New Conservative Leadership

Insightful editorial in this week’s Spectator

How to breed poodles

Conservative MPs and candidates have spent the last four years campaigning against two connected evils of the Labour style of government. In innumerable speeches and press releases, they have stood up for local and national democracy, and against the tendency of the government to centralise power and to hand it over to quangocrats, bureaucrats and officials in Brussels. They have also launched countless philippics against Labour’s love of the target and the quota, and all manner of diktat from Whitehall.

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TV Licensing

I won’t pay to be abused by the BBC

I want to save myself the price of a stamp or a phone call today by writing an open letter to Mr Richard Goodbody, the regional manager of the Swindon enforcement division of the TV Licensing Authority. I have no reason to doubt that Mr Goodbody is a perfectly pleasant man in private life, but in his public capacity he is, in my view, a blithering nincompoop; and if my language is intemperate it is because Goodbody has just sent me one of the rudest and stupidest letters I have ever received.

If you like to watch tv, you have to know that keeping a fully-fledged TV on a table or attaching it to a corner is a space-consuming affair, that is why many people prefer to use a tv ceiling mount ‚Äčto hang the TV.

“Mr Johnson,” he begins, without any of the conventional civilities, and then tells me that he has obtained authority to visit my premises in Oxfordshire. Indeed, he says, he can come at any time during the day, the evening or at weekends. He can use any technology he chooses. He can caution me, take a statement, and file a report which may be used in proceedings before a local magistrates’ court culminating in a ¬£1,000 fine.

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Good Morning

Morning folks. Boris Johnson, your absconding blogger, reporting for duty.


We went out to the cinema the other night, and all we could see was something
called the Interpreter, which imagined an assassination attempt on a Robert
Mugabe figure at the UN. It was interesting to see how Hollywood coped with this
theme, and how director Sydney Pollack tiptoed towards reality but funked it in
the end. We were told that the old dictator had once been a revolutionary hero,
feted in the west. We were shown the degradation of his regime, the corpses in
the football stadium. We were told that Nicole Kidman’s family had been killed
by a landmine, and we were given the tiniest of hints that it had been tough to
be a white inhabitant of this troubled country “in Africa’s south-central belt”.
But on the main point – the heart of the modern Zimbabwean tragedy – the film
was eloquently silent. Sydney Pollack did not have the nerve to address the
wholesale theft of white farmers’ land by Zanu-PF thugs. Why? Because the
vicious Mugabe land-grab is supported by most of black Africa; and even if
America makes ritual denunciations of Mugabe, it just would not have been
possible – or compatible with Hollywood’s PC values – for Pollack to make a film
upholding the right of white colonial settlers to their land. I’m not saying the
film was all bad: it was good to see a thriller about African politics. But it
was a cop-out.

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DT column – French vote on new European Constitution

The no campaign is ahead in the polls in France, which votes on 29 May.

The European constitution means more irresistible and pernicious regulation, with more majority voting envisaged on questions of technology, education, social affairs … The French are being scarified by unscrupulous politicians with tales of a Tebbit-like constitution, full of free-market on-your-bikery

On the reason to vote no:

the last thing the French (or anyone) need is more detailed prescriptions from Brussels about the labour market or anything else

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Election Night Special – comments from Boris

ON election night itself it was a privilege to watch Steve Lake, the returning officer, at work. Just before announcing the result, he called all the candidates to examine the dodgy ballot papers, of which there seemed to be an unusually high number. One voter had used his ballot paper to express an unprintable view of all politicians. Another had drawn a series of enigmatic flowers. About 40 UKIP voters had also voted Conservative (which tells you something), so spoiling their ballots. One man had voted UKIP, and then crossed it out and voted for me, initialling his decision as if correcting a cheque. Steve Lake said that this rendered the vote invalid, since he was potentially identifiable. But the best ballot paper had a series of smiley faces in each box. I was about to claim it as a Tory vote, since ours was plainly the smiliest face. But then I thought that might look like gamesmanship.

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Prince Harry’s Art

DT Column:

life isn’t like coursework … It’s one essay crisis after another

Exams work because they’re scary

Well I don’t know about you but I like Prince Harry’s aboriginal crocodiles. Speaking with the authority of a former shadow minister for the arts, I would say that they are jolly colourful. And, um, bold. And who cares if – as is now suggested – he did not paint every detail of the little Abo critters himself? Harry, old chum, we have all been there.

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Vote Tory for freedom, democracy and taxpayer value

As in the DT column today

Boris was seen to be going begging recently …..


I threw off my bedclothes and charged out into the rain to continue knocking on doors and accosting strangers in the hope of persuading them to vote Conservative

Labour has run out of hope, money and ideas

Look. Please. I know it is always undignified when a grown man begs, but I woke up recently and had a horrifying thought. I seemed to see Tony in power for another four years. There he was, once again on the steps of Downing Street, with Cherie draped all over him like a flannel, and then the camera zoomed in for the tight head shot, and the look of holy rapture on Blair’s face started subtly to mutate, and omigosh, I thought, it’s coming, here it comes, here it comes… And aaargh, I thought. This is it.

The lips drew back; the corners of the mouth went up, and there it all suddenly was, that gigawatt dentistry, grinning a smile of luminous and incandescent prime ministerial triumph, like a cross between the Joker in Batman and a sex-crazed chipmunk. And with a howl of horror I threw off my bedclothes and charged out into the rain to continue knocking on doors and accosting strangers in the hope of persuading them to vote Conservative, and I hope you will not think it amiss, dear reader, if I now ask you, at this eleventh hour, to consider doing the same.

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