« Speech of 2008 | Main | Gaffe of 2008 »


Good pick of Boris.

Even a lefty friend of mine, and a London resident, admitted to me the other day (through gritted teeth) that Boris may not be his cup of tea but "at least he actually does what he says he is going to do".

I think Boris' major PR success of the entire year was probably his least important in terms of issues. The unveiling of the new Routemaster designs in December with the likelihood of one appearing on our roads by 2011 showed doubters that it wasn't just some pie-in-the-sky idea to win votes on the election trail, a claim made by cynical Labour.

Strong leadership brings respect, even from those who do not agree with actual policy. A certain Iron Lady knew all about that.

Come off it, Jonathan I:! Mark Francois won't be a folk hero with this Tory eurosceptic. It's about time that the party got round to keeping its promise to leave the EPP - it's FOUR YEARS overdue already.

And who cares whether it's in a group or not. Our whole relationship with the EU needs scrapping and rebuilding - not tinkering with!

Many of us are quite clear - We will not vote Tory in the euro-elections but - at present - will vote for the Party in the General Election.

Building "groups" is mere fiddling while Rome burns. Just leave the EPP.

My one to watch for 2009?

Hardly a fresh face - Ken Clarke.

There's a good chance he could be Shadow Secretary of State for Business by the end of January and will hopefully add weight to the shadow treasury team.

2009 will be all about the economy so his will be a pivotal role.

Dissapointment of the year

Sad to see Bruce Forsythe has once again been overlooked in the New Year Honours list.

Not wishing to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I hope it's not because he is a Conservative.

Perhaps we could nominate him for a peerage!

The ultimate peoples peer

BoJo is in a different league to the Shadow Cabinet (except Gove, gotta love Gove) not because the Tory big guns are in anyway wrong in their ways, but because they have, yes have, to conform to the please-all media and volatile electorate. Boris can be who he likes because of the comical value of his personality, whereas DC has to be much better an manipulating the press mood and striking the right balances, which I think he is doing an excellent job at.

Boris Johnson is not impressive. He only seems that way because he has done a few small things that any Tory Mayor would have done.

He seems impressive because expectations were so low: people in the know in the party (i.e. people who actually know him as opposed to the party activists who do not) are surprised that he was able to do anything at all.

First away choice has to be Obama but certainly Mark Francois will be my home favourite next year. ( I'd play Boris down a bit if I were you otherwise there'll be decidedly less light to fall of Cameron next year ) !!

I guess many of live in hope of change of the kind we imagine Obama was trusted to deliver when he was elected, but its anyone's guess whether he'll deliver it.

Meanwhile, Europe, the UK, Russia, China and India, Japan and others will obviously be hanging on his every word as to how he intends to tackle the financial crisis, as without change in the American economy nothing will change here or anywhere else.

As we end 2008, Morgan the women's clothing chain has just gone bust.

The FTSE 100 has lost 30% of its value this year.

Woolworths failed to keep its head above the pond it lay in for nearly 100 years.

The auto industry was knackered by recoiling customers who were vilified and taxed up to their eyeballs by Gordon Brown because they added "waste" to our environment. Well he certainly knows all about waste !

Half the pubs have been shut as much by government as if Brown had gone round himself and done it.

Fags are up, wines, spirits and beers are up.

Holiday operators will likely topple like ten pins next year.

The government is building a runway we don’t need. It's not building nuclear power plants we do need. It's not cutting tax which we need, yet it IS cutting tax on stuff we don’t need.

Don't mention NHS computers or air craft carriers whatever you do !

Meanwhile, we’re all off to the European Federation next year to have our eyes taken out and to have our democracy hung drawn and quartered, and now the government wants to watch our emails, tap our phones and know about the sites we visit in case they miss any of our business.

Doubtless they'll be making tax loopholes for people who "volunteer" to have car speed limiters next year too.

World leader Obama of the US where half this sh!te started, would like to hold a meeting sometime in April on the economic crisis everyone but him is in and are waiting patiently to end before we do.

The UK, Europe, Russia, China and America are throwing people out of work twenty to the dozen, all our homes are going to be as good as a pig in a poke without buyers, the non-elected Prime Minister won’t call an election because he prefers salmon sandwiches as opposed to dog meat like the rest of us, and now the BBC are plugging the Euro and castigating British shopkeepers for having some problem in accepting foreign currency, whilst ours has been smashed to the floor by Brown's hammer.

The TaxPayers Alliance has uncovered monstrous unfairness in earnings between the state and private sectors which will cause division in society.

England is the only place in the UK with charges on its car parks at hospitals where even the staff have to pay to help meet the insulting levels of wages paid by Brown to immigrant doctors whilst 3 to 1 of our own are unemployed or have already had the sense to have left the country.

Public sector pensions are unaffordable, we have no money, but as long as "WE" keep borrowing and spending, then Brown can say "HE" has done a good job of pulling us through the crisis which "HE" started.

Apart from all that, I'm a natural born optimist so I live in eternal hope that there’s no escalation of war in the middle east, which could double or treble oil prices next year not to mention killing hundreds or thousands of innocent people on the way to and thru 2009.

Happy New Year everybody !

Boris will be a hero if he scraps the current designs for the Olympic Athlete's Village and instead of building the slums of the future, has this redesigned to provide streets of houses with gardens for families.

There is plenty of time and as the taxpayer is almost certainly going to pay for this 100%, he should demand something better than the outdated high-rise, ultra high-density scheme, currently proposed.

In doing so, he would reverse the seemingly endless progress of Morrison's scheme to "build the Tories out of London" and actually provide some Tory housing in Newham!

Ones to watch 2009.

Tories - Boris will lead the way, but I think that Osborne, Gove and David Davis are all in with a shout as well apart from Cameron.

Labour - Purnell, Mandelson and Harman. Doubt that either Brown or Darling will still be in their current jobs by the end of next year.

Libdems - Chris Huhne and Vince Cable.

America - Barack Obama.

Scotland - Salmond, Goldie and Murphy.

Ones to watch 2009.

Tories - Boris will lead the way, but I think that Osborne, Gove and David Davis are all in with a shout as well apart from Cameron.

Labour - Purnell, Mandelson and Harman. Doubt that either Brown or Darling will still be in their current jobs by the end of next year.

Libdems - Chris Huhne and Vince Cable.

America - Barack Obama.

Scotland - Salmond, Goldie and Murphy.

"England is the only place in the UK with charges on its car parks at hospitals where even the staff have to pay"

Obviously Northern Ireland isn't in your definition of the Uk then...

Anyway, Boris will be the one to watch. He could do so much good with some common sense mayor-ing!

Jonathan is right to commend the work of Mark Francois on the EPP issue, but in addition we should not forget my good colleague Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who is also on the case and has done excellent and much-needed work on the ground.

My "one to watch" in 2009 is the FTSE 100. The FTSE 100 stood at 4,445 on 1 May 1997. Today, it closed at 4,434, down 11 points in 11 years. This is a shameful record and demonstrates the failure of this government to create a business friendly environment in the UK. At a time when we should be encouraging self reliance the stock market, on which so many pension funds depend, has ground to a halt under Labour.

Boris is the one to watch, because he has losers at The Guardian trying to trip him up constantly. We need to watch Boris and point out the Grauniad's lies.

Tories: David Cameron! Also Boris, Mark Francois, Jeremy Hunt, Greg Hands and Justine Greening
Labour: Mandelson, Purnell and Alan Johnson who has been rather quiet recently!
Lib Dem: Vince Cable

Jonathan - I think that you will again be very disappointed when the Conservatives fail to leave the EPP. They have bottled developing an honourably eurosceptic approach too many times before for this time to be any different.

Tim - fair call on Boris, although I still have this deep-seated feeling that David Cameron would love him to fail as he knows he could very easily be replaced by Boris as leader.

However, as the economy becomes THE issue of 2009, I suggest the one to watch is the replacement of George Osborne as Shadow Chancellor when Cameron realises that it's essential to winning the General Election to have a heavyweight in the role. Likely replacement: William Hague. Dark horse: Michael Fallon.

Having suggested Douglas Carswell for Backbencher of the Year, I'll put him up here too. He frequently comes across as the new Norman Tebbit - exactly what we need.

one to watch:

Mark Harper Conservative MP for Forest of Dean.

He has been quietly but persistently questioning the government, and as a result he is building up an in depth knowledge of welfare as Shadow Minister for Disabled People. Mark has the sort of background that will make him invaluable in defusing the old Tory Toff’s lie. He has yet to make his mark (no pun intended) in parliament but I feel it will only be a matter of time before the Charismatic Mr Harper becomes a household name. Mark Harper is defiantly my one to watch for 2009.

"Boris is the one to watch, because he has losers at The Guardian trying to trip him up constantly. We need to watch Boris and point out the Grauniad's lies"

Not like he's accident prone then!

Sadly, all predictable stuff to date - nothing original in any of the contributions!

The person on the Conservative side who I think will generate the greatest acclaim will be IDS whose work is now being looked at closely beyond just the Conservative Party.
The person who I really hope does well is George Osborne. It would be fantastic if he manages to prove the those of us who do not believe he's the right man for the job wrong.

Well Robert, if all those contributions are so predictable why don't you make one of your own?

"He could very easily be replaced by Boris as leader."

Best joke of 2008 that.

Prediction: more Boris f*** ups in '09.

Tory Greg Hands and Justine Greening

Labour James Purnell

Lib-Dem Vince Cable

International Obama and Putin the two. men who will shape our future

Also keep an eye on Pope Benedict XVI. From a quiet start and being far less of a showman than his predecessor John Paul II he is addressing issues which for too long have been swept under the carpet and is not sacrificing truth for popularity. I am not a Roman Catholic but I admire his leadership.

Malcolm, you beat me to it!! Go on Robert - we are All Agog!

"International Obama and Putin the two. men who will shape our future"

Also the man wittily referred to by a fellow poster elsewhere on the site as Mr "Iminadinnerjacket"!

This is a man who needs watching....carefully.

I agree that Boris Johnstone will be the one to watch in 2009. It will be interesting to see not just how many more advisors he loses but what will be the first terrific balls up.It will come I am sure.
Overall I think 2009 will be dominated by Barek Obama. I think he is set to dominate world politics for many years to come and I suspect that his interventionist policies will boost Gordon Brown.
I am afraid David Cameron is many things but he is no Barek Obama.

It is a no-brainer that Barack Obama will dominate the news in 2009 he will after all be President of the USA from the 20th of this month and as such will be one of a handful of people who can influence the world. The same goes, like him or not, for Vladimir Putin.

I too have my doubts about David Cameron, but hope that I may be proven wrong. As for Gordon Brown however , his failures are as visible as the Mark of Cain.

Will someone teach Troll-Stone to spell, please. "Barek"? "Johnstone"?

PS Perhaps we could learn what he disagrees with Brown, if anything at all.

For 2009, I would pick out either Boris or Douglas Carswell.

As for Jack Stone! Clearly, this gentleman requires help with his spelling. And "interventionist policies", Mr. Stone? Perhaps you could clarify that for us?

In practice, interventionist policies often do more harm than good. As far as economies are concerned, fair competition and high levels of output tend to achieve far more.

We also need both greater freedom, and to take more responsibility for our actions.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker