Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Boris


Yes, camera phones give lousy quality.....


Top billing at the Local Government Association Conference in Bournemouth today was undoubtedly reserved for the new Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The Tories, who are in a substantial majority here owing to their strength in local government, were all over him like a rash. I overheard two Conservative ladies giggling to each other that they would be sitting in the front row with their tongues hanging out. As you might expect, Boris does not have the same effect on me...

Boris famously resembles an Old English Sheepdog, which was fitting, as the speech he gave was a rambling shaggy hound story. Amidst the ums and ers, and the anecdotes that went nowhere, was a commitment to work with the London Boroughs. He also voiced his opposition to mandatory car booster seats. And that was about it, in 30 long minutes.

Of course the 'blue' element of the audience loved him, and I found myself smiling once or twice at his self-deprecating jokes. That approach has got Boris a long way in politics, but I found myself wondering, as Walter Mondale famously asked of Gary Hart in the 1983 Democratic nomination process, "Where's the beef?". Sooner or later, Londoners will tire of the bumbling clown approach if he isn't successful in tackling knife crime, for example, or addressing congestion.

I did have to admire his sheer chutzpah, however, in calling for elected regional government as an alternative to the Government's current plans to reform planning law. He did so, he told as, as the proud leader of regional government in the capital. I could only grimace, thinking of the role his Tory colleagues played a few years ago in thwarting the North East's opportunity to have an elected regional chamber of our own. Still, no-one ever accused Boris of being a slave to consistency.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"yes camera phones give lousy pictures"

Get a 7.8 mega pixel one off the John Lewis list or of your DBC allowance or DBC expenses!

Darlington Councillor said...

No John Lewis list for 'umble councillors, of course....