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Quick update there Tim. Good to see Boris taking this seriously. I know its been reported that since the cock up with Liverpool hes done everything possible to make up for it and I really hope hes going to do everything possible to do this job justice. Hes got a nice portfolio and Im looking forward to how he deals with it.

Sensible to stop editing the Spectator. Whats Stuart Reid like as an Editor...anyone know?

Boris Johnson is smart and talented person, but he's been deploying, to great effect, the same, tired routine since he was an undergraduate.

If he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to change, mature and drop the shtick.

We shall see how he develops. But higher education is a serious brief, requiring him to show a more serious side of himself and stick with it.

Great appointment of a truly sound tory, Boris Johnson has been a great editor of a great magazine, and I am sure he will prove a valuable member of the Opposition Front Bench

Absolutely. Hes got something that could really make himself known as someone who can deal with something and make it work. Higher Education is worth a LOT of votes and he without doubt has his work cut out. Cameron is taking a risk but Im hoping he can pull it off.

It is a risky appointment that could prove very succesful or a total farce. It will be interseting to see if Boris can be the succesful politician that many of us would like to see him become.

This is rewarding the old, failed Tory Party. Insult an entire city of voters and you get taken seriously. This puts friendship above political talent.

Big job for Boris, and a risky appointment by Cameron. The good side is that he will bring a lot of attention to the Conservative higher education policies, in a way that wasn't the case in the last election. The bad side is that he will bring a lot of attention to the Conservative higher education policies but they won't necessarily be popular. That said, I think it should pay off as long as he keeps his charm and good humour (no need for a 'makeover' -- Boris is just Boris), and the policies are decent.

This implies that all the talk about bringing the Conservatives back in the cities is just talk. Surely, political incompetence should not be rewarded. What kind of message does this send to Conservative voters and potential voters in Liverpool?

This implies that all the talk about bringing the Conservatives back in the cities is just talk. Surely, political incompetence should not be rewarded. What kind of message does this send to Conservative voters and potential voters in Liverpool?

About Liverpool, and to Boris' defense here he realised he made a mistake and has made up with Liverpool as much as he can do. He was seen recently at a Michael Howard do making up to Liverpool. Without doubt what Boris said was stupid. But he has gone above reproach in making up. Normally I dont give the benefit of the doubt, but on this case I would do that.

he was right about Liverpool.

But agree could damage our vote there

He might have been right but you dont say that sort of thing in public though. That was bad judgement. He did pay for it though and I think hes repented for long enough.

Should anyone care (I do) England have been drawn against Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden in the World Cup next year.

and we havent beat sweeden since 1968, according to motty anyway.

I didn't think I would appreciate a top job for Boris but this is a very cunning move. Having Boris to disarm the university criticisms and allowing him to travel to universities and really raise the Conservatives University policy will be a great move. He will be working with David Willets and so we should be seeing a really inventive Education policy with a really eye catching team to present it.

"That was bad judgement"

Right so why should he be promoted above others who have not had that bad judgement? Surely, the best jobs should go to the best political talent?

Im pretty worried. At least the Conservatives have a better chance of acheiving the Holy Grail by 2010... I watched England in Kenya back in 2002 failing (we had a good following in Nairobi!) and Im hoping for a better set of games, but those match ups dont look good.

We might have a Conservative Government in 2010 but not Football World Champions it seems. I can live with that quite nicely!

I am desperately hoping for a really good HE policy to push. I had trouble trying to persuade some people to back the last one. One friend worked out the maths and worked out they benefited under Blair. Not exactly the easiest starting point to start with persuasion!

As for Boris. I think hes working as hard as he can to make up for it. Some people do deserve to be given a second chance. We need Boris here. He can do it. Hes well known around the country. I might not agree with some of the other Cameron's picks but this one I am really feeling good about.

For those worried about this impacting our vote in the key target area of Liverpool, the Bigleys' constituency - Liverpool Walton - has a Labour majority of nearly 16,000.

The Party is never going to win seats in Labour heartlands such as this. We have far better things to worry about than whether appointing Boris Johnson to a senior position could alienate our support in Liverpool, of all places!

Im thinking more along the lines or "We need people like Boris Johnson to push Conservative policies". For some bizarre reason (come on...hes posh as they get) he comes across well with the public. We cant ignore him.

Boris Johnson comes across well as a comic figure on HIGNFY. That persona, however, destroys any credibility he has as a politician.

You speak, Goldie, as if you knew Boris at university. I knew him quite well.

Let me assure you that Boris is not putting on an act. That is him, for good or ill. The idea that it may ever "become tired," therefore, is foolish.

Boris is Boris, and ever more may be so.

Well I just hope that he does find the time to do the University rounds. He is the closest to a celebrity we have, and if he can get some students to laugh at him and agree with him, then job well done.

As a former constituent/supporter of John Hayes I am delighted to read of his appointment as Shadow Minister for Vocational Education. Having been both a County and District Councillor for wards in his constituency I have worked with John and seen him in action, first as PPC then MP. I certainly think he is right the right choice for the job he has been given.

Vocational edcuation is important.

The country needs people with qualifications in subjects like plumbing more than it does than graduates with degrees in Media Studies.I hope John will keep on stressing this point

I like to be as quick to praise as I am to carp. Although I did not vote for DC and still have many reservations about the way the Party could be going,I relish the prospect of David Willets, John and Boris all being part of the Education team.

Poor Ruth Kelly!

sorry for the typos My basic keyboard education is not all it should be.

the word of course should be "education" and not as I spelt it

Having been a party member responsible for booking speakers as a university student the prospect of having Boris come to speak would have been an absolute boon. It is a very clever a thought through appointment. I'm starting to think that what the Cameron re-shuffle lacks in dramatics it makes up for in its subtleties

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