When the Tory party has quite finished its little joke, will it please roll out its real candidate please? Unless, of course, they are serious, in which case, this is a serious insult to Londoners.
Now is surely time for Liberal Democrat MP Simon Highes to come to the rescue of the unshakeable tory voter. He would definitely give Livingstone a better run for his money than this famous buffoon. Much loved though he is.
But Hughes won’t run, because he knows full well that Livingstone will win, and will do so because he is by far the most popular candidate, and is widely seen as having done an excellent job of putting London back on track as a world city after a generation of rudderless meandering, and of delivering a series of measures which ordinary people welcome, including the congestion charge and the bendy buses – which are hardly ever used by those who criticise them. He is never less than straightforward, and speaks a recognisable form of English, unlike most politicians.
Livingstone’s popularity with ordinary Londoners is the best kept political secret around, no matter what the Daily Mail Rentamob say. And this is the main reason why there are no serious conservatives willing to face up to him. They know he would wipe the floor with them. If Livingstone was as unpopular as the usual suspects say, there would be a queue to put the boot in. Instead, we get this affable clown who will probably bottle out at the last minute and land poor old Stephen Norris with the job of clearing up the mess as usual.
Which, to the electorate of London, is what is known as a diabolical liberty. Boris doesn’t care about London. He is looking for a bit of a laugh, and this is his idea of one. He is the Tory party’s anti-Ken suicide bomber. Only he gets to write the book afterwards.
The other aspect to this is the glaring sympathy emerging between new prime minister Gordon Brown and Ken Livingstone. After wasted years of fighting the government, Londoners will not jeapordise this lucrative partnership no matter how many lorryloads of puppies the Tory PR machine throws at them.
Apart from looking like a puppy in a paint advert, people like Johnson because they think he’s honest. His famous ‘shambling’ reeks of perpetual apology for something. And people like it when someone seems to apologise to them. Just as Australian teenage girls seek to charm through perpetually asking permission with the rising inflectives of every sentence?
But in reality, what is it that Boris is being honest about and apologising for? As a tory politician, what else can it be but for the bankruptcy of the Tory ideas account? Whatever boarding school experiences pummelled those mannerisms into him, he comes across as the walking embodiment of Tory obsolescence, and his toff credentials are the sporran on the bridegroom, the deerstalker on the laird, the Range Rover in the forecourt, the top hat on the Piccadilly Johnnie. He is perfect for the part, in spite of his less than lovely past.
The trouble is, that throughout a lengthy election campaign he will therefore be a continual advert for tory uselessness- for the fact that it has no reason to exist other than to perpetuate itself. Has David Cameron lost his senses? Would anyone vote for someone with that much tactical savoir faire?
It’s only day one and the first Boris gaff has been sighted.
“18-metre long socialist frankfurter buses” should be abolished he says, referring to the new public transport system which replaced London’s iconic ‘Routemaster’ buses. This will lose the vote of everyone now waiting one third of the time it used to take to get on a bus, and those shlepping prams, shopping, zimmer frames, even bikes and furniture. “Socialist”, says Boris, as if people cared. According to him, they now like something socialist. Well done Boris.
Meanwhile, rabid London radio hitman Nick Ferarri has taken a lot of flak for withdrawing from the Tory candidature. This is very unfair to him. Not only is it wrong to expect the Fourth Estate to partake in government, but it is surely honest of Ferrarri not to stand for the Tories when his natural party would be the far-right British National Party. All right-thinking folk should applaud the miserable poisonous bullying piece of lowlife for this scrap of principle. If that’s the reason for his decision.