Saturday, 3 May 2008

Dish of the day


This, I'm reliably informed, is what 'umble pie looks like, and I shall cheerfully be tucking in this evening, having earlier predicted - contrary to the polls - that Ken Livingstone would squeak back in. I'm still pinching myself at the courage of Londoners for not, for once, doing the safe, boring, sensible thing. Not that kicking out Ken isn't sensible, of course.

Still, I'm in good company. Boris himself had to eat his hat - a woolly blue bobbled affair - after falsely predicting that Tony Blair would persist in calling an election in the midst of a foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001. How long ago that now seems.

My new prediction (more accurate, I hope) is that there will be many more people eating humble pie, or their headgear, or merely their words over the next four years, as Boris Johnson shows his true genius for administration, slashing red-tape and doing away with the hated bendy-buses. But what a loss to comedy. How will they cope on Have I Got News For You?

Here's a suggestion. Ken's available. He'd make an admirable guest-host.

6 comments:

valdemar said...

What do you think of the theory that Noo Labour might be secretly pleased by Bozza's victory? The idea is that London 'takes one for the team' by sinking into Boris-inspired chaos, votera think 'them Tories is just as bad', and at the next general election Labour wins with a reduced majority.

The Heresiarch said...

I've heard that theory. It's wishful thinking on the part of unimaginative socialists. Boris will not screw up in London. His talents are to delegate and to inspire. He's not the greatest administrator, but he doesn't need to be. Cameron will make sure he has a first-rate team around him.

The only real danger is that Ken has left the administration in a state of semi-collapse, and Boris comes in at exactly the wrong moment, just as the whole thing unravels. So that he gets the blame (just as Gordon Brown got the credit for the economic legacy left him by the underrated Major government; and Brown himself is now taking the blame for Blair's disastrous premiership). That could happen.

valdemar said...

Perhaps Bozza's the first of a new wave of superficially lightweight but in fact very clever, media-savvy types who are also decent human beings, flawed in obvious ways but untainted by ideological bigotry. I'd love to believe that... But hey, I live in Gateshead and work for the council, so my brains dribbled out of my ears years ago.

Olive said...

Boris took a rather minimalist approach to campaigning- do you think that it was more a case that Ken lost the election rather than Boris won it? I'm of the opinion that Johnson's win was a sign of dissatisfaction with newLabour rather than London saying "Hmmm. I like the policies of that Johnson chap. Think I'll vote for him." Like Valdemar, I live outside the capital, and so have no idea just how grumpy Londoners were with Ken.

silas said...

I used to live in Newcastle, and have been in London for 19 years now. The problem I found with Ken recently was that there were seemingly endless increases in taxes/fares/fines and no real improvements anywhere.

Whereas Newcastle has recently had some splendid new roads built, or resurfaced and widened, London hasn't really had the work done. Part of that, in my opinion, was to keep travel times high so that future increases in the C-Charge could be pushed through without too many grumbles.

People who have moved from car to public transport haven't seen the infrastructure improve, so travelling by train or bus between 7.30 & 10am is truly awful. Plus fares have increased above inflation for many years.

To then discover that so much of the London revenue was going to agencies who have no real accounting procedures, yet seem very capable to travel to all parts of the world for conferences (never see highly attended conferences in Poland or Serbia, do you?) is utterly galling.

If I were Boris, the first thing I would do is a forensic audit of the previous administration's accounts. Then if necessary, bring fraud charges.

The Heresiarch said...

Silas: The problem I found with Ken recently was that there were seemingly endless increases in taxes/fares/fines and no real improvements anywhere.

Sounds like the whole country under Blair-Brown to me. It's just that now, with the financial squeeze, the wider public are finally beginning to notice. Nothing can save this rabble now.