BORIS FOR KING: Charles Moore makes a rare error in the Telegraph

In his rightly revered column today, the Daily Telegraph’s best thinker Charles Moore makes the case for praising Boris Johnson. Here at Slogger’s Roost, we err on the side of burying the bugger. Writing about Johnson’s obvious talent as a rhetorical scrivener, Mr Moore observes, ‘Unlike Boris, I am no classical scholar, but I believe this technique is called digressio’.
So Charles, what you’re saying is that BoJo is a weapon of mass distraction, right?

Well yes, he certainly is: but distraction often hides destruction, as we’ve seen with Draper Osborne.

His drivel over the Tube loudspeakers flatlines the London retail economy: quick, better hang on a wire and wave some flags.
It isn’t that Boris ‘gets’ highbrow and lowbrow – very much the central insight of Moore’s piece. Rather, it’s that he uses the lowbrow to hoodwink the highbrow.

Never forget, my friends, that whenever he is cornered and questioned on policy content, Johnson shows a venomous, bullying and foul-mouthed dimension that suggests rather more about his real personality than looking bemused and being witty on HIGNFY. Never forget, my fellow liberal democrats, that this is the man who agreed to have some of the delightful Darius Guppy’s critics beaten up. This is also the chap who, when asked about phone-hacking, said it was a lot of “Leftie piffle”.
Still, bullish as ever, BoJo’s personal guest last Thursday was…Rupert Murdoch.
No Charles – just this once, I disagree with you. I have been saying since 2004 that there are only two politicians with no respect at all for The People: Harriet Harman, and Boris Johnson. If nothing else, Hattie knows she’s unacceptable, and has therefore put The Two Stooges up in her stead. Boris has spotted that the British majority is now violent, gullible and in search of culprits.
He’s certainly good at providing those: but never, ever is he among them.

41 thoughts on “BORIS FOR KING: Charles Moore makes a rare error in the Telegraph

  1. Manipulative, amoral, self-serving and ruthlessly ambitious. Dangerous with friends the Hedgies and Droopy Roop. A mob-pleasing PM? I’m not at all sure he’ll ever play that well north of Oxford.


  2. A malevolent clown who scraped a win in the London mayoral election only because he was up against a total berk who helpfully shot himself in the foot just before the polling. If Alan Johnson had run, BoJo the clown would have been out on his ear.

    In any case as we get closer to 2015, unless they perform some sort of miraculous about turn, the Tories are going to be even less electable than they were in 20100. BoJo won’t take on the leadership if the likelihood is that he will be in opposition.


  3. @JW: “I have been saying since 2004 that there are only two politicians with no respect at all for The People: Harriet Harman, and Boris Johnson.

    Sorry, I can’t buy this. I doubt if any politician has much respect for The People. And I know of no member of the last Labour govt nor of the current Labour Party that has the slightest interest in The People beyond getting their vote come election time. With Blair’s stream of anti-liberty laws and Brown’s countless flushing of taxpayers’ money down the lavatory, do you really think they ever had any respect for The People? Situation has not changed much under the Coalition govt where failed QE and Zirp policies are robbing savers and pushing up inflation.


  4. Wish the slog would actually come up with something nasty on Boris. Keeps trying to and when you compare him to Harriet Harman I’m thinking right, he must have got something good here. But no? So far I have noted a strong dislike for the posh Southerner but I’m yet to see where any real dirt is. Although I’m willing to accept that for many being a posh Southerner is reason enough to hate someone.


  5. “flatlines the London retail economy”: I know – and the same thing happened at LA and Sydney. His writ runs wide, doesn’t it?


  6. ‘for many being a posh Southerner is reason enough to hate someone.’
    I wish people would make their minds up as to whether I hate posh southerners, or am one.
    It depends what you mean by ‘dirt’. ‘Dirt’ in 2012 would’ve been called ‘depraved amorality’ in 1962.
    But don’t let it worry you: you’re in the majority.


  7. Sorry re LA and Sydney. I don’t remember either Mayor’s advertising campaign telling folks to stay away. Must’ve missed it.
    Dearie Me.
    PS Don’t you mean remit?


  8. @BT: ‘I doubt if any politician has much respect for The People. And I know of no member of the last Labour govt nor of the current Labour Party that has the slightest interest in The People beyond getting their vote come election time.’

    This from John Redwood’s diary today:
    ‘When I and just over a hundred other MPs voted to give the UK public a referendum, we were voted down by a huge majority, as Labour, Lib Dem and Coalition Conservatives united against a public vote.’
    They care not a jot for us.


  9. I can see plenty of depraved immorality in the Olympic set up, the coverage and all the crap that goes with it. Maybe I’m being slow here (it does happen) but where is this all getting attached to Boris? I read the slog regularly and I’m yet to see where all this is coming from?
    I know I sound like some Tory apologist probably, but really I think the blame rests with Coe, the I.O.C., Jowell, and the people that set the whole deal up. If Boris is worthy of the “depraved amorality” tag then I want to know, but I also need to know why?
    Meeting with Murdoch is obviously a nasty indicator, but is that it?


  10. Way O/T but somewhat strange enough to post I feel:
    California’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) reveals $600 billion in surplus taxpayer assets, and the various local government agencies’ CAFRs are data-sampled to total $8 trillion in surplus assets.
    Last week, the California Parks and Recreation Department was found to be hiding $54 million in assets; more than twice their claimed $22 million budget deficit. This disclosure of fiduciary malfeasance led to the department director’s resignation, and the firing of the second-in-command.
    Today, the San Jose Mercury News reports a total of $2.3 billion more was “found” in 500 accounts.
    Anybody have anything to add?


  11. @kfc: Spot on. And that story of pan-party political agendas should have made headline news across all news channels. But not a murmur.


  12. @JW: “I wish people would make their minds up as to whether I hate posh southerners, or am one.

    I think you do hate posh southerners, but I’m not aware of anybody on the slog who’s ever described you as one because you’re a northerner and your culture and values are from the north. Is that a strawman? I know one or two who’ve described you as a champagne socialist…who knows? ;-)


  13. I agree with you, John.

    He is an incredible political performer. I mean that in every sense of the word.

    He has no credibility and you cannot believe at how good he is at getting away with it. All of it.

    More than four years in office and what are his achievements? A few bikes. Sponsored by Barclays.

    Some double decker buses you can hop on like the old Routemaster, I think they’re on the way.

    This is chicken feed (unlike Boris’ Daily Telegraph salary).

    I understnd his first job at the Times came from a phone call he made. Oh to be connected. But then didn’t that end when there was a problem with a quote? Boris’ ear seemed to let him down. Never mind, unlike Johann Hari, Boris soon got another job.

    Oh, to be connected!

    There is no denying his talent as a politician and because he stands out from the rest, he appeals to people who don’t like politicians (that’s a lot of people these days).

    I think the truth is the Tories are desperate to hang on to power. To have a real go at winning outright and get their hands on the train set without having to share with the Limp Dims.

    You note the ruthless streak with the Darius Guppy episode.

    That, and all the other things we have mentioned and more we don’t know about, will put a lot of Tory MPs off him. But I still think enough will back him to get him into the leadership sooner rather than later. Like the rest of the public, these wretched Tory MPs are now facing the prospect of a Labour Limp Dim coalition. So it really is time to cast all principles aside as far as they’re concerned.

    The truth is, that’s what we need. We need the Conservative party to be smeltered down and some new options to emerge. Preferably not bank rolled by hedge funds et al.

    There’s a real horrible ooziness about Boris. In the same way the Italians seemed to like Berlosconi for his sleaziness and playing fast and loose, I get some of that about the way the public like Boris. Boris has a more innocent veneer and uses that haircut and silly voice to take away the sharp edges of his ambition (compare Dave’s Bryl Creemed bully boy look), but I fear this clown will get to wreak his dark side on us yet.


  14. @Sue: “More than four years in office and what are his achievements? A few bikes. Sponsored by Barclays.

    Don’t forget he’s also turned Transport for London into his own private
    Schutzstaffel to harass motorists. And TfL are criticised for ploughing ahead with projects without any consultation with other interested parties.


  15. What’s the problem with BoJo?He hasn’t ,yet ,been blackmailed by a male model and hired a hitman ,like the infamous OE leader of the LIBERAL party,one Jeremy Thorpe who confessed all on tape to a Secker & Warburg employee,whose evidence was ruled inadmissible in the most incompetent prosecution of the 20th century.


  16. Do we need these postings earlier today ?

    August 4, 2012 at 7:45 am


    don’t you mean the Crown and Sceptre on the Balsall Heath road. I have no doubt that you were only let out of the police cells at 4am, the noise people make there.
    Rosemary Blanketstein
    August 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    @ Gemma

    You have chosen to highlight your coarse ignorant breeding with comments like this,or do you need medical help for your sickness.
    You must be very lonely.

    August 4, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Rupes! sorry, Herr Blankenstein

    You didn’t tell me you were a real banker. I thought you only imagined that sort of thing in your coffee breaks at the factory.


  17. Lots of people dislike Boris because he is a posh southerner, but they are mainly oikish northeners, or colonials like myself, and so their opinion is totally unimportant.


  18. the city hall clowning and buffoonery is all very drôle, and i particulalrly enjoyed the daily mash’s satirical send-up of hunt and johnson as super-hero duo twatman and bobbin, but london mayor, boris johnson must accept full responsibility for the london metropolitan police force’s pre-planned execution of mark duggan last year in tottenham. i hold absolutely no brief for those involved in gang-activity and rioting, yet 12 months on the public have still received no satisfactory explanation for the gunning-down of an ostensibly unarmed man by a mob of highly-armed law-officers, and so this popping-point of police-handbook principle (which has the potential to affect the life each and every one of us) remains completely unanswered – as do questions about the true provenance of the concealed firearm and the rôle played by the metropolitan police, who were patently pre-aware that the piece had been put into circulation.


  19. I think Ken did a pretty good job with that as well after all he founded the bloody thing. Bojo just inherited the cash cow scam that Ken set up.
    Loads of jobs for the boys at TFL just look at how many of the senior apparatchiks are on 6 figure salaries. Bojo even kept on the TFL big don Peter Hendy who will shortly get a nice cash Olympic bonus.


  20. personally, i believe that boris johnson revels in gangland-involvement – and regardless whether these gangs consist of policemen, members of the public, party-politicians, or the oxonian-elite bandits of the bullingdon club, they must all receive the rap of justice in equal measure.


  21. But surely the really significant thing about the fact that many people prefer Boris to the alternatives, is what that says about the alternatives.


  22. @ R B
    No, we don’t need this mis interpretation followed by aggressive insults from ignorance personified living on the mainland with a passionate hate of the British people and customs.


  23. Given that all politicians are in it for what they can get out of it at least Boris gave me a good laugh with his high wire act. If Romney carried off a stunt like that he could fool a few more voters. It seems that Boris and Bill Clinton and your perpetually grinning former PM understand how to manipulate their image, others just don’t get it.


  24. @kfc: “Is this the reason all our politicians are so compliant to Brussels?

    It could be. But it may not always be a control file kept on specific persons to keep them under control, but perhaps a government of the day (or similar) which could smear the political party forever.

    That blog post implies that control files are a much more common feature of politics and society than most people would imagine…

    Meanwhile back in the UK:
    We also know that Brown allegedly had a lot of dirt on Blair which may explain why Blair left him alone in the Treasury to wreck the economy whilst repeating the mantra that Brown was “a brillaint Chancellor”.


  25. Flamboyant, buffoon-like, one much given to clowning, slippery and difficult to pin down and a mere political performer? Sounds to me uncannily like Benjamin Disraeli, and contrary to most people’s expectations and after a few false starts, Disraeli turned out to be a surprisingly good British prime minister. The important thing, I suppose, is not to be fooled too much by appearances.


  26. @Houndstooth: I agree with you about Boris. Whatever tomfoolery he indulges in, the acid test is how well he does his job.


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