Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Is this what Boris is going to be like in the next few years?

I was amused to hear on the radio that Boris Johnson has waded into the BP situation by attacking American "anti-British rhetoric". He also said that the company was paying a very, very heavy price for the consequences of an accident and that UK pension funds had a “huge exposure” to BP

His words have a distinctly off-message tone and he is clearly positioning himself as the champion of the British underdog. Of course as Mayor of London he is not subject to the same diplomatic strictures that his governmental colleagues are. David Cameron might well agree with him but he cannot say so. He has to maintain relations with Obama and the US administration. William Hague for example has had to come out and say that he cannot detect any anti-Britishness in a clear rebuttal of Johnson's comments.

You can imagine senior Tories rolling their eyes in frustration at the fact that "good ol' Boris" is chipping in like this with his "voice of the people" act. After all, "He says wot the people are finkin' innit?".

We can expect to see much more of this sort of thing as Johnson continues to carve out his niche in anticipation of an eventual triumphant return to parliament and we can only presume a bid for the leadership at some point.

Of course then, episodes like today may come back to haunt him...


Foregone Conclusion said...

I would interpret Boris's outburst quite differently. The last time Boris disagreed publically with the Tory leadership was over the 50% tax threshold, if I remember rightly, which he opposed because of the damage it would supposedly do to the City of London. Boris sees protecting what is still London's biggest industry - finance capitalism - as a very important part of his brief. So whenever anything is very much against the interests of the City (as it is here) he lashes out.

A Tory said...

What load of tosh! You say, "His words have a distinctly off message tone" , and "you can imagine senior Tories rolling their eyes in frustration." Well speaking as a Tory I say Boris is definately 'on message' and I am not rolling my eyes in frustration
at his sensible comments. The Americans have overplayed their hand on this one and as per usual Boris has the guts to tell it like it is.

Mark Thompson said...

FC - You have a point but lots of things touch upon the City. It gives Boris a fair chance at wading into national and international issues to allow us the benefit of his wisdom.

A Tory - Hurrah, you're back! I thought you'd retired :) The frustration I referred to was at the fact that his colleagues are constrained, not that they don't agree with him!