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Monday, 10 September 2012

If Cameron is unprincipled, what's Boris?

Cameron has quite rightly been castigated for his lack of a defining vision, a core idea that drives the policy of government. He wanted to become Prime Minister, we are told, not to leave a legacy of change, not to improve the lot of Britons, not with the passion to correct social and economic wrongs, but because he thought he would be rather good at it. Don Porter, quoted in the Mail, writes "There has been an almost evangelical focus on the “modernisation” or “detoxification” of the Conservative brand. The result is a growing disconnect between the party leadership and the grassroots, and a loss of clarity, principle and policy direction." and Carswell says much the same: "They can reshuffle the personnel all they want, but it is a lack of ideas that is the problem.". If Margaret Thatcher was the Captain Mainwaring of British politics then Cameron is the Sergeant Wilson. 

If given the choice of a boozy lunch with Cameron or Boris, the stampede would be for BoJo's table. Affable, self-deprecating, with a stock of unpublishable anecdotes and brighter by far than the Witney boy, a move is being mooted to allow Boris to challenge Cameron for the leadership in advance of the 2015 election. But if Cameron is unprincipled, what's Boris? His mayoral campaigns were founded on either 'Vote for me - I'm not Ken' or 'Vote for me - I'm a good bloke'. A serial adulterer, women voters nevertheless seem more tolerant of a fumbled grope from Boris than Cameron's cold chaste reptilian fingers on their bustier, and even Labour supporters are prepared to vote for a Mayor with five-star charisma and Big Hair. But this isn't enough to make a Prime Ministerial candidate worth supporting. In London, Boris' big ideas have been as absent as Cameron's - notwithstanding Boris Island. Farage's simple political agenda, in contrast, pursued with utter conviction, is more persuasive by far than either Cameron's gentility or Boris' affability.


Barnacle Bill said...

If we're going to use Dad's Army characters then Boris must be Private Joe Walker.
Which just about sums up the Tory Party we have in power at the moment!

BrianSJ said...

Barnacle Bill, you took my very words. Milliband as Private Frnak Pike.
I fear that Farage is seen as 'we're doomed' Frazer.

TrT said...

It could of course be his charm at work, but I get a vague sense that Boris would like Blair, interested in little more than preening on the world stage.
However BoJo doesnt come with Brown.

DeeDee99 said...

Brian SJ

I would describe Clegg as the immature mummy's boy, Pike.

Miliband is Warden Hodges - constantly criticising the Platoon but doing nothing to protect these islands from foreign invasion.

Farage has policies, because he believes in a UK which is free from the control of the EU.

When it comes to BoJo and Cameron, it is simply a discussion about characters and 'likeability.' The EU governs and whichever one is Leader, they are puppets of Brussels.

So - who do you prefer. A cool, slightly arrogant, patronising Cameron. Or the 'bit of a lad' who is also clever, but who can exchange banter and laugh with you, rather than at you.

Anonymous said...

The thing about Farage, apart from his principled stance of course...

...Is that he is not that political, he is far more interested in life and living, than achieving "high office".

Unfortunately, that sometimes leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some of the more ambitious and traditional style politicians within the party...

He is a natural, like Boris, and these people are rare, so he leads the party (sometimes quite ruthlessly) in pursuit of:

1: Bringing political power back to Westminster, the counties and the town halls (i.e. down to its most appropriate level).

2: Ensuring that WE have the power to stop our idiot politicians (actually... defeatists) from giving it away again.

@Brian, I have met him many times and other members of my family know him very well, and he is far from being a "doom" merchant... If we are playing that game... Frazer's role surely belongs to old cyclops himself.

Nick Drew said...

However BoJo doesnt come with Brown

no, it's almost worse: BoJo comes with a retinue of the most appalling metropolitan chancers and rejects who've decided he is their one shot at power

Dave_G said...

What point the figurehead if the policies are the same?

Different face, same sh1t.....?

Anonymous said...

Frightful, frightening wit and full of je nais quoi, he can, could galvanise people into action, charisma ala Churchill, he is a leader but what does he really think?

I dunno, that's what worries me.

anon 2 said...

Yes, Anonymous 11.9@00.02; me too.

I'm doubly worried, because I always was the sort of lass who was susceptible to charm and brilliance; and it never, never, never redounded in my favour. But Boris has those qualities in abundance.

So I just checked Wikipedia for the bio... The Online Encyclopedia has its uses that way.

Father, Stanley Johnson, was an "employee of the European Commission and World Bank."
Mother was daughter of a president of the European Commission of Human Rights.

Great grandmother was a Johnson, and gave her surname to the English branch of the family, who descend from great-grandfather Ali Kemal Bey, a liberal Turkish journalist.

Boris himself studied at the European School of Brussels [they don't say for which years)]; his present wife attended there also, contemporaneously.
Thereafter Boris's education was upper-class English, including his time at Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union, and where he may or may not have been a sincere supporter of the Social Democrat Party.*

For me, the rest merges into indeterminate fuzz: even if the hair's not a wig, it seems quite suggestive of the underlying and continual ambiguities. Further, I find his regularly patchy support of homosexual agenda consistent with his womanising.

After all, then, he loses my support for his political leadership. Wiki says he has described himself as "one-man melting pot" * Perhaps that's the problem. However, it is a problem; I don't think all the muddle can produce the iron man Britain needs to get us out of the worst muddle we've ever been in.

I'm sorry, but I must say that Boris has too much of the enemy at work within him.

*Will Woodward, chief political correspondent (17 July 2007). "Phooey! One-man melting pot ready to take on King Newt". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 July 2010. Qtd. by Wikipedia.

** "Boris Johnson." Wikipedia 10 Sep. 2012. Web. 11 Sep. 2012 (acccessed).

DeeDee99 said...

Anon2. I agree with you that BoJo's background is extremely worrying.

On a basic level (wit, personality, charisma, likeability, intelligence) he is obviously preferable to Cameron and he is a Leader.

But he is also a son of the European Establishment and - his recent article in The Telegraph in which he called Brussels "a velvet tyranny" notwithstanding - he is not to be trusted when it comes to matters 'EU' or much else come to that.

Give me straight-talking Farage any day.

G. Tingey said...

I wonder.
Could BoJo be like me - he was a Euro-enthusiast (back in 1970-75 say) but, having seen how the project has gone horribly wrong (I don't buy Spalton's deliberate grand 70-year conspiracy theory) and has changed sides?

There's nothing like a convert for enthusiasm, after all, and he will know all the bullshit, all the lies, all the excuses, from the inside ... but doesn't believe them any more.
( Like me, and my reaction to the lying blackmailers of christianity, for insatnce )

We simply don't know - AFAIK, BoJo hasn't made any recent public statements on "Europe", meaning the EU.