Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What to do About Boris...Promote Him

In his quest to insult every city in the country, Boris Johnson has this week turned his fire on Portsmouth. This is, according to the Daily Telegraph (so it must be true), what he said...

After a chauffeur-driven visit to the University of Portsmouth in his role
as Conservative Party spokesman on higher education, Mr Johnson wrote in GQ
magazine: “The streets are full of rain. Poor bedraggled students splash across
the campus in search of their lectures on feminism and media studies. Here we
are in one of the most depressed downs in southern England, a place that is
arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs.”

Personally, I'd have thought that came under the category of 'fair comment'. Or at least it would be if he wasn't a front bencher. The fact of the matter is that these remarks were made while he was on a front bench visit to Portsmouth university, but at the same time writing a review of a £340,000 gas guzzling car. If I was Penny Mordaunt, Conservative Candidate for one of the Portsmouth seats I'd be livid.

But this episode represents a clasic example of Boris's outside interests getting in the way of his front bench job. If he hadn't been writing a magazine article he wouldn't have made the remarks and given the city's Labour MPs a stick to beat him with. You can hardly blame them for relishing the opportunity.

Boris has actually done a very good job in his role as Higher Education spokesman. He's one of the few Tories with a national profile and rather than dispatching Boris to the back benches because of remarks like this, I think a different course should be taken.

Boris should be promoted to the Shadow Cabinet and told in no uncertain terms that this is his final chance. He has to give up the outside interests (with one or two agreed exceptions, like HIGNFY) and concentrate on the job. It's said that Boris has great ambitions in politics. Well it's now time for him to prove he's got what it takes to be part of a team and rise to the top.
Picture credit: Not sure where this one came from - anyone know?

66 comments:

AnyoneButBlair said...

But Iain, what Boris said may be impolitic but it's true.
How many cities in this country are stuffed full of Labour MPs but for all the largess of the Labour government are still s*itholes.
Portsmouth certainly qualifies.
Keep 'em poor, keep 'em in welfare dependency, keep 'em voting Labour.

I live just outside Brighton, and would like to formally invite Boris for a coffee or a beer. I'm sure his observations of a Labour MP stuffed Brighton will be suitably acidic and correct!

Bullingdon Boris said...

Indeed. It is vital for Bullingdon Boris to point out how awful the lowly plebs are at every opportunity.

Oh how his Shadow Cabinet chums guffawed.

David Boothroyd said...

Portsmouth has only two constituencies and only one has a Labour MP (Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Portsmouth North). The other is Mike Hancock, Liberal Democrat. Even if one takes 'greater Portsmouth' including Havant, Gosport and possibly Fareham, there is still only one Labour MP in the area.

Perhaps Boris was seeing double.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

This story certainly gave me a good laugh (and, as you say, it's fair comment).
Yes, Boris occasionally offers fuel to the fires of leftie critics, but he is a legend and a long-term asset as one of very few political figures who capture the imagination of the 18-35s (and women, in paticular, seem to adore him). Sacking him would send all the wrong signals.

In the end he will indeed have to choose between journalism and politics, but in opposition why shouldn't he make a bob or two on the side? (He has enough wives + kids to support, after all!)

Anonymous said...

You can take bears out of the woods, but you can't take the bear out of Boris...

He is always going to continue being like this as long as bears shit in the woods, and a bloody good thing too.

I have recently read both volumes of 'Crap Towns' and we need somebody to point out how previously great town centres are being destroyed by poor planning and the hideous retail monoculture now taking over like a two-headed hydra - slash it down in one area and it rises up somewhere else.

Boris shouldn't be in the Shadow Cabinet - he should be President.

Start the Coup d'etat - now !!!

Pitchforks at the ready...

Daily Referendum said...

I live in Portsmouth and I can see where Boris is coming from. There are too many drugs being used here especially among children. People should not be livid for being on the receiving end of fair comments. It's easier to play the PC card than to face up to our problems. Maybe we need politicians like Boris to say "this place has problems let's sort them out". I certainly was not offended by his remarks and hopefully the media attention they have brought will get local authorities to pull their collective fingers out.

Newmania said...

I hate this post Iain , with all due respect. Portsmouth is indeed a place of disturbing horror , I have visited often and it would get my personal vote as the most unpleasant venal sewer for all that is worst in humanity in the country...( Nottingham is not far off) .Yes promote Boris but for god’s sake don’t turn him into yet another of the fawning cretins that surround David Cameron and are deeply damaging to his cause .

Your use of the management speak that occupied all too much of my time is telling. We need less smarmy half truths and, apart from anything else, we could do with more politicians using English as sublimely as the Blond one can ,using all its lyrical and humorous resources,. Part of the “ team” ? Another one tacking slabs of bland Latinate Estuary-speak together ! Part of the cross party conspiracy of career minded middle politicians who cannot wait for PR sp they can ignore the country altogether. Part of the Millipedeish / A list , “ Liberal Conservative “ creeping slime that nauseates as it slowly advances. No No No not Boris

Boris is already watching what he says and the fulminations of self appointed guardians of the reputation of Portsmouth can be ignored. No one cares .What troubles me is that I see no evidence that you understand why Boris is adored and admired in the first place . Team Cameron should be learning form him not visa versa.
I only wish he would vouchsafe a few home truths about the waste land of Islington which Enver Hodge left us. Boris is a wonderfully supportive Presisdent of Islington Conservatives and we are all exceeedingly grateful for his continued assistance.

Anonymous said...

Portsmouth ? Isn't that the place with the silly vestigial 'tower' thingy that the 'great and good' of the council got trapped in the lifts during the 'opening ceremony' ???

I went to Plymouth recently. I could do an anti-Boris and tell you all how flippin' wonderful it is down there, but like Boris' statement - it won't make a blind bit of difference to the reality on the ground.

These are both cities which have suffered under New Labour and we won't be censored from expressing our views just because some time serving local councillors who don't do a damn thing for their community find it slightly embarrassing. They ought to do something about it, instead of 'shooting the messenger'

Save Boris !!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps those praising Boris for being such a wonderful chap, might like to remember that he cheated on his wife and children and also got one of his mistresses pregnant.

Behind the jovial japes, he's a nasty piece.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...one wonders what is next on the agenda. Boris will be told he can't say what a good or bad car it was, but will be limited to reading out statistics about mpg and facts about the engine capacity and speed, like a blond Top Trumps enthusiast..

Nonsense on stilts..

Anonymous said...

newmania - you are now forgiven for having once dissed the welsh - would be hypocritical of me to object to your right to tell the truth about portsmouth and whinge about your off colour comments about us celtic types
- so welcome back into the fold !!

And if self-serving spin and PR tosh is what you want - one could do a lot worse than look at 'Ellee's site today and see their plans for truth being eliminated from the blogosphere and replaced with corporate PR 'spin-and-bluster'..

Hail Boris !!

Johnny Norfolk said...

Its Boris telling the truth.

I hope he keeps speaking his mind as you used to Iain.

Newmania said...

Given the opportunities that are daily in the path of Boris I think he more deserves praise for his forbearance. Women flock to him its almost frightening to behold . He has done all he can by becoming fat and wearing offensive clothes what on earth do you want of him anon ?. He is a delightful fellow .and I would rather the odd indiscretion that the militarily organised Brown Wife and child acquisition

Knickers down two three
Commence Fornication two three
Wait for it wait for it …………


Diiiiiiimiss !

“ Oh Gordon you are so ….prudent”

the joker said...

Boris has nothing to say but you have to listen to him for a very long time to find that out.

He's got a terrible inferiority complex-and he's right to have one.

Jeff said...

It seems that nearly every one hates the pre-arranged sound bites that NuLab have been feeding ud for the last ten years.

here we have a politician that speaks his mind and quite often offends sdomeone whilst doing so.

If we all wander around mouthing platitudes to each other then the truth of things will never be mentioned for fear of offending.

Long live Boris, down with political correctness.

The Druid said...

Big deal. The guy gave his honest opinion of the place. Frankly anywhere with one of Europe's biggest public housing estates in it, namely Leigh Park, is going to struggle. That it took a pasting from the Germans in the war and the planners after didn't help.

If such remarks are likely to cause him to be fired or resign we have come to a pretty pass. Increasingly it seems that saying anything remotely contentious that causes some ninny to be "offended" is likely to lead to a sacking or worse still a penitent trip in sackcloth to some God forsaken hell hole in order to 'apologise unreservedly'. This is playground politics. A trend encouraged by the dismal Michael 'poll tax' Howard with his orders to Boris to apologise to the City of Self-Pity, Liverpool.

Daily Referendum said...

Anonymous @ 10:34 AM

Boris is human, being a politician does not guarantee a perfect or happy marriage. Being unfaithful does not make him incapable of making rational statements about the problems an area may have.

Fib Dem said...

Boris had his last chance.

Fire him and leave him to his writings.

The man has no political judgement and no place in politics.

wonderfulforhisage said...

If John is John surely Boris can be Boris.

Andy D said...

Coming orginally from Southampton.....He's completly right.

jane said...

We do not expect people representing a political party to utter such statements. I live in Portsmouth and this statement has undermined so many officials who work hard to improve the lot of residents. Also, Portsmouth is no different from many other major cities in the country so in effect, Boris is ridiculing everyone in the country. Not a very inclusive politician!! I do like Boris - characters are always popular. However, I think he pretends to be a buffoon and behind this is a shrewd politician. I would be very worried if I was David Cameron - this jibe will haunt local conservatives at the next election. You see - it is Ok for us residents to bemoan the state of the city - we do not like outsiders or visitors with scant knowledge of the city doing so. It is the height of bad manners.

ezra said...

So basically he's saying it's too full of poor people?

Unlike Boris, the people he's referring to didn't have the foresight to be born into wealth.

Boris is a funny chap, but he's just so far detatched from real life.

Rog said...

"...a place that is
arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs.”


Unfortunately, just like so many towns and cities in the UK.

Seriously Iain, Boris is just telling the truth - he shouldn't be shot at dawn on the off chance he's "offended" (shock, horror!) some fat, druggie low-lifes or their PC champions and supporters.

Boris should be cloned for the good of the country.

wrinkled weasel said...

Boris has only said what anybody says when they see Portsmouth - that it is a shithole.

He has a great intellect by the way, but not one that is always in synch with his public persona - Planet Boris is far more interesting. Just be glad that he decides to visit Earth from time to time and give us the benefit of his wit and wisdom.

Rog said...

Ezra- no mention of poor people there.

Iain Dale's Dildo said...

You have to love Boris. Well, no, not you Iain, I think he prefers women.

4hero said...

newmania said
(Nottingham is not far off)
as someone who comes from nottingham,i can say with authority
it's possibly the vilest shit hole in englands crown of dungheaps,if portsmouth is worse then god help it...

Daily Referendum said...

ezra

So are you saying that if you are full of drugs, fat and underachieving, you must be poor?

I think it could be you that has PC problems.

Anonymous said...

How could you, Iain?:

I'm 100% with newmania, anyonebutblair, Johnny Norfolk, Daily Referendum, the druid, Jeff and the many anons on this.

I too hate this posting, Iain, because it's far too evocative of the very worst of the rubbish that churns out of the Hiltonite Cameroons in their worst moments.

Boris is loved and respected by millions because he's that rare thing, an honest politician. Long may he continue to defend our freedom, free speech and speak his mind.

My cousin in Portsmouth tells me that the majority there are disgusted with the damage nulab have done to their town and salute Boris for his honesty.

As for the gripers, I'm sure that Boris will return and apologise to them and win their respect back as he invariably does.

So what if Boris had an affair! Haven't most of us? Who cares? That's Boris's business. Also, unlike so many of the slimey politicos who do this, Boris owned up and took his punishment like a man.

I wonder if what underlies many of the attacks good old Boz is repeatedly subjected to by some of his colleagues isn't a touch of old fashioned green-eyed jealousy.

Save Boris!

Auntie Flo'

bucf said...

I bet it has done wonders for our chances in Southampton though
:-)

Iain Dale said...

Sometimes I really wonder whether people read what I have written before they comment on it.

ezra said...

daily referendum - who said anything about being PC? That seems to have become a Tory obsession.

It's no secret that poorer people are more likely to be obese and crime and drug problems are more common in poor areas than leafy middle class suburbs. The poor are more likely to under achieve (rather than the very wealthy, who tend to over achieve like Boris). So of course this is about poor communities.

raincoaster said...

I've never been to Portsmouth, but he was dead-on about Papua New Guinea. Everybody loves Boris, but I'm not sure everybody respects him, even Boris.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Sarah McCarthy-Fry came in for a certain amount of derision from Navy personnel and families over her comments on the numbers and/or deployment of warships. She was clearly thought to have no understanding at all. Ideal qualifications for an MP for Pompey...

Kafka said...

I’m a native of Portsmouth. Along with my parents I was moved in the Fifties to the Leigh Park estate (actually part of Havant, not Portsmouth). I now live in Sussex, but not so far away that I am still a regular visitor to the isle of Portsea. So let’s get a few things out of the way. Portsmouth isn’t a perfect place; and probably never has been. As someone else said, it took a pasting from the Germans. (Aside: my father was a dockyard apprentice by day, and an AA gunner by night). The Leigh Park estate was built to enable the city to be cleared and rebuilt, and was indeed the largest public estate in the UK, it may be still. It had a bad reputation in the past, but is a different place now. Interestingly, against what you might expect, it contributes a large part of David Willett’s majority, and rarely supports Labour. The voting in Portsmouth itself is contrary to the area, others can probably tell you why. The city is still being rebuilt sixty years on, because of planning failures in the past. It has had its share of concrete nightmares, high rise abominations and the like, but has got over that. Approaching from the North, as you must, it being an island, you will always see the industrial parts of Portsmouth first; either the commercial & naval ports to the West, or medium industrial & retail along the Eastern Road on the old airport site. The town itself is compressed (its an island, remember) but has good shopping that slowly gives way to residential areas in Southsea & Eastney, where the barracks departed by the Marines are being gentrified. The picture is completed by the long beach with Southsea Common behind. The Spinnaker Tower, admittedly the subject of derision during the build, is now pulling in tourists at a very high rate.

Now as to what Boris & others have said. First, as ever lets get the facts straight. The Polytechnic, oops! Sorry! University claims a campus. This is tosh. It has a loose collection of buildings in Southsea. It shares the area with the civic offices, the Navy, residents, the Church, I could go on. It’s not a campus like Sussex, or Keele. Rain makes everyone look miserable, and scurry. Frankly I wonder whether Boris was in Portsmouth at all. It sounds much more like Southampton (Boo!! Hiss!! Scummers!!)

To vilify it as a shithole is uncalled for and a long way from the truth. Where do these mud-flingers live? Hampstead? Islington? Notting Hill? Henley? Perhaps they’d like to try some of the less salubrious parts of London, or Birmingham, Glasgow or downtown Belfast before they open their mouths about Portsmouth.

As for Boris, whilst obviously clever, he’s clearly lacking in common sense. Put his brain to use as a policy wonk. Let him amuse his public. But Front Bench material?? The jury’s out …..

t.w.hereward said...

Iain, the role for Boris to prove himself is Mayor of London

The Conservative Party cannot keep dodging this issue: if it is seriously on the offensive it must prove it by dislodging Livingstone

Fearlessly shaking sticks at busted-flush Blair and McBrown is not proof of anything about the fitness to govern of the Conservative Party

No stomach for the fight? Then vacate the battlefield (or nominate Newmania)

Newmania said...

FLO
So what if Boris had an affair! Haven't most of us?
Not yet Flo but I’m open to offers as you are obviously ahead of me here.
IAIN

.I read your posts before commenting Iain of course, and understand that you are not a Boris basher. On the other hand there is a perhaps unintentional implication that you cannot speak the truth and be a “serious” politician. I also detect an impatience that Boris is insufficiently professional and should confine himself to the tedious Millipedisms interchangeable with bland Cameroonish.
The style of Boris is the politic ,as it was for the cavalier poets whose spiritual heir he is. When does professional become the oldest profession? Many of us feel we have long since crossed that line. There are more important disagreements about what we want from our representatives here than you may think .I don`t want to be managed I want to be represented politically and sacra mentally and these connection being in place I want leadership from them not fake mealy mouthed consultation..
Honestly starts with an honesty of expression and willingness to be a real man or woman. Boris stands for all these subtle but important values without which Conservatism will be

“ Meet the new boss
Same as the Old boss”


Who recognises that eh ?

Ralph said...

'He has to give up the outside interests'

Exactly, even if he's right about Portsmouth.

hatfield girl said...

Newmania might like to look again at Chapter XXXIX of Mansfield Park (always good to have an excuse to join that writer's world again).

There is to be found the finest , most penetrating representation of poverty and its evils (many given reign unnecessarily and not solely the result of financial of deprivation) that Boris Johnson pointed to briefly.

He is not the first to hold up Portsmouth as an exemplar of social degeneration.

ranter said...

Amazing how people get shrill and hysterical when a humorous, but accurate, remark is made about a place. What he says could be applied to almost anywhere in the UK. My lovely kentish village has its 'Portsmouth' area, and as for Maidstone.....
Leave Boris alone, we like him!

Calls for sackings and resignations are absurd and hpocritical coming from Labour MPs, well MPs from any party.

Keep telling it like it is Boris - I just hope 'Dave' doesn't make him say sorry!!

mike said...

We love Boris and quote his hilarious comments when out canvassing for the Labour Party.God bless you Boris,God bless you guv.Ten more years,ten more years.

Newmania said...

Islington?

Good point KAFKA there are parts fo Islington that are worse. 50% of housing is social housing of which 70% are on benefits . Riots break out it has some of the worst schools in the country and crime is at a shooting a week.There is a thin gauze of Georgian splendour occupied by such luminaries as Fat pig Thornberry and behind that complete social breakdownin the mean ugly warrens of despair.

Why ...? The main architect of the catastrophe is the long since departed Margaret Hodge although the Liberals have done little to help. The one bright spot is the leaseholders who are transforming the estates they live in and they are hounded by the Commissars of London housing with Service Charges amounting to mugging.
The Leaseholders organisation across London have asked Michael Gove to meet with themn and discuss what we can do for " Our People " .They are waiting for his reponse and as far as I am concerned if he hasn`t got time for that then he is not fit hold any office whatsoever. I expect to be told any day. There are 11,000 and Emily thornberry has lied to and betrayed them. We have to show them support.

Come on Michael Gove get your head out of your books and do something useful !!


Boris is quite right to equate social ugliness and despair with the Labour Party . What is less clear is whether the Conservative Party want to get their hands dirty and support the embatteld leaseholders as part of the Mayoral campaign.

Look out for the response of Michale Gove.

Newmania said...

Love Jane Austen HG.( although Manfield Park may be my least favoutite )

Daily Referendum said...

Ezra,

I live in the suburbs of Portsmouth.

I own my house and have a reasonably well paid job. My 14 year old daughter and all her friends smoke grass. There is not a damn thing I can do about it, because the Police can't do a damn thing about it (or won't). She left home on Friday and went to stay at a friends house. I went to bring her home and she refused to get in the car. I realised that the only way I could get her in the car was to knock her unconscious. Obviously I would not want to do this to my daughter but also I would have been arrested. I called the Police hoping they would bring her home. Two hours later the Police rang back to tell me there was nothing they could do. I rang social services to see if they could help, they told me that they couldn't help but would (after 28 days) send someone around to the house that my daughter is staying at to see if was suitable. This is not a 'poor' problem, this government has taken away all my rights as a parent to protect my child.

The reason my daughter left home?

I tried to stop her taking drugs.

Little Black Sambo said...

Jane said, "Boris is ridiculing everyone in the country. Not a very inclusive politician!!"
How much more inclusive could he be?

Gary Elsby said...

Daily referendum:

What rights did you want in that situation that would have solved your predicament.What would you have done with those rights to sustain your wish to protect your daughter?
it should be remembered that the abusing parent would hide behind your judgement.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Ezra, same problem here in the Socialist Republic of Harlow. I do wish Boris would come here and shame us into cleaning up our town's social problems instead of squandering £100k on an irrigation system for a Town Hall roundabout - then demolishing the town hall.

I back Boris's critiques of many parts of UK he's merely telling it like it is - and God knows we need politicians brave and honest enough to do that. Our whole country's falling apart at the seams.

Save our Boris!

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

http://www.webcameron.org.uk/blogs/3392-Will-you-ask-Boris-to-apologise-to-Portsmouth-or-will-you-give-your-own-appraisal-of-the-city

Paul Linford said...

Boris should be promoted to the Shadow Cabinet and told in no uncertain terms that this is his final chance.

If the Tories were looking at spending another 10 years in opposition, I would agree with you, but if you lot have serious pretensions to government, then you just can't take the risk.

If DC makes Boris a member of the Shadow Cabinet, he will have to make him a Cabinet minister if he wins the election, and I for one think he has yet to show he could handle such responsibility.

I think a better course would be to keep him one rung below Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet rank, and promote him if and when he manages to make a success of a middle-ranking ministerial brief in government.

Bel said...

Personally, I'd have thought that came under the category of 'fair comment'. Or at least it would be if he wasn't a front bencher.

So as a frontbencher, one is not allowed to say things like this?

I take the opposite view. The more visible you are in politics, the more you should use your profile to highlight issues, whether or not they make comfortable reading.

please offend me said...

Iain

I think you need to read your post Iain not anyone commenting here. You comment says absolutely nothing. Boris is a legend because he doesnt have to give a f**k what management speak tools think. His comments are bang on and if more people said what theu think rather than worrying about what others might think the country would be in better shape. Listen to the answers given in HOC if you want to complain about 'appropriateness' of comments, they can lie through their teeth without offending anyone yet Boris must shape up. Rubbish. Tne country is a shithole because nobody speaks their mind. I am a fan of all you do but you must stick to your guns.

Management speak, deference to non-existent sensibilities and intolerance of Boris like comments ARE the reason we are in this mess.

Can you see Boris answering the question "have UK airports been used for extraordinary rendition flights?" with "our position on torture is clear"? No, exactly.

Until we reclaim debate from the mealty mouthed, liberal PC idiots we will not be able to address the problems we face.

The absurdity of preferring comments that are untrue but do not offend anyone over the honest and accurate comments of an intelligent person belong in the NuLab book of bullshit and have no place in the real world.

I am offended when public figures do not tell the truth. Why do my feelings not count.

Portsmouth is an utter shithole,m like most provincial towns in the UK, because they are run by idiots who will not face reality and honestly engage with the people who live in those places. 99% of people would rather here the truth and couldnt give a f++k if a few sandal waering guardian readers are "appalled".

Anonymous said...

gag boris its the only way this man does not realise the damage he does every time he opens his mouth.

he upsets everyone !!!
well i'd like to see him move to liverpool for a week.

Andy

http://www.bravemain.com

Kafka said...

Referendum ....

Please don't think this is cruel; I have the deepest sympathy for your situation; I have been close to similar.

Have you thought of turning her in? Last time I looked, possession of cannabis is still arrestable. Then you just have to collect her from Albert Road nick. At least you get a chance to talk to her again.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:16 (Andy) said

possession of cannabis is still arrestable

Not in Harlow, it isn't Andy. And I suspect it isn't arrestable in most places these days because there are hardly ever any police about to arrest law breakers.

I reported to police here that I'd had to sack two of my temporary staff for using and selling class A drugs at work. The police offcers giggled and refused to take details of these people.

Little wonder that so many young yong people, like Kafka's poor daughter - sorry Ezra, for confusing him with you - are being hoked into drugs use.

And thank God for Boris and the few other sane politicians who speak out loudly and unequivocally against this nightmare world we in UK are being forced to inhabit.

Save our Boris!

Auntie Flo'

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Winston Churchill did not have to choose between journalism and his political career.

Boris for prime minister! (Even if he is an adulterous scoundrel.)

Anonymous said...

Another error in my last post, what a twit - that's what happens when I post in my work breaks. I meant Referendum's poor daughter, not Kafka's, and hooked in to drugs use, not hoked.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Boris puts his foot in it again. But I'm from Portsmouth and he might be crass but he's not completely wrong. The city is run by the Lib Dems and is a mess. But the main blame must sit squarely with the Labour Government. Like a lot of areas where there aren't lots of Labour MPs Government investment is low (bet it has all gone up north) Hampshire needs lots of investment in transport infrastructure (Portsmouth to London is 60 miles so why the hell does it take 1 hour 40 minutes on the train) - not least a light rapid transport system (which Blair chose not to fund), Portsmouth Dockyard is being run down (just see the moth-balled ships in the harbour) and Prescott has made them cram flats into an already overpopulated area. So perhaps the people of Portsmouth will see sense and kick out their Labour MP (and the Lib Dem one while they are at it)....

My gripe with Boris is: Why was he test-driving a gas guzzling car?

Richard Dale said...

Notice the irony, Iain. I bring up your blog and see an article on spin then complaints about what Boris has said which, knowing Pompey a little, I can say sounds accurate. He is also mentioning important problems. Boris doesn't do spin, which is probably why he is well liked. If he had not gone to the wrong university I would have a lot of respect for him.

For the commentor who points out that there is only one Labour MP, I would suggest that as a front-bench Tory Boris should consider having one to be "too full" of this scourge on Britain.

Anonymous said...

If he needs to speak the truth, let's hear it from him about the Evil Union.

Lilith said...

Boris is hot. Having babies with women other than your wife doesnt make you a nasty piec 10:34 AM it makes you a crap husband. He is a breath of fresh air because he appears to be human, if a little louche. I like that in a politician

Lilith said...

Why are people offended by the truth? I mean, just look at Harry Rednap. I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

I feel that most of the fuel for this debate has been exhausted.

His comments are correct (but somewhat dismissive).

I Live in Portsmouth for only a couple months more, and I agree, but then I have always seen myself as an outsider.

If we are talking about political sense, then we start entering a level of calculation, which Boris is unable to deliver, and which would compromise his charm. By that I mean a more savvy individual would criticise places we have no hope of winning in like Liverpool, and get guffaws from the rest of the population. However they would at least leave places like Portsmouth, where we have a realistic chance of winning both seats alone.

Southampton is a better city, but we have little chance of winning either seat there...maybe he could stick the boot in with them to win back favour from Pompey??

Tom Tyler said...

I hear what you're saying Iain, (ie, that Boris's utterances are out of step with the image of the Conservatives which the party seeks to foster at the moment), but I'm not sure if it matters all that much. It would matter greatly if Boris was known as a serious, dry, no-nonsense character, but instead he is already known as a maverick, an eccentric, a bit of a joker. I think people expect this sort of thing from Boris, and it has little influence on the way voters see your party as a whole.

tory boys never grow up said...

Promote Boris to the Shadow Cabinet then it can be full of "drugs, obesity and underachievers" to say nothing about complete idiots etc.

I think I prefer Portsmouth.

Kafka said...

Now I know for sure that "Anonymous", whoever it might be, is/are fool(s). The one who posted last night saying that "...Southampton is a better city ..." has obviously never been to either place. Southampton is a big, sprawling amorphous mess of a place, with little or no discernible character.

Pompey Lil said...

What Boris should have said is that all inhabitants of Portsea island,north of Northend should be moved out whilst the bulldozers move in. It just needs cleaning out.