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Sunday 6 May 2012

Boris And The Pointless Projection

[Update at end of post]

Two inevitable consequences of last week’s election results have come together in an unintentionally hilarious way over the weekend: because the Coalition parties have done badly overall, the Tory right has concluded that their party needs more of what they want, and because Bozza held on in London, that same faction believes that the country wants and needs more Boris Personally Now.

Cripes chaps! Yikes!! Oo-er!!!

These two beliefs have been fused in the remarkably wrong-headed idea: that they are, in effect, one and the same. Bozza is held to be the only true Tory leadership hope, and a Real Conservative (tm). Otherwise sane and rational beings have queued up to subscribe to this theory, thus projecting their hopes and dreams onto a person whose record suggests nothing of the sort.

Foremost among those who are signed up to the Bozza-as-saviour meme is occasional Tory and MEP Dan, Dan the Oratory Man. Hannan has taken Johnson’s support for the City and concluded that he is a Small State and Low Tax man. To do this, Dan has to ignore Bozza’s support for the London Living Wage, which is like the National Minimum Wage, only a lot higher.

But Dan is a good libertarian, which means freedom, including that of employers to pay their workers as little as they can get away with. He therefore falls at the first hurdle, so that’s before any consideration of his “anti-tax” projection, which is equally fatuous, given Bozza’s appetite for public funds to pay for vanity bikes, vanity buses, and that vanity cable car that no-one asked for.

Things are little better over at the Mail, where hopeless spinner Nick Wood has concluded that Bozza “is now the most popular Conservative in Britain”. Yes, Nick, try standing outside Lime Street station in Liverpool and saying that. Wood also tries to pull the one about Bozza standing as a Proper Conservative (tm), yet the cut in Council Tax precept he has promised is a spit in a bucket.

And the idea that Johnson is fighting “a war on public sector waste” is complete bunk. Since taking the reins from Ken Livingstone he has changed very little. So bendy buses have gone (more money wasted paying off the contracts) and the BozzaMaster has arrived (well, a few have). City Hall has not seen any significant move to cut waste. Or costs. Or, indeed, anything.

Wood talks fatuously of Johnson taking “a tough approach to crime”, so perhaps he was sleeping or otherwise absent during the riots. Bozza hasn’t taken any kind of coherent approach to crime – that’s part of his problem. He actually does very little, providing he can get away with it and flannel his way through the exasperated questioning from the likes of Jenny Jones at Mayor’s Question Time.

But Wood is right once: Bozza doesn’t owe Murdoch. That could be very useful.

[UPDATE 1905 hours: even Dan Hodges is still keeping up his Boris worship, telling of the occasional Mayor's "near superhuman powers", which, along with the photo of him embracing the singularly unpleasant Lynton Crosby, will hardly endear him to his fellow Labour Party members.

Moreover, Hodges goes on to proclaim "the end of Boris Johnson the mayor, and the beginning of Boris Johnson the political phenomenon". So that's more witless projection, but from a different perspective. None of these pundits seems to understand that the Bozza act might not play at all well away from London, and in a different political context]

1 comment:

Richard Gadsden said...

To be fair, Boris might be the most popular Conservative in Liverpool - but that says more about how unpopular the Tories are there than about Boris.

More seriously, the problem with Boris for non-Londoners is that none of us really know what the Mayor of London does and all we see is an occasional prance about on TV - which Boris is good at.