Saturday, 3 May 2008

bojo rising

boris jogs our thinkingBoth my taxi drivers on Thursday were supporting Boris, although neither actually had a London vote. One lived in Canvey Island and the other in Hertfordshire. They both made the point that they hated the way Gordon was running the country and that it was time for a change. I found the linkage between national politics and the way London needs to operate somewhat tenuous, as I suspect did Ken Livingstone, who kept a slightly distant participation of Brown in his campaign.

Cameron, on the other hand, was all over the Boris campaign, suggesting the full Tory munitions were wheeled out to buffer the buffoon. "Team Boris" comprised skilled handlers to keep Boris between the guard-rails of acceptability required during the campaigning stage. They don't want him getting in any more hot stew with Papua New Guinea or Liverpool even the Conservative Diary didn't know what to make of those bloopers.

The paid-for newspaper read by most Londoners is the Evening Standard (which is owned by the moaning, alarmist 'sell it with a Diana pic' Daily Mail's Associated Press) and the Stannit cleverly presented a strongly negative Livingstone image in the run-up, without any obvious counter through the freebee papers, which somehow operate in a different news galaxy. The Standard's approach could be worthy of a media studies course, using the big stories for slagging off Ken, whilst running small font credits in the back pages with the stair lift adverts.

Andrew Gilligan of the Standard was at County Hall yesterday night (oddly, it is St Boris Day on 2 May) and defended their position as factually critical, and that there would now start to be a similar analysis of Boris. I suppose from a news perspective it gives a brilliant new set of clich├ęs to invent and roll out, including plundering of the Private Eye war-chest.
Some of today''s press is saying that Boris is clever and thoughtful, with his Etonian and Oxford high profile roles. They say he got further up the popularity pole in those places than David Cameron and that may have influenced Cameron's entry to the elitist toff Bullington dining club. His birth in America means he also jokes in such circles about running for Mizter Prezident. Perhaps after he's restarted his gin drinking and had a good scoff, he'll come up with some policies that were not written in detention by a couple of his job-experience aides.

We will all be watching you, Boris.

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