Labour’s Law and Order

Labour has changed the law, and free-born Englishmen and women can no longer walk a few hundred paces down the Queen’s pavement to Downing Street to protest at the closure of their local hospitals.

This government seems to suffer from a kind of schizophrenia in its approach to the Criminal Justice System

I want them to worry about the whereabouts of these thugs and creeps, and on that matter they showed a profound indifference

Labour’s law – just squawk loudly and take no action

It was when the policeman coughed quietly at my shoulder and said that I was breaking the law that I knew the game was up. When you get to my stage in life, you cease to get that thrill out of being arrested. I had to turn and face the throng, who were trying to march with me from College Green, Westminster, to Downing Street. Sorry, folks, I was forced to announce.

About turn! Labour has changed the law, and free-born Englishmen and women can no longer walk a few hundred paces down the Queen’s pavement to Downing Street to protest at the closure of their local hospitals.

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Boris returns from China to find that roaring capitalism has stirred no interest in democracy in a country wedded to authority for four millennia.


It was towards the end of my trip to China that the tall, beautiful communist-party girl turned and asked the killer question. ‘So, Mr Boris Johnson,’ she said, ‘have you changed your mind about anything?’ And I was forced to reply that, yes, I had. Darned right I had. I had completely changed my mind about the chances of democracy in China. Before flying to Beijing I had naively presumed that the place was not just exhibiting hysterical economic growth, but was about to enter a ferment of political change. I had assumed that Tony Blair was right when, in 2005, he went there and announced that the 1.3 billion Chinese were on an ‘unstoppable march’ towards multi-party politics.

I now know that he was talking twaddle, and, what is more, that his Foreign Office advisers knew it. Like most reporters of my generation I spent a certain amount of the 1980s in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and we all remember that sense of suppressed mutiny, how easy it was to find people willing to prophesy over late-night vodka or slivovitz that one day the lid would blow off the cooker and Western-style democracy would be ushered in.

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Peugeot workers and market forces

…when we are gone the waters close over our heads without so much as a gurgle

the capitalist system [is] the best available protection for the interests of the working man, since it is this very flexibility of labour, and mobility of capital, that allows new jobs to be created and all the joy and excitement of industrial innovation

these labour-market conditions .. make the future job prospects of these car workers so much better than on the Continent

thanks to the vibrancy of the industry, and the flexibility of the labour market, your columnist will happily find employment writing headlines for Poultry Breeders Weekly

Ryton workers have a better future than French brothers

It is no consolation to the workers of Ryton and their families who face the misery of a factory closure that one day this column must, with Darwinian inevitability, face the same extinction.

I do not wish to diminish the gravity of events at the Peugeot plant when I say that there will also come a time when the forces of international capital will decree that there is no longer any economic justification for this space to be filled by the manual labour of this particular semi-skilled artisan.

The ancient word-plant will be shut. The gerundive turning-sheds will fall silent. The lathes will cease to hone the metaphors, and no sound will be heard in the vast grammatical assembly lines save the drip-drip-drip from the cracked skylight and the scuttling of rats in the stock of unused similes.

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Italian Elections

Piece written for an Italian paper about the elections…

Il Sole 24 Ore, a financial paper

Boris says:

“Why not bung it on the blog to show I am alive?

Yesterday we all climbed Vesuvius!”

[Ed: With our apologies as we have now been asked to remove this piece from the site]

Air France

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How a flock of French dodos could drag down Europe

It was when Air France told us that our bags were still in Paris, rather than Peking, that I suddenly understood why the French national carrier is, in my opinion – an opinion I am wholly prepared to defend in the libel courts of any European nation – the single worst airline in the world. My understanding of the problem had been slowly forming over the past 24 hours.

It began as I stared at the back of the pockmarked neck of the bus driver at Charles de Gaulle, his iPod wires dangling insolently from his ears, and I watched the passengers beg him to get his panting machine into gear and take them to the departure gate, and I observed his shrugs of dismissal as no one went, and no one came, and the bus stood still and the minutes ticked by.

My insight grew steadily clearer when we reached the gate, and the five shoulder-padded Air France women and three Air France men refused to let us on the Peking aircraft, even though the thing lay berthed before us for at least another 25 minutes, and even though we were late in making the connection from London only because our first Air France flight had been half an hour late in landing in Paris.

And so when the French national airline flew us five hours later to the wrong Chinese city, and then told us on landing that our bags would not arrive until the following day – even then, monsieur – I did not pop with rage. I did not allow myself to swear, even in French.

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Boris returns from China at the end of the week.

Message from our Constituency Office today:

Boris Johnson is an excellent constituency Member of Parliament and has our full support. Recent and current press reports are of a personal nature and we have no comment to make on them at all.