Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Boris Will Be Boris Will Be Boris Will Be Boris...

The Boris saga is a prime example of what happens if you don't feed the media beast with news. They latch onto any minor indiscretion and blow it up out of all proportion. I wasn't aware that we had thought crimes in today's authoritarian Britain yer, but apparently I was wrong. I shall jump to Boris's defences to this extent. I too cannnot stand Jamie Oliver. There, I've said it. He and I were brought up a few miles apart. I used to drink in his parents' pub (overrated, overpriced and the ceilings are too low). But that doesn't mean I have to like him. I don't. I don't want to cook his recipes and I don't want to watch his programmes.

However, I do agree with his message on school dinners. He single-handedly raised the profile of the scandal of the food our kids are being fed at school. It's generally high fat, high salt - basically unnutricious crap. If his campaign has helped change that, then good on him. Still can't stand him though. Does that make me a bad person?

Boris Johnson is one of the few Tory politicians who has star quality. He's mobbed wherever he goes. He's a free spirit, and a good thing too. We should just accept that Boris will be Boris and let him get on with adding to the gaiety of the nation. Graphic hattip to Adrian Yalland


Bryan Appleyard said...

I seem to remember that's more or less what Blair said about Prescott when he punched that guy. Are we sure about going down this road?

Anonymous said...

The reason they picked up on this is that,frankly,there is no news,nothing of substance to report on,except a stream of platitudes.

When the Tories realise that they need to offer Britain policies & not fluff they may be taken seriously again.

When a party only wants to consider it's principles then it is still in trouble.They should know what they stand for!

tonbridgeblog said...

Yes sure he's Boris. Let's enjoy his weird, out-dated view on the country and the world. Let's tolerate his excentric bumbling ways, his unintended insults to Liverpudlians and the like. He's fun, he's wacky and we forgive him because he's Boris! But for God's sake let's not let this anachronism get any closer to the mechanisms of power than he already is. Because that would make us all a laughing stock, and not just Boris Pfeffle Piffle Faffle Johnson III (or whatever his full name is)...

C4' said...

Jamie Oliver should spend more time trying to prevent his long-suffering wife for divorcing him and imposing dinner-table socialism on the nation's children.

verity said...

Oh, come on, Bryan! Saying "boo sucks" to Jamie Oliver isn't the same as criminal assault! (It doesn't matter what Blair said; it never does.)

newmania said...

`But that doesn't mean I have to like him. I don't. I don't want to cook his recipes and I don't want to watch his programmes.`

You know Iain I `m really coming round to you . Why I don`t know but I had the impression you were a bit wet.( Sparks?)
This is exactly the way I feel and have always felt . Its mockney accent and the transparent smarminess . He lived near me when he was in highbury and if I had seen him leap trendily onto his scooter to go and talk about me `chills I would have have been tempted to throw a tin of beans at him.

Better still , Boris . I am a huge fan and wil have an opportunity for a quick chat with the spinsters favourite in a week or so. He is marvellously generous with his time in the local party and adored by all .

His problem is he`s quite right wing and yet in the Cameron cabal where (for example) moaning about the EU is banned. In fact the range of subjects he can get a good piece out of is rather limited . I think thats why he like to give off smoke signals that he`s still the same Boris on relative trivia .What agreat piece on the Balls up gerrymandering recently though , he `s still got it .

Good stuff .

Bryan Appleyard said...

Well, yes, Verity, but it's not Boris's action I'm talking about, it's the reaction that says, oh he's just this wonderful character. This may make these people attractive in one way, but not in a way that will give people confidence when it comes to voting.

Anonymous said...

The media need to be told where to go. They are clearly looking for entertainment rather than any real news and that's what they got here.

It was obvious that Boris was really complaining about the rise of the nanny state and not specifically about feeding children healthier food.

I think the real discussion should be whether you should be allowed to make a joke or say something slightly non PC without the BBC treating it as some sort of crime.

And PS - I'm from Liverpool and he was absolutely right about it.

Serf said...

If schools were run locally and controlled by parents (through vouchers or other means), the issue of school food would not be a national disgrace.

The Jamie Oliver campaign also ignores the fact that children get fat largely because they don't exercise.

Boris??? Thank god for a politician who says what he thinks, rather than what he thinks the press want to hear.

Tom Paine said...

That Jamie Oliver is up himself is true, but irrelevant. Boris was making the simple point that parents are the ones to decide about their childrens' welfare.

That this should be controversial is as remarkable as the fact that all the snobbish comments about the parents concerned, not to mention offensive personal remarks about "bingo wings" etc. are considered to be acceptable among the caring, sharing, sensitive luvvies of New Labour.

They have distanced themselves so far from the working classes that they now sound positively patrician in their snootiness.

Adrian Yalland said...

I like Boris Johnson - he is a top bloke, eccentirc, free thinking, and a great bumbling oaf of a man!

But I wouldn't want Boris cooking for me.

I find Jamie Oliver intensly annoying (albet a great money making machine for 'Brand Oliver') - but if he turned up on my doorstep and asked to be let lose in the kitchen - I wouldn't object. Some of his recipies are actually great, and he is the sole reason why my son loves cooking. I also think he is right about the need for kids to be responsible for the stuff they feed their kids.

However, IMHO the best TV chef is Hugh Fernley-stockingtops!

But the point is that the reason why the press offie at BIC was being staked out by a billion journos with Boris holed up like a fox inside, was because it was literally the OLNY bloody story to report. There was nothing else to say - no rows, no splits, no awkward fringe meetings! Nothing. Not a sausage!

All my journo mates at confrence have said it was the most boring conference ever, simply because there was sod all to do. All the delegates tell me it was the best conference ever - even those who STILL haven't got their pass!

Apparently, the News of the World got bored on Sunday night have been camped outside most of the massage parlours around Bournemouth to see if they can bag anyone of note!

Sunday could be interesting then!

Simon said...

Iain, are there any celebrity chefs that you do like? Not Rick Stein, because you're almost his double! And not Jamie Oliver because... well, I'm not sure, but probably not because the ceilings in his parents' pub are too low :-)

Croydonian said...

The commissar class among our 'betters' would dearly love to make the proles eat polenta, and the wretched Oliver is being used as the stalking horse. A National Food Service, anyone?

vervet said...

I'm all for Boris - he was supporting freedom of choice against a 'nannyist' policy of forcing healthy food down their throats. Eduacte them well and they will choose a balanced diet.

vervet said...

I'm all for Boris - he was supporting freedom of choice against a 'nannyist' policy of forcing healthy food down their throats. Educate them well and they may freely choose a balanced diet.

The Ghost Of Peter said...

Borus is most certainly the kind of parliamentarian we need , highly intelligent widely read and despite the bumbling facade a highly capable man with a wide range of interests in the real world.Unlike that arse Cameron.

Charlotte Corday said...

Many teachers I know cheer Jamie Oliver for highlighting a valid problem; i.e. that a lot of the food served in schools is badly cooked and unhealthy. I was a school governor of a special school and the staff told me thatlunch would often be a sausage roll with a dollop of mashed potato and spaghetti rings in tomato sauce (astonishingly the spaghetti in tomato sauce was considered to be the "vegetable" accompanying the meal). Try feeding that to a child with difficulties in chewing and swallowing.
However, there are few quick solutions. At many schools the meals are provided by the local education authority via contractors and the school kitchen is only equipped to heat the meal up. The LEA often is locked into a contract with a private catering firm for the next few years which allow little room for negotiation.
Because their options are so limited schools are sometimes resorting to petty restrictions to show that they are "doing" something: I remember one mother complaining that she had packed a perfectly healthy lunch box for her daughter with one Jaffa cake as a treat, only for it to be confiscated by a teacher as "unhealthy".
Parents are getting fed up with being treated as war criminals if they allow the kids the odd packet of crisps when a lot of blame can be laid on past governments and LEAs for allowing the standard of food in schools to deteriorate.
I feel Jamie Oliver did us all a favour by highlighting the situation but he should now butt out, otherwise he is in danger of "doing a Geldof" and boring us all to death with his Messianic conviction that only he has the answer to a complex problem.
P.S. I am planning to do a Jamie Oliver recipe as a pudding with Sunday lunch; Jam Rollypolly covered in icing sugar - it looks delicious but I wonder how healthy it is (frankly I don't care).

Anonymous said...

Boris is occasionally amusing but I cannot say I like him. I do not find Oliver amusing but occasionally I like him. As for the chips bit, I agree with serf. Kids need more exercise.

RedEye said...

I saw Jamie Oliver do a book signing in Manchester a few years ago, and he seemed completely unlike his gurning, prattish, smarmy, mockney TV persona (the borrowed phrase from Only Fools and Horses, the Sainsbury's adverts where he calls his grandmother 'tiger', and the painfully cool set of friends). As for that face, I don't suppose he can help looking like an experiment which cross-bred a crazed Russian peasant with a white labrador puppy.

It's nice to agree with Jamie Oliver on school meals, but detest his TV persona.

Adrian Yalland said...

I think Gillian McKeith should be appointed Minister for Food Faschism! She is seriously scary! I am watching her as I type! She is lecturing some unbelevable fat git who has diabetes and still drink 15 pints of lager a day, as is 7 stone overweight!

I know that we all have valid grumbles about nanny statism, and it's a valid point to make because we are all so much more cossetted now. And perhaps it is true that Jamie Oliver is a by-product of that tendency. I hate being lectured at as much as most other libertarians, but whilst I find the preching annoying, in the back of my mind there is the little nagging voice "but he is right - we shouldn't be posiening our kids with this shit". We do need to be more responsible!

What can we do about the genuine growth in obesity related disease? It is costing the tax payer billions! Or the cancer related to over eating, the heart attacks, the bereaved kids left without bread winners.....

If we don't teach people about nutrition how can we prevent the disease timebomb around the corner?

I wonder if we didn't just ought to make people pay for their own health care and force them to be responsible - or die! A bit harsh, but is it fair that someone who takes care of themselves pays for the few that don't?

Yes, there are people who are a little irresponsible (but that shouldn't be a capital offence), but there are some who are just really stupid, and who leave others to pick up the consequences of their irresponsibility! That isn't fair!

Adrian Yalland said...

by the way - the fat git went on a McKeith diet and lost about 4 stone in 8 weeks. Thats half a stone a week - 2lb a day! Not bad eh!

The Druid said...

Boris plays the clown too much. Behind the buffoonery is a serious politician struggling to get out. As it is, his career is in danger of stagnating because no one will take him seriously. That would be a real pity.

Frankly the school "dinners" debate is a reflection on the state of parenting in the UK. If the schools are feeding junk to the children (or kids as the increasingly moronic BBC calls them) then its up to parents to get off their easy credit sofas and do something sbout it. That this is considered a national issue is another example, if one were needed, of how utterly trivial politics in this country has become.

Harry Basset said...

I think Boris is great, especially his tackles when playing football. His comments about university fees and care of the elderley which wound up the Scots seem to have been lost in the great pie scandal.

newmania said...

VERITY Oh, come on, Bryan! Saying "boo sucks" to Jamie Oliver isn't the same as criminal assault! (It doesn't matter what Blair said; it never does.)

..and I think thats the end of that subject . Nice

C4' said...

Food Faschism

You stole my soundbite Adrian!

The best way to shut up Saint Jamie is not watch his showes, eat at resturaunt, buy his rubbish and just ignore him.

Hopeful the twit will get the message. Inform the public, but do not impose yourself upon the average Joe.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

This is trial by "received wisdom".

How could our civilisation have advanced and thrived if individuals who challenged the "received wisdom" of the time were always attacked in such a personal, bullying manner?

Just because Jammie Oliver is a celebrity and Boris, a politician doesn't automatically make Boris wrong.

If we go down that road (and we DO seem to be a long way down it) this country really is being pushed very fast in a very nasty direction. In a hand cart constructed by a meedia-Tony alliance where wisdom is despised, debate suppressed, individuals thinking for themselves rubbished.

Adrian Yalland said...

C4: We can but hope - but my son would skin you alive if he heard you saying such things.

Jamie Oliver is intensely annoying, has a foul mouth, dribbles and spits like Roy Hattersley on speed - but is very clever. He has made bazillions for himself, whilst painting a picture of the model social saint! If he were to stand for office, I suspect he would go far - like to No.10.

But the best thing he has done is get some kids really interested in cooking. My son - at the tender age of 12 - now takes himself of to the local college every thursday to go to a 'kids cooking club'! And it isn't just beans on toast either! His favourate dishes at the moment are prawn and rocket salad (yes - SALAD - with real green stuff in), fish pie (with real fish in ( I get lectures about not eating enough oily fish from my son for God's sake)and garlic roast veggies and butternet squash mash with ginger! This is all down to the way the 'celebs' have made cooking sexy (is isn't all OLiver - it stared with Gary Rhodes 15 years ago).

My son now religiously watches Masterchef, River Cottage, Ricke Stein's food heroes....etc etc... which is surel better than what he could choose to watch!

But the point is, if I had tried to teach my son about nutrition and cooking, I was have got a disdaining look as he sloped off to play on the game-boy! But the celeb chefs have done what many parents would have struggled to do! Get kids interested in what the shove down their throat!

The point is, my son (and thousands of others) can now recognise veggies at the superamrket, and know how to cook them, and understand all about fibre, carbs, protein etc!

This can ONLY be a good thing - even if the price we pay is indulging a lisping cretin from Saaafend!

Ronners said...

Hmmmm You took a lot of words to say... nothing...there Iain. I personally agree with the peroxided one, (he surely doesn't need your faint praise)

Maybe you should be a minister, you sounded like one in that post.

The pigs in 'Animal Farm', standing on two legs came to mind for some reason.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Adrian Yalland said...

"This is all down to the way the 'celebs' have made cooking sexy......"

... In the same way as "celebs" made smoking sexy 50 years ago?

"I get lectures about not eating enough oily fish from my son for God's sake" the same way as the Hitler youth lectured their parents' 70 years ago?

Where is there the scientific evidence to show that a low fat diet for the AVERAGE child is good for um, long term?

In 2 years time do you want your child to lecture you, with the state/media fed moral high ground, about your other life-style choices - your make of car, your holiday destination, your TV viewing? afraid, be very afraid.

dafad ddu said...

Good for you for loving Jamie Oliver's expose of school dinners. Shame on you for not acknowledging the damage done to school dinners by the privatising antics of the Tories in the 80s and 90s.
But then being a Tory means never having to say you're sorry...

Adrian Yalland said...

tone made me do it you are an old conspiracy theorist aren;t you - go on, you can admit it!

I think there is a big difference between 'go and kill jews' and 'eat more vegetables'. Even I think that is a bit over the top!!!

Of course there is evidence that high-fat high-salt low nutrition diets are bad for everyone, but especially kids, whose bodies are still developing! Do you seriously doubt the link between poor nutrition and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, etc.

Yes exercise is important too - but you need both!

You can agree with the message even if you find the messenger intensely annoying!

As for being lectured by my son - don't worry, I get my own back!

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Adrian Yalland said...
"tone made me do it you are an old conspiracy theorist aren;t you - go on, you can admit it!"

less of the "old", but yeas I am -except replace the word
"conspiracy" with the word "cock-up". ie if you believe that being lectured by celebs is a good idea you are participating in the "cock-up" too.

By the way, Hitler started off with very populist policies - he created an atmosphere of "recieved wisdom" which it became increasingly difficult for individuals to argue against - Germany slid down a very slippery slope before the wide-spread atrocities began.