Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Quiet Canary?

Has anyone seen any major headlines about Boris Johnson since he said he'd prevent his Bullingdon chums from 'ethnically cleansing' Greater London?

I haven't. That's not to say that there aren't any, but like the dog in Sherlock Holmes, there's something notable about Boris keeping his big gob so quiet. And incidentally, had anyone heard anything from Boris in the months before he presented himself as the Archon of Greater London who would save his minions from the very party he belongs to?

After all, he should have plenty to brag about shouldn't he? Surely he's been turning his demesne from an apparatchik controlled briar-wasteland into a golden meadow of creativity and innovation? Surely his feifdom is now a veritable taedifer for the wisdom of economic liberalism, an effulgent acropolis of Reagan-Thatcher conservatism?

Well, no. As for the favourite saw of the libertarian right that financial freedom results in political freedom, one of the Pericles inspired Bullingdon boy's first tasks was to increase CCTV surveillance to public transport and ban drinking on trains.

Does that remind you of one of his brothers in arms who likes to rail against 'big government'?

Whilst London's finest seem to have realised that truncheoning someone who's walking away with their hands in their pockets is none too clever, the Metropolitan Police still kettle protestors.

And surely the city is a great demonstration of the wisdom of how unregulated capitalism works so well away from government interference? Well...

In short, has Boris achieved anything, either in his own terms or anyone else's? Or does the insipid blend of economic liberalism that these posh guys imbibed in the '80s just result in confusion in reality, when it's discovered John Galt doesn't exist and Promethean geniuses don't quadruple the GDP overnight when a few social services are slashed?

Frankly, I think his comments re housing (apparently aimed at Cameron and Osborne, but probably most uncomfortable for Nick Clegg: being attacked FROM THE LEFT by Conrad Black's erstwhile dauphin; take that 'real progressive' party) were a sign that Boris knows that the platform he was elected on was largely unviable and so is the coalition. No doubt he wishes it WAS but after the media spewed three years of unmitigated hatred at Gordon Brown, Labour did surprisingly well in old Londinium. No doubt he wishes that he was likely to be re-elected based on his original platform, but he knows that's not going to happen either.

As Ed Miliband has long been in the lead, according to many opinion polls, it is likely that the same thing is happening nationwide. But will Cameron listen to his Bullingdon canary? Or is he deaf to the ominous silence?


  1. Great post. Capitalism, without some kind of countervailing social justice component, will probably always lead to government crackdowns on civil liberties. You have to be able to deal with angry poor people who turn to crime or political radicalism. In reality, this problem eventually led a number of traditional conservatives to support fascism even if they disagreed with its philosophy. At least they kept the Reds in line!

  2. 'In reality, this problem eventually led a number of traditional conservatives to support fascism even if they disagreed with its philosophy. At least they kept the Reds in line! '

    Very true. In the 1930s a nobleman from Sutherland (in the far North of Scotland) gave a speech in favour of Franco. Of course he wasn't the only conservative fan, but it demonstrates just what nonsense the 'small government' idea is: they can support tyranny on the other side of the continent if they think it will encourage the bumpkins to stay in line.