In today’s Telegraph, there is a report that ministers have “fired a warning shot at Boris Johnson.” If he speaks out again, “ministers are threatening to withdraw from a deal which would put the London Mayor in sole charge of a key housing quango.” Not very democratic, is it, gagging free speech? In fact, it smacks of blackmail.
On Friday there was a report on ITV News, DC was cutting a chunk of Boris’s funding, which meant no more kids’ academies. It was like “Kick the kids out of the way, I need to show him who’s boss!” Hopefully, it was an awful coincidence.
I thought that David Cameron wanted to bring a new style to politics, with no more spin against those who opposed him, (behaviour that was rife in Gordon’s era,) with more freedom and openness. There have been destructive articles in the press, that recall the briefings of Alastair Campbell. On the link, there is the following quote: “The Cameroons have what one Downing Street insider calls a “Boris Test”. It’s a test of loyalty, a bit like the Tebbit cricket test. If you like Boris you’re out; if you don’t like Boris you’re in. The Lib Dem leader has been shocked by the hostility of some senior Tories towards their own Mayor.” Isn’t this all bit bit juvenile, either you are in Dave’s gang or you are just no good?
When Gordon Brown left office, it turned out that most of the Labour government had not been in agreement with most of his policies, but they hadn’t had the guts or good sense to open their mouths. Is that the style of government David Cameron wants to return to? It is gutsy to initiate reform of housing benefit, but the presentation was not well handled. What Boris said on the Vanessa Feltz show chimed deeply with the mood of the country. He is the Mayor and has the right to protect Londoners. He also has lorry loads of creative input and brilliant ideas.
Afterwards, there were attempts by several ministers, including Vince Cable, to make it appear that Boris did not support reform of the Housing Benefit system, which is an utter lie. Boris made it absolutely plain in the interview that reform of the HB system is vital, he supported David Cameron and backed the reform all the way. And as Mathew D’Ancona pointed out in today’s Sunday Telegraph, as Mayor, Boris is not bound by collective responsibility.
If you are a sportsman, you believe that there is nothing wrong with a full-on red-blooded challenge, and for the sake of the freedom of this country, long may they continue. When speaking of his Mayoral opponent, Boris said he would always listen with interest and respect to anything that Ken had to say, which is a good attitude to have. (He wasn’t recoiling in horror, how has he had the temerity to attack me, haha!) However, Boris had noticed a lack of originality in Ken’s attack. That is certainly not an accusation that David Cameron can ever level at Boris Johnson.