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Londoner

Heffer was one of the reasons I felt driven from nearly 20 years as a Telegraph reader to take the Guardian - a well put together paper, but after some pathetic articles by their two lady columnists (Ashley and Toynbee) on the Majoralty ("yah bo sucks he's a right wing toff - can't bother actually to engage with his policies, but he's an ETONIAN toff" - you know the stuff), I decided yesterday that they are even more annoying than Heffer, and that I ought to return to my roots.

It sounds as though it was lucky for the Telegraph that I did not actually make the switch today.

I second the motion from the writer higher up the thread - if Heffer is sacked I guarantee to return to the paper immediately.

Bill

LOL. Londoner switched from the Torygraph to the Guardian of all papers. I could have understood a Tory supporter switching to the Times but the Guardian. Insightful.

Christina Speight

NO! NO! Michael McGough @11.04. I do NOT mean voting UKIP as first choice . That would be utterly futile as nobody would notice. If enough people voted BNP first and Boris second all the commentators would have apoplexy, some might even explode, and it might even cause the idiot Cameron to do and say something positive for a change and give us something to vote FOR. .

I don't like either UKIP or BNP but voting UKIP wouldn't cause a ripple. I'm working for a Boris win. I like the man - he's real - he cares. (Cameron - take him or leave him or put him out with the plastics on rubbish day. - Though even he's better than Brown, I suppose)

James

re Editor - the Livingstone team have posted the press release you mention online now.

http://www.kenlivingstone.com/media/tory_supporters_savage_attacks

James Walsh

It's not just Simon Heffer from among his former colleagues as a Telegraph scribbler. Here is former editor Perigrine Worthstone:

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/31907,opinion,a-serious-boris-you-must-be-joking

"Never before having had the opportunity to observe Boris Johnson trying to conduct himself seriously and responsibly, I have to confess that his various attempts to do so last week were deeply disappointing.

"He can't do it. The harder he tried, the more insincere, incoherent, evasive and even puerile he looked and sounded, even enabling the Lib-Dem candidate to score points. Take away the gags and jokes and nothing much is left.

"None of this will matter much if Boris loses. He could always resume the clowning. But should he actually win, the Tory party could be in serious trouble. For in the two years to the general election, Mayor Johnson would have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his unsuitability for this important job; a demonstration which could hardly fail to raise the question of whether

"On the other hand, the prospect of another four years for Ken Livingstone is not much cop either. Last week was also the first time I observed much of him on TV, and I was worryingly impressed."

FIRST POSTED APRIL 30, 2008

Not Boris

Those who know Boris from the Torygraph seem to doubt his abilities. Peregrine Worthorne has attacked him too -

"A serious Boris? You must be joking

Never before having had the opportunity to observe Boris Johnson trying to conduct himself seriously and responsibly, I have to confess that his various attempts to do so last week were deeply disappointing. He can't do it. The harder he tried, the more insincere, incoherent, evasive and even puerile he looked and sounded, even enabling the Lib-Dem candidate to score points. Take away the gags and jokes and nothing much is left.

None of this will matter much if Boris loses. He could always resume the clowning. But should he actually win, the Tory party could be in serious trouble. For in the two years to the general election, Mayor Johnson would have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his unsuitability for this important job; a demonstration which could hardly fail to raise the question of whether David Cameron - a horse from the same lightweight stable - would be likely, in office, to do better. In other words, the whole new Tory 'project' could be compromised, rather as the New Labour 'project' would have been compromised had Gordon Brown gone into bat first."

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/31907,opinion,a-serious-boris-you-must-be-joking

Bryan

Who is worse, Heffer or Hitchens...?
They're both great!

Not Boris

There must be good reasons why so many of Johnson's former colleagues believe that he is not up to the Mayoral job. Andrew Sullivan, a contemporary of Boris at Oxford, has also made derogatory comments about him. They know Boris well, have seen through his Bertie Wooster buffoon act, recognise his Etonian burning ambition and continue to ring the alarm bell.

Having met Johnson on several occasions, I think that Heffer and Worstorne have been too easy him. Boris is just another ambitious, but incompetent, toff who thinks that he was born to rule.

Christina Speight

What is depressing about this blog is that NOBODY - including Heffer - has mentioned once the moral case for clearing out of County Hall the cesspit that is presided over by Livingstone with gerrymandering, bribery, misappropriation of funds, bullying, cosying up to terrirists of either the Irish or the Islamic variety and the diversion of public funds for the glorification of Livingstone,

That man is EVIL and it's time that went into the balance - or doesn't the Tory party know the difference any more between good and evil.

Simon Heffer's butcher

What is it about this smug idealogue, that he cant see the way to another crushing defeat is to offer more of the same which
served the party so well in 2001 & 2005?

Clearly he thinks he's immensely intelligent but of course as a journalist he never has to do anything of substance.

Dontmakemelaugh

"I second the motion from the writer higher up the thread - if Heffer is sacked I guarantee to return to the paper immediately.

Posted by: Londoner | April 30, 2008 at 14:55"

I like Heff; he really makes politics interesting and gets people thinking - think how bored the rest of you would be today without Heff's breath of fresh air. Great stuff! I liked the description, a gem: "Boris isn't a politician - he is an act". So true, but most of 'em are.

I watched him (Heff) on Question Time the other week (I was watching from Tesco's). Theresa May was on the same panel - I couldn't see if she was wearing her crocodile shoes she wore when we understood from her that we (Conservatives)were thought to be "nasty". She is still a big wig in the party so why pick on Heff? Compared to Heff she and the rest were just lightweights. If Heff gets the sack I will take Londoner's advice and switch to the Guardian (well I might just as well, don't you think?)

Ray-mond

The country seems to have forgotten how appalling the Tories are at running things...electing Boris may well remind us!

Strawsonian

Alex, you took the words right out of my mouth re Heffer writing the Liverpool editorial for which Boris took full responsibility (ie a huge bucket of sh*t) as Spectator editor. Now Heffer repays him by pouring a bucket of the proverbial over him. Somehow I don't think this is a deed that will be forgotten in a hurry. Boris may be insanely ambitious - wanting to be US president etc - but Heffer is still a poisonous little reptile.

Londoner

Bill at 15.06 says: "LOL. Londoner switched from the Torygraph to the Guardian of all papers. I could have understood a Tory supporter switching to the Times but the Guardian. Insightful."

Not bad Bill. I did actually start by switching to the Times but that phase only lasted 4 weeks as the Times is such a very poor newspaper, in fact total CR**. And I had thought all these years that I wasn't reading it because I don't like the republican Murdock; which I had finally convinced myself to swallow. Even Matthew Parris was a great let down. I have stuck with the Guardian for three months because, despite its politics (and v scant City coverage), it is actually mostly a quality product. But Toynbee in particular is intolerable, particularly when she writes about things like tax and the economy when she is so ignorant of them. And on her supposedly specialist areas of social policy, she mostly assumes her positions, as if everyone shared her flawed starting point, rather than argue them (a bit like Heffer the other way round when you think of it).

So it's probably back to the Telegraph, and hoping they get rid of Heffer Daily Mailitis. I think actually he has reined back on Cameron somewhat now he is not such an easy target to kick when he's down. That's another thing about Heffer - he is not contrarian at all. If he sees a weakened target, instead of analysing the situation, he just goes in like the semi-educated boot boy that he is. You can educate the Essex man outside Essex but, in his case at least, you cannot educate the boot boy out of the man.

Bill

For all the Cameroons out there, there is a good article by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on line dated yesterday to get you going if Heffer hasn't.

David Galea

Plastering photographs of Mr Heffer's fat face on the walls of London would encourage people to vote for Boris.

As the new mayor of London, Boris would do well to listen to criticism, even badly timed criticism from a jealous colleague.

Mr Heffer has given the cowardly scum who write for the Guardian new material for their constant attacks on Boris. The Guardian's constant "picanninies" comments will now be replaced with 'Boris is an act'. This is wonderful! We know the Guardian will be desperately trying to scour Boris' name during his time as mayor. Teehee! Boris in power and the Guardian's influence in decline! Watching the Guardian trying to snipe from a position of little influence and power will be an absolute joy to experience! Absolutely wonderful!

Dontmakemelaugh

Re Post by: Christina Speight | April 30, 2008 at 15:16

A good idea Christina. We have to do something to wake this shower up because Cameron & co refuse to listen and are just part of the Westminster Consensus Club.

Ted

The most damning thing about Heffer is Boris took the blame for Heffer's article on Liverpool, uncomplainingly and not to Boris's benefit either personally or politically and Heffer then claims Boris is in it all for himself. Mrs Thatcher said that when your opponents accuse you of something it reveals what your opponents would do themselves. This article says more about Simon Heffer than Boris Johnson.

Dontmakemelaugh

Does anyone know where Boris stands on the rather large Mosque which it is proposed should be built next to the new Olympic stadium?
Speak up or forever hold your peace.
I think we already know - just checking.

Jane

Oh come now people, there's no use in shooting the messenger.

BernardoB

In fairness, Andrew Gilligan on The Standard maintains he is 'avowedly left wing' in today's Guardian. His attacks on Livingstone do not make him 'pro Boris', apparently. Neither should Simon Heffer's critique of Johnston be seen as pro Ken. He is expressing his opinion and has every right to do so. Boris presents himself as a clown so cannot be upset if that is how he is seen.

The Director

Mr Heffer's comments resonate with fact about why London should elect Ken back for a third term.
There are many multi billion pound projects that the current Mayor of London has had responsibility for. These are to move London forward and require gravitas,experience as well as sound leadership attributes.
The truth is Ken has had experience in dealing with multi billion pound budgets spanning back many decades. In a time of an economic downturn London needs Leaders of substance as well as character, it is not a position for gimmicks or soundbite politicians, I think if you resonate experience as well as continued stability to moving London forward then there is only one real candidate and that is Ken.
Perhaps when there is more policy substance from the Borris team in a few years time then Londoners would take him seriously.
The next Mayor should have a good understanding of multilateralism and International Relations on a social and economic perspective as well as a political one. This is an area where Borris has not enough experience on.
The mayor of London is not a talk show host, instead he is a Mayor of the greatest and most vibrant city on this Earth, he has an important job to do. That requires intellectual leadership that has a hands on style of management but one that represents all Londoners and not just the few.
Yes, it is an important role and I think that it is one that requires a continuity of strong leadership.

Dontmakemelaugh

Post by the The Director | April 30, 2008 at 21:27.

Rubbish. OK so Boris is a clown and so is Livingston, but at least Boris is funny.
To trot out that only Livingstone can safely guide and govern London is RUBBISH.

Mike Bell

No one in their right mind could ever regard Boris Johnson as a credible candidate for anything serious.

King of Spain

This is hilarious. You absolute bunch of losers!

Of course Boris is a joke, anyone who isn't blinded by needy love for the Conservative cause can see that. Heffer is a columnist, paid to express opinions, and he's expressed a perfectly valid one.

Sensible, swing-voting Londoners will have a long think tomorrow, before selecting Livingstone as first or second preference. A vote for Boris is a vote for insanity.

Dan

I still buy the Telegraph, but for one reason only - The sport. The Telegraphs Cricket, Rugby (Union) and F1 coverage is wonderful. As for the rest of the paper I have for the past few years taken to routinely sticking it in the recycling bin and taken the FT and WSJ for news as they at least provide the news (a novel approach for the 21st Century press) and decent comment.

Heffer is a creature of a bygone age, if he were not so destructive I would feel sorry for him. I find it disturbing that a so called Tory would decry another mans politics and beliefs so disgustingly, I also find the way he carries himself about in that self important way highly irritating. He may not like he way DC is operating, I don't always, but a) DC is our elected leader (yes we should criticise but the day BEFORE an election!? and b) in case Heffer hasn't realised the Tories are consistently polling double digit leads.

As for Heffer's Liverpool comments, I think it just proves the point. He is a bitter, twisted, loon who either needs locking in a cupboard or shipping off to the Mirror. Boris proved he was by far the better man for taking the fall for that, he stuck by the principles of Editorial responsibility and gained only the displeasure from the City of Liverpool for his efforts. Heffer should have come forward and that he didn't speaks volumes about what sort of "man" he is.

The Telegraph should certainly get rid, although I have to say it still wouldn't induce me to buy it for news or comment, for that much more is needed.

David Eyles

Normally, I find Heffer quite sound. But every now and again he does get over excited, have one of his funny turns and has to give vent to his spleen. Its not really a problem......the chaps in white coats come along to soothe his brow and then after a while they can loosen the straps a bit and he's back to normal. Wait till after the results and the dust has settled and he'll be back to his normal chirpy self.

Tapestry

Position Vacant - London Mayor

Qualities Required - ability to act, be a bit of showman.

- ability to build a team of highly motivated individuals to create a new concept for the City.

- be tough enough to survive a highly political environment, be a touch egotistic, and able to ride the blows and slights of public office.

Applicant - Boris Johnson. CV. Possesses all the three primary qualities required in spades. Principal Referee - Simon Heffer, Telegraph.

Chris Paul

Perhaps Conservative Home would like to comment on the absurd scenes in Manchester's Whalley Range ward where Tory canvasser/intimidators are delivering Hizb_ut-Tahrir leaflets along with bully boy tactics?

Editor

Watch Heffer Confronted on this column.

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