Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Boris upstages Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle..

His Grace was going to write an eloquent and insightful post on the political nuances and philosophical implications of David Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle: 'Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out..'

But Boris has jousted into the fray and upstaged the PM quite spectacularly.

Commenting on the removal of Justine Greening as Transport Secretary, Boris said: "There can be only one reason to move her – and that is to expand Heathrow airport. Clear that the government wants to ditch its promises. We will fight this all the way.”

Representing a West London constituency, Ms Greening had sensibly ruled out Heathrow expansion: her replacement, Patrick McLouglin, is now ruling it in. The thing is, non-expansion was a commitment made to the electorate in both the Conservative Party Manifesto and the Coalition Agreement. Boris is therefore wholly justified in pledging to fight it 'all the way'.

But one rather suspects that the Prime Minister is more than a little peeved that the Mayor of London should steal the limelight today. But, hey, that's politics.


Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Cranmer, are you Boris?

4 September 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Politicians have no integrity and you cannot trust them. Only believe in what they do NEVER in what they say.

4 September 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

My daughter has flown three times to Europe since spring, and now lives in Europe. Her first flight went through Heathrow. One experience in that airport was enough to convince her that further travel plans should be structured around the following requirement: "Do not fly through Heathrow." She described it as hot, crowded, expensive, and devoid of either bathrooms or places to sit down. Most annoying to her however was the system of not announcing her departure gate until right before departure. She was recovering from knee surgery and struggled to get to her first gate in time. It's a single anecdotal case, but those experiences multiply rapidly. Travelers trust the opinions of other travelers.

You had best do something.


4 September 2012 at 16:14  
Blogger John Chater said...

God love the effulgent blonde. This could be it, the beginning of the challenge that we have long suspected – a bold challenge to the integrity of the PM, an accusation of duplicity nonetheless. Step forward Boris the Brave, step forward and slay that oleaginous mound of disappointment that we call our Prime Minister and replace him with… oh bugger…

4 September 2012 at 16:15  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

The interesting thing to note is that Boris is not the only one. The post before this talks about Peter Lilley challenging the government's green direction, which could be seen as directed Cameron's way given his liking for huskies. Then there was Greening's comments before the reshuffle. And let us not forget David Davis' comments recently about growth.
The Conservative party is slipping away from David Cameron and I'm not sure he even recognises it, or even cares!

4 September 2012 at 17:39  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Go back to sleep Boris if that is the most devious plot you can spot

4 September 2012 at 17:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. A very neat follow on to your last thread. Cameron has great experience ignoring manifesto commitments even ‘cast iron’ ones.

Right then, we have expansion of the airport business. That’s rather good news for those who regularly fly in and out of London. To wit, the rich and famous. Meanwhile, us more earth bound carbon offenders, who suffer the crime of not being a blasted celebrity and are thus by definition, nobodies, should count ourselves fortunate that we are still allowed to drive and keep warm of a cold day and night. But then as Mr Lilley pointed out, quite correctly, global warming is just so much hot air. And it seems the Government is just about to agree, here comes runway three…

A couple of years ago, a conference was held in Scandinavia on global warming. One delegate took the train. Everybody else flew there.

A few years further back, a journalist informed us that thanks to Antarctic cruises, the Antarctic was becoming just as polluted as other stretches of water. The man himself was on an Antarctic cruise. Result, more ships and aircraft in the area to see how bad it was getting.

Ah, the many manifestations of hypocrisy, and mankind’s faultless ability of dreaming up new ones on a regular basis…

4 September 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger outsider said...

Dear Inspector General.
You write, at 18:37 that "as Mr Lilley pointed out, quite correctly, global warming is just so much hot air".

Not so. In his critique of the canonical Stern Report, Mr Lilley takes the IPCC's climate change reasoning and projections as given. This is not just a pedantic detail. His argument is that Stern's ascetic regime is not the right economic response to the IPPC's apocalyptic vision.

The orthodox would love to dismiss Mr Lilley's case as the dangerous claims of a climatic heretic. You are only encouraging them.

4 September 2012 at 19:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Accepted Outsider. One would imagine Mr Lilley is voicing the concerns of big business who face being strangled by the draconian measures involved. Did you know that in the next couple of years a few UK coal power stations will have to be switched off. Nothing wrong with them – they just won’t meet the stringencies that will be in place in two years time. A damn outrage. Leaving us not even sure if the lights are going to be on then. Eco Fascism, that’s what it is. We must maintain our own living standards first – everybody else has that in mind. It’s usually only the UK that follows the letter of the law to the absolute. Blame that on the protestant heritage personally. Catholic nations are so much more easy going when it comes to red tape...

4 September 2012 at 20:37  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Boris' intervention was of course politically understandable and not really unexpected; but the one reason that Justine Greening had to be moved was so that no group/faction disgruntled with the outcome of the upcoming aviation capacity review could play the card of the SofS being 'partial' owing to her constituency's location and her known promises to her constituents.

That would have dragged the whole process on for years, with legal and other processes. Meanwhile, the underlying issue would still not be being tackled, pending the eventual outcome of all that.

No: Justine's move was strategically inevitable and, indeed, unavoidable, for that reason!

4 September 2012 at 20:43  
Blogger outsider said...

Dear Inspector General,
Your comment of 20:37 spot on. It is an outrage. I sort of knew about Didcot and Kingsnorth being shut but Wikipaedia lists 3 others making a loss of 8 gigawatts capacity, though most have been run down already. A further 5 atomic stations (total 5 gigawatts) are set to close between 2016 and 2019 after two life extensions. Conclusion: to keep the lights on we shall probably need those 8 more years of recession.
Peter Lilley's most interesting argument is that we should rely solely on a carbon tax and forget about all the other rules and red tape for existing plant or "cap and trade" which is inherently corrupt because ministers decide who is allowed what "free" carbon emissions.

5 September 2012 at 00:30  
Blogger outsider said...

Dear Carl Jacobs,
Mr Cameron's party went into the last election promising "a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow", which seems to fit your bill. That is the policy the Chancellor and business lobbyists now want to reverse.

5 September 2012 at 00:33  
Blogger outsider said...

Dear Mr Ward,
It was not just Ms Greening who gave a promise to her constituents. It was the Mr Cameron and the Conservative Party manifesto. Likewise for second runways at Gatwick or Stansted. Same in LibDem manifesto and Coalition Agreement. Why should an inquiry be "partial" if it is conducted openly within the Government's stated political objectives?
Heathrow is sensitive because it is already, by a margin of 14 per cent, the biggest passenger airport in Europe and happens to be in a bad place, because in the prevailing wind aircraft have to come in to land over London. And the London airport network is by air miles the biggest in Europe. Only Paris has even 2 big airports. Ask yourself why therefore the South East of England is so short of airport capacity? One reason is that Birmingham, England's second city, does not have a world-class airport. Birmingham International ranks well behind, say, Hamburg, Barcelona or even Nice.

5 September 2012 at 00:54  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Heathrow is a nightmare of overcrowding and inefficiency. The solution-cram in even more planes and passengers! After my last appalling experience there I vowed never to use it again unless there was literally no choice-it would make more sense for many Londoners to take a train to Birmingham or Southampton and fly from there.

Boris has once again caught the public mood and wrong footed his rival-but he is still an impenitent serial adulterer for whom I could not bring myself to vote.

5 September 2012 at 10:18  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Don't underestimate Boris in the longer term.
I had an Irish friend who didn't mind all the Irish jokes which tended to make them look dimwitted, as people tended to underestimate his abilities. He was written off by most of the contenders as a candidate for the top job, which he secured much to the horror of those who had seen him as a dim Irishman.

Boris may at times play the clown, but he is a serious politician underneath. Although he was at Oxford with Cameron, he's distanced himself from the "Toff" image and he's learnt a lot from the few mistakes he has made as mayor.
I still think he will get to the top when Cameron falls, which can't be too soon for me.

5 September 2012 at 10:39  
Blogger bluedog said...

Indeed, Mr English Pensioner @ 10.39.

Cameron gives the impression that he does not take Boris seriously. Dave should however remember that the French presidents prior to Hollande were able to leverage themselves into nationally recognised figures after becoming Mayor of Paris.

This communicant has no doubt that Boris can do the same and will follow Chirac and Sarko in forming a government.

It could become the pattern that a spell as Mayor of London will be a better launch pad to the Prime Ministership than years of intrigue as a PPS in the Palace of Westminster.

5 September 2012 at 12:01  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Dear outsider

The point I was making was little to do with what is, but how (as long experience teaches us) those factions with their own goals would play the 'perception card', as we might call it.

I have seen such methods employed previously; and removing Justine G from that post has pulled the rug out from those who would try that on.

I can see that only seasoned hands such as myself might 'get it' regarding such a ploy; but that doesn't make it any less real, and we need to be aware of how far interest groups will often go in furtherance of their own preferences.

It is, on top of everything else, a useful lesson in human nature...

5 September 2012 at 13:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow

A pipe of a given diameter can only transmit so much fluid. There are physical limits on the efficiency of an airport driven by the number of gates and the time it takes for aircraft to ingress and egress the airport's flight space. So I am not sure what "better" means. If you mean "a more pleasant travel experience" then you could perhaps improve the terminal (in place?) and passenger logistics at the terminal. But you won't be addressing the root problem of insufficient capacity. If better means fixing the problem of "too many aircraft using too little time and space" then you must eventually add runways and terminals.

You shouldn't despise the business community's judgment in this matter. A good transportation network is essential to development. They know what they are talking about.


5 September 2012 at 13:26  
Blogger non mouse said...

Yes, English Pensioner @ 10:39!

It's an old ploy ... letting people mistake one's wit for stupidity. Baroness Orczy depicted it well through her Percy Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernell.

Of course, it's not primarily a fault in the witty one; audiences are responsible for their own misinterpretations. I think there may be various reasons why some people cannot/will not recognise brilliance in others: one of them is sheer stupidity in the viewer.

The intellectually challenged can't understand that a bright individual hasn't got all year to spend trying to explain each point, or joke. However, I think real problems arise when either party tries to gain advantage by reacting to the slippage in some immoral way...

I hope you're right, and that Boris has taken his natural advantage in the right direction.
Otherwise, we're in worse trouble than ever.

5 September 2012 at 13:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

You appear to remain silent regarding the re-shuffle in general and if this alleviates the malaise within the coalition.
1. If Cameron needs to 'cut through the dither' then who is responsible for the ditherers?
2. If IDS believes he must remain in place at ze Department of Berks unt Panzerz, to safeguard the poor, needy, vulnerable and disabled from Osborne, why has he allowed his Unteroffizier's to dismiss all claims out of hand. Has he been watching the strategy of Great Benefit, the corrupt company that dismisses all claims out of hand??. There appears to be nothing quite like a righteous RC doing God's work, even if that supposedly hated 'TYRANT' Maggie initiated care for the genuinely disabled in the first place!!!

As I go into the pop in centre, I am hearing of all the terrible treatments being inflicted on the disabled by DLCS and ATOS(sers)on 'reducing the surplus population' as a famous old curmudgeon once stated.

Old Ernst would have Maggie any day of the week and on extra Shavuots rather than this pernicious bunch of chancers.


5 September 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles,

His Grace has been silent because his earthly representative has busy in another place.

5 September 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

Many thanks for the heads up as it's always a delight to see your moniker pop up within the thread, to bring a smile to the face.

E S Blofeld

5 September 2012 at 15:16  
Blogger outsider said...

Dear Carl Jacobs (13:26)
You now write "I am not sure what better is". Your original post complained, on behalf of your daughter, that Heathrow was "hot, crowded and expensive", that there were "no bathrooms" too few places to sit and badly timed flight announcements. These are all issues that could and should be dealt with by the Spanish owners to make "a better Heathrow", in some cases at little cost. Expanding flight and passenger numbers with a third runway might address overcrowding alone, but could make it worse. Are you now saying that your original issues were the wrong ones?
Many passengers can choose one of three competing London airports and more could do so if more international airlines used their spare capacity. Competition between airports is more likely to improve standards than reinforcing Heathrow's dominance. Worth noting, perhaps, that Heathrow is already the world's third biggest passenger airport after Atlanta and Beijing and one seventh bigger than its nearest European rival.

5 September 2012 at 15:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


No, I am not saying that my original issues were the wrong ones. I am saying that the problems my daughter mentioned are typically caused by too many airplanes being shoved into too small of an airport. You could fix Heathrow tomorrow simply by reducing the number of flights into and out of the airport. Of course, I am not sure what that would do to its financial health. If you think you can shift the market to use (say) Gatwick instead of (say) Amsterdam, OK. But you might ask yourself why your business community doesn't agree.


5 September 2012 at 15:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I see Nick Clegg has offered up the Gosplan-like solution of ordering airlines to use alternate airports. Yes, that'll work.


5 September 2012 at 18:28  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Jacobs and outsider...

Heathrow used to be a wonderful airport-- there was no better in the world. But, as with every other service, it reflects the people who run it.

By the late 60s/early 70s, when it was still British, the illegal aliens had established their ways for coming in as stowaways. They had lots of help getting in from relations working there already, in the catering and baggage handling industries, for instance. 'Twas widely claimed that the newcomers set up their first homes while hiding in the tunnels leading to the airport.

Twenty years or so later, the erstwhile tunnel-dwellers had taken over. Standards had fallen drastically, and the alien presence was overwhelmingly obvious. They ran everything (very rudely) from franchise shops to security services at immigration and passenger transfer. (Horrible alien women who practiced body search on women, and Germans who treated passengers like criminals if they had flown domestically on BA).

And now the vile eu rag drapes itself over the property and the proceedings... British citizens no longer have their own entry rights; those are given over to "europeans." I cover my passport with the old-style "British" jacket; last time through, the immigration person removed it and tossed it back at me and welcomed me to 'europe.'

So the whole thing, including British Airways, is owned and run by foreigners: like the country itself. Let's not forget to whom the foreigner Clegg is married; why, it might even be worth asking who stands to receive the contract for building this runway. Whoever it is, any British people who still live in nearby English towns will not be the winners.

So Mr. Jacobs --- there's not much point in telling us to do something about it. We can't. It'll be well nigh impossible even when we get out of the euSSR and reverse the course of our struggle with the later day Spanish Armada.

This is what happens when people don't look to their freedom, but let traitors give their country away.

But you know that, Mr. Jacobs. Look at your own border controls.
PS: And I heard that some group cheered Gordon Brown the other day at the paraolympics!!! ??? Who was paying them?

5 September 2012 at 18:48  

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