Tony Blair’s Premiership

Downing St.jpg

the Prime Minister will still not go early – because it is simply not in his nature

He can’t face that endocrinal cold turkey

Blair will walk only with a flame-thrower at his back

I say, “Gah.” I say, “Pshaw.”

I say pull the other one, baby. Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph announced that Tony Blair would leave Downing Street in the spring, and my normal response would be to say that, if you can’t believe The Daily Telegraph, what can you believe?

In the mystifying minestrone of the modern media, the news reports of this great paper must count as the few croutons of fact; and yet, in this case, I rubbed my eyes in disbelief.

There are about a thousand reasons why this human limpet will remain barnacled to the furniture of Number 10 for as long as he possibly can, and I have space for only a few of them here.

The first is that it would be an outrageous insult to the constitution and to the British public. It was only a few months ago that the people rightly or wrongly (make that wrongly) re-elected Mr Blair with a healthy, if gerrymandered, majority of 66.

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Flying the England Flag

Comment from Boris Johnson following his column about flying the England flag:

I inadvertently condemned Salford City Council for enforcing a ban on flying the England flag when this is in fact not the case. The council is not only flying the England flag throughout the duration of the competition, but also inviting residents to submit photos of their flags to a dedicated photo gallery on the council website.

Justice for Colin Stagg

Colin Stagg shows why trial by judge, not by media, is right

It is not fashionable these days for politicians to extol the judiciary, but then this column is not meant to be fashionable. Today I salute the genius of a judge. If I had anything to do with the honours system I would be advising that the next list should contain a special medal for Mr Justice Ognall, and that the citation should recognise his conspicuous gallantry under fire.

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Brain Bank and organ donation

Article by Boris’s sister, Rachel Johnson, about their mother’s decision to donate her brain for research.

A very intelligent decision

When her mother, who has Parkinson’s disease, said that she wanted to donate her brain for research into the illness, Rachel Johnson decided to find out exactly what would happen to it

‘Would you like to see the dissection now?” asked Professor Andrew Lees, his eyes lighting up in anticipation. He hustled us out of the seminar room in the smart new premises of the Institute of Neurology at University College, London, and into a lift taking us to the Queen Square Brain Bank.

Prof Revesz shows a part of his research to Rachel, her brother Boris and their mother, Charlotte

For further information, contact Susan Stoneham on 020 7837 8370, e-mail or log on to website.

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The Habit of Reading

Where can women find real men? In a book, of course…

Look at her in the Tube opposite. No, you fool. Look at what she’s reading.

You’ve made it through to the middle of the Telegraph and, if you are anything like me, you have scaled your personal intellectual Everest for the day. But look at the girl over there, and that damn thick square book on her lap. She must be on page 181, and when she turns the page she’s going to be on 183, then 185, 187. It’s unbelievable. Where does she get the hunger, the concentration?

Look at women in airport lounges, and look at their men. The men loll and scratch. The women are transfixed, with the glassy expression of souls fled to a happier world. Men mooch off to have a drink or flip through the DVDs. Women read, and read, and read; and I do not believe we have sufficiently considered this growing difference between the sexes.

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The England Flag

C’mon Gordon, join the rest of us and fly the flag for England

Surrender! At last! For you, Blair, the culture war is over. Downing Street yesterday ran up the white flag – the one with the red cross on it. For the period of the World Cup, said a cowed Labour spokesman, the emblem of St George would fly from No 10.

Across England yesterday there were still Leftist forces that were keeping up resistance, oblivious to the Hirohito-like capitulation of the high command. In the country’s Labour-controlled urban jungles, the culture warriors fought on with the pointlessness of Japanese privates lost in Burma in 1945.

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Lecturers’ Strike

Farewell to the Young Ones

Now if you were an average overworked overtaxed [..] parent of a university student, I think I know how you would feel about this lecturers’ strike. I think you’d be fit to be tied. You would be chomping the carpet and firing off letters to the editor about the Spartist whingers who were prejudicing your daughter’s future.
You would be ringing up Radio Five phone-ins after midnight, and raving about how these degrees were life-defining moments, and how unthinkable it was that papers should go unmarked. You would find it incredible that the Labour government has said nothing in defence of the students. Exams are being scrubbed! Vital academic credentials are melting away! For months, years, students have been bringing themselves to the intellectual boil, and now all their efforts are going to waste.

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