Open letter to Henley constituents

Boris has posted an open farewell and thank-you to his constituents in the Henley Standard. The full text is now repeated here (click on the following line)::

Dear all, — When I set out on my mission to unseat Ken Livingstone more than nine months ago, there were all kinds of risks.
There was a considerable risk that I would be thrashed by the Great Newt.
And then there was a risk that I would win ­— and therefore lose Henley, just about the loveliest seat in the House of Commons.
At the time, I have to admit, it seemed a pretty small risk. London has 74 parliamentary seats, of which only 19 are in Conservative hands.
Were the people of London really going to go for a Conservative mayor?
Well, they have. I am writing this from ex-Mayor Livingstone’s eyrie in City Hall, and it is time for Henley to find itself a new MP.
It will be a huge wrench for me. I want to thank you all for putting up with me for what has been the seven happiest and most productive years of my professional life.
I think we got some good things done. We have removed the threat to Townlands, the Chilterns Resource Centre is thriving. I can think of at least one local pub that might have gone under had it not been for our campaign.
Even in South Oxfordshire there are people who are in desperate need and who find it difficult to cope with the cost of housing. It was a privilege to help.
Above all, I really did enjoy my surgery. In about 25 per cent of cases I found that we really could make a difference to someone’s life — and sometimes a very big difference. I think that was pretty good going.
In fact, the more I think of it, the more jealous I am of the brilliant new MP you will shortly discover. He or she will inherit the second most heavily wooded constituency in England (fact) and far and away the most attractive.
He or she will represent a town with the second oldest theatre outside London, a distinguished museum, a book festival, and the world’s most glorious annual celebration of pointless aquatic exertion!
He or she will also have the joy of some of the nicest and kindest constituents you could hope to meet — as well as some of the most eccentric. So thanks for having me, folks.
And especial thanks to those doughty few who came to campaign in London over the last few weeks — no doubt at least partly motivated by the hope of getting rid of me!

With best wishes,


43 thoughts on “Open letter to Henley constituents”

  1. A great letter, Boris. The success stats from real hard work buried in among the human connections. Keep it going on the much larger stage of London.

  2. I suspect his ex-constituents will be as confused as the rest of us by his nanny-state first move: stopping people enjoying a quiet private drink on the bus after work on a Friday.

  3. Does this mean a bi-election?

    Incidentally I note the Conservative candidate for Crewe is another public schoolboy, though admittedly not Eton.

  4. is there to be a bielection then?

    I note the Tories have a public-schoolboy standing in Crewe: not an Eton one though. Poor form.

  5. Boris,
    Thank you for your support during very tough times and for your understanding of what I was trying to bring to your attention… much info which with your support I have managed to unravel further…..but much more needs to be done especially in London.
    Hopefully the result of the Healthcare Commission investigation currently underway at West London Mental Health Trust will pave the way for positive change and allow you to concentrate on the wider issues.
    Lucky London:o)

  6. I’ve just read the details of Boris Johnson’s bus alcohol ban, but such nanny state stuff comes as no surprise because I remember the 1980s and 90s.

  7. does this mean a by-election? [spelling/]. I agree with the comments on the Mayor thread: the transport drinking ban is nanny-state, pure and simple. We had a lot of it in the 80s and 90s of course so no surprise.

  8. To start my own thread – I wish to see Boris inspires London entrepreneurs to be more creative in their business and in replacing all mushroomed sun bathing shops into something probably more healthy. With the rise of skin cancer to three fold in UK, that is the highest rate in EU, there is a need to educate staff and young enthusiastic customers about the consequences of their enterprise. They may be alert from measures of the risk exposure. Perhaps they could announce the long term effects on the entry of the shop. what if they all turn to orange bathing instead and sell fresh orange juice instead – which gives nice shade to the skin – try it.

  9. Could Candice and Stevejack please explain what they mean by “we had a lot of it in the 80s and 90s?”.

  10. Not much of a link Boris; today’s story is ‘Townlands is Saved’. Doesn’t say much for your organisational skills, does it?

    So, to the big question – are the Routemasters going to be 27 1/2 or 30 foot long?

    [Thanks, Stephen: link amended. You might like to see that this week’s link is to Boris’s announcement that he intends to be an active MP for Henley until such time as he resigns. Click here].

  11. Too much information is bad for you

    If all the players in a game become better informed, they may suffer. This observation can be confirmed by strategies used in game theory.

  12. There seems to be an awful lot of censorship going on on this thread which is stifling debate.

    PaulD, do you have a view on this?

    [Ed: No spam. Otherwise, keep it decent and appropriate to this site which is Boris’s Henley-MP one and it should get published. “London Mayor” items should be addressed to that office.]

  13. Hortensia – why me? I just plop one in now and again.

    If you want a view, any site hosted by an individual should observe the rules of robust dinner-table conversation. A guest who abuses the invitation should not be surprised if he is ejected. There are other places on the internet where that dwindling band of embittered oddballs who want to engage in class warfare can vent their spleens.

  14. Such candour letter of resignation – I hope your father be the choice of electors in Henley to maintain such high regarded rare flow of sincerity.

  15. PaulD “why me? I just plop one in now and again.”

    That’s not entirely honest. The forum shows your number of visits far above anybody else:

    Most Active Users:
    1. PaulD
    Visit Count: 2394

    I also recall in the past when you called for something to be moderated, it was: very quickly, as if there was some kind of hotline.

  16. Well, just slip him a twenty and see what he can do for you. They’re all Tories around here; it’s all profit motives and free markets and so on.

  17. I’m sure the by-election won’t turn out to be a farce as in Crewe and Nantwich…Even if you overlook the convenient name change from ‘Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsey’ to ‘Tamsin Dunwoody’ and her recent pretentious behaviour, this woman is certainly not her mother’s daughter – one chip off the old block does not make a block.

    Make us proud Boris, and don’t give up the written word xx

  18. Mayors find high diplomatic offers following deep experience they acquire from managing complex issues in cities – Mayor of Barcelona was just appointed as Spanish Ambassador to Turkey in such high stake political timing !!!

  19. My sister lives in your constituency and she thinks you’ve been a great MP. So, well done Boris, in both your political manifestations.

  20. Well, just slip him a twenty and see what he can do for you. They’re all Tories around here; it’s all profit motives and free markets

    Twenty’s nothing like enough, Raincoaster, with inflation as it is.

    Hortensia, you’re looking at the forum statistics, not this blog. I go there for intelligent conversation.

  21. I’m completely indifferent to the “plight” of rural motorists. Most of them created the problem anyway by voting for a party in the 1980s that got rid of all the local jobs.

    Boris will be alright anyway. He’s a very wealthy man.

  22. Karly: you mean that someone driving 28 years ago consciously voted for our lives now in 2008? You must have friends and family with statistically amazing foresight and care for the long-term. Rural poverty is serious and so is rural transport (or the effective lack thereof). Just you try getting to and from a train station in one day and having even so much as a three hour meeting in the middle without resorting to ludicrously priced, and sometimes scarey, taxis. As for doing a full day’s work in the nearest town and putting in that extra hour to meet a client’s brief then expecting a bus to be present…

  23. What on earth is Karly talking about with her snide, half-baked comments? If anyone has done their best to destroy rural jobs, it’s the present government. Has she never heard of the Countryside Alliance or wondered why it came about?

  24. Gill, by the sound of your lifestyle and job, you are doing rather nicely. I support you paying a lot more for your petrol and the money being ring-fenced for public transport. I don’t think you’d use it (public transport) however good it was though.

    PaulD is firmly entrenched in his little hole alongside Otis Ferry and a few other Countryside Alliance diehards standing up for their right to drive a 4WD wherever they wish. PaulD, if you going to be insulting, try to be witty at the same time. Read this a few times to see how it’s done.

    Boris is nearby in his weekend home.

  25. Karly, what makes you think I am a member of the Countryside Alliance? For the record, I am not and never have been. Nor do I own a 4×4 or hunt, shoot or fish.

    I mention it only to illustrate the strength of feeling among country-dwellers betrayed by this metrocentric, class-obsessed government. The liberal-left hate rural folk because they are mostly independent spirits who are deeply suspicious of socialist “solutions”. Country folk are in every sense dirty people who must, at best, be ignored and, at worst, eliminated.

    Sorry if that’s not witty. But neither is sarcasm (the lowest form of…)

  26. i read on janestheone that Labour southeast region supremo Malcolm Powers wants a candidate who will make Henley a fit place for tories to live in.Surely Boris has secured that.What hissuccessor will do I dontknow….perhaps thats why Powers is fleeing the country..

  27. A taste of things to come.

    David Noakes who ran the website tells me that he has been forced to close the site by a legal action carried out by a Billionaire EU supporter ( Bilderberger )

  28. Why does Boris have to retire as MP for Henley? To me it makes no sense when you consider the fact that the prime minister and all members of the cabinet are MPs

  29. Karly, in case you were still wondering, see this in today’s Daily Telegraph

    Official figures show that vast sums have been shifted from Tory-leaning country shires and transferred to Labour-supporting towns and cities over the past decade.

    Councils in London are now receiving twice as much per head of population from central government as their rural counterparts, according to statistics from the independent House of Commons Library.

  30. If you read my original post,

    “I’m completely indifferent to the “plight” of rural motorists. Most of them created the problem anyway by voting for a party in the 1980s that got rid of all the local jobs.”

    I never mentioned rural jobs. I mentioned local jobs, such as working in the pit near your village. I’m not interested in rural jobs looking after beagles. Modern farming methods would have got rid of most of those anyway.

    It was under the conservatives in the 80s and 90s that it became normal to work far from your home.

  31. Today’s Metro:

    Boris Johnson was urged to apologise after drunken party-goers marking the start of an alcohol ban caused chaos on ­London’s Underground.

    The new mayor was accused of putting staff at risk with his ‘half-baked gimmick’ to outlaw open bottles and cans on the network.

    I agree, he should apologise.

  32. Hankb, look at the reader comments on any national newspaper website – there are hundreds of them – and you’ll find the overwhelming majority believe it is the boozed-up troublemakers and Bob Crow who should apologise for trying to undermine a perfectly sensible measure.

    Karly – it would be easier to answer you more accurately if you didn’t speak in riddles. What is your point?

  33. That’ll be the Daily Mail Vox Pop you’re talking about PaulD. I’m afraid I don’t really trust it. I’d rather listen to a man who represents the people who will have to implement the law and probably has a deeper understanding of the problem.

  34. Never even looked at the Daily Mail comments, metro. Too predictable. But in the Times, Telegraph and Independent (oddly, couldn’t see one on the Guardian’s Comment is Free) readers were massively in favour.

    Evening Standard poll – probably the best representation of commuterland – 87% support the ban.


    The “man who represents the people who will have to implement the law” is at permanent loggerheads with his employer and will find 101 reasons for not co-operating. I would listen to him no more than to a child protesting why he shouldn’t go to school.

  35. Mr Crow (rmt) also demanded an apology from Mayor Boris Johnson and criticised his absence from the city. [violence on tube]

  36. A week ago, I was on the tube and some guy leaned forward, dropped his can of lager and puked all over my shoes!

    Some of the idiots in the drunken binge on the tube before it became illegal had the honesty to admit that they SHARE the tube, and the results of heavy drinking aren’t nice for other passengers.

    Still, just think! Ken did a deal with Sian Berry and she advocated the legalisation of ecstacy and Dutch style coffee houses selling cannabis. If that had happened, half of London would be high as kites and the other half too out of their heads on ecstacy to know if people were drinking.

    It’s a ruddy good idea to ban alcohol on public transport, as we can see from results in New York. (they can’t eat on public transport either, by the way.)

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