Are we on the verge of a recession?

A million jobs to be gone by Christmas. That was one of the chirpier headlines in the weekend papers, and oh boy, I don’t think I can take much more of this doomstering.

Spending an hour with the FT is like being trapped in a room with assorted members of a millennialist suicide cult. If their pundits are to be believed, the skies of the City will shortly be dark with falling bankers, and then for the rest of us it’s back to the 1930s, with barrels for trousers, soup kitchens and buddy can you spare a dime.

By this time next year, if the pessimists are right, Gordon Brown will have nationalised most of the British economy and a representative of the Treasury will be attending the editorial conference of The Daily Telegraph.

Well, I am not sure how accurate these forecasts are, but let us assume, for the sake of argument, that we are indeed on the verge of a slump, a depression, and that the challenges ahead can be truly compared to those of the 1930s. Let us ransack our memory of O-level history. How did they do last time? There were some big things they got wrong, and some big things they got right.

If I remember correctly, the Americans responded to the Wall Street Crash by trying to protect US industry, and the catastrophic 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariffs served only to spread the recession to Europe and deepen the worldwide gloom.

So lesson number one is don’t go isolationist, don’t go protectionist; and one of the only reasons to be worried about a victory for Barack Obama is that he does sometimes seem to favour new barriers to trade – just when those barriers are completely counter-indicated by history. We need free trade to help lift us out of a slump; we need the Doha round to be completed; and the British Government should be demanding action from Brussels and Washington.

Then there are the big things they got right, the things that most economic historians agree were useful in ending the Depression. We had the thrill of driving over one of those big things last year in our 30ft mobile home. It really is very big indeed. It is the Hoover dam, a colossal concrete cathedral to Keynesian economics, still braced against the Colorado river, still delivering electricity, and built from 1931 to 1935, at the height (or in the depths) of the Depression.

As I looked at the foaming torrent emerging from its turbines, I remembered another trip we had taken two years previously, in another people-mover, along the famously beautiful Skyline drive of the Shenandoah valley – another Depression-era project, built in 1932, that continues to provide benefits to travellers today.

It is no wonder, frankly, that the average tourist to America still spends a lot of time looking at 1930s infrastructure, because Roosevelt’s New Deal created 122,000 public buildings, 77,000 bridges, 664,000 miles of road and 285 airports, as well as jobs for 8.5 million people. Like the German autobahns – built at roughly the same time – these investments were indispensable to the country’s future growth and economic might.

Now I am not, repeat not, prophesying that we are on the verge of a depression or that things will run as they did in the 1930s. But when we look at our options, and you think of the lasting benefits of infrastructure investment, you can see that even in little old Britain we have some stunning opportunities, of a scale not seen for a generation.

There is Crossrail, 75 miles of track, finally providing a link between Heathrow and the City and a staggering 10 per cent increase in London’s transport capacity. There are the upgrades of the Tube, massive investments in track, signalling and air conditioning, vital to the future liveability of Europe’s greatest city.

There is the Thames Tideway tunnel, a truly colossal enterprise, with a diameter wider even than Crossrail, which will run all the way under the bed of the Thames, through London to the sea, and finally help clean up the river by dealing with the unmentionable problem of what happens when the Bazalgette interceptors overflow.

There is the completion of the North London line, and its joining with the East London line, to create, for the first time, the equivalent of an M25 in the overland rail network.

These projects will produce employment on a vast scale: by 2013, it is estimated that Crossrail will need 28,000 workers, and these will be skilled, high-end, engineering jobs. We calculate that London alone needs a further 20,000 engineers to cope with the projects to which the Government is already committed.

That is why Crossrail plans to set up an academy for tunnelling and, for the first time in decades, we can tell our sons and daughters that they have a future in engineering. But even more important than the employment benefits of these projects – and I haven’t even mentioned the suggestion of an estuary airport – there is the long-term value and revenue they will deliver for this country.

The doomsters may or may not be right in saying that we are on the verge of a recession or a depression or a slump. But I know I am right in thinking that we will come out of it, and the only question is in what state we come out of it. We will beat this recession more speedily, and emerge in far better shape, if we make sure we put people to work in projects that boost the long-term competitiveness of the country.

That means investing in the things that can radically improve the transport, attractiveness and general liveability of the capital city, the motor of the British economy. We may be in a hole, but the lesson of history is that tunnels and bridges and dams can bring jobs and growth.

This is one of those rare moments when the sound advice to someone in a hole – especially a hole as big as Crossrail – is that they should keep digging. It would be madness not to.

[This article was first published in the Daily Telegraph on 14 October, 2008 under the heading “Financial crisis: In times as dire as these, the only thing to do is dig for victory”]

93 thoughts on “Are we on the verge of a recession?”

  1. “It is the Hoover dam, a colossal concrete cathedral to Keynesian economics” (Boris)

    A very topical article Boris, just as the public begin to learn the true cost of ‘no more boom and bust’ economics.

    After dotcom and 9/11, New Labour averted any hint of recession by ditching old tory public spending plans and getting neo-Keynesian on us. They went on a massive borrowing binge and inflated the money supply through the creation of hundreds of thousands of public sector and quasi-government jobs, whilst slashing interest rates with the other hand.

    New Labours post dotcom ‘New Deal’ was not to upgrade the physical infrastructure of the nation, it was to begin a massive program of engineering of a social nature. Tax-credits, quangos and an army of policy and strategy officers, liaising with one another and producing mountains of minutes, glossy brochure and 5 year plans.

    This policy has had a number of effects. We have run up a budget deficit every year since, whilst independent reports conclude that the public sector is too big for our own good. The extra well paid jobs and low interest rates have helped fuel the housing bubble, which grew to such epic proportions that hundreds of thousands more jobs depended on it maintain it’s status as a one way goverment backed bet.

    Brown sat back and lapped the plaudits, he lapped up the stamp duty, the income tax on the commissions of the dodgy loan salesmen and forty per cent of the mega bonuses being generated in the engine room. He re-distributed it to his beloved public and voluntary sectors, and to his pet-project tax-credit recipients. Even the riches being generated by the boom were not enough to satisfy his appetite for spending, he borrowed billions more and threw it to his client state.

    The money supply inflated to epic proportions. Price inflation was kept in check by the forces of globalisation. Consumers lapped up ever cheaper goods from the emerging nations, all pegged to a weakening dollar and negating the effect of rising oil prices. All the inflation Brown generated went into house prices, consumers felt richer, they re-mortgaged to buy German motors and Chinese designer clothing.

    Suddenly it all went bang! The offshore, off-balance sheet securitisation scam could hide the bad debt no longer and the chickens started coming home to roost. The money supply started to deflate as quickly as it expanded, house prices fell off a cliff exposing the nonsence that there was a shortage of buildings to live in.

    Now, rather than allow a painful recession and contraction of the financial services and property industries, Brown is forced to re-inflate the bubble. Except there are no more non-jobs need doing and distributing taxpayers money directly to his credit recipients would cause horrendous price inflation. He decides to print billions of pounds to buy ownership of the banks, insisting that they return lending to 2007 levels, hoping that the housing bubble will reinflate and that enough consumers will fall for his shared equity scams.

    Roosevelt would never have had anything to do with such madness. There are plenty of public works projects that would benefit the nation, not just in London. The dualling of the A1 in Northumberland, the Severn Barrage, the list is endless.

    Shocked consumers want everything to go back ‘to how it was before’, they think Browns economic model of a ridiculous credit buble and pointless government interference industry is ‘normal’ unfortunately. Ultimately this madness will bankrupt the nation, just like they nearly did in 1979, but people don’t want to believe it, Brown made them feel rich.

    This country does need an economic reform, and Roosevelt’s work does provide inspiration, but unless HM opposition can ram this point home to the public we are in danger of having t[o] watch Brown wreck the economy all the way up until 2015.

  2. Boris, I understand that you are the Mayor of London and that it is your job to get London the best possible deal however I am quite dissapointed that you would use an article in a national newspaper to shamelessly plug the capital above all else. So let me raise my voice for the rest of the country. Some could say that it is the boys in the city who got the country into this mess in the first place. Like Gordon Brown allowing the common man to bail out the banks you apparently are now advocating that all of us lucky taxpayers outside of London should be generously allowed to invest in the future of an area which already benefits from far greater infrastructure than anywhere else in the country. London had its chance and blew it. I for one would rather see the kind of investment you are calling for shared around the country. Why not start with the newly crowned ‘Working Class Capital of Britain’ Barrow-in-Furness and pay back all the hard working folk who have helped make this country great rather than try to soften the blow to those whose greed has brought their world crashing down around them.
    You state in your article that London already has 20,000 engineering jobs up for grabs. Imagine how insulting your rhetoric could be to people living in a town where a quarter of the population is unemployed. Apparently the streets of our great capital truly are paved with gold. You’d better start building houses for us all, now there’s an idea for a ‘depression project’

  3. Cough, cough, cough. **** @@BB*** Bloody long comment this, Steven. Me computer took ageeees to go through your say. ****@@BB*** cough, cough, cough.

    Are we on the verge of a bloody recession, you ask??? ***@@@BBB*** What a bloody question is that??? We now go to Poundland, Poundshop to do our shopping. No more Harrods. Ain’t you seen in Tesco, Sainsbury them full of buy 1 get 1 free offers? Me Cyril now has to wash out his condoms and re-use them. And you ask us if a recession’s cuming!!! Ballocks ****@@@***

    That bloody Flash Gay Gordon ‘s predicted a steep rise in crimes and thefts all right !!! Bloody Mystic Meg ain’t he our Gord?!! ***@@*** I’ve seen in them shops oldies put things into their typical oldies-bags lots of times but I ain’t going to grass on them to the fit, tight-ass security bloke. No way, Jose. Blame it on our Flash Gay Gordon that. Free For All, I say. ****@@BB*** cough, cough, cough.

    Them bloody councils and all ***@@BB**** Have them ever thought the safest place to put those unspent taxpayers’ money is the the taxpayers’ pockets??? ***@@@*** Ballocks to them, I say. cough, cough, cough. ***@@@BB***

  4. Gordon Brown didn’t even think of the idea of taking public stakes in banks. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England thought of it, with some help from the Financial Services Authority.

    So any argument that we need Brown to solve this mess or that he has solved this mess is a pyramid of piffle.

  5. WHAT ??!! Splutter, cough, cough, cough. EDNA ! I NEVER !!! You were only exaggerating. ***@@*** So , NO, no bloody recession is cumming our way. Full stop.

    Bollocks to all MPs and MEPs ****@@@BBFF@@**** cough, cough, cough.
    God save the Queen and Baroness Mandelson. Amen.

  6. Cough, cough, cough. **@@BF** CYRIL, that old prune Glenys Kinnock has just send an email to us. She says she knows who we are. She says she’s so angry that we said her family jump on the MEPs allowances gravy train. She says she doesn’t EVEN like gravy so how come ? She says she’s going to send her Neil to go after us. Cough, cough, cough. ***@@BB*** Bollocks to them, I say.

  7. Just caught a bit of Ken Clarke speaking from the House saying that there are serious concerns about how the mechanics of the government stakes in banks will be handled and it has not been properly thought through at all. Nor surprising if they nicked the idea off Mervyb King.

    He also said what I just said that it is pathetic the way GB is swanning around taking credit for solving everything. Gordon Brown is an absolute nelly brain, the the worst disaster that ever happened to this country and anyone that cannot see that and is contributing to some sort of ridiculous bounce is an absolute doofus.

  8. I agree with Stevent but am not sure that Keynesian economics are going to work this time. My belief is that the money supply has got out of control and the old Keynesian “public works” method of dragging us out of recession will backfire, because it will further damage the monetory situation. Of course, we’d all like to see great public works and massive demand boosted by government spending – but Gordon (and the rest of the Western world) have been doing that for decades – we must (unfortunately) ditch Keynes as the economic model.
    I would like to see massive reductions in public sector spending, higher interest rates and a huge tightening of the money supply. In other words, the opposite of Keynesian economic methods – the crash this time is very different from 1929 and needs different policies to correct it. The main similarity with 1929 is that the economic consensus was wrong then and it is wrong again now.
    I predict inflation rather than deflation this time round. The banks have been printing money for too long and destabilised the markets – by increasing debt now, the world governments are pouring fuel on the fire. It is excessive debt that got us into this mess and increasing that debt will not get us out of it.
    The FSA are a complete waste of time and attempts to externally regulate the banking system are doomed to fail. Much better let the banks collapse – and they will then be forced to cure themselves of their illness. It is not the job of governments to rescue failing businesses and it is even less their job to run commercial banks. An independent central bank is the only body that should be involved with the banking system – not the Treasury. Gordon (aka God) wants to control everything and unless the spineless conservatives oppose him – he’ll do even more damage.
    Forget Keynes – he was right in 1930’s but not now.

  9. If Boris is to retain his credibility as a Telegraph columnist while carrying out his Mayor of London duties, he’d better keep his columns off the issues affecting London. This article shamelessly plugs a Keynesian solution to the looming economic crisis without any mention of how the cost is to be met, while ignoring the fact that infrastructure across the rest of the UK is in equally dire straits. It’s about as obvious a political plug as any politician could make in a national Daily under the guise of ‘how to rebut the doomsters in the current crisis’.

    Spending on infrastructure on the scale proposed will increase the national debt burden substantially beyond the level to which we are already comitted, following the (necessary) bank bail-outs, to the highest levels in 30 years or so. This increased debt burden likely means the government will have to offer a higher return on money it borrows, which means that much more of taxpayers’ money will be spent on paying it back. Where does that money come from? Higher taxes? If not higher taxes, then where?

    Of course the current situation requires bold solutions, but these must also be properly thought through and a radical, high spending Keynesian solution apparently centred entirely on London isn’t the kind of solution that most Tory voters living outside of London want to hear.

    I am normally a big fan of Boris the journalist. But if his new job as Mayor of London results in columns that (a) are London-centric, (b) become economically socialist and (c) make no attempt to mask the clear conflict of interest between his two jobs, I shall lose interest quickly in what he has to say.

  10. I know that we must endure long articles on the economy now, but they are all giving me a headache. There is no explanation that satisfied everyone and most explanations just cloud the issue more. As to the question, Are we on the verge of recession, can we just say YES and have one of those beautiful descriptive articles that he writes?

  11. Neil, I’m not sure I buy ‘London-centric’ as Crossrail will have a major effect on the heavily populated surrounding area which is ‘not’ London. As a relative from Reading said at the weekend, ‘London tv has nothing to do with us and yet Southampton ignores us’. Also, Crossrail will have an effect on the economy as a whole because of the sheer number of people that will need to be employed and who will need to be trained – probably a long way from London. That said, what would you advocate as a way out of the financial mess? Solutions, please, sir!

  12. One of the only reasons to be worried about a victory for Barack Obama…”

    You’re joking of course, right? Please tell me you’re joking.
    Do you, as a Conservative, really, seriously and truly have so few reservations regarding a man who wants to make over America into Amerika?
    Boris, dear, are you even paying attention to what comes out of the man’s mouth or are you just as besotted as some half of the American sheeple?

    Oh, dear. And I used to think so well of you. You seemed so very very sensible, once upon a time…

  13. Cough, cough, cough. Bollocks to Kennedian economics. ***@@BB*** I knew them Ted ‘n Bob were no good. cough, cough, cough.***@@BB***

    Cough, cough, cough. **@@BB** Guy and Madonna are divorcing at last. When a woman earns much, much more money than her fella, their relationship is doomed from the start. By meeting, wining, dining and then marrying Madonna; all in the public eye, ” tough ” Guy hasn’t got an ounce of self-respect. His ” tough-and-rough-London-East-End-gangsters ” friends must be laughing at him now. ***@@BOLLOCKS*** to the Ritchies. cough, cough, cough.

    Cough, cough, cough. Lyv has already dumped her Anglaise hubby and gone back to USA. Who will be next? Gwen? Gwyneth? Everything they do, they do together – it’s just like a trend, innit? ***@@@BB*** Bollocks to them, I say. cough, cough, cough.

  14. I don’t care who Guy Ritchie is married to or not married to, all I care about is that he does not muck up his forthcoming film on Sherlock Holmes. Guy Ritchie has a chance to redeem his career with a most exciting project, because his chosen Sherlock is ROBERT DOWNY JR. Robert Downey Jr. is a brilliant subtle actor who did a first class job of portraying Charlie Chaplin, for which he won an Oscar. I LOVE Robert Downey Jr., blow Madonna, I just don’t want you to muck up the film!!! Forget SNATCH! (BORING) Shelve Lock, Stock and two Smoking barrels (also boring) GUI RITCHIE, YOU HAVE UNLOADED MADONNA, THIS IS YOUR MOMENT! After splitting from Madonna, Sean Penn’s career ignited!

    I am going to look up Keynesian, and try to understand this article, I SWEAR. Is this the revenge of Gordon…. that we are doomed to have to endure articles on the economy for ever and ever and ever.

    Maybe it would calm the economy to take it off the front pages for a while….

  15. Well you told me, you at Boris’s office, we could say anything we like and this was the website of free speech and all, so if I were to verbalise what I truly think of the article, IT SUCKS. REALLY BORING. (probably it is me that is wrong).

  16. Well, Angela, I wouldn’t say it was the most fun article in the world but do we really want a leader to have a memorable hairdo and then just a sprayed-on made-by-Hasbro image? Actually, there’s a daft thought. Who would you put in a made-by-hasbro-cabinet and in what job?

  17. Anyone who wants to answer my earlier question about how to get out of the financial mess, please do!

  18. I don’t think there is an easy way out Gill, it’s about finding the least worst way out.

    Recent events have been challenging our comfort zones. Two years ago people who predicted 30% falls in house prices were dismissed as crazy, jealous or simply as pessimists. Now 30% falls from peak is becoming a consensus.

    This time last year who would have predicted the FTSE 100 breaking below the 4000 point mark? Who would have predicted that the Bush administration would begin a program of banking nationalisations?

    Perhaps the one assertation we should be challenging now is that inflation is always a bad thing.

    Gordon Browns regulatory reforms have been proven to be a failure at preventing ‘bust’, why are we all still going along with his idea that inflation is the worst thing that can happen to our economy?

    The trade unions want 6% pay rises and interest rate cuts, arguing that public sector pay is not a cause of inflation. This is a flimsy argument, whilst commodity price rises and exchange rates may have caused price inflation, this does not mean that wage inflation can not also add to price inflation. In today’s globalised world I would suggest that there is no way of predicting the effect of wage inflation on price inflation. It may suggest where the pay rise money comes from (i.e. windfall taxes – a tax on savings and pensions, a rise in general taxation – redistribution, or government borrowing – inflation of the money supply).

    The trade unions’ calls for interest rate cuts are echoed by the CBI and some on the right of the Conservative party. John Redwood has been arguing on his blog that the Bank of England should have been cutting interest rates since the start of the credit crunch last year. Redwood argues that deflation, not inflation is the real problem, an argument that looked foolish to some when oil prices were powering towards their peak of $147/barrel, but now looks largely vindicated as commodities prices and stock crash back down to Earth whilst the money supply continues to deflate. Redwood however differs with the trade unions on public spending, he would like to see government borrowing reduced.

    Then there are the ‘spiv, speculators and short-sellers’. Whilst demonised by the partisan trade unions, some of the most respected players in the hedge fund industry were actually supporting their claim to a 6%+ pay rise on the grounds that a price/wage spiral of inflation would reduce the pain of debtors against a macroeconomic backdrop of debt deflation, helping prevent a deeper recession and deflation in equity prices.

    I’m inclined to agree that price/wage inflation, interest rate cuts and increasing government borrowing would be the best way to minimise the pain.

    Unfortunately the ‘centre ground’ refuses to challenge the fundamentals of Gordon Browns economic strategy – i.e. Bank of England Independence to set interest rates, the use of the CPI measure and the importance of the 2% target over and above other concerns, and the idea that inflation is the worst evil that can happen to us.

    The trade unions will not go far enough as to criticise the fundamentals of Brown’s economic management and demand wage inflation at the risk of a price/wage spiral in the short term. Instead they rely on trying to argue that wage inflation does not cause cause price inflation, which is flawed. They also shoot themselves in the foot with the class-war rhetoric against the fund managers with large long holdings in consumer cyclical equities, that share their economic interests.

    The Tories maintain an inconsistent position on government borrowing. On one hand they accuse Brown of racking up too much debt, on the other they approve the nationisations of the banks and the increased government borrowing needed to pay for the capital injections. This borrowing appears to be directed to some extent at slowing the deflation of house prices, as the government have attached conditions on the extra capital regarding returning mortgage lending to 2007 levels. This does not help those already in debt or in danger of losing their job, but people do vote on the strength of their house price. I believe that the intervention will stop the banks going bust and start to reduce interbank lending rates, but the deleveraging, the rise in unemployment and resulting sentiment will not stop house prices falling any time soon.

    Whilst politicans and commentators across the politcal spectrum criticise the remit of the Bank of England on interest rate policy, no-one seems to be demanding that the government disband the MPC.

    My solution would be:

    Disband the MPC and return interest rate decision to the Cabinet

    Slash interest rates by 2%

    Implement public sector pay rises of 6%, paid for by borrowing

    Cut employers national insurance contributions and urge private sector employers to implement pay rises in line with public sector pay deals.

  19. I’ve been thinking for a while that the country is lacking in long-term infrastructure improvement, your suggestion that this might provide a source of gainful employment in an economic downturn makes a lot of sense to me.

  20. Bear this in mind no question about it – Recession is we are going to get. I think the solution to help the world to get through it is Hibernation. This is especially true to countries like Iceland.

    1) Bio – Genetic science technology should start to map out our human Hibernation genes. If we have the fat genes, logically we also have Hibernation genes. If they think we don’t have any, then find a way to let us have some. If we can fly to the moon we can be hibernated too.

    2) The poor people of our time in compare with those in the 1930 look a lot different to me. In fact they are totally different. In 1930s recession, poor people, or people in general are skinny so they couldn’t live without food for too long. Now the poor they are that fatter they are(seems that way to me,) looking like they can survive a month without food. In fact, I think the recession may finally help the obese get their weight down. You know weight lose programs are never cheap. People spent thousand dollars get merely few bounds down only. So there are some benefits about recession too.

    I’m sure by eat little, do little, everyone just relax enjoy some good sleeps, the world will be just as fine as rain.

    p.s. from wikapedia:

    “Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. Hibernation conserves energy, especially during winter. Hibernation may last several days, or weeks depending on species, ambient temperature, and time of year. The typical winter season for a hibernator is characterized by periods of hibernation interrupted by sporadic euthermic arousals wherein body temperature is restored to typical values. Hibernation allows animals to conserve energy during the winter when food is short. During hibernation, animals drastically lower their metabolism so as to tap energy reserves stored as body fat at a slower rate.”

  21. Gill, of course not. but boris has a very distinctive voice when he writes and it is that which makes us want to read every word of his writing and then read it again.

    That voice is missing from his last two articles. I am not suggesting he didn’t write the articles, but I have read a lot of what Boris has written and this just does not sound like him. Possibly he is aiming for another audience, and it is totally over my head and maybe that is it, but not only did I not like the way it is written, I didn’t like the ideas either, (those I could understand.) Look, nobody can please all of the time, but I am sure Boris doesn’t want us blindly to enthuse without using our brains or saying what we really think. If that was wanted on this website, how could you ever believe us when we said lovely things?

  22. When we went to Tate Modern, there was time for a walk along the Thames and of course we lavishly admired and appreciated the beautiful London skyline. Boris might occasionally write articles that are over our (my!) heads, and nobody expects him not to have flaws or to be anything but human, but it is just so reassuring to know that as much as anybody can, with Boris as London Mayor, with his aesthetic sense and appreciation of beauty, that skyline will be protected.

  23. ps. Because in the previous administration, the only centuries old relic that Londoners were encouraged to kneel before and appreciate was Ken himself!

  24. If a poor man marries a rich, famous woman, people say he has no self-respect. If a poor woman marries a rich, famous man, people say she is lucky. Where is the equality?

  25. Cough, cough, cough.

    Eric Emmett, his wife June and their only son Gareth worked as David and Posh Spice’ housekeepers at their Hertfordshire mansion. They are now being accused of nicking items from David and Posh’ house and selling them on eBay. The items were spotted on the internet auction site by Posh’s parents who called the police.

    Eric, 56, and June, 55, have known Posh Spice’s parents for years and worked for the Beckhams for a decade, declaring: ” It’s a total fabrication. ”

    Eric Emmett who is also the director of a Birmingham-based packaging firm, has a page on the social networking website Facebook ( cough, cough ). Under the section marked ‘ About me ‘, he says: ” Ageing hippy . Smoked it , swallowed it , never regretted it. Fast driver .” cough, cough, cough.

    His son Gareth, 25, also has a page on Facebook ( cough, cough ). His Facebook site lists his interests as ” Having a laugh with mates , cultural experiences, getting drunk, the horizontal dance of love and chilling out. ” cough, cough, cough.

    ” Gangsta” teenagers got stabbed to death and their ” gangsta ” “mates” rushed home to leave their condolencences on the victims’ Facebook pages or to hurriedly create a Facebook page to leave their condolencences on .

    If this is a trend, no wonder teenagers keep stabbing each other to death in order to use their Facebook pages !!! Bollocks to Facebook, I say. ***@@BB*** cough, cough, cough.

  26. Totally agree with the above post.

    Shares crashed to a five year low today, but it was so so great to see our Olympic athletes parading through London, receiving the love and admiration they deserve and lifting the spirits of all Londoners.

    Also, all traffic lights are being reset, to get London moving again. HOORAY, YAROO, WELL DONE BORIS!

    It worked in San Francisco!

  27. cough, cough, cough.

    We were not being harsh on anybody. It’s just that every time one teenager gets stabbed to death, you can be sure there will be lots of reports in the papers about the victim’s friends rushing home to leave their condolencences/ vows of revenging on the victim’s Facebook page with full condolencences reprinted with photos of the friends in gangsta -styled- posing posted on the victim’s Facebook page. ( cough, cough, cough )

    It’s like glorifying their gangsta culture ( cough, cough, cough ). There were even reports that the victim’s friends rushed home to hurriedly create a new Facebook page so they could post their condolencences on for the world to read ( cough, cough, cough ). You could say that everybody wants to be famous for five seconds nowadays. cough, cough, cough.

    I think the culture of leaving condolencences in public only fully started when Diana died and the council town halls displayed special big, thick condolencences books for the public to sign. Nowadays, we have Facebook and men/ gangsta teenagers are not afraid to show their emotions in public/ on Facebook since then, which is laughable !!! ****@@@BBB***

  28. Oh for goodness sakes will someone pleease slap the oldies on the back and give them some Benylin.

    Good news abaat the traffic lights, Ros 🙂 I don’t suppose we’ll be able to afford petrol for anything but the most important journeys.

    Oh, and bring back the breakfast car on the morning intercity trains.

  29. Madonna told her friends Guy refused to dip into his own £30M fortune to pay for their lifestyle – while sponging off her massive wealth! Tough guy, isn’t he our Guy?

    She told her friends he also moaned about her being in the limelight as his career disappeared because he could only make, like, one type of films – mock cockney gangsters! And that he even spoke, with a mock Cockney accent, dressed and acted like a mock tough East End gangster character! Oh dear. All mock, like a Mock Orange tree, isn’t he ?

  30. Yes Gordon Brown, as David Cameron has pointed out, how come we have had to have had the bigget bail out plan of all, 19% of our GDP? some countries such as Canada have not needed a bail out plan at all! If this is a triumph, i would hate to see a disaster! Even the US bail out plan was only 5% of their GDP, so that puts the kibbosh on your preening and posing as Flash Gordon, doesn’t it?

    Flash Gordon indeed! Flash Harry more like!

  31. Why whenever government regulation mentioned, some think it must be Keynsian Economy? Theories in practice become something much much more and different from the book over time by the people who are in the practices. For example:

    A – When we are talking about computers we are usually not talking about the computer 30 years ago. We are talking about the iPhone or Google phone, Mac G5, Window XP the newest version, iTune, Broadband internet, When we are talking about phone conversation, we are speaking of not only the land line, but also the mobile technology.

    B – China now is not the same commie as it was in 30 years ago.

    Government regulation is just a medication. Like blood pressure meds. But some are for high wile the others are for low. The right amount of either bring your blood pressure to normal range. Overdose high blood pressure meds will cause blood pressure too high which will cause stroke. Overdose low blood pressure meds may bottom out your blood pressure and you may die from it. So can people take only the right dose?

    During this worldwide financial system destruction which is caused by some people got the free ride sucking up all the money in the banks they work for, “十月革命”席卷全球” (October Revolution Swept Across the World) is the result. Medication called Government Regulation is needed to treat the crisis.

  32. London Olympic is the opportunity. Hope London will not squander it. What Britain really lacks is not a real opportunity but the courage to take it when it is there. Too many people are obsessed with earning easy money and have hallucination about windfall money. Unfortunately, that is not a real opportunity.

  33. And while we’re on the subject of major engineering projects, indeed how about the rest of the country (as Noel points out elsewhere)? I live in Weston-super-Mare which in an ideal world would be near one end of the massive Severn Estuary Barrage. The idea of this is to harness the power of the world’s 2nd highest tides to generate gigawatts of electricity. Unfortunately when it gets down to actually DOING anything it’s witter witter, boggle-waffle, boggle-waffle and nothing actually happens – and it’s been like this for the past 10 or 15 years or more. At least we don’t have to import tidal power from the likes of Russia, Hugo Chavez or the Middle East. Now there’s a project to equal – or better – the Hoover Dam! And what about more reservoirs (most parts of the country)? That’s a biggish project but it’s been suggested we could, IF we had the WILL, build enough of these to stave off drought panics indefinitely.

    Trouble is, implementing both Boris’s ideas and mine needs people with cojones – and these seem to be in short supply at the moment amongst all the ‘wee tim’rous beasties’. Do we really think there’s anyone in the present Government with sufficient nerve and sufficient vision?

  34. We need to get back to making stuff.

    This will become viable when we get poorer than the people making stuff at the moment.

    This is what depressions are for – these are merely market corrections.

  35. Kevin you make some very good points. The housing market was overheated and some things, like designer handbags, costing thousands of pounds, were just ridiculous.

  36. Thank you, Angela.

    I was out collecting for the Boy Scouts today.

    Loads of guys wandering around with tattoos on their necks and faces – very intimidating. Why do they do it ? Because it obviously PAYS them to.

    Anyone who defaces themselves in this way renders themselves virtually unemployable, therefore they ought to be denied access to benefits. That’ll save some money.

    Oh – not one of them contribute, surprise surprise.

  37. So sweet. Collecting for the Boy scouts! The Boy Scouts are a marvellous, positive, organistion, in fact, kids joining the Boy Scouts might be one of the many good ideas the Mayor could consider to reduce knife crime.

  38. Kevin, I don’t understand why you single out these tattooed guys. At least they are natives. What about a London council paying £12, 500/ month rent for an Afghan refugee woman of 7 kids?

    and read the whole story.

    NEW IDEA: ” Every email, all website visits and phone calls will be targeted by police and security services under new proposals outlined by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith yesterday. The e-snooping lawsv will be enforced in an effort to tackle crooks, gang crimes, paedophile rings and terrorists. ”

    The government’s own anti-terror guru Lord Carlile branded the idea ” AWFUL “. He said: ” Searches should be made on a case by case basis, so they can’t be done willy-nilly by Government.” BUT Jacqui Smith said NO, this new law WILL apply to everybody but she insisted: ” Information gathered will not be stored. ”

    FACT: A terror suspect is living on benefits in UK. Egyptian Hany Yousessef is on a UN list of suspected al-Qaeda teerorists but our government has allowed him to stay here. You pay the bills.

    Gurkhas have been forced to beg to live in this country, which they were willing to die for. But terrorist suspects and those who preach hatred and worse are welcomed with open arms. Labour has created this problem but Tory MP Greg Hands is just bad. He said he was shocked Youssef hadn’t been deported. But when challenged, Hands said he wouldn’t send this suspect back if he thought he might face a death sentence. Who cares what happens to people who want us dead. Am I right?
    NEW IDEA: Doug ( MP ) and Dan ( MEP )’ brand new book: ” THE PLAN- 12 Months to get Britain back on track.”

    In their book, they tell us stories of serious corruptions in Westminster, blah, blah, blah…

    FACT: Scotland Yard said they could not start to investigate unless a member of public had logged a formal complaint with them. To this day no John, Dick or Cock, I mean Harry sorry, ( I don’t know why I’m always thing about sex! ) EVEN the national newspapers, has ever complained to Scotland Yard. Just moaning, moaning and moaning and not actually doing anything about it. Maybe moaning is our national pastime?

  39. Cough, cough, cough. ***@@BB*** Peter Mandelson’s close friendship with Russia’s richest man, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, ignited a fierce Commons row yesterday as more details of their links emerged. cough, cough **@@BB**

    Tory MP Hugo Swire demaned that MPs should be allowed to debate the affair. Commons Leader Harriet Harman ( ***@@BB*** ) at first refused them, saying Swire’s claims about a potential conflict of interest were smears, but then was forced to intervene. The growing row threatend to tarnish the shock return of Baroness Mandelson as Business Secretary to the Government after twice having to resign as a minister over links with wealthy businessmen. ***@@BB***

  40. cough, cough, cough, cough ****@@@BBB**** CYRIL, I told you Mandy only fancied rich men and Guy only fancied rich women. ***@@@BBB*** cough, cough, cough.

    Madonna wants to give Guy £60M plus TWO of their mansions for a quick divorce. She said she was angry that he called her ” Granny ” when he was talking with his friends. So why did he marry her in the first place??? If it was not for her fame and her money? Well, he already told his lawyers he did not want one penny from Madonna, just full access to the kids that’s all he wants. Let’s wait and see !!! cough, cough, cough ***@@BB*** Bollocks to Mandelson and Guy- 2 gold diggers.

    cough, cough, cough ***@@BB*** We need some joint, we don’t need Benylin.

  41. Stacy – very good point. An electric man who came to read the meter was fuming about immigrants as he had been round to read their meter. They went out while he was there. He said he would only be a minute and would turn the lights off on leaving..? They told him not to bother as everything was paid for by the government. The heating and TV was on too.

  42. New idea: Gordon Brown wants to introduce a new international system of financial regulation to prevent future crisis’.

    Fact: 11 years ago Gordon Brown introduced a new system of financial regulations to prevent ‘boom and bust’.

  43. Steven – Brown ignored persistent warnings from the IMF about debt.

    Back to tattoos on necks and faces if I may…

    This is the last straw for me, I suppose. I perceive it as an aggressive act “Don’t f**k with me !” is what it seems to suggest. I’m hardened against public vulgarity and coarsness in Britain – but even I (a martial arts expert) find this intimidating. What on Earth must our more civilised cousins from the continent think when they see our people behaving like this ?

    If we’re going down the Keynsian route then why not build the prisons we so desperately need and staff them properly (Unlike Dartmoor where my friend reports the staff are at breaking point) ?

    At times it feels as though our very civilisation is at risk – it really does.

  44. That’s why Gordon Brown will never REALLY tackle the problems of so many people on benefits, because he is counting on the votes of scroungers….

    (I do not deride anyone who genuinely needs help, only the workshy.)

  45. I read today that Boris Johnson is learning Arabic and i think that is a brilliant thing to do. The more we learn about other cultures and the more effort we make to communicate with other cultures, the nearer world peace will be.

  46. apparently Gordon Brown’s strategists have advised that Gordon takes his wife Sarah with him when he campaigns in the Glenrothes by-election. IT WON’T MAKE AN IOTA OF DIFFERENCE. The only reason that Sarah Brown received a warm reception when she introduced Gordon at the Labour conference is because people sympathise with her for being married to the moody, moronic, mendacious Scots git. Every woman in country sympathises because we can all imagine the absolute hell if you faced that over the breakfast table.

    Her political value is nil.

  47. Cough, cough, cough ***@@@BBB***

    HELPLINE service NHS DIRECT pays £250,000 a year/ every year/ to an interpreters contract company to translate advice into 160 languages like Cherokee ( Red Indian cowboys’ language like Brokeback Mountain, spoken by only a few mostly living in Oklahomo, I mean Oklahoma, who all also speak English! ), Basque ( terrorists ), Fijian ( bottled water ), Icelandic ( frozen food supermarket ), Mongolian ( Richard Gere’s birth place ), Yiddish ( kids? ), Garlic, I mean Gaelic ( Carla Bruni’s husband ? ), Akan ( Sarah Palin’s homeland ? ), Homo, I mean Homa ( homos’ tongue ? ) among other languages. ***@@BB*** Bloody Loonies !!!

    Bloody NHS nancy spokesman says: ” We only pay for the languages we need, that’s all ”

    And that’s the language they need and understand, IF they have any brain. **@@BB**

    All we know is – if yous up sticks and move to, say, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece or any bloody backward countries like that, and yous can’t speak the bloody language, then sorry, yous have to pay for someone who can speak the bloody language to help yous with the bloody paperwork, bills, trips to doctor, lawyer, dentist, council offices…

    NOTHING is free over there. And they are bloody members of the bloody nancy EU. No wonder all the Poles just want to come here, not Spain. Not even sun, sea and sex can entice them !!! ***@@BOLLOCKS*** to them ALL, we say. ***@@@BB*** Cough, cough, cough.

  48. The Poles are all going home, which I am sorry about, because I have huge respect for them as a nation.


    A very illuminating and moving article on Ray Lewis, bringing up to date with his work after his upsetting resignation as one of Boris’s Deputy Mayors.

    Ray Lewis showed the courage of emperors and the dignity and forbearance of saints in the way he resigned without fuss to avoid damaging the work that Boris was doing for the children of London. His demeanour put every voice raised against him to shame.

    At the time of Lewis’s resignation, the part played by certain members of the Church seemed dubious to say the least and it seemed that hellfires might be waiting for some of the participants if certain alleged newspaper reports were to be believed. We will never know, but “quiet man”, Ian Duncan Smith was unusually roused to an anger strong enough to motivate the following statement:

    “I have a real question mark over the Church in all this” he said. “They sat on Ray Lewis’s file and they never went to him and said – “Let’s clear this up.” I think they behaved in a disgusting and appalling manner….. it wasn’t the behaviour of a responsible institution”.

    The one statement that I have always totally admired and agreed with Tony Blair about is when he said, about his role in the Iraq war “God will judge me”. That is all that we can say to any member of the Church if they were to do anything as heinous as bring down a man who had devoted his life to helping troubled kids. Maybe they didn’t do anything wrong.
    Maybe we have all got it totally wrong. But if they did, may God forgive them.

  50. Jaq said:

    “Kev really is a martial arts expert – I have evidence.”

    Ahme – yes. I’m – er – very sorry about your dislocated elbow, Jaq. I do hope it’s on the mend.


  51. Have you heard- Tesco even goes over there to recruit staff because they’ve heard they’re very hard working people! That maybe true for the first few months, but after that, once they’ve found their feet they just slow down and work like everybody else- they are not stupid, aren’t they? ( and the silly know-all managers can not do anything about it ! ) and we can tell you that WE work just as hard. So them hard working IS really just a myth.

    Another thing, every 3 or 4 months we have this big Equality & Racism meeting where we all have to listen to bullshits from the training managers who say which means if you don’t sit at the same table with them in canteen, maybe you are racist!

    Truth is most of them can’t hold a small conversation in English at all. If you do try and sit with them, they ‘ll just ignore you and talk with themselves in their own tongue anyway, and that makes YOU look stupid and your other co-workers will laugh at you behind your back for trying to be trendy and political-correct. That’s why we do have to work together but we don’t sit together in canteen.

    Too many of them at work, always speaking very fast and loudly in their own language. And they are very talkative, too; the women and also the men !!! You think you are living and working in Poland !! WE have had enough. WE want the nice, peaceful, good old ENGLAND back, please. ( And we are not even true English. We are naturalized Brits.)

    If WE go for a job interview, we are judged on our English. If our English is not up to scratch, we are turned away. So the question is who interviewed and recruited so many of them who can’t speak English to work in UK ? Who is to be blamed for this existing simmering resentment at our many workplaces nowadays? It’s the silly, trendy, know-all, polical- correct management and managers that’s who.

    Discipline ( for —, —, — )..goes out of the window as the silly, trendy, know-all, political-correct managers are too scared to deal with their ‘pet’ workers. The Equality & Racism meeting was only last week!!!

    From reading the daily papers, we know that- the first year living here they receive no social benefits. If they work, they receive working tax credits, child benefit, council tax benefit … and can apply for a council flat/house IN ADVANCE !!! . ( And now, all councils are putting themselves under pressure to find THEM council flats/houses ASAP because of Equality & Racism – you got it !!!!

    After working 2 years continuously, you can pack your job in for no reason and claim the dole. The jobcentre MUST gives you contibution jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit to pay council/ private house rent, council tax benefit, child benefit …even if you left your job for no reason, as you have paid enough contribution in those 2 working years. After one year ( or longer depending on how much you earned in those 2 years ) on C.J.A, you then are moved onto the jobseeker’s allowance group – this is when people either go and find another job or just become lazy with all sorts of excuses- can’t find any job, my English no good, can’t speak English… The jobcentre can only say: ‘ OK, you go to college and learn English FIRST.’ But, for how long ? Exactly ! You can’t make people learn and speak the language in 3 or 6 month time , can you? It might take them 2, 3 or 4 years or forever! And after that? ‘ Sorry, can find no job, Sir ! ‘ What can you do ?

    And all members of EU countries are entitled to the same above benefits if they live here! And this explains for their disappearance after a couple of years working with us.

    Who would want to move and live in their countries over there ? They have fewer and smaller benefits or none at all. They’re very clever- if you ask some of them ( one at a time ) who can speak a bit English ( on different occasions ), each one of them will all say the same: ‘ Cost of living in my country is just the same, some items are even more expensive than here ! ‘- meaning ‘ We are not gaining anything by coming and working here, we might be loosing out coming here, so what’s the big deal if we come and live here? ‘ It looks like they all have agreed with each other beforehand as what to say if asked !

    Funny thing is, if you google the cost of living in Poland, all the Brit expats just tell the truth on their websites : most things are cheaper, only their child benefit is smaller; £10/ month/each child, comparing to £20/week/first child and £18/week/each child after that in UK ! And THEY don’t even have to produce their children’ birth certs to apply for child benefit over here for the children they claim they have left behind over there ! Nobody knows if the children really exist or not. Even now, Silly Labour Benefits Minister has to go over there to hold talk with their crafty Minister about this problem. What can you do when their papers and magazines list all the UK social benefits ( including disability benefit ! How can a disbable person come here to WORK? ) and urge their readers to move to UK fast because ‘ UK has a Pay first, Check later policy ‘ ?

    Labour government has never told us the true number of Poles living here. They say only 1.5M. Newspapers say 2.5M. Now the Labour government says 500,000 have pissed off home because of the recession, it still means 2M of them are still here; and that’s just the Poles – the population of Greater Manchester ! Who said they ALL have gone home?

    Political refugees? True is, maybe 1/500 is a genuine one. Telling you this with great honest inside knowledge. A genuine political refugee will never go back to his/her own country even after he/she has secured a citizenship and British passport. How can they call themselves political refugees when after they have amassed a fortune in numerous social benefits and then transfer the money back home for their relatives to build luxury houses, open their own business- shops, restaurants, small hotels… and take often months long holidays in their own countries ( as they have no work commitment here! ) and dress, act and speak like they are some upper-class foreign tourists in their own countries whilst remaining as permanent residents here ?

    Another trick, for people outside EU- enroll in any courses with a ‘ management ‘ title which doesn’t require any entry qualifications ( too hard for them ) and get a 3 years student visa. When the course finishes, you are given 1 year stay to find a job. BUT you can get a job working as a dishwasher/ waiter, which is dead easy, and hey, presto! you are allowed to stay here permanently.

    English courses student visa only gives you 6 months stay. Both kinds of visas allow you to work 20 hours/week to earn some money to support yourself during your stay. Truth is, bosses never stick to the rules, most give them full-time jobs anyway, and they can use this employment to apply for permanent resident, too. You can’t do nothing to stop them.

    Silly Labour now says this Fall, they will make these ” management ” graduated students who come from outside EU to find a job that suits their new qualifications if they want to live here- because there are far too, too many bogus ‘ management courses ‘ students . We know, there’s already a sympathysing group calling for the Government to spare those who came here before this new law comes into effect this Fall ! How can you sympathize with people who have cheated their way into this country to rip the numerous social benefits on offer? BUT they can’t stop million others coming from within the EU, can they ?!! And which number is greater- those from outside the EU who want to come here or million others are coming here from within the EU? And Silly Labour is telling us they are doing a great job sorting out this problem AT LAST ?!!!

    This is too much inside information. I ask for this comment BE DELETED AFTER 24 HOURS from when it appears on this page, after you here have read it first, as we don’t want some people to read this and spread words for their own benefits . Thank you Melissa.

  52. Lord Levene is the Chairman of Lloyds of London. Meanwhile Gordon is still spend spend spending like an over inebriated lottery millionaire who is soon to find out that he has lost his ticket in the washing machine. Our spending is the highest for sixty years and still he spends more and still he justifies it to an appalled Mr. Cameron in the House Commons. WHERE WILL IT END?

    Mr. Brown, for once I speak as a friend and not as the demons in your head who advise you. FOR PITY’S SAKE CALL A GENERAL ELECTION BEFORE WE ARE ALL TOTALLY BANKRUPT, OR ARE WE BANKRUPT ALREADY?

  53. Angela – very good point but I fear we are bankrupt already.

    What I also fear is that there is no quick fix to this. So the next PM, whoever he may be, either cannot shine because of this or will be excused because of this. In other words if he’s rubbish we won’t know until much later. And if he’s brilliant it will be almost impossible to tell.

    I’m sure you will know what I mean. And how I envy your confidence in the future.

  54. Jaq, you are right in your second paragraph, Gordon is making it impossible for anyone who succeeds him. I do think he is so small minded and petty he would prefer to sabotage the economy to give another government the hardest possible time so will take wild gambles now. That is a big cause of concern for me.

    But over optimistic though you may have previously thought me, I have a very high opinion of David Cameron and a very high opinion of his team, including William Hague, Boris and George.

    Cameron will not shrink from what has to be done, he is tough, he is highly intelligent, but most of all he has the guts to act decisively and make hard choices.

    When they get back, which I still firmly believe they will, they will do the very best that can be done in what will probably be a dreadful situation. Boris is an ideas person. Cameron and Hague are ideas people. Not only on the economy, they will put right the mess left by Labour and restore this country to a much better state. They will provide the flash of inspiration to that one bright ray of hope.

    I would bet everything I had and I do have faith.

  55. Border bookshop and WHS sell magazines and daily newspapers in Polish, inside there are lots of adverts of ” social benefits consulting firms ” run by Poles living in UK who will advice and do all the paperwork of applying for all sorts of social benefits on offer in this country for Poles who live here but can not speak English for a fee. So, even if they can’t speak English and don’t know the way, they are not really losing out as you would imagine.

    Labour new Immigration Minister Phil Woolas says the government would not allow the population to grow from 61M to 70M, BUT he rejected demands to impose a cap or annual quota on immigrants. Also, Brussels says UK has no right to stop EU citizens who have the right to come and live here. So what can the new Labour Immigration Minister do ? NOTHING.

    I remember that during the EEC days, and then during the EU days, before some dirt poor EE countries joined us, member states citizens already had the right to move and live freely within the Union, but not many citizens would grab that opportunity as the living stands in most member states were very similar.

    Clearly, when they made the rule, they could not foresee that years later they would have some new members from dirt poor EE to join them. The problem is nobody would want to immigrate to those dirt poor new member states, hence the big imbalance which obviously is causing huge problems on social and economy in UK.

    It’s difficult for these immigrants to get a job in Italy as the Italians ( even the Italian authorities ) are very tough and strongly against these social benefits grabbing immigrants and fake refugees.

    English people are brought up to be nice, polite, decent and generous. Aggressive foreigners know this very well. That’s why they are coming here and taking over the whole country. This is NOT fair.

    Tackling or talking about the never ending influx of dirt poor, non-skilled immigrants problem is NOT racist. Freedom of speech. Fair is fair.

    And I AM a naturalized Brit, too.

  56. Well I blame the Labour Party, not for letting people in, because that is fine, but by not monitoring the whole thing and letting in thieves, drug dealers and so forth and also far too many people for our services to cope with. My attitude to said party can be summed up in a nutshell.

    The Labour Party are exactly like the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers who went to America ostensibly to do good, but ended up plundering, looting and raping and then they gave the Indians syphilis.

  57. Angela – thankyou for your reply. I think the reason for my lack of confidence is that I don’t see that 4 years will be enough time to rectify the damage Labour has inflicted on this society, however good the leader is. And if the answer is austerity then the electorate might vote out the necessary government after that 4 years for more empty promises.

  58. Boris,I don’t live in London but I agree wholeheartedly with your approach. There’s too much gloom and doom about and you can’t build anything positive with a bad attitude. Ok, we all know what Gordon Brown has presided over, that’s done, there’s no use crying over what has gone. “IT’S A FOOL THAT ALLOWS HIS YESTERDAY’S TO ROB HIM OF TOMORROW.” Can’t remember who said that but it has to be so true. We need people like you Boris to keep inspiring us. So we have problems, so what. Let’s get on with it and make sure that those past events are not repeated, I just wish we had more people in the north like Boris to shake things up and get thing moving. I just do not believe the naysayers who reckon it’s going to take eons to get over this, with the right attitude and pulling together it can be done. Come on we’re Brits let’s go.

  59. Jaq, remember, always take me with a huge pinch of salt. The shooting thing was only an example, it did sound a bit crazy, but that is the strength of feeling I have. You are probably right – four years will not be long enough to undo the damage done. Never mind, at least we will have the consolation that Cameron will undo all that ridiculous P.C. rubbish and hopefully Boris will spread more of his magic into our lives and bring some hope to disadvantaged kids.

    They will have a tough time and they will make mistakes, and no doubt we will all suffer together, but I sure as hell would rather suffer under their stewardship!

  60. Gordon Brown, for crying out loud, lay off George Osborne and get on with the job you are paid to do! Do you honestly think the general public cares a fiddlers toss what stupid row you and Peter Mandelson are trying to inflame, do you honestly think we don’t see through your pathetic evil machinations?

    Ordinary people are concerned with their bills, the housing market, crime, the way the country is deteriorating….. what George Osborne said or didn’t say is of the supremest indifference, but frankly if we had to take his word against yours, Mandelson’s or Uncke Tom Cobleys, we would take George’s word any day of the week. Peter Mandelson, in our eyes, doesn’t exactly stand for uprightness, truthfulness and doing the right thing by this country, it stands for vicious infighting and throwing a wobbly if he breaks a nail.

    Mandelson ought to learn when to turn the other cheek, he is just so vindictive and combative, do you seriously think that is a good example for the youth of this country? He would hunt someone down if they accidently trod on his foot!

    You have wrecked our economy and now you are trying to make a smoke screen by blowing up a petty situation into a bonfire! QUIT IT. WE SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. IT JUST MAKES US WISH YOU WOULD PUSH OFF MORE, YOU DISHONEST, VACILLATING EXCUSE FOR A PRIME MINISTER! shame on you!

    Apparently Nick Clegg, (who is reputed to act as a double for Dec of Ant and Dec fame to make extra money, because he cannot meet his mortgage payments) together with David Miliband and James Purnell have all auditioned for the new US teen sensation movie HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3.

    The reason they were all attracted to the partS? This time, they get to be seniors……….

  62. Itis so obvious, reading the papers and observing Brown and Darling in the Commons…. they are prepared to sacrifice the long term interests of the economy for short term political gain. IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. They don’t give a damn for the people of this country, for small businesses, for peoples’ security, all they care about is keeping their asses in government. SCANDALOUS.

  63. Could somebody fire Jeremy Paxman soon, because once again on t.v. he was made to look an absolute idiot.

    Ever since David Cameron brilliantly dissected his interviewing style, Jeremy has been rumbled. His heavily accusing manner now just looks predictable and silly instead of scary, and it is becoming boring to anticipate the way he handles every single interview.

    On Newsnight, the night before last, he was talking to Michael Heseltine about George Osborne’s holiday trip to Corfu and threateningly trotting out the accusing phrases “Old Etonians swanning around on yachts, etc. etc.” Heseltine arched an eyebrow and gently chided him as if he was a recalcitrant child, totally unaffected.

    Paxman’s blusterings were turned into the tantrums of a sulky toddler, he looked a total plum. Your cover is blown Jeremy, you are revealed as a doofus, it is time you were put out to grass. Nobody is scared of you anymore.

    Of course the whole matter of the Corfu holiday has been laid to rest and revealed for the damp squib it was, aerated by a PM desperate to detract attention from his own shortcomings.

  64. George Osborne has committed one sin as far as Labour are concerned and one only.(he has committed NO sin as far as this country is concerned). He is just too effective as Shadow Chancellor. He started running rings round Gordon Brown when they had sneered at him as Boy George, and he can only get better. He is also excellent on t.v. and radiates stability and honesty.

  65. Also, when George Osborne explains things about the economy, he does it with SUCH CLARITY…. it is a pleasure to hear and you come away feeling you have learnt something. ( I am not having a joke at your expense, Boris! How likely would that be?)

  66. Forget any minor indiscretion George Osborne may have commited. Surely the real lapse of judgment is Gordon Brown’s for bringing back such a disruptive figure as Peter Mandelson? Three weeks and already there is a godalmighty punch up and the fur is flying!

  67. How desperate must Gordon Brown be! Alastair Campbell to come back as a part time advisor? The man is totally disliked, and discredited in the eyes of this country.


    Nathan Rothschild, ancestor of the Nathan involved with Deripaska and Mandelson, financed the Duke of Wellington when he needed finances for the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The markets were watching Rothschild for an indication of whether to buy or sell. He sold and the stock market nose dived. Victory for the Duke was initially regarded as unlikely, particularly when Blucher was defeated and Wellington retreated.

    This retreat was not the disaster that it appeared to the rest of Europe. Wellington was unusual in that he would retreat if he was not happy with the terrain, or needed to regroup. This tactic was often misunderstood at the time. After a skirmish at Quatre Bras, Wellington retreated to Waterloo, a position that suited him perfectly and one he had selected several weeks before.

    Napoleon was overconfident, and had not bothered to study Wellington’s tactics in depth, dismissing him as a Sepoy General. His only tactic had been to divide Blucher and Wellington and defeat them separately. He thought Blucher was totally beaten, but did not count on the toughness of the old General. Blucher survived even though he was ridden over twice by French cavalry. When he realised Blucher had come back, Napoleon said “I made one mistake. I should have burnt Berlin!”

    It was possibly the most famous example of short selling ever when Nathan Rothschild sold all his shares but he had the advantage of reliable sources of information, (messengers who travelled with amazing speed) and was much better informed than the rest of the country. He received the news that Wellington was winning the battle and had linked up with Blucher, ( followed at snails pace by Marshall Grouchy). Rothschild then bought back massively in the shares, and made a enormous fortune.

  69. Alastair Campbell is a horrible man, what on earth do they need him for? Nothing good or positive, I bet.

  70. Now is the time for Nation building its not time for wimps,lets see some serous innovation Boris-i know its there,so many talented people in London you need to latch on to some and get some advise.
    Why not a creative forum early week, a kind weekly ideas competition,and the winner each week gets implemented small steps ,you could add to your fame .

  71. I’m still leaning towards voting Labour. Twas Stanley that convinced me to vote Tory last time. I was gutted he didn’t win his seat.

  72. I totally agree Jaq: how could they not have voted in the charming Stanley Johnson?! However, keep steering towards blue



  73. Just use me as a dip stick Boris as the last time I was made redundant it was because of a so called recession and guess what I’ve just been made redundant again. The last time I was a little younger and I still had some ambitions of climbing back up the slippery pole which is known as the job market and full employment. However this time I’m 58 and I am really scared about my prospects of obtaining a job at all, let alone one which will pay all the bills being heaped upon us by this bunch of self centered egoistical deaf to world affairs fools who are now telling us that the way back from the brink (which they created) is to get more deeply in debt, a policy which I tried once in 1991 and for which reason I still have a mortgage today. Personally I would rather live in a cardboard box than buy into this madness but then shortly I may have no choice and neither will my family anyway. They say it’s good to talk but as usual the conversation is but one way with those in power blithely erasing sensible argument from their memories and doing it their way. Another one of New Labors rants is education, education, education but their’s a couple of problems with this patter and you don’t need an expensive education to see them. Firstly when we have all passed through Oxford or the like and we have our diplomas can we then expect an average wage for shall we say cleaning toilets or sweeping the streets or any number of (low achievers) type jobs? Then again where is all the money supposed to come from to get educated when most jobs in our economy (around £6.00 an hour) wouldn’t keep an average family in canned dog food for a week let alone educating them as well. Being as this is the case for most families and particularly responsible for the breakdown of family ties and meals on the table at six since wiffy has to go to work as well what chance education? They can’t even let the teachers alone to do their jobs which is reflected in the very manners which kids display when they no they are above the law. So it’s not a lack of gray matter but mainly due to their parents absence. Well enough bleating of this lost lamb but I sincerely hope people out there and politicians in general get back to basics. We all need the basics to sustain life. Britain needs investment in it’s indigenous people and the inventions they make but they need backing with LONG term investment to fruit and not selling abroad for a fast buck. Stay true to yourself Boris and good luck.

  74. London has massive problem with ground water building up,some 100yrs ago when London was Industrialized the water was pumped and used today its not as London is covered with high density Offices,Residential ,Commercial ,Retail these use very little ground water.
    Try we can take this undrinkable ground water turn it into fresh drinking water in sustainable way.
    At same time creating some powerful symbols of a green future for this wonderful city.
    So come drought situations we can sustain London with fresh drinking water and provide green energy with our surplus power

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