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Jerry Hayes

Brace yourself and prepare to be treated to the Barmy Boris & Desperate Dan Show.

October 30th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

The trouble with Boris Johnson is that he puts the dick into unpredictability. But his latest broadside against Cameron and all his works was so obvious it could have even been forecast by Michael Fish. To get re elected as Mayor of London Boris has no choice but to show that he is his own man, not a creature of Conservatism, not an acolyte of Cameron and not too closely associated with the Coalition. By distancing himself from Blair and New Labour Ken romped home. He set the ground rules.

Unfortunately,  Boris has picked the right issue to irritate Ken, but the wrong one to win over voters. Ken can wail that the Housing Benefit changes will lead to thousands  being  thrown out of their homes and onto the streets. But they won’t be. People will be decanted into cheaper homes in different areas. This is not social cleansing, just restoring a sense of fairness that has tapped into the psyche of hard working taxpayers who bitterly resent those who have chosen to sire large families, and a benefit lifestyle choice living in mansions in expensive areas. At their expense.

Things are going to be tough for everyone and having the work-shy living in homes that the family on average wages could never afford in a life time of hard work, enrages. To be told that they are paying for it as well,  just incenses people even more. Cameron knows this and although the policy might be finessed, it won’t be changed.

Boris may have made a grave error of political judgement. His main area of support is in the outer London boroughs, just the sort of people who deeply resent having the piss ripped out of them in the name of political correctness. If he’s going to pick a fight,  for heaven’s sake pick one he has at least a slim chance of wining and one that resonates with the hardworking poor. So for his next outburst I hope Boris, pauses, counts to ten and thinks.

Oh, and just in case some of you swivel eyed rightwingers sniff the air and think that this is his marker for being leader of the Tories, forget it. People rather like having a  charming , witty, eccentric, disorganised and Priapic Mayor of London. Once again, Ken set the ground rules. But they would be horrified if it commuted to Number Ten.

And talking of swivel eyed right wingers, it’s good to see dear old Norman Tebbit , Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan are off their medication and allowed to walk the streets unchaperoned for a while. Although it is rather worrying, considering it’s Halloween.

Not surprisingly, they are getting all tumescent  about the latest European Budget row. Except,  it was wasn’t a row at all. It didn’t take Cameron long to point out that a massive hike in expenditure at a time when the rest of us are likely to be living in mud huts won’t go down well with the natives.

For a British Prime Minister to get Johnny Frog and Helmut BMU to agree to  loosing a  few carriages from their gravy train is nothing short of a miracle. Cameron was correct not to over hype it. But the right are getting a little hot and bothered, demanding renegotiation, that all foreigners should drive on the left and play cricket. Of course it’s barmy.

The Coalition is not going to be side tracked at a time of economic crisis into lengthy and acrimonious rows which will enrage our European partners at a time when we need them on side to make sensible decisions on banking regulations and deficit reductions. There is no possibility of any more powers going to the EU without a referendum. So why the rage?  Why the accusations of a return to Vichy?

I’ll give you a clue. Tim Kirkhope, the Leader of the Tories in Europe has triggered an election as he wants to spend more time with the strange groupings the Conservatives are sharing a duvet with. He wants to spend more time with his family. Sadly, it’s the Addams Family. So guess who has set his  disturbingly piercing eyes of being the Conservative Grand Fromage in Europe? Step forward Mr Dan Hannan.

Dan is bright, articulate and knows out to stimulate the collective clitoris of the right. His problem is the toxic mix of a burning ambition coupled with no political judgement. The scariest one of all was in the run  up to the last election, when, to boost  the Neo-Cons who were attacking Obama’s health reforms, he appeared on Fox Television denouncing the NHS as something , ” he wouldn’t wish on anyone.” Oh, dear.

Hannan reminds me of that remark Lord Birkenhead made about Baldwin, “I think he has gone mad. He simply just takes on jump in the dark: looks round and then takes another. And all around him their are yawning pitfalls in which he may find his own destruction, which would matter little at any time. What is serious is that he takes our fortunes with him”.

So, is young Hannan touched with greatness or just touched? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain, we are all going to be treated to the Barmy Boris and Desperate Dan show for the next few months. I can’t wait.

Comments [ 16 ]

  1. mikerophone mikerophone says:

    ‘It didn’t take Cameron long to point out that a massive hike in expenditure at a time when the rest of us are likely to be living in mud huts won’t go down well with the natives.’

    So why did he agree to a 3%(sorry 2.9%, it sounds better (PR trick)) hike in our budget contribution at a time of austerity and ’savage cuts’ (to quote Nick Clegg) ? The EU budget should have been cut not raised. What happened to ‘We’re all in this together’ ?

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      You are of course correct. The difficulty is getting the rest of the Euro leaders to reach agreement on anything. I think he did rather well, considering. I bet that in every Euro capital the head honcho will be claiming the same as Cameron. The aim must be to keep the momentum going.

  2. At last – somebody telling it how it is, regarding Boris’ stance on the housing benefit issue. With the long run up to mayoral elections it stands to reason that Boris would put forward a populist view in an attempt to win votes among Londoners, even it it puts him at odds with the Conservative part leader. Quite why much of the media has portrayed this issue in any other way is rather surprising.

  3. gordon-bennett gordon-bennett says:

    Someone whose 14 year career in the House (according to your bio) was not that distinguished should moderate your scornful language about the likes of a political giant such as Norman Tebbitt.

    Of course you can criticise him but you shouldn’t descend to insult about someone so distinguished.

    You shouldn’t deprecate Carswell or Hannan either. They are already more effective than you ever were.

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Thank you for your contribution which, forgive me for saying, was total, pompous bollocks. It’s the sort of ghastly, “know your place” views which made the Conservative party unelectable for so long. I am delighted that I have irritated you and now feel content that writing the piece was worthwhile.

      • gordon-bennett gordon-bennett says:

        So, on the one hand my contribution is worthless and on the other hand it was so valuable that it validated your work.

        I was merely making the point that your criticism of one of my political heroes was uncouth and, given that his record contrasted massively with your own mneagre political accomplishments, if you must criticise him you should do so more politely.

        You won’t get the approval you crave until you learn this simple lesson.

        • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

          Not seeking your approval at all. Really sorry I upset you re having a crack at Norman whom I have been friends with for many years. We just don’t always agree. He certainly wouldn’t object to me taking the piss because he has a sense of humour against himself. So my advice to you is rise above it all and don’t take anything too personally!

  4. gwenhwyfaer gwenhwyfaer says:

    Of course, 7 in 8 of those “workshy” are actually, er, in work – but hey, facts only get in the way when people want to decide what’s “fair”, don’t they?

    • Jerry Hayes Jerry Hayes says:

      Good point. But fairness works both ways; to the taxpayer and to those who want to work but the benefits system is skewed against them. There is a large contingent of those on disability benefits who are able to work, but it is not financially in their interests to do so. This has to change. However, all parties colluded in this at one time or another to reduce the unemployment numbers.

  5. Adam Collyer Adam Collyer says:

    You are completely right about housing benefit. To me, complaining that without a massive State subsidy some people won’t be able to live in fancy areas, is missing the point. Most of us accept that we can’t afford to live somewhere fancy and cut our coat according to our cloth. Indeed, a couple of years ago I moved about 40 miles simply in order to be able to afford the kind of house I wanted.

    What’s more, the limits being talked about are ridiculously high anyway. £400 a week for a four bedroom property gets you something decent almost anywhere. It’s really rather amazing that some people’s housing benefit alone is comparable to the average gross wage!

    Just one quibble with your piece though – “a massive hike in expenditure at a time when the rest of us are likely to be living in mud huts won’t go down well with the natives”: the “cuts” announced so far are pretty modest. Expenditure is going up in cash terms every year for the whole parliament.

  6. Paul Bentley Paul Bentley says:

    Having been mildly acquainted with Mr. Hannan back at university, what startles me most today is his continuingly effusive advocation of the United States constitution as some ideal. He appears to have regressed from Thatcherite orthodoxy to Whiggish romanticism. It may be a way of securing bookings on the north American lecture circuit, or it may be the mirror-image manifestation of the Blairite love affair with all that community democracy trumpeted by Jonathan Freedland. Whatever, it’s barely very Tory.

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