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His 'back boris' mayoral website hasn't been updated in ages yet he has found time to write blog pieces on his main site about 'EU rules on jams, jellies and marmalades', and in support of Hillary Clinton in an election half the world away.

I would question how much this guy wants this. Ken is going to make mincemeat of him at this rate. Not that he proberbly cares- he has a safe seat in Henley and a job for life.


The game is already lost, here.

The only hope now is that Bojo commits a sufficiently gross gaffe to be replaced - as was engineered with the equally superficial Archer candidacy - though not, please God, with Norris again.

Sooner the better.

Alex Crowley

It is worth remembering that Ken's 7 year administration has had no significant political opposition.

CCHQ have left the job to the London Assembly- but they do not have any powers to oppose him, and are hamstrung by local government legislation which stipulates they can't undertake any 'political' activities using GLA resources (utterly ridiculous).

And the two elections that Norris fought counted for only a few weeks of parity.

So we must not forget that Boris is starting from a large distance back, whilst Ken is sitting pretty with his armies of press officers and a clear run on the issues for 7 years.

If Boris goes piling in now, only half informed and half armed, he will be dead before the campaign even begins.

Do we really think Londoners care about the Mayoral election now? Do they even know there is one in May? It's not as if we have to worry about raising his profile...

The only people jumping up and down about this are Tories- understandably itching to get rid of Ken. But let's not allow our frustration with Ken to put the boot into our own man.

To those who wait......

Tony Makara

I think the article is a little unfair on Boris and underestimates the man. Boris Johnson knows the way he wants to approach his campaign, the very fact that Boris has a more casual approach to campaigning will help him engage with more people. The race for mayor is more about being 'A Personality' than being a party functionary. Its true that Boris will be expected to come up with solutions to London's problems and, as Boris indicated on ConservativeHome, he is ready with a whole raft of ideas. People shouldn't underestimate Boris. He is a man with a plan, you can bet on it!

Moral minority

For once, I agree totally with Comstock. The Johnson campaign is not drifting as it does not exist at the moment.

Perhaps Teesbridge can suggest an alternative candidate to Norris who could beat Ken. Cameron tried, e.g. the Dyke fiasco, and failed miserably. Norris would be better than Boris. He would at least have an active campaign.

Kevin Davis

I think you are being a little unfair here. You ask him to go out and meet people but have not proffered any evidence that he is not doing so.

What I am not hearing from the complainants is exactly what it is you want him to do?


Irresponsible rubbish from Con Home here; you and Stephan Shakespeare should both know better.

Proper preparation prevents **** poor performance - I am happy that Boris is finding out about London in depth rather than just holding a quick Focus group and firing from the hip like Norris.

Unlike the numpty's we have often put up in by-elections, and at this contest in the past, this time there is no struggle to get our candidate known, the thrust is to make sure that his platform is secure with an in-depth knowledge of London, which he is doing.

Livingstone hasn't got a clue how to handle Boris; giving him the ability to say 'not up to the job' or 'hasn't done his homework' by pushing the Boris team into full blown campaigning and then falling flat on our face on the issues will give Livingstone the lifeline he needs.

Grow up


The game is far from up.

Ken Livingstone has more liabilities than Northern Rock and like that equally as stumbling an institution; he is backed by a government that is held in public contempt.

Liability: Only Ken, the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister are publicly defending Sir Ian Blair in the face of damning evidence of complicity in a cover up and institutionalised incompetence. The reason for former police bashing, IRA loving, Ken's defence? Sir Ian is Ken's very own, pet, PC PC:

'He has made the Met a shrine to victim culture and gesture politics, turning justice on its head by giving precedence to minorities and thus fashioning his force into a weapon against the society it is supposed to be defending.'

Melanie Phillips. Daily Mail: Today.

Liability: Then we have Ken's sheer arrogance. His condemnation of the London Assembly for daring to call for his apparatchik's departure was expressed as contempt for the institution and snidey little remarks about the public being clueless as to whom exactly any of them are.

'I'm Ken Livingstone, look upon my works ye mighty and despair'.

All of this expressed in the nasally challenged whingey tones of a man whose face resembles a squished version of Jabba the Hut.

You go BoJo!

Even 'though you nicked englandism's graphics for the campaign.

Carol Walker

It's that sinking feeling that associations get when they select a candidate who, it turns out, doesn't want to put the work in.

The idea that him actually campaigning and talking about issues would actually undermine him says a lot about the confidence people have in his abilities to do this. But whether it's because he can't or won't do this he is not fit for purpose.


London Explosion. 12.11.07 13:20:


Reuters has it as a warehouse fire. No casualties.

london conservative

Boris Johnson's invisibility is, as Matthew Parris noted in The Times the other day: "wierd." People who want the job, like Ken Livingstone, campaign for it 24/7. People who don't, well, you have to wonder.

I think the party is entitled to expect a vigorous and sustained effort, and high visibility (why was he in hiding during the whole Ian Blair affair?), otherwise what is the point of having someone who is well known? We note that he still spends much time in Henley and on paid Torygraph articles (neither of which are places where London's floating voters can be found).


I've been invited for a meeting with him (as a council/GLA-involved person).

They certainly aren't being quiet from my perspective! They're always after local info and so on. It's still a long way to go before the election - a January kick-off will still mean a five month campaign!


London Mayor is a tough job, and Londoners expect people to give 100% to it.

Boris is not giving this impression, he might have some amazing campaign up his sleeve but IMHO he had better get into gear sharpish if he wants to be in with a chance. Anything else is failing Londoners who desperatly need rid of the dangerous clown Livingstone.

Simon Denis

Dear old Bozzer has surely mistaken his path in life. He was a brilliant editor of the Spectator. His natural irreverence supported all manner of strong, controversial voices, which have now faded from the magazine's dulled down, newly centrist pages.

Conversely, Matthew d'Ancona would have cut a suitably sober, cautious figure as the Cameron sponsored candidate for London. Where Boris can't help sympathising with unfashionable or unpopular points of view - from sheer curiosity - Mr d'Ancona takes the broad, prudent, establishment approach to pretty much everything.

People talk of Bozzer's "colour" as though it is an advantage in politics, when we know full well that it is not. The fact is, "colour", "exuberance", "originality" have never led to the top. Were Burke or Johnson - the greatest tories of their age - granted cabinet posts or executive power? What of Pope? Or Evelyn Waugh? Was it not always the subsequent generations of careful, moderate brokers - Camerons and d'Anconas - taking as much as they required from the aforementioned luminaries, borrowing their eloquence and diluting their philosophy, who rose to positions of power?

Boris - get your old job back. We the loyal readers of the Speccie miss you; we miss Mark Steyn and the vision of Taki unrestrained. We hate the occasional presence of pinkos and lefties in its hallowed pages - take Roy Hattersley, for example. Roy Hattersley!

Mr d'Ancona can take over London. Running a city is a suitably serious business for so serious a soul.

And there, my friends, you have the answer to the problem.


Replace with Sir Malkom Rifkind. Quick.
Atleast he is a London M.P.

london conservative

"I've been invited for a meeting with him"

That's not the same as actually campaigning, is it? I mean, presumably you planned on voting for the Conservative candidate in the Mayoral election anyway.

"a January kick-off will still mean a five month campaign!" Er, no, four months, actually. Livingstone is out and about now, in the news every day. Why isn't Johnson bothered? That's what we want to know.

Bill Brinsmead

Stephan Shakespeare “… London desperately needs a champion who … understands how criminally disproportionate is the slice of the tax-take from Londoners’ pockets that is exported to prop up failure in other parts of the country”

Crikey, another metro-centric rant from the Proprietor! Calm down Steve.

Carol Walker

"Crikey, another metro-centric rant from the Proprietor!"

We'll we're out in Bromley and there is no campaign of any description out here. I think perhaps our candidate underestimated the size and scale of this task.

Andrew Lee

Carol Walker

Not true of Boris and not true of us either. I have both canvassing and leafletting you could help with.

Do get in touch so I can let you have a Party Pack of leaflets and a map!

[email protected]

Andrew Lee
Agent, Bromley & Chislehurst Conservatives

Carol Walker

"Not true of Boris and not true of us either. I have both canvassing and leafletting you could help with."

This is almost as clownish as Mr. Johnson. Where is he? What is he doing?

Andrew Lee

So i'll take that as a NO for practical help then???

Julian Melford

Boris is great at being Boris, but is totally out of depth as Mayoral candidate.
His last minute declaration might have been a short term gesture of loyalty to get CCO out of a pickle.

I feel that it would be better if Nick Ferrari declared his intention to stand, and for Boris to nobly not submit his nomination to avoid splitting the vote. That way we'd at least get a Conservative Mayor, and would be spared the inevitable embarrassments that would cost votes in the capital in 2008/09/10.

Deputy Editor

That's enough about Bromley, thanks.

london conservative

Ah, now we know where Boris is and what he is doing:


"TV Boris 'to make £1million'


Maverick Tory Boris Johnson is on course to pocket £1million this year through lucrative TV appearances and speeches.

In just six months, he has earned up to £250,000 on top of his MP's annual £60,000 salary.

Bumbling Boris is also paid £250,000 a year for a column in a Tory newspaper, according to a new version of the MPs' Register of Interests.

Critics claim the figures show that he is not serious about his attempt to oust Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London."


"Maverick Tory Boris Johnson is on course to pocket £1million this year through lucrative TV appearances and speeches."

It's not on really is it. And this isn't about Tory vs Labour either, because I don't like what Blair is getting paid for his speeches. At least he is 'retired' and isn't claiming to be an MP at the same time.

£60,000 a year is a lot of money, roughly 6 times the minimum wage and 3 times the average wage. Plus expenses. For that we should expect them to be full time devoted to their political jobs- and Boris already has two.

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