"It's an unusual compliment to say the least - describing him as 'A nasty, right-wing elitist, with odious views and criminal friends like Conrad Black,' as [Hazel] Blears is expected to say. But it is a compliment nonetheless, in that the full-blooded assault on Johnson launched at today's Labour Spring Conference represents an acknowedgment that the Tory mayoral candidate needs to be taken seriously. 'Boris is no joke,' Blears will stress...If some in the Labour high command had expected the Johnson campaign to implode at some point, plainly they now recognise that they can't rely on his self-destructive streak to hand them victory on a plate."
Quite. But, as commenter Elizabeth Davies - of Cape Town - observes:
"Careful Hazel this tactic could backfire, Hillary Clinton has tried that tactic on Obama and it hasn't worked yet. Be careful what you pray for!"
The business of Boris Johnson and his liberation of Tariq Aziz's smoking kit is a micro-model of media spin. I don't know who gave the Telegraph the letter he was sent by the police, asking for it back. But I do know that Boris's paper's coverage of it has been constructed as an indictment of the Met's top man:
"Scotland Yard has privately conceded that it blundered in launching an investigation into the alleged theft by Boris Johnson of a cigar case owned by Saddam Hussein's former deputy prime minister, according to sources. The first that Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, knew about the inquiry into Mr Johnson, the Conservative candidate in the London Mayoral contest, was when he read about it in yesterday's Daily Telegraph."