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Boris's problem is his erudition - there was no need to use Papua New Guinea; he could have used the non-specific South Pacific. There is obviously sensitivity in PNG - though ritual cannabalism is believed still to be practiced in remote tribes.

His apology was amusing though - better than the preceived cultural insult.

He is totally unsuited to be a frontbencher really, he obviously is very intelligent but with rather an ability to shoot himself in the foot while making speeches or producing articles, he would be better sticking to the backbenches and a career in journalism.

Beneath the buffoonery, he's a closet europhile - hence his recent efforts to promote the break up of the UK and the severance of our links with the USA.

Johnson is a pathetic jerk. He was only put on "Have I got news for you" so that the clever-dick lefties could laugh AT him, which they do all the time, although he doesn't seem to have noticed.

He's a symptom - like Cameron - of the dumbing-down of today's Tory Party.

Even I won't use Boris's support for DC as a stick to beat him with.

One only needs to go to any event he is speaking at to work out he has star quality. He is intelligent, and offers the conservatives a medium for accessing the previously unaccessible.

I don't think he is suited for Shadow Cabinet but the Higher Education brief was made for him.

Keep it up Boris, but only with the Mrs.

I like Boris and think he is good value but would I like him as my MP? He is very likeable but not Front Bench material. I think that any Party would be worse off if it didn't have someone like Boris.

Excellent backbench material. A genius at self promotion who has no clear identification to any cause, other than Boris Johnson.

He backed Cameron by preventing any other leadership contender from recieving as much as one word in the Spectator when he was Editor, as he had the sniff of a job offer from Cameron.

At this stage he suits the Conservative brand, as we struggle to undo Political Correctness as defined by New Labour. But once Cameron's in power and is defining his own version of PC, Boris will become more nuisance than he's worth. Enjoy him while you can. He won't be there forever.

A trip to PNG and a TV programme meeting real life head hunters is the inevitable pennance for his latest gaffe. Poor old Boris. He has such a hard life.

In a world of career politicians - non-human and boring as hell most of them - Boris is like a breath of fresh air.

AND he's backing the new English Music Festival.

BUT Denis - What's this - - "a closet europhile - hence his recent efforts to promote the break up of the UK and the severance of our links with the USA." Could you be more specific please? News to me.

Now THAT is a worry.

Wallenstein - "Has Cameron got the balls" The general and not Boris-specific answer is - NO!

The only love going on in Boris' closet has little political content. If it wasn't for a certain German tennis player, he would by now be known by all and sundry as 'bonking boris'. maybe 'jumping johnson' would work equally well.


After a so-called debate in Henley Town Hall about five years ago many members of the audience remarked that they could really see very little difference between Boris Johnson and Keith Vaz, who was then Europe Minister.

In his column in the Henley Standard (now discontinued) he invariably concealed the EU origin of the absurd regulations etc which he was complaining about.

Most of his recent articles in the Telegraph have mostly been intended either to stir up the English against the Scots (successfully, from the readers' comments) or to incite anatagonism towards the Americans.

There's a pattern of behaviour here which I recognise as being that of a europhile, not that of a patriot. In fact he's the worst kind of Tory MP - the kind who while pretending to be one of us and on our side, in reality has systematically deceived and betrayed us for the best part of half a century, following the famous Arnold Toynbee dictum:

"We are working discreetly ........ and all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands."

Oh Denis do shut up, Boris is no Europhile.

If you look back to the 2001 leadership election Boris, when declaring for Clarke, made specific reference to wanting to hear less about how great the Nice Treaty is etc etc.

I may disagree with DC, but you most certainly are a Troll (whatever the agreed definition).

Boris is frontbench material, we need more ministers who are prepared to be un-PC and ignore the humourless puritans.

Denis Cooper,

Rubbish, Boris is a eurosceptic - he regularly complains about EU craziness in his telegraph column and made a TV series last year contrasting the Roman Empire to the EU, main plot: Romans ran europe with no bureaucracy and had a single culture, EU wont work.

"If you look back to the 2001 leadership election Boris, when declaring for Clarke ..." is hardly a convincing argument that he's no europhile, and nor is "wanting to hear less about how great the Nice Treaty is etc etc" when in fact it was notable that NOTHING AT ALL had been said about the Nice Treaty during the Tory campaign for the preceding 2001 general election.

I watched his TV programmes, and no way was that the work of a eurosceptic. As for criticising the EU for excessive bureaucracy, if and when he actually did rather than his usual pretence that it's all "Prescott" or "this government", even organisations like the European Movement are prepared to criticise the EU for excessive bureaucracy.

>>AND he's backing the new English Music Festival<<

Well assuming that's classical music rather than rap, maybe he's only 100% rather than 110% bad. What festival is this?

I'll just copy and paste what I posted yesterday:

Boris Johnson is a legend. I just heard the PNG High Commissioner on the radio. Not for ages have I heard such pompous waffle. Lighten up and stop taking yourself so seriously! I expect most people in this country would see his comment as harmless banter.

Boris is something of a buffoon, but whlie that does make him slightly worrying on the front bench should it not be perfect for London Mayor? A self-promoting, entertaining but overall harmless buffoon against a racist, incompetent socialist buffoon might be an appealing contest?

I think Boris will be whatever you want him to be...not a person of principle, but an advantage-seeker, a follower of fashion. One minute he'll be europhile, the next eurosceptic-sounding - much like Portillo. All of them from the Blair era, now coming towards its close.

Boris correctly called Cameron to win the leadership, but maybe his buffoonery will not survive so easily in a Conservative Party that wins power. He'll no doubt be willing to turn his coat as many times as it takes to keep in the game.

Keep Boris, someone has to take on political correctness. Sorry he felt the need to "apologise", he should have told PNG that "mature democracies" are grown up enough to not worry about this sort of thing.

I wonder though if someone in the Foreign Office put PNG up to the protest. . . .

I've checked back, and the "debate" organised by the Democracy Movement in Henley took place in December 2000, by which time Boris Johnson had been selected to succeed Heseltine. Like others I went along having accepted at face value that he was a staunch eurosceptic and expecting sparks to fly between him and Keith Vaz. By the end of the meeting it had become clear that in reality there was little difference between their views. Nothing he has said or done since then has contradicted that assessment, and a great deal has supported it.

Umm, if we're going to talk about Boris J can we talk about HIGNFY and things like that? Denis Cooper can you please have a rant at Europe somewhere else. The rest of us are the type of people who are not obsessed with just one issue and definitely not the type who judge people on what they may or may not think on one issue five years ago. Rant over.

Sorry, Francis, I should have realised that HIGNFY is a more important topic.

Boris Johnson certainly had a Euro-sceptic profile when he was EU correspondent for the Telegraph.

I remember that miserable old Heathite Anthony Meyer whinging about the Telegraph and "The three Johnsons" who were always lying about the wonderful EU (I suppose EEC then), The other two were Paul and Frank.

I had, therefore, a good opinion of Boris Johnson and then, one day, I was unexpectedly introduced to him in person at the party conference.

I have to say I was quite shocked. The man gabbled like a swivel-eyed madman. His appearance was...well I'd rather not say.

However, he remained a Eurosceptic, or so it seemed. Since becoming a Tory MP, on the other hand, he has simply toed the party line.

Even the court jesters of old had a licence to abuse their masters. Not this particular fool, it seems.

As for his pilgrimage to Canossa, or rather Scouseland, nothing could have been more contemptible. Johnson should have told Howard to take a running jump. Instead he very effectively proclaimed to the world that he is an unprincipled political lightweight.

Sadly, he is the type who appeals to the motherly instincts of the elderly woman who make up so much of our membership, so his future as a Tory MP is assured.

I've met him too. Top bloke ,huge asset to the Tory party.Witty ,principled and erudite.Not in my opinion likely to reach the top echelons of the party as I don't think he cares that much about his ministerial career.
Denis if Boris Johnson is a Europhile I must be a communist.I wasn't at your meeting but I have seen numerous pieces from Boris ridiculing the EU. If he truly is a friend of the EU it would not need enemies.

Maybe you should take out a subscription for the Morning Star.

Since he became MP I must have read between one and two hundred of his "Jottings from Boris" in the weekly Henley Standard. As far as I can remember he hasn't mentioned the EU once in all that time, which is not bad going given that most of the things he complained about and blamed on the Labour government actually originated with the EU and would also have been imposed on a Tory government. In contrast when John Redwood writes in the local press he often points out that the regulations he's condemning have come from the EU.

But he has in the Telegraph and Spectator on numerous ocassions.Perhaps comrade, his local paper jottings are designed to focus on local issues?

Boris has an interesting sense of humour . These things shouldn't be blown out of proportion. Cream cake anyone?

I've always had a soft-spot for Boris, and as he recently offered a friend of mine a lift after a function they both attended he is now cemented in my affections as a top guy. Although I would agree that his propensity for jumping into his own mouth with both feet (to mix metaphors) would really be a problem in a top ministerial role.

In a political culture reliant on spin and being 'on message' and in a culture kowtowing to political correctness, Boris is a welcome breath of fresh air rivalling only the Duke of Edinburgh for his ability to unwittingly offend entire nations in one quip.

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