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I normally look forward to reading Simon Heffer's column in the Daily Telegraph, but on the bus this morning on the way to work I was so angry when reading it. I sometimes wonder what Simon Heffer wants; does he want four more years of Red Ken or the Lib Dem's running London?

Tony Makara

The bitter tone of Mr Heffer's attack smacks of personal envy. Heffer's social commentaries emanate from another age, another century, reminiscent of a man who has been left behind by time itself.


There are times to attack the Conservative Party and there are times to hold off.

Simon Heffer may not love Boris and Cameron but this is just destructive and helpful to the Left.

Do others remember him praising Brown last autumn?

Can we get some quotes from that time to fling back at him?

Common Sense

Richard - you are naive. Heffer hates Cameron because our leader is sunny, optimistic and willing to be pragmatic.

Heffer, in contrast, is a sour, misanthropic ultra whose unusual brand of 'Conservatism' is more of a rationalisation of his repellant personality than a philosphy. The fact that he's happy to help a Marxist like Livingstone by stabbing Boris on the eve of the election demonstrates his lack of responsibility to the ideas he claims to uphold.

In his vindictive oppositionalism. Heffer is objectively left-wing. His actions advance socialism and retard Conservatism. Disregard him.

Craig Barrett

Why do we as a party persist in attacking each other when we should be attacking the opposition?

Heffer may not like the fact that it's no longer the 1950s but isn't it time he faced the Britain of today?


There is a time and a place for Heffer, I reckon his views are shared by a fair few million people in this country. He was also quite impressive on Question Time a couple of weeks back.

But to attack Boris now, one day before polling, is very naughty. We need as many Conservatives voting tomorrow as possible - I hope he hasn't put many off.

Robert Thompson

Sadly, one feels thst he would have written a article attacking the Tory candidate whoever it had been.

michael m

Heffer would even find fault in Mother Theresa if she came back to be the Conservative candidate


Why is anyone surprised? Heffer has been our enemy for some considerable time. He appears in a UKIP video praising that party. He spoke well on Brown at a time of great peril for this party last year.

Heffer is a traitor to the Conservative cause. One Conservative MP told the Telegraph that he was a sleeping marxist (or similar), they laughed at that. Then Heffer comes out for Red Ken and the truth is revealed. Heffer prefers a neo marxist than a Conservative.

Someone please save the Telegraph. It is fast becoming a joke with Red Heffer and the ex Mirror journalist.

Chad Noble

Why worry about what Heffer says?

Boris is on course for a double digit % win tomorrow so best stay happy and ignore Heffer's sniping.


"There is a time and a place for Heffer"

Yes, the Dark Ages


A quote from Heffer. 26/09/2007

"he is a Safe Pair of Hands and a Statesman.

It seems also that this godlike figure has felt the need to have some fun in his spare time, perhaps to lighten the burdens of office. "



Considering Boris took editorial responsiblity for Heffer's attack on Liverpool in The Spectator this is a miserable payback.

I notice Simon Heffer at no point took responsibility for the lies he wrote about Hillsborough, preferring the hide behind Boris as the editor. What a repulsive little man.


We have two heads that require displaying on pikes on London Bridge. Livingstone is the first of these and his head will lead inexorably, IF Livingstone is de-capital-ated, to the head of all things NuLabour.

Shame really. Heffer was on the money on St.George’s Day but has since disassociated himself from any coherently lucid form of reality.

Incidentally, a heifer is calfless cow. A load of bullocks and bum steers come to mind.


Very, very good point Alex (10:10).


Alex I forgot about that example of Heffer's cowardice over Liverpool.

I would far rather be in the trenches with Boris than Heffer as I would worry about getting a knife in the back.

The man should be ConHome's S*** of the Year.

James John

Simon Heffer is quite correct when he says "both Labour and the Tories insult hard-pressed, overtaxed residents of London by failing to give them serious, strong-minded candidates to vote for tomorrow". Politics has become like football - win at all costs - with voters like moronic fans blindly supporting their team, their party, their candidate. Politics is the big loser.
I have used my postal ballot to vote for the Conservative candidate in the Assembly election and I have abstained in the mayoral vote.

Christian May

So, does Heffer not want a Tory Mayor? Actually, what Heffer wants is to live in the 19th century....when being fat was a sign of power and the Empire made the world run perfectly.


I have recently returned to the Sceptic Isle having been away for a few weeks. I have read that during that time Boris is said (in a Have I Got News For You moment) that he will give or supports an amnesty for illegal immigrants. I would assume that if that is so that it would have been agreed and cleared by Dave.
Is this statement of intent by Boris true. I wish to know because I will be definitely voting tomorrow? Please advise.

Iain Lindley

I stopped reading the Telegraph when Heffer was recruited. I will start reading it again when he gets sacked.


Further more I agree with the comment made by James John @ 1026.

My days of voting for the lesser of two evils who will say anything to get voted in are over.

Christina Speight

Heffer would condemn us in London (in wehich he does not live) to a further period of rule by a crook whose power base is islamic jihadists, (who hate gays) and illogically gays (though Paddick may have diminished this one on the 1st preference vote!) , irish republicans, and all GLC subsidised pressure groups for all extremist ethnic groups.

Pity because Heffer is normally very sound.

He shoots us in the back today and urges abstention. If one wants to make a demo, vote 1st preference BNP [That'll infuriate the journos] who won't win a place and then 2nd preference Boris - to get rid of Livingstone. But that needs the kind of brilliant lateral thinking for which I'm noted!

michael mcgough

Surely you mean UKIP first (then Boris )Christina.

Jamie Wright

Brilliant article. As usual, it is those who have seen Boris up close who have the most to say about his total lack of suitability for this job.


Boris made the comments in regard to the fact that London boroughs are chronically underfunded because the Government consistently undercounts the number of illegal immigrants living in the city. Therefore the services provided are stretched to the absolute limit and residents suffer the consequences.

Boris's comments were his own and are actually in opposition to those of DC and the Conservative Party. No Mayor of London has any power over immigration policy, so there is no chance that any sort of amnesty will be implemented any time soon.

Phil Taylor

Heffer is a prat. How can he describe an 8 year commitment to being London Mayor as a stepping stone to anywhere?

If Johnson becomes London Mayor he has two choices. Succeed and have a role in national politics after 8 years. Fail and end his political life. I suspect he will be brilliant.

Heffer doesn't like Cameron. The country does. Heffer is wrong.


Bah, Mr Heffer is a dinosaur. World has changed fundamentally and the choice is either to embrace it and get in poll position for taking advantage of the change or moan and pretend to be back in the 19th Century with Empire and all. I can't see Heffer ever liking the Conservative party under Cameron, probably thinks it's too "progressive".

If Mr Heffer liked the Tory candidate for London then everyone could be certain that that candidate would lose the election, and probably get less votes than the Green party. London is a unique case and Londoners have different views to the rest of the country due to their unique environment and population make up. Heffer would prefer a Hard Socialist or Far Right Mayor as it would be familiar, maybe he should move to Rome.


Heffer's criticism is as close to praise as you can get. 'an act'? So was Blair. Brown's main problem is that he cannot.

Reliance on stooges, stealing everyone else's best ideas'? that sounds like management skill to me.

Having an image of a bit of a buffoon. Perfect bluff to get round modern media and people like Heffer.

Boris offers all you need to win and succeed. London will be much the beneficiary.

Heffer's all confused. Maybe Boris nicked a few of his ideas and he's miffed. Heffer strives to be significant. Boris' problem for Heffer is that Boris is doing better than he is. That's about it.


Heffer's criticism is as close to praise as you can get. 'an act'? So was Blair. Brown's main problem is that he cannot.

Reliance on stooges, stealing everyone else's best ideas'? that sounds like management skill to me.

Having an image of a bit of a buffoon. Perfect bluff to get round modern media and people like Heffer.

Boris offers all you need to win and succeed. London will be much the beneficiary.

Heffer's all confused. Maybe Boris nicked a few of his ideas and he's miffed. Heffer strives to be significant. Boris' problem for Heffer is that Boris is doing better than he is. That's about it.


Posted by: Elisabeth | April 30, 2008 at 11:11

Thank you Elisabeth for your reply. It doesn't say much for Boris does it? It would appear that some of what Heff writes could be true? Well I never? Never mind the width - feel the cloth!

Come on you lot! It is about time you told those expensively parked (Conservative ?) bums in Westminster what you will not vote for. Sometimes you have to retreat and regroup in order to win in the end, but you wont win by trying to kid people.


Heffer hasn't done Ken's work, as you so pompously wittered above. All he's done is told, to Telegraph readers, the plain truth about Boris. Boris *is* all the things Heffer has said and more - and more power to the Telegraph for understanding that the proper relationship to the Party, for those not literally in the pay of CCHQ, is to stand outside CCHQ.

As for your own description of your own 'critiques' as being "constructive and well-timed" - well golly, what an impressively good opinion you have of yourself. Some might consider your 'critiques' to be tame, yet utterly factional (hullo smug, self-righteous, indescribably creepy evangelical sectaries), and where necessary laced with deceit.

Now of course you'll get characteristically huffy about that last point, but what otherwise can we call the man immodest enough to call himself the 'voice of the grass roots', but who also knew better than those selfsame grassroots when their voice shouldn't be heard (cf, your infamous covering up of the deservedly low opinion party members had of Dave before the last Conference?)

Heffer made of Boris the entirely valid point that he, like Dave, is man not motivated by either higher principle or some concept of public service. All that unites both men, and too many of their intimates, is dull, personal ambition. And what exactly is in that for the rest of us? You know, those of us silly or lazy enough to lack their relentless, fairly soulless desire for self-aggrandizement?

Of course Ken should be done away with by the voters of London, for exactly the bad things he's done in office - but as has been said time after time during this campaign, Crosby's genius has been to deny us anything by way of specifics about how, plausibly, Bojo's regime would differ from Ken's. So here's a prediction: fewer Socialist Action entryists, more Etonians, and that's about it. No serious spending cuts, nothing by way of our tax handed back, no effort made to devolve power away from City Hall and back to the boroughs where it belongs, no pretence that the Congestion Charge is anything other than a poll tax dressed up in modish ecological garb.

By all means vote Boris as a means of getting rid of Ken, it's without doubt the lesser of two disagreeable prospects. But the man you'll be getting as Mayor is exactly the man described to you by Simon Heffer.

Bill Brinsmead


Are you sure?

Conservativehome shares the traditionalist, eurosceptic, Anglo-centric views espoused by Simon Heffer.

graham p malpas

you must not assume that heffer is a tory. like myself i believe that he is a disenfranchised former tory. we chaps in our fifties have nothing in common with cameron and his front bench. i believe that if elected the party carries on with NL spending for at least 2 years and what did maude say about tax cuts in the first 4 years? complete nonsense!

David Giles

What Heffer has done is unforgivable and the Daily Telegraph should not have printed it.It is already being quoted by Labour and Livingstone supporters on London community websites.

Heffer has given aid and sustanance to the enemy and if I had my way I would take him out and shoot him.


I gave up buying the Speccie whilst Boris was Editor. He does very little for me. I still get the Telegraph and enjoy some if not all Heffer's contributions. If I had a vote (and thankfully I quit London some time ago) I would certainly not vote for Livingstone. If I did vote for Boris it would be from duty not desire.


The more unpleasant comments on this thread are sadly quite revealing.

Edison Smith

Mr Heffer is a tragedy (the same label applied to Brown by a Labour backbencher). He is forever fated to live in a time warp, reminiscing about a golden age that never existed, and spouting bitter bilge about anyone who isn't Margaret Thatcher.

"The guiding theme of his life is the charm of doing nothing properly."

Yes, Simon, and the guiding theme of yours is to be a miserable, boring old sod who thinks he's purer than anyone else. A man who thinks owning a big head and a 'holier than thou' attitude makes him important. Grow up, it was amusing to begin with but now it's just depressing (again, like Brown).

Bed under the red

Perhaps Heffer is a Red Under The Bed

Steven George

Heffer is a bitter, twisted and hateful man stuck with out of date views and blunt perspective. His insecure writing stems from the simple fact that he is ugly, fat and inherently nasty. A playground school bully who goes on the offensive to protect himself. Luckily everyone sees through this.


See what I mean.


'Heffer has given aid and sustanance to the enemy and if I had my way I would take him out and shoot him.'

Couldn't we just prod him with forks for a bit and maybe give him a Chinese burn?

Edison Smith

Come on Bill, what do you expect?

There's people working their hearts out for the party at the moment, including working 24/7 to get a CONSERVATIVE elected as London mayor and councillors all round the country, and it's bearing fruit with 40%+ in the polls and positive feedback, only for lazy misery guts like Heffer to stick a spanner in the works.

His piece, like most of his, is negative and spiteful, and also attention-seeking (it's worked, judging by all our reactions on here).

Heffer is your typical comment jounalist; smug, divorced from reality, and the owner of an ego the size of a small country.

Most of his comments are based on what? Nothing but his own petty, personal differences. It's pretty pathetic, lazy journalism.

Why doesn't he do something constructive like walk the streets and deliver leaflets and get a real sense of what people are feeling by knocking on doors and canvassing?

He won't because he's safe in his ivory Telegraph tower, where none of his stubborn beliefs are tested and the doughnuts are free.

A petty man.

Ian Miller

Mr Heffer mis-leadingly spins, - to quote him "One of Mr Johnson's failings is a belief that the public is there to serve him, not vice versa."

How can this not be otherwise than seriously skewed, - considering how much through the introduction of the congestion charge, the London motorist isn't there to serve Red Ken Livingstone ?

anne allan

I normally enjoy Simon Heffer's column, but this time I really did wonder what on earth had got into him.
I, also, had forgotten that Boris took the rap for a column that Heffer had actually written. This reminder of his cowardice just makes his latest column really stick in one's craw.
Perhaps it's time the Daily Telegraph had a little word.

Grim up North

Unlike most of the above commentators I do not presume to read Simon Heffer on a regular basis. However, on this occasion he has hit the right button. If Boris wins in London it will be a victory for the Conservatives marketing men and Lynton Crosby. Nobody else. If the Conservative party is ever going to regain the support of people in the North of England it needs to show it has something more than slick soundbites and marketing gimmicks in its armoury.


I wonder if we could, pace Liverpool, drop this etiolated piffle that leader writers are to blame for what their editors tell them to write? Following orders is an all too viable defence in this instance, should one feel that deploring Liverpool is somehow actually mistaken.


Just fyi, the Livingstone campaign has just issued a press release full of quotes from Heffer's piece.


It's good to know that you've reached a new doctrine. Namely that, every Tory with access to a newspaper column must at all times, in all elections, for every duly selected Tory candidate, support said candidate. It'll be fun reading Tebbit and IDS's views as and when Mark MacGregor ends up with a seat.

Mark Hudson

I thought that it may have been a shade hyperbolic as an article, but it did have some relevant points. Wholly unscientific I know, but I have asked a number of people who work with me in Canary Wharf how they'll vote. This should be rock solid Tory investment banking territory.

What's interesting is that yes, there are a fair number who will vote for Boris, but many just think it's a good laugh. Quite a few have real reservations about his capability to run the most powerful financial services centre on earth. I just hope he'll do a Ken (who has been a good mayor for the City) and leave us all alone. Time will tell after tomorrow.


Ken/Boris/Caddick all represent more of the same - capitulation to eurosocialism. I therefore understand Heffer's view of each of them.


Who is worse, Heffer or Hitchens...

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