Boris reporting for duty

Hi folks, this is Boris Johnson here. Welcome to my blogsite, where I hope to be blogging for some time to come. You may ask yourself why on earth I am filling the electronic ether with yet more of my stuff, given that I can already be discovered in the pages of the Henley Standard, Daily Telegraph, Spectator etc.

It is a damn good question.

The answer is that very persuasive man called Tim has recently been to my office in the Commons. He told me that blogging is the future. He spoke of the online community, and its rapid expansion. He said that newspapers were outmoded.

He spoke of a new kind of politics. He waved his hands and rolled his eyes. So I have acceded to his advice, and begun to blog.

Tim tells me that the idea is that I fall out of bed every morning, blazing with inspiration, and thunder out 3000 words on the issue of the hour, so generating a pandemic internet controversy. I am not sure, frankly, that I will manage that. But I hope that there will be some other bloggers out there who may feel moved to give me some advice – not least on the funding of the Arts, to which I am now devoting my meditations.

Must blog off for the time being.

101 thoughts on “Boris reporting for duty”

  1. Boris and the Political Weblog Movement

    Tim Ireland got the first blogging MP, Tom Watson, online in March 2003, followed closely (and without Tim’s help) by Richard Allan and Austin Mitchell. In July of that year there was a an optimistic event at the Houses of…

  2. Welcome Boris – so how many minuts into the next series of Have I Got News For You before this site gets featured? And will you be hosting it again?

  3. Hurrah! Welcome to the blogosphere (as some people claim it to be called, I haven’t got a clue myself, being pretty much as new to this as you are). It’s fun. You’ll have rabid maniacs berating you for the slightest little gaffe, more rabid maniacs misinterpreting everything you say but praising you to the high heavens, and even the occasional sensible comment. Much like the Commons, really… (Sorry, that was terrible…) You’ll enjoy it, I’m sure. Without wanting to sound in the slightest way disparaging, this will probably allow you contact with and an insight into the minds of a rather younger audience than you are used to from the letters sent to The Spectator and The Telegraph, or from Tory Party members. Whether that proves useful or not is another matter, but it seems like with this blogging thing you get what you make of it. Enough of that. Enjoy it – that’s the major point of the exercise. Oh, and if you fancy giving me a job on The Spectator at any point, it’d be appreciated…

  4. Congratulations Boris. My one, tiny piece of advice, is that you can never be too cruel to the Liberal Democrats on the electronic online interwebnet 😉

  5. Good for you Boris. Welcome aboard. Congratulations on contributing to the demystification of exactly what it is we’re paying our MPs to do. I shall be reading with interest.

  6. Jolly pleased to see you have decided to dip yur toe in the water with this blogging stuff. Be warned, though. There are two big disadavantages to more conventional means of communication.

    First, the one big snag that blogging has compared with other forms of writing is that no-one seems to press great wads of folded stuff into one’s clammy hands.

    Another, more minor but nonetheless significant difference when comparing blogging with the sort of impromptu little talks that seem to take an hour or two to prepare, is that one is faced with the awful truth that the only way to obtain a glass or three of amber nectar is to fetch it oneself. And solitary drinking is not a habit that an upwardly mobile forty-year old should seek to develop.

    Have fun!

  7. Graham is, of course, right in every particular. When you blog you have no editors, no deadlines, and very little purpose. You write a lot of entertaining stuff as it is, Boris, and you get paid for it. Don’t try more of the same; you’ll only dilute one of your sources of income. Instead, consider your audience here as being interested in you as their MP, or as a shadow cabinet member, or as an approachable Tory. Consider that you’re already being paid for this as a Member of Parliament; you’re just communicating it better to your voters than you could before.
    Just a suggestion.

  8. What Dave said. It’s easy enough to feed some of the regular folding-stuff content into the blog, but what’s going to work best (and be appreciated the most) is using your writing skills simply to make what you already do (or wish to do) as an MP easier.

  9. Boris, Best of luck with this. You’re a genuinely inspiring politician, and I hope that by doing this you’ll encourage others to join you.

  10. Boris, welcome to the Blogsphere. Though not a Conservative supporter, it is great to see a Tory blogging at last. I’d suggest that you use the blog as a way of informing first and foremost, and save the entertaining material for earning filthy lucre. It’s insight we’re after (well at least that’s what I’m after) and an opportunity to interact.

  11. Boris,

    Welcome to the web, oh great one.

    Take my advice on this weblogging fiasco – just write the first thing that comes into your head and swear a lot. I do, and those damn fools at The Guardian gave me a whole stack of cash to make sure I keep doing so. Nothing can possibly go wrong.

  12. Ah, dearest Boris. How I await all print medium and TV time of yours. No, I’m not your stalker. You just rule dude.

    And now you give me this to read. You…rule. So, so much.

    Hurry up and become leader of the Conservatives so I’ll bother voting.

  13. Hey, I was one of the first to join your community! I always hoped that you would get to hear about it!
    I think you are amazing and should be PM, I mean, you are wild and nutty, but at least we all know this and you don’t pretend to be normal!You say what you think, which is refreshing in a politician.
    It is also wonderful that you are in charge of Arts.I work in that field and we need all the support we can get.
    Welcome aboard, Oh Master!

  14. Nice one Boris!

    I don’t know if you are a good MP, but you are very entertaining. I’m really looking forward to this!

    Good luck!

  15. Greetings, Boris.

    So glad you could join us blogging away. I won’t have to rely upon Boriswatch to find out how my favourite Tory is doing.

    Regarding ‘Liz’s’ comments about registration, may I recomment that you ask your tech boys to switch on ‘typekey’ (it’s built into movable type). This will allow people to use one registration across many sites (whilst allowing you to block the idiots).

    Also, the MT-blacklist plugin is worth getting, it automatically kills spam comments (i.e. comments which are to blog site as spam is to email).

    Anyhow, I hope to hear lots of interesting bicycle stories. Take care.

  16. Boris Blog

    My Favourite Tory, Boris Johnson, has launched his own website. His first post has already obtained more comments than my entire site mutter grumble… I suppose that he did have Boriswatch to give him a start, and he is a…

  17. Hello and welcome. Nice page design, by the way, sharp and readable. I like blogging, myself. There are no constraints whatever on what you write, but you always have to keep in mind that lots of people are waiting to call you on any inaccuracy or offence. No different than writing for the papers in that regard, I’m sure–but you have the defence of saying “Well, as it’s my blog, I can write whatever I like in it.”

    Would you be interested in signing some copies of Seventy-Two Virgins in Reading or Oxford or somewhere with a decently-sized venue nearish to Henley? All the local bookshops would love to have you; I know mine would!

    I am hoping this website will soon have an RSS feed, but I suppose that bit would be down to Tim!

  18. Thank you so much for your positive comments.

    You have all given us the best possible start with this weblogging business and we shall hope to administer the feedback in a controlled way – good, positive, and best of all +inspirational.

    Keep the comments coming

  19. While I have no patience with Tory politics, for some inexplicable reason I rather like you…keep on blogging.

  20. Hi Boris,

    As a fellow Tory, blogger (Well, Livejournaller…but there’s precious little difference) and journalist, it’s good to see you’ve got a blog, and that you are now a trailblazing pioneer for Conservatives everywhere.

    Anyhow, good luck with your blogging, I’ll be sure to read it.


    Peter G. Henn
    (Chairman, Liverpool University Conservative Future 2002-3, Deputy Chairman, West Oxfordshire Conservative Association Conservative Future 2002-3)

  21. I really hope you enjoy your blogging experience. Please don’t feel the need to be entertaining – honesty and openness will be enough. Entertainment I suspect will just be an unavoidable by-product.

    Finally if you do enjoy the experience please be an evangelist. The people outside Henley, Sandwell, Sheffield, Ealing and St Helens deserve a blogging MP too.

  22. Congratulations, Boris!

    Is it true that you wear a Che Guevara watch? And that you stood for parliament after you failed to get the part of Legolas in Lord of the Rings because your hair was just too floppy? Are you New Labour’s favourite Tory?

    These are questions which I am sure your constituents will want answered. You will get more questions like this in the blogging years to come. Be prepared …

  23. Well done Boris! About time we had a Tory MP blogging and, if I may say so, what a good MP to start with. Do keep it up: I am sure you will get all sorts of ideas to do with the Arts as well…whether you’ll be keen to adopt them or not I dread to think.

    Thank you.

  24. Welcome, Boris, to the world of Blogging. I think you’ll find you get an awful lot of comments; you’re a very popular man. May I also take this opportunity to plug your fan club, founded at the University of Durham. Best wishes,

  25. Hi Giles

    Things are going hunky-dory at the moment thanks to your blogging into this site. In answer to your question, I am Boris’s pa in the Commons.


  26. Like so many others who have commented here, I agree with very little of what you say, but still like you very very much!

    Really glad you’re joining the blog world 🙂

  27. Boris: Welcome to the world of blogs. Any intention of giving us an RSS feed. It means we don’t have to keep visiting you website to keep in touch with your latest musings. Fred

  28. You are a fascinating individual with even more fascinating hair, Mr Johnson. I look forward to reading more of your ponderings and whatnot on this site.

  29. I am not a Tory supporter – of course not, let’s not be silly about this – but I am overjoyed to see that you’ve joined the world of the humble blogger, Boris. Nice picture too – it rather looks like you’ve just plummeted in amongst those chairs from a great height. And if you had, it really wouldn’t surprise me.

  30. “One cannot fail to see at the bottom of all these noble races the beast of prey, the splendid blonde beast prowling around avidly in search of spoil and victory…”
    Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals

  31. hi boris

    i can;t believe that there is a possibility you might read this!!!
    i loved you on Have I got News for you and follow a lot of what you write. you are one of the people who have inspired me to study politics at university…( i start in a weeks time!! thanks so much for doing a blog and I would love to hear from you!


  32. Welcome from a new Tory supporter, partially thanks to you and of course Labour.

    …this should be interesting…

  33. Welcome to the blogosphere Mr Johnson. You have many devoted fans down here in Oz where you are often referred to as Bo-Jo.

  34. Boris Johnson weblog

    The last few days has seen me writing a fair bit about Politics (here, here and here), so to continue the theme, all be it in a slightly ligher tone, I’m pleased to read (via Roger Darlington) that Boris Johnson…

  35. Boris;
    Welcome to the 21st century, it’s good to have you on board, though I have to say; you are about the last person on earth that I ever expected to have a blogging site! Tom Watsons’ earlier comment about it not being possible to be too nasty to LibDems on these sites is entirely accurate. It’s a bit like kicking a wasps nest; lots of yellow and black everywhere and an annoying humming noise.
    Anyway, I look forward to cringing with embarrassment at your blogs just like I did when you appeared on Have I Got News for You. You are a unique character – some might say thankfully, but I will be charitable – and I am sure you will make an equally unique contribution to the world of blogging.

  36. Anyone think the type is a bit small? When I resize the text it knackers the layout though. Can we have a larger base font size please?

    I’m on XP 1024×768 using Firefox 1.0 beta by the way.


  37. *steals [Ed: we must keep all comments above board please] back*

    *cannot stop laughing*

    Oh, Boris, you know we American girls can’t resist an English accent.

  38. I know Josie, that’s what Tiffie said to me about that Blunkett blighter.

    I said, ‘Tiffie old thing, what do you see in the fellow’? And she said ‘Boris get out of my office, or you’re fired’.

    Dammy! Can’t a fellow ride his bicycle in peace without young american fillies throwing themselves at him like riderless grand national runners?

  39. Welcome to Blogistan!

    I’m a retired blogger: after a year or so (2002-3) I got all my rants off my chest.

    I regret to say I’m also a semi-retired Speccie reader. I never missed an issue 1986-1999, despite (actually because) I disagreed with so much of it. On my Australian ritual working holiday in the UK I went to the 1989 Spectator vs Coach and Horses cricket match at the Oval. I saw (and even spoke to!) Charles Moore, Dominic Lawson, Taki and Giles Auty. Jeffrey Bernard was the umpire.

    I still look at the Speccie online, but no longer do I shell out $5 (or whatever the price is now). For me, 1997 was the turning point: the Tories were (and still are) impotent in the face of New Labour (the Thatcher/Major years would have been a lot shorter if British Labour had had Bob Hawke in charge!) and the ongoing campaign against Pricess Diana’s memory left a nasty taste. And Rod Liddle: call that ‘being provocative’?

  40. One good thing about blogging : you can always go back and correct minor typoes, like
    He told he that blogging is the future
    A question : when is the UK Conservative party going to remove its collective thumb out of its orifice-of-your-choice? Why is it that Blair and Co are the main enemy of Loony Labour Lefties, and not you guys? Still, the question’s rhetorical, I can hardly expect a Conservative MP to bag his own party outside closed doors.

    Another question : Henley as in -on-Thames? If so, you’d be my local member had we not emigrated to Oz in 68.

    And a remark : yes, please get your tame Geek to install comment registration. As a non-Marxist politician, it’s only a matter of time before the Moonbat Left come in and start faking posts by you confessing to Child molestation, and similar tricks. If you’re lucky, this will be obvious. If you’re not, it will be something like “I’m looking at the NAMBLA and wondering if we should encourage something like this in Britain, from the viewpoint of Freedom of Speech?”. You Have Been Warned.

  41. Is it true you hired Andrew Gilligan?
    Don’t worry about Allan E Brain he is a left wing moonbat and I can hear him barking now.

  42. Hai Boris, Tim Blair just send me to tell you’re an idiot for hiring Andrew Gilligan.

    I also have a tip: there is currently a US news anchor looking for new work. Has television experience like Andrew, and isn’t too afraid of making strong statements. Unlike Andrew he doesn’t know how to operate a PDA, but he knows MS Word.

  43. Welcome Boris,

    Hopefully a high-profile blogging MP will show some other high profile MPs that they do have time to write on their own blog, even if they are very busy being Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 🙂

    (Not) Alan Milburn

  44. Hi Boris – if you want to make something entertaining to read – don’t try and entertain. Just be yourself. The now sadly ended shows how to keep your readers coming back for more. Good luck and watch out for libel.

  45. Hi Boris,

    Welcome to the Blogs.

    Tim asked me to come over and say that, if it’s true, you are an idiot for hiring Gilligan.

    I think you should have hired me instead.

  46. hey boris I think keeping a blog is a very good idea. That persuasive man is right, blogging is the way of the future.
    Does this Tim person know a lot about this sort of thing? If so, you should get him to set up a syndicated feed to livejournal and other blogging sites, so that your blog here automatically updates onto Livejournal – and then people on Livejournal can all read your blog much more conveniently. You should get one of them there clever computer-type people to sort this out for you. I for one would definitely read it.

  47. I like the sound of “generating pandemic internet controversy”: you should put that on your business cards. Could you post some hair-care tips? Your public is keen to know how to maintain the optimum tousled mop effect.

  48. Excellent!

    I have just let my subscription to the Spectator end. Though I enjoyed my one-year subscription immensely, the only thing which could entice me back to it would be a vast increase in the number of jokes involving…
    [Ed: list snipped – making the blog accessible to everyone also means keeping the language down]

    (Am currently considering subscribing to Viz).
    [Ed: No surprises there. :-)]

    But it’s great to know that you’re blogging, Boris! I shall definitely link and visit this site!

  49. Boris reporting for duty

    It turns out that one suggestion for guest Greenhouse blogger has gone and set one up all by himself. Boris Johnson has entered the blogsphere. He’s also taking suggestions on ‘the funding of the arts’. He should take a look at this….

  50. Hey, welcome to Blogging. I’m a member of the Labour Party, but I’m delighted to see you have a blog.

    Hope to see you at a Blogmeet sometime!

  51. Dear Boris (ooh, the sheer thrill of writing that!)

    Boris Blogs! Were finer words ever spoken? I was sufficiently moved to compose a haiku to mark the occasion.

    Boris Johnson blogs!
    White-blond hair and biting wit.
    I must read it now.

    Sadly, I fear Boris’ polysyllabic style may prevent him from responding in kind. But hey, a girl can dream.

  52. Congratulations to Boris Johnson, Melissa and the team (?) on joining the political blogging community. This is a great encouragement. I look forward to reading your posts.
    (From, an SNP blog in Edinburgh.)

    [Switching hats]

    I also publish OPERA JAPONICA, one of the main international opera sites ( I have data on funding from 20 major international opera companies. The figures don’t prove anything or suggest any solutions, but they do illustrate the completely different approaches that are possible in different countries. The figures also indicate just how little performing arts activity there is in Britain, particularly compared with the German-speaking countries.

    If you, or your helpers, make it this deep into the comments and are interested in having more information I would be happy to oblige.

    Simon Holledge in Edinburgh

  53. Finally the offical Boris website. Since you have met George W Bush, maybe you could tell us what he is really like. Is he thick, or is this just a stupid rumour invented by frustrated Democrats who are sick of their own really boring candidate John Kerry (who I keep getting confused with Al Gore) or whatever his name is.Also it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on who will win the US election & who you want to win.

  54. Belle De Jour comes to an end and Boris ‘Blogger’ Johnson begins..hmmmmm strange coincidence 😉 Welcome aboard Boris and the Blogstars (in the office) we all look forward to your humourous slant on life in and out of parliament. I’ve added you to my live journal interface and will recommend others do just the same.

  55. After careful thought, I can think of no other MP whose style of thought and writing would translate better to a blog. A warm welcome to the blogosphere, Boris.

  56. Hi Boris,

    Great to have our first blogging Consevative MP, had a feeling it would be you.

    Thanks also for the link, has upped the browse rate enormously. Keep in touch and keep blogging.

  57. Yielding place to new

    To replace Mr Spin, like a white knight riding the Dulux dog, charges my old Oxford faction ally Boris Johnson. Lawks! Some have suggested this might be a wind-up, but it looks genuine to me. Can Boris find time in…

  58. Great blog Boris – as a blogging Conservative PPC it’s great to have blogging Conservative MPs batting for us too!

    Keep it up – I’m sure to be an avid reader!

    Antony Little
    Conservative PPC, Norwich South

  59. Hey Boris
    All I can suggest is – give the arts everything. Make art, not war. And, in terms of the blog, less press releases and more blogging. But welcome to the world of blog.

  60. Boris Johnson Blog.

    A new addition to the blogosphere. Boris Johnson, Editor of the Spectator, columnist on the Telegraph, MP for Henley, Shadow Arts Minister and , well, etc etc etc, blah blah blah, has launched his blog. Nothing very interesting yet, just

  61. Hello bicycling flaxen haired elected representative of Henley!
    I despise all that the Conservative Party and The Spectator stand for with every fibre of my being. I also don’t really know what a ‘blog’ is. However you are an extremely entertaining man and I shall be visiting your site regularly from now on!

  62. So the B in Boris is for ‘blog’! The Boris Johnson Fan Club is committed to the promotion, discussion and admiration of Boris Johnson and now, here, the man himself opens up his heart and mind for the education and enlightenment of the world. Beyond the dated medium of newspaper, beyond even radio and television, this new Boris Blog should bring forth Henley’s Finest to a new audience across the world. Long live Boris, and long live the blog!

    The Boris Johnson Fan Club

  63. Boris – Many congratulations for talking the talk and walking the walk. I’m glad that you are doing what Tony “Bliar” Blair fails to do – the No.10 website no longer even solicits comments on content!!

    It takes guts for a politician to welcome feedback – and to do it in this direct, hi-tech way is a breath of fresh air.

    My only criticisms are –
    1) don’t see why lab-bloggers are listed esp arch turn-coat shaun woodward.

    2) Get the balance between the constituency “Boris”, the columnist “Boris” and the celeb “Boris” correct: they should be in that order, but the content of the website suggests the reverse!!!!

  64. Chris posted:

    1) don’t see why lab-bloggers are listed esp arch turn-coat shaun woodward.

    2) Get the balance between the constituency “Boris”, the columnist “Boris” and the celeb “Boris” correct: they should be in that order, but the content of the website suggests the reverse!!!!
    I think this is a thoroughly good move. It a wider interest in engaging with people rather than purely partisan politics.

    If all the MPs listed all the blogs of their peers then it would encourage more MPs to use such a communications channel. Eventually we could get to a situation where I could say to my MP ‘Why are you one of the few MPs who doesn’t regularly communicate to their consituents, say through a website?’

    Of course, this could get unmanageable – so what it would need is one list which they all linked to.

  65. Hurrah, hurrah! A Boris-blog – and about time, too. I expect the place will be quiet for a few days, then insanely oversubscribed for about a year, then it will calm down to some sort of equilibrium and the regular commenters will become like old friends. I’m amused to see all the words of advice people have offered. You’ll find your own bloggy equilibrium – we all do.

  66. Murk,

    Thank you for listing Boris Johnson as a “favourite blog” on your website – very touching.

    “Blog” should be listed as a word in the Collins and Oxford dictionaries don’t you think?

    Thank you for your v useful comments.


  67. Blogs finally about to reach mainstream?

    The New York Times magazine today has a cover story on blogs. (Bear with me, this is relevant to us). It’s actually focused on the new breed of American political commentators who rant and rave, so your eyes will probably

  68. Hiya Boris!

    I stumbled upon this site today, and am most pleased as a result! It will be jolly good to have yet another interface to meet my daily fulfillment of Boris-ness.

    When are you next going on HIGNFY?? You are most certainly the most popular guest (hence the bonus disk on The Best of The Guest Presenters).

    Have a coconut, on me!


  69. Bloggerheads – Year Three

    Bloggerheads was born at 10:02 on Friday, December 14, 2001. On the first anniversary, I crunched a few numbers. Last year, I crunched and compared. This year, we crunch and compare yet again. (Next year, some comparisons may be a…

  70. Blogging MPs

    A handful of MPs have taken the plunge and decided to start a blog. But in many cases, it hasn’t worked. Most of them aren’t really worth reading (Boris Johnson’s is one of the better ones). The problem is that…

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