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July 11, 2008


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That question about the "existential crisis" sounds plain rude and some of the others are a bit hostile. A bit babyish, isn't it?


John Biggs seems to be aspiring to become the LA equivalent of Vince Cable angela, so by parliamentary standards these are hilarious put downs with cutting content.

There's a huge gap between parliamentary standards and the real world's, clearly.


Did you never watch Boris in action on UK Parliament?


Helen, I have, what is your point hon?


I think it is that "quips" such as these are standard fare in political circles, so it isn't anything to get too upset about.


OnehopeOneChoice, I take your point. However, the Mayor has some extremely difficult challenges to face, and you would have thought that the London Assembly had better things to do with their time than try to wind up the Mayor like kids. If the stuff was witty, it would be different, and I am sure Boris would laugh along with them. What is this, junior high?


In humour terms, it is more like Primary School.

I know why they choose to do it though; usually the best way to get the media's attention on any issue is to offer some kind of cheap, flippant remark which makes a nice soundbite for the headlines. Take George Osborne's remark towards the Prime Minister, telling him to get down off "dithering heights." What you say, angela, rings true for all political circles, not just the London Assembly.


"Caroline Pidgeon: At your recent meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport (Ruth Kelly), which of the major transport projects currently under consideration by TfL did she indicate she would not fund?"

Smart lady - still no progress on the essential ELLX Phase 2 funding agreement between TfL and DfT, which was strongly hinted by Livingstone during the election as if it was in the bag (someone needs to ask the old boy whether we read him correctly on that one, actually). There's already a wrangle going on about who pays, since it benefits both TfL (extending Oyster and Overground) and DfT, since it allows London Bridge to be rebuilt for Thameslink.


OneHopeOne choice, you are right, but David Cameron is amusing when he is witheringly sarcastic and George osborne was quite funny when he was ditheringly caustic.


Tom, this is my fault and not yours, but to be absolutely truthful, I can never understand what you are talking about. NEVER.


"Tom, this is my fault and not yours, but to be absolutely truthful, I can never understand what you are talking about. NEVER."

Probably because it concerns events on *Planet Earth*, particularly with respect to the *public administration* of *Greater London*. I can explain all three concepts if you like. Incidentally, why did you describe Ken Livingstone during the campaign as a 'big fat fibber' and do you stick by that claim now?

In the case of these questions, Caroline Pidgeon, being on the Transport Committee and being on the ball (impressive in the Brian Cooke hearing, for instance), knows full well that there are certain aspects of the public administration of London that can't actually wait for Boris to sort his team out. One of these is the aforesaid wrangle over the extension of the East London Line to Clapham Junction, which was left unfunded when Livingstone went. It's vital for London and the national rail network and is about the first major thing that the Labour Government and the Tory GLA are going to have to work out a solution to in a bi-partisan way. Hence it's an important bellwether. Will Alistair Darling suddenly discover that he needs to come over all Prudent and refuse to disburse, will London, having rejected Labour rule, be told to get stuffed, or will the DfT's urgent requirements for Thameslink overrule it? Will Tim Parker be sent to thrash out a deal with the Treasury mandarins? Is he up for it? Is he bothered? Is effectively renationalising the line to the taste of Red Boris? Will the Mayor swing by Whitehall to push it through*?

I look forward to the answer on this question particularly. The Conservative's Richard Tracey has also asked some pertinent questions on this.

* No. He'd be eaten alive, obviously.


Tom, thank you for explaining. That is much clearer and I appreciate the time you have taken.

Regarding the "big fat fibber" remark I made earlier, I do not want to fight with you. (Adam is ticked off with me as well because I said if that Bishop had kept the dossier back on purpose, he would burn in hell.) Dee Doocey kept saying what an elastic relationship Ken seemed to have with statistics and during the campaign, events at times did seem to support my description, but we don't want to squabble now, do we?

I am flattered that you remember anything I said during the campaign; in the heat of the moment, we all said a lot of things, it was hard not to go over the top a little bit.

One thing I have to complain about..... Why did the Guardian newspaper write that terrible article over the weekend about the secret rivers of London? Ian Jacks said that the idea of bringing the Tyburn to the surface is "a joke"; instead of rivers, he could only hear a sewer and this sewer "was "owned by Thames Water and pension funds in Australia and Canada"!!

I loved that idea Tom! Really loved it! Why does the Guardian continually smash our hopes and shatter our dreams with their brutal practicality! LEAVE US SOMETHING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!


"OneHopeOne choice, you are right, but David Cameron is amusing when he is witheringly sarcastic and George osborne was quite funny when he was ditheringly caustic."

Really? When Cameron makes one of his soundbites I have images of a sock puppet being manipulated by Steve Hilton or Andy Coulson. And when Osborne *tries* to be funny, I'm reminded of a baboon jumping up and down on the spot, shrieking and throwing its own- well, we don't have to have the full description. William Hague, of course, is the aborted foetus he always has been.

I'd respect them far more if they managed to combine these pathetic tags they've assigned to the PM with some cutting analysis of policy or asking of tough questions. Neither happens when these two are on the floor.


David Cameron is one of the great debaters, he has brains, gravitas, guts, charm and charisma. He is incredibly psychologically astute and a tactical thinker.

George Osborne is a bit chubby, good for a chancellor. He has loads of common sense, also brainy, humour OK, maybe not his thing, but he is good humoured. David Cameron does ask tough questions, all the time, and he is nobody's puppet. If this was the 18th century, I would call you out on a duel for that.

It is not William Hague's fault he has not got a lot going on in the looks department. He is a very good historian, (I am reading the William Wilberforce book) and he is also an excellent debater, he was better by a mile than Tony Blair. He is also quite humourous.

The most humourous of all is Boris Johnson and he could have made a fortune as a comedian, were it not that he also has a deeply serious and philosophical side. Before you say the obvious and dismiss him as a clown, may I say that brilliant humour, we are told by psycholologists, is a sign of high intelligence, and the funnier you are, the brainier you are.

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