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Umbrella man

The whole Jarvis thing turned me against Norris permanently.

Ferrari for Mayor

Backing a Tory this time won't work. Boris is a clown, the others are pointless (except Lee Rotherham who has some great ideas), but the real winner is Nick Ferrari who should run, if as an independent, and will win.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Go Norris!


Ken Livingstone is a clown but that didn't stop voters taking him seriously. It would be the new clown up against the old one. Boris is a risk of course, but if he runs, it would lift the profile of the whole thing, as Tim says.

Cameron has recently changed his persona into a more authoritative version of the Cameron that faced Blair. What is there to stop Johnson achieving a similar thing? He must realise this is his last chance of being taken seriously.

Is he hungry? There's only way to find out. Let him run.


Well, all the farces Brian Rix could come up with could not touch the Conservative 'find a celebrity' (or someone other than a Conservative) selection criteria for London Mayor! Let's face it, our candidate (if we have one) will be screwed: first, by the Party ( after all preferred candidate Greg Dyke declined, so the candidate is a 2nd or 3rd or 4th choice); Second- by the electorate who would have come to exactly the same conclusion in point 1 and raised eyes to the heavens and don't bother to vote - or they will vote elsewhere. Boris should avoid this like a Tom Watson MP invitation to a night out. IF we're to get out of this mess, i would suggest a 'top-quality' ethnic minority candidate FROM London...

Graham D'Amiral

Boris Johnson and Steve Norris are both heavyweight contenders for this job, with all due respect to the others most of their campaign would need to be about building a profile as most londoners have no idea who they are.

Adam Tugwell

'Ken Livingstone is a clown but that didn't stop voters taking him seriously. It would be the new clown up against the old one. Boris is a risk of course, but if he runs, it would lift the profile of the whole thing, as Tim says.'

I think that you are right there Tapestry. Boris is a clown, but for reasons which make him a hell of a lot more capable than Livingston. Boris is a percieved risk because of his apparent gaffes; what good politician hasn't made the odd balls-up from time to time - it makes him human and I think that there are many who will appreciate that?

The profile thing is the key. Most peope recognise the benefits of profile and publicity however generated and let's face it, he's done plenty of it and is more than capable of doing in again by the spade load.

I hope he gives it a go. It could be just the impetus that is needed to bring a good shade of blue to the Capital.


Whereas I agree that having big names would increase the attention devoted to the selection of the Conservative candidate for mayor, I think that we are underestimating a similar effect process itself can have on raising the profile of the selection.

The more I think about it, and the more I believe that we should take a page from the Americans and conduct a London primary on a bourough per bourough basis.

All Conservative candidates would go to the bouroughs and debate and campaign for the nomination. Every London bourough would have a set number of delegates and the candidate who would get the majority would get the nomination.

This process would allow the various parts of the city, and of the Conservative Party in the city, to express their concerns and hear then addressed (Bloomsbury and Brixton are two very different realities); it would generate some media interest. And it would be a process which most, indeed all, of the electorate would be familiar with, as the simple truth is that nowaday thanks to TV and movies, the American processes of selection of candidates via primaries is known and understood by all. And through such a process the candidates would get to be known by the wider electorate.

Graeme Archer

Giovanni: I am liking your idea *very* *much*.

Jennifer Wells

Boris Vs Norris would be a dream come true for the party for all of the reasons you suggest tim.


That is an inspired idea from Giovanni. A build-up through primaries would keep the focus on and interest in the Conservatives for months, especially with two big beasts like Boris and Norris fighting it out. Let us not forget that London as a political entity is bigger than many countries, and economically even more so.


Agree with much of that - although borough-by-borough primaries may be a little too drawn out.

I think it is worth remembering that Steve Norris did rather better each time he stood than expected - given the state of the Party that then prevailed (struggling after the Archer implosion first time and struggling with IDS the second time). This time the prospects of beating Livingston would be considerably better.

Would be good if Boris decided to contest but I think Steve Norris would be a far more credible candidate.

Susan Raynor

I think this would send a mixed message. Steve Norris is a serious candidate and a credible would be Mayor. Boris Johnson is just a clown. Telling the electorate, in effect, that we take the job half seriously and half not is not a good message.


Q. What's the difference between Boris and Norris?

A. One of them is a charming political lightweight, vaguely amusing but out of touch with the electorate. The other one isn't even amusing.

Katherine James

Steve knows the issues and the city inside out. He is a charismatic campaigner but also has the gravitas and experience to actually do the job.

Conservative Homer

Maybe i misunderstand Londoners, but i dont think it was so much taking Ken seriously, rather feeling pity that he was in their view forcefully ejected in the mid-80s. Most Londoners are a bunch of braindead rabid socialists who vote with theyre ego's after all, Boris is as near to the perfect man we'll get for the job.


Sir Malcolm Rifkind for mayor!

Tara Wheeler

Steve is absolutely the best person we have for the job. Can the new party chairman get it sorted for us?

Matt Wright

Boris is the only front runner suggested at the moment. But like the idea of Rifkind, especially given the serious anti-terrorism issues today,


Daniel Levy

I think it has to be Steve. If we can take Boris seriously, why expect anyone else to?

Peter Berrow

The problem with voting for Steve is that what has he done over the last three years to show he would do better against Ken this time compared to 2000 & 2004(answer nothing). He reminds me of the Democratic candidate Stevenson who got beat twice by Eisenhower in the 50's but still during the whole of the 60's was trying to say he was the best person to win the Whitehouse for the Democrats. With this would it not again be better for a candidate to come from people who have been councillors for years in the London area and that also I think the Primaries system would be good(but only party members and voters) but why not use the Assembly seat areas rather than the Boroughs. As for the actually Assembly election do we take a lesson from the Labour party in Scotland which in 2003 in 7 out of 8 regions privatly told their voters to vote on the list vote for parties like the Greens, SSP and also Margo Macdonald and John Swinbourne to reduce the number of SNP & Conservative seats won through PR.

Andrew Ian Dodge

Lee Rotherham has a campaign video where he lays out his plans for London.

Why is the Tory Party so obsessed with stars? I don't thing Boris can be Red Ken alas. Boris is a great guy but not that serious. Can you imagine the campaign against him by the left?

Norris getting the nod would be a mistake. How many attempts does this guy get to blow it? He is a sleazeball as well which doesn't help.

Tom Clarke

I like Giovanni's Primary idea but 32 primaries might be a bit drawn out, much better to do it by GLA constituency.

Boris or not - why has no one floated Chris Patten as a candidate for us? It defies reason.

Which other Tory can cite experience of running one of the World's greatest cities (Hong Kong) as well as serving under Thatcher, being widely admired as ahead of the game and sound on Green issues, likeable and credible on tv, someone most people have heard of or recognise, and genuinely comes from London - born in Ealing!

Someone make him stand - please?

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