Friday, August 24, 2012

ConservativeHome trashes Boris

There is an article up today on ConservativeHome which is damaging not so much to a future potential Conservative Party leader (about which there is much speculative amusement), but utterly damning of the present Conservative Mayor of London.

It refers to Boris as having 'half-baked ideas'; of being 'an embarrassment'; with his 'questionable personal life' ('fact'); his 'clowning around would...make our country, and its voters, look like idiots'. We are told that 'his policy and belief cupboard is consistently bare'; he has a 'deep need to be liked' - the 'weakest and most feeble quality any leader'; 'entirely fake'; 'terrible laziness'; 'lack of preparation'; 'a clown'; 'pitiful'; 'moronic'; 'entirely unsuited for the big time'; a 'Berlusconi comedy leader'; 'a laughing stock'; 'low grade vaudevillian'; 'soiled'; 'self-serving fool'; 'a monkey in high office'; 'a lightweight joker'.

Has the spirit of Michael Howard possessed the ConHome editorial team? In reading this poisonous diatribe, His Grace wondered if they had merely put into words what he himself presented in pictures a few days ago. And then he asked himself if they have simply written what everyone else really thinks. And then he pondered that it's really just a light-hearted, frivolous piece, fit for the end of the silly season, penned by a pseudonymous nonentity after the insignificant fashion of His Grace's entire output.

But ConHome has a unique position within the Conservative Party family: it alone is a professional outfit, purporting to represent the Tory grassroots, financially supported by Lord Ashcroft, pored over daily by politicians of all parties.

For a Conservative blog of ConHome's stature and standing to write so much of Labour's script for them is deeply unfortunate, especially when one considers - as one of the comments in the thread beneath does - that Boris may well run for a third term as Mayor. And this commentator reminds us just how damning and chronically damaging was Theresa May's identification of the Conservative Party as the 'nasty party'.

Boris has his faults - as do we all. And those who stand for public office can expect to be personally attacked and vilified by one's enemies and the opposition. But when the onslaught comes from within; when those from whom one seeks alliance and expects allegiance decide instead to caricature, gang-up, mud-rake and assassinate, the wound cuts deep and the pain can last a very long time indeed.

Whatever you may think of him, Boris is a Tory with conservative instincts. His Grace by no means agrees with him on everything, but in the politics of liberal democracy we are concerned with the administration of Augustine's 'necessary evil' and the discernment of Aquinas' 'lesser evil'. Boris is heartily frustrated with the present leadership's 'pussy-footing' around: he has advocated tax cuts, and describes the values driving him as 'freedom, democracy, taxpayer value and building up the sense of neighbourliness and duty towards each other'. He has signed a pledge demanding a referendum on the EU, and insists ‘Parliament should be sovereign’. This isn't jokey stuff.

Boris is the people’s politician: he (almost) invariably speaks and writes manifest common sense, and has a rare gift for a politician – he is lovable. No matter what his faults and failings, there is something profoundly warming about his personality, and he makes us all smile. He reaches way beyond the Westminster bubble and soars above the petty fray. In an era where the medium is the message, he reaches - as Tim Montgomerie has previously observed - the parts that other politicians simply cannot reach.

And everyone has heard of Boris: like Diana, he has the aura of first-name familiarity about him; not such a one that may breed contempt, but one that endears people to him; one that makes people feel that they somehow know him. There is something cultic about him; to use the vernacular, he has mojo, he creates his own mystery which inevitably yields a loyal following. In that sense, Boris belongs to the people, and God knows that modern politics desperately needs politicians with whom the electorate wants to engage; politicians who can lead and create disciples.

There is no shortage of talent on the Conservative backbenches, but God knows the party is certainly short on potential future leaders. This is by no means the first time His Grace has taken issue with ConHome: they have, after all, previously advocated that Islam should become the state religion. But they ought to be aware that, of all Conservative blogs, they alone are quoted by Labour at the despatch box - sometimes to damning effect.    


Blogger Christopher Gillibrand said...

And he gets a lound cheer every time I mention him in my locals here in the depth of rural Wales. He reaches people who the Tories have not reached since Disraeli and they would do well to treat him with more respect or they will not be doing at all.

24 August 2012 at 09:48  
Blogger Charlie Peer said...

Hmm. Is is that Conservative loyalists have realised that if Cameron goes, they will be faced with a choice between Boris and Gove, and are understandably panicking at the prospect?

24 August 2012 at 09:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

It appears you take your influence as a top blogger too lightly.

However, as much as old Ernst enjoyed your montage of Boris caught in various 'carry on' images , I knew it was tongue in cheek...It appears there is no-one to discern what constitutes humour and serious criticism at conservativehome.

Perhaps a Proviso should be attached to every political post you issue, for the sake of the numpties at ConHome??

Keep up the good work.

E S Blofeld

24 August 2012 at 10:20  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

The same boiler-plate eulogy about Boris being lovable and having "mojo" is now on its fourth deployment since July 2007.

The same verbatim stuff. If you really cared all that passionately, I would have thought that you would have been inspired to write something new. You are like a man who demonstrates his love for his wife by buying her the same dress and dozen red roses every birthday.

Are you getting bored with Boris, or bored with writing this blog?

24 August 2012 at 10:42  
Blogger Flossie said...

Boris is a very clever man, as well as being a colourful character, who breathes a bit of life into politics, and I do believe that he is a conservative at heart, unlike the present leadership.

However - he has blotted his copybook as far as I am concerned with his support for gay marriage. This is not something he actually believes in, if his past comments are anything to go by. How I long for politicians who stand up for what is right rather than what they believe to be politically expedient.

Alexander Boot's recent article 'Boris Johnson, the stuntman politico', describes him thus: '...when Boris was at Oxford, he didn’t just join his Bullingdon mates Dave and George in getting pissed, trashing restaurants and then paying for the damage. In his free time, he also read Classics. So he must know a society is on its last legs when it first condones and then welcomes decadence in general and sexual perversion in particular. Surely he must have read Gibbon, explaining why and how Rome declined and fell?

I don’t know if he also read a bit of political science, but any scholar worthy of the name could have explained to him that, unless a society is anchored by traditional institutions, it’ll be cast adrift. And in the West, no institution is as vital as marriage, defined as a consecrated union between a man and a woman (one of each).

24 August 2012 at 10:48  
Blogger Flossie said...

And by the way, I am sure he is only known by his Christian name because of the glorious unusual-ness of it. (Whatever possessed his parents??) Had he been a Richard or a Peter I am sure this would not be the case.

24 August 2012 at 11:06  
Blogger bluedog said...

Flossie @ 11.06, Boris is very Balkan. Even more unusual would be his surname if his paternal grandfather had not Anglicised it.

It seems conservativehome is merely being 'evenhanded', having trashed Cameron by means of an unflattering chart earlier in the week.

Who's next?

24 August 2012 at 11:26  
Blogger Philip said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 August 2012 at 11:28  
Blogger Philip said...

Boris may sometimes make more "conservative" noises, have so-called 'personality', and be able to manipulate a crowd by rhetoric, but he's just as much a non-Conservative metro-lib as Mr Cameron. His supporting Mr Cameron’s hugely un-conservative plans to change the law on how the Mighty State tells us to define marriage proves the point. On the EU, would he really, should he get to be PM, hold an in/out referendum and campaign for 'out'?. I agree with those who say that those true conservatives who place their hope in him may end up disappointed.

Conservatism is more than just about free market etc economics, and even more than about freeing us from the EU. One can believe in free-market, small state economics and be a Lib Dem (of the Orange Book variety). Conservatism is also about conserving tradition, particularly the Christian, constitutional, and moral traditions and institutions on which our nation and society is built upon and have always served us well (of which traditional marriage, which lies at the heart of any healthy society, must be the among the foremost to safeguard).

Conservatism is also about defending our traditional freedoms that define a truly free nation: freedoms of speech, conscience, religion and association, but which are being eroded by the Mighty State’s imposition of revised moral beliefs, and multiculturalism, enforced by “equality” etc laws. That Boris banned the Anglican Mainstream bus adverts demonstrates he doesn’t understand freedom. I didn’t particularly like the proposed advert, but the issue is that he allowed a similarly aggressively-worded one from Stonewall making the opposite point.

The next leader probably needs to be someone not in one of the cabinet 'top jobs' and thus not too tainted by association with the Cameron-Boris non-Conservatism.

24 August 2012 at 11:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Phillip 24 August 2012 11:28 & 24 August 2012 11:40 (so good you said it twice??)

"That Boris banned the Anglican Mainstream bus adverts demonstrates he doesn’t understand freedom. I didn’t particularly like the proposed advert, but the issue is that he allowed a similarly aggressively-worded one from Stonewall making the opposite point." Indeed..It appears nearly everyone wants to be an 'heir to Blair' who is associated with CCHQ.
Why old Ernst has always had a fondness for John Redwood but obviously he is his own man, which is now seriously frowned upon by CCHQ!

Ernst Blofeld

24 August 2012 at 11:47  
Blogger Philip said...

Ernst, wanted to slightly reword it, 1st one removed!

24 August 2012 at 11:53  
Blogger Gary said...

"Whatever you may think of him, Boris is a Tory with conservative instincts..."

No, he is anti-Christian, anti-family, and a bigot. I, for one, could never vote for a party that has such a hollow man for a leader.

24 August 2012 at 11:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Now there’s a thing. Boris was indecently assaulted by the hordes over on ‘Pink News’ this week. Apparently, when this shameless opportunist realised he could grub a few votes by jumping on the Campaign to Queer Marriage bandwagon, he gave a commitment to make a video for them. Let’s say his dragging of heals on the issue is causing great concern amongst militant pooftery.

You see, prior to his seeing of things the deviants way, he was well in the anti camp, and his then comments to this effect were brought out and aired for the mob to shout and scream at.

Here we have a situation of making it up as you go along being no substitution for determined commitment to what Conservatives hold dear...

24 August 2012 at 12:19  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I'm off Boris since he changed his mind and is now in favour of gay marriage.
I will not support any person or party with that view.

24 August 2012 at 13:21  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

I have said it before and I will say it again, Boris makes a great mayor but would be a lousy PM. He plays to the votes just as much as Cameron does, he just does it in a loveable manner rather.
Boris would potentially be more fiscally conservative, but certainly not more socially conservative! Give me David Davis or Douglas Carswell (heck, even John Redwood) any day over Boris, give me conviction not buffoonery!

24 August 2012 at 13:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


"I have said it before and I will say it again, Boris makes a great mayor but would be a lousy PM. He plays to the votes just as much as Cameron does, he just does it in a loveable manner rather." Excellent diagnosis of the person and could not have stated better in such a short sentence.

"..(heck, even John Redwood)". Why the 'heck', dear boy?

Ernst Blofeld

24 August 2012 at 13:37  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

That article on Con Home is in Boris's terms a load of old piffle. It's neither truthful or entertaining.
Boris is a mercurial type and actually a good communicator. He can win friends and influence people in his own unique way. I would also think he is a good arbitrator in the humorous and non threatening way he talks, but listen to the words. He is good with language and deserves to be in the leadership contest group when it happens soon I hope.

24 August 2012 at 14:12  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

Is he still hanging on that wire thingy or have they got him down now?

24 August 2012 at 17:25  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Thanks Ernst, shame about the dyslexic make up of my sentence!
The "heck" is because Redwood is about as engaging as a woodlouse. He speaks for what he believes in, but when he speaks the entire country grows cobwebs. Nothing against the subject matter, just with the delivery.

24 August 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

These lightweights do not have what it takes to keep a warrior nation subdued

They are all on borrowed time

24 August 2012 at 19:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Even the bone is getting rather peeved about the choice of politician our Islam loving liberal democracy is providing. Never thought we’d see that, what !

24 August 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger Jessica Hoff said...

Gosh, the Cameroons must be getting worried. Mr. Gillibrand above made a comparison with Disraeli, about whom all the things which CH says about Boris were said. Still, the way old amoothy-chops is going on, there won't be many Conservatives to select his successor.

Whatever Boris' faults, he contributes to the much needed cause of cheering us all up - more than any other senior politician does.

Terrible thing jealousy.

24 August 2012 at 19:19  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Inspector, with our millenial anniversary of the Norman conquest approaching this century, it will be asked who are those claiming to be our conquerers today and when did the sneaky little rats trying to call the shots riddle their way in

24 August 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Absolutely Inspector @ 12:19

Maybe Boris's whipping by ConservativeHome (I thought Lord Ashcroft and Tim Montgomery were homosexual loving chaps ?) is divine intervention for his treachery in coming out in support of homosexual so called marriage ?

As Psalm 2 says "Serve the LORD with fear, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little."

24 August 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mrs King and insightful bone. The subject of the post should be shown up as the mere jester he is. The Inspector has previously stated that the best position open to him is that of Trade and Industry. Don’t on any account give him any of the senior positions of state. The world will laugh at him, and of course, us...

24 August 2012 at 20:38  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Its easy to call him a jester and a fool inspector

Do not underestimate the cunning of the trickster in mythology who breaks all the rules

From one fool to another I hope to set a few precedents myself

24 August 2012 at 22:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

bone, the man has a disarming way about him, but the Inspector is not fooled at all. Do not each of us men lower our weapons when we see an apparent half wit before us ?

He has got to the position he has through his own cunning - Nothing bumbling about it, and he certainly didn’t get to be the Conservative mayoral candidate while everyone else was having a piss...

24 August 2012 at 22:19  
Blogger JM said...


He is the guy that barely beat Red Ken a couple of months ago, right? Pretty lacklustre campaign and red Ken was wounded by his tax efficient company.

Result? A pyrrhic victory that no amount of spin could hide...

24 August 2012 at 23:26  
Blogger Michele said...

As an outsider I find the man witty and very discerning. I will never forget the way he demolished Andrew Marr for sneering at the Cameron's Eton background calling him 'posh'.

He turned the table by asking him which school he (Marr)had attended, and wouldn't let him shift the subject until he answered, I think it was 'Fettes?'Boris came right back with a big smile saying 'Very good school Andrew, posh too!' I don't think I have enjoyed anything in politics so much since.

I would be very careful not to underestimate him - there is a saying that the most dangerous Englishman is the one that looks like a buffoon.

25 August 2012 at 00:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Michele, dear heart. Do allow the Inspector the commiserate with you on your appalling lack of character judgement...

25 August 2012 at 00:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Of course, that should be ‘to commiserate’

Archbishop, how about fixing your damn ‘preview’ option. There’s a good cleric...


25 August 2012 at 00:44  
Blogger F.P.Barbieri said...

"Whatever we may think of him, Boris is a Tory with conservative instincts."

Such as supporting "gay marriage."

25 August 2012 at 09:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I quite like the Independent's cartoon. Very topical here. :)

25 August 2012 at 09:43  
Blogger The Value of Sparrows said...

Yes, yes, but he's soooooo cute. And he's great on shows like, Have I Got News For You.

Seriously, though, anyone who does think to take Boris seriously is seriously confused.

It may be true that blonds have more fun, and I have a lot of fun when I get the chance to watch him do his thing (which isn't that often in the US), but I think the best approach is to treat him like the Golden Retriever he is: pat him on the head, assure him he's doing great, and give him a bone to chew on.

25 August 2012 at 21:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector’s chicken died tonight. She had been ill, then gently slipped into a Korma (...{AHEM}...)

25 August 2012 at 23:14  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Sorry, the guy's a clown! Somebody had to nip this 'Cult of Boris the Buffoon' in the bud. The Conservatives cannot seriously consider him as a future leader.

26 August 2012 at 01:43  
Blogger Gnostic said...

...make our country, and its voters, look like idiots'. We are told that 'his policy and belief cupboard is consistently bare'; he has a 'deep need to be liked' - the 'weakest and most feeble quality any leader'; 'entirely fake'; 'terrible laziness'; 'lack of preparation'; 'a clown'; 'pitiful'; 'moronic'; 'entirely unsuited for the big time'; a 'Berlusconi comedy leader'; 'a laughing stock'; 'low grade vaudevillian'; 'soiled'; 'self-serving fool'; 'a monkey in high office'; 'a lightweight joker'.

Yes, how dare Boris trade on iDave's best characteristics.

26 August 2012 at 06:43  
Blogger Dr Evil said...

This poison is because they and the current conservative left wing elite are running scared. Oh look, a genuine Tory to show that the Emperor and his lickspittle lackeys have no clothes. They are yesterdays men, the lot of them.

26 August 2012 at 17:15  

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