...

How many of them were his present and ex girlfriends though?

The Troll said...

Sarah- "Like a clock that's stopped - Boris has to be correct occasionally"

Well it looks like the clock has gone back out of time again.