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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Is Boris London's Willie?

Ignoring Ofcom's recent warning not to show frightening things before the watershed, the BBC is broadcasting the Conservative Party Conference during the day, and I just watched a bit. Greg Clark, a Tory minister whose  relatively sensible views were first developed in the SDP, just said that it is civic leadership that built all great cities - just look at what Boris Johnson has done for London. He timed that line in such a way that I honestly thought it was a gag and he was joking. What exactly has the affable, not-too-bad-really Boris Johnson actually done for London, apart from not being Ken Livingstone (which, it has to be said, is a step in the right direction)? Mr Clark then went on to say that just as Margaret Thatcher had said that every Prime Minister should have a Willie (for which he did not get a laugh), so every city should have a Boris. The microphones in the hall must be broken, as I didn't hear any applause for that remark. Baroness Thatcher's Willie was Willie Whitelaw, her highly dependable deputy, who was the sort of person that Boris would like to be when he grows up. Boris, you ain't no Willie, and you ain't no Julian Critchley either. Or something.

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