I make no apology for going on about the importance of Boris backers having no complacency in the nine months leading up to next year’s London mayoral election. Every time a political commentator suggests that Boris’ re-election is a formality (as John Rentoul, hardly a Boris supporter himself, wrote last week), I cringe and fear that somewhere a potential Boris backer has naively decided that his or her help is not required. Conversely, I seize with relish on any article by an independent or right-wing commentator which suggests that the contest will be much closer than many people think. Cue Mike Smithson on PoliticalBetting.com, who writes:
“As the chart of Betfair prices illustrates [see right-hand side of this blog] punter sentiment is strongly with the incumbent.
In 2008 Ken ran Boris reasonably close at a time when his party, Labour, had slumped to almost a low point in the national polls. Next May the national situation could be very different and, as we saw at the 2010 general election, London moved less to the Tories than any other region in England.
My view is that this could be a lot closer than the markets suggest.”
They’re my thoughts exactly. Of course, it’s great that Boris is the favourite – he certainly wouldn’t want to be in Ken’s shoes – but there is still so much time and so many possible occurrences before the election, that no-one should pretend to be certain of the outcome. Given the slowness with which the economy is recovering, the chances are that the country will still be close to its economic nadir next spring. Cuts will have been enforced, jobs will have been lost, the Tories nationally will be miles behind in the polls – Ken Livingstone couldn’t wish for better conditions in which to try and depose Boris. To suggest that the contest will be anything other than close is arrogant, complacent and naïve.
You’ll rarely find much sympathy towards Ken Livingstone on this blog, but even I’m uncomfortable at the news – if true – that he hasn’t been invited to any of tomorrow’s festivities to mark one year until the London Olympics. He apparently mentioned on the news this evening that he will be watching from home, having not been invited.
Whatever we might think of his mayoralty – and much of it was divisive and crass – his contribution towards the winning of the 2012 Olympic bid was probably his single biggest achievement. He, just like Tony Blair, deserves some credit for the marvellous spectacle that London has to look forward to next year. He should be fully involved in the celebrations.
You remember Lee Jasper? The very epitome of Livingstone stooge, he advised Ken during his eight years as Mayor before being forced to quit after it was discovered he had channelled hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to projects run by a woman he was simultaneously bombarding with sexually explicit emails.
Mark Wallace over on the excellent Crash Bang Wallace site revealed recently that Ken and Lee were to be reunited as fellow speakers as the TUC’s May Day Rally. Ken instantly backed out, citing “family commitments” – the classic cover for an embarrassing exit. When Mark then speculated that Lee is still advising Ken behind the scenes, Ken’s press guy refused to confirm or deny…
So why the background? Jasper today suggested similarities between Boris and Anders Behring Breivik, the evil bastard who killed dozens of children in Norway on Friday.
It’s hard to think of a more sickening, repugnant, classless comparison right now. Yes, both men are blonde – well noticed, you vile cretin. To connote any other similarities is just loathsome. All eyes instantly turned to Ken, who was forced to come out and pass judgement on his friend’s comments.
As far as denials of concurrence go, it’s frankly threadbare. The claim that Jasper is not “in any way involved” in Ken’s campaign is dubious at best. More absurd still is his claim that he “self-evidently” doesn’t agree with the comments. How is it self-evident? The fact that Ken just last month compared Boris’ chief-of-staff to the massacring Serbian Ratko Mladic suggests that comparisons with mass murderers are a popular campaigning method amongst Ken and his cronies, and makes Ken’s disagreement with the comments not at all ‘self-evident’.
Incidents such as these remind us who it is we’re trying so hard to keep out of City Hall. Just three years ago, these depraved individuals were running London. London is a better place for their subsequent impotence.
I wrote recently how the Back Boris campaign was seeking submissions for its t-shirt design contest. The deadline’s now passed, and they’ve whittled the entrants down to five finalists…
It’s now up to the public to vote for the winner. I’m personally torn between the simplicity of number 3 and the hugely professional look of number 4. Anyway, click here and you can choose for yourself.
July 2, 2011 Politics Comments Off
It was only after just watching *that* Ed Miliband interview for about the dozenth time that I realised what I find so weird about it (I mean, of course, beyond the obvious weirdness of him robotically repeating the same monotonous answer to every question he’s asked). It’s his shirt collar isn’t it? What on earth is going on there? It shoots off at a frankly bizarre 90-degree angle from the tie, rather than the conventional 45-degrees as demonstrated by Boris and Dave…
Is Ed so keen to not be seen as white-collar that he’s ditching the collar altogether?
July 1, 2011 Politics Comments Off
Who ever imagined that Labour would replace Gordon Brown with someone even less comfortable in front of the camera? I’m still struggling to get my head around what possessed Ed Miliband to turn robotic yesterday…
All of this, of course, is of grave concern to us Tories. The last thing we want is for Miliband to be replaced (unless it’s by Ed Balls, obviously). I suspect, though, that we may be disappointed. I smell mutiny in the air…