Laura Perrins: Boris is just another urban liberal. He wants to have his cake and eat it

Am I the only conservative not to be tickled pink by the idea of Boris Johnson running for Parliament in 2015? Is it strange that I am not popping the champagne corks at the thought of the great and blond one being parachuted into a safe seat so he can plot his eventual succession to become leader of the Conservative Party and perhaps Prime Minister? It seems I am one of the few not to hail this as a great conservative triumph, to have one of its ‘best players on the field.’

I am not too sure what it is that really irritates me about Mr Johnson. Perhaps I am dismayed at the thought of the Conservative Party becoming an extension of the Eton Sixth Form Common Room. It irks me – it does. I know this is not his fault, or that of this parents, or indeed that of the school who for a mere £30,000 a year will give your son (only sons need apply) an education that is no doubt the envy of the world. I envy it – I do. But still – it irks me as only a infinitesimal number of people have access to it.

I do hold it against the liberals of the 70s and 80s who trashed state education and abolished grammar schools so it is difficult, although not impossible, for ordinary middle class children (never mind working class children) to challenge for influential positions in media, law and politics. It is a disgrace and scandal that the current Conservative Party supports the prohibition on the expansion of any further grammar schools.

The Conservatives were also hopeless in the 80s and 90s – according to Progressively Worse by Robert Peal – in attempting to reverse the damage caused by the socialist wreckers to the state school system.

The fact that private school alumni so dominate public life now is a direct result of this. Improving state education should be a top priority for Conservatives – and in fairness to Michael Gove it was, until he was promptly fired by Cameron for causing a bit too much trouble. Cannot have that – causing trouble for the sake of much needed change. Mustn’t rock the boat now for the sake of policy when all one desires is power.

But I digress. Back to Boris. What is it about certain people that means that their immense personality and no doubt charm makes them pretty immune from the normal rules of society? Boris is sometimes viewed as loveable rogue – I don’t think there is anything loveable about him. But he does seem pretty roguish.

Michael Howard fired him for lying over an extramarital affair. Just the lying though – not the affair itself. One cannot fire a Conservative for adulterous affairs these days, good God no. That would be far too ‘judgemental’ and ‘nasty’. We are hip and modern now, don’t you remember? So extramarital affairs are fine, do write that down. But not lying to the leader – that remains unacceptable. For now.

My problem with Boris is that he is just another member of the liberal metropolitan elite. So the thought of him running for Parliament just leaves me cold. He famously once said (in one of those quips the hoi polloi just cannot get enough of) that his policy on cake was that he was ‘pro having it and pro eating it”. I’ll say. In fact it should be the motto of all socially liberal Conservatives: having your cake and eating it. It just sums them up perfectly.

I pity whatever constituency he is put upon. I can just see Boris now, dealing with the complaints about the potholes and opening a local playground complete with great photo op of him falling head first down the slide. Sure aren’t we just blessed to have him?

So no – there are no champagne corks popping here at The Conservative Woman at the thought of Boris eating yet more cake (but we will be locking up our daughters).

Laura Perrins

  • HD2

    There’s no such place.

    Perhaps you meant ‘Pop’?

  • oldredmerc

    Johnson is a buffoon but probably a dangerous one as I suspect he has the same strongly self-serving focus as the senior members of all the parties. Also he is remarkably ignorant about the EU – who knows what other subjects he is equally uninformed about. He is on a par with Farage & who would want either of them in a position of authority in the management of the country?
    London is welcome to Johnson, at least he hasn’t done as much damage as another dose of Livingstone would have done.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Small point. he’s not actually a ‘buffoon’. That’s the problem. He plays the buffoon.

  • Adem Aljo

    ‘The hoi polloi’ is incorrect. ‘Hoi polloi’ means ‘the many’. You’ve written ‘the the many’.

    But you’d know this if you spent more time listening to what BoJo has to say rather than criticising him for, you know, no other reason than ‘he’s Boris Johnson’.

    Dum canem caedimus, corrosisse dicitur corrium.

    • MrsDBliss

      She criticised him for an extra-marital affair and lying. Therefore when you say “criticising him for, you know, no other reason than ‘he’s Boris Johnson'” is not exactly accurate is it?

      I’m impressed by your use of Latin. Perhaps you went to public school too. Well done, I’m glad you had a wonderful education. As Laura makes the point access to a prestigious education is exclusive. I don’t know any Latin. However your use of it in your criticism implies an attempt to belittle the author of this piece rather than, you know, deal with her actual complaints about Boris Johnson. Particularly as you glossed over the concerns she has evidenced his character flaws in the same piece. Therefore I see your comment not as a well constructed rebutting of Laura’s points and an unfortunate indicator that a good education can certainly benefit one who may not have an aptitude for analysis. So in effective you’ve given Laura’s point that a Conservative party dominated by those rich enough to access such high education, whilst those who are more able are left in comprehensive systems, is both unfair and not in the best interests of the country.

      Thank you for the posts Laura. I agree I’m not thrilled with Boris’ values or his ability. I shudder to think the embarrassment to our country if this bumbling idiot were to ever reached the office of Prime Minister. The persona he’s developed to progress his career would be excruciating if representing our country in a higher capacity and would only serve to highlight our position as a former power and sometimes puppet of the US.

    • Maverick Muezzin

      In English usage, saying “the hoi polloi” is perfectly correct, you irksome fool. In fact, it would be incorrect to omit the “the”. Do you expect people to say tous pollous when it’s in the accusative too?

      Bonus points for the irony of this being part of an attack for criticising someone on a matter of no substance. Silly numpty.

      • RoadrunnerNick

        So you’d say “the Le Figaro”?

      • Laura Perrins

        Thank you MrsDBliss and Maverick for entering this debate on latin. Like MrsDBliss I did not have the opportunity to study latin at school hence my envy of an Eton education. I was exposed to a little in my law degree. I am however still very grateful for the solid education I received in Ireland from hardworking teachers and nuns who also gave me in addition to a good education, a moral education in not humiliating or belittling those who may not have had the same life chances and opportunities that I have. As for you Adem Aljo (nice picture), all I can say is that the air must be thin up there on mount pompous. I fear for your health.

        • Nick

          Given that “hoi polloi” is Greek, your study of Latin would have proven fruitless in any case.

  • BlackJackKetchum

    Ahem, ladies are blonde, gentlemen are blond.

  • Perpetually Astonished

    Excellent comments on the failure of the British political class over many decades to provide a respectable education system, and the scandal of the total domination of the privately educated in public life and prestige careers. I doubt I am any more anti-public schools than you are – some of them are among the only really good schools in Britain, and excellence is always to be applauded – but it is deeply shaming that the state has not provided everyone with the means to such an important social and economic enabler. There should be, as you imply, grammar schools in every area of the country providing academically able children with an education that at least competes with the best of the independent schools. The rest of the developed world manages this, why can’t Britain? There should also be appropriately good schools for this without an academic inclination. Much of the rest of the developed world manages this, why can’t Britain?

    As for Boris . . . I am neither enthusiastic nor share your disdain. Certainly, we could use MPs and a PM capable of ploughing through the liberal consensus. While it isn’t impossible, the evidence we have is that the products of the better public schools are unlikely to be willing or capable of bringing about the needed changes.

  • JR

    The article criticises Johnson for having an affair and for being a Conservative liberal. Anyone who thinks he is a conservative should read the attached link. Or is it, as Dave Cameron says the Conservative thing to do?

  • Spectre

    Hear, hear.

  • Adaadat

    I don’t care whether Boris is a fool or it’s an affectation, but I do care that he isn’t conservative, like Miss Perrins. This is what puzzles me about Dave’s wariness of him: Boris brings the celebrity (+ slight poll boost), but no conservative policies to give him a fit of the vapours, so what is not to like?

    Having abandoned Londoners and handed London over to Tessa Jowell, Boris would help to keep the Labour-lite policies coming and rally the troops to keep us in the E.U. Seriously, Dave, if you won’t even defend your centrist policies, you need the floppy-haired one.

    You know, I hadn’t ever considered what Boris had done as a Conservative mayor all these years, but this jolted me – it isn’t pretty: I guess what remains of the conservative media has, since 2008, deemed it better to focus on the personality and gloss over the lack of substance, because, now that I consider it, I don’t recall him being feted as a standard-bearer for the Right. It makes me despair to think UKIP supporters, of all people, have fallen for him.

  • John McEvoy

    Boris let slip long ago that he is a Big Government, pro-EU professional politician more interested in BJ than any proper conservative policies.
    His return to the Windmill Dave Inner Circle is an electioneering tactic dreamed up by Lynton Crosby to sucker a few wavering voters back into the fold.
    Boris is about as Eurosceptic as Clarke, Heseltine, Clegg or Dave himself. In other words he wants to hand the UK to Brussels in exchange for Kinnock-style benefits.

  • derekemery

    Boris is interested in the possibility of becoming the Conservative leader if Cameron leaves from not wining the election.
    Like most of today’s politicians he is only interested in fame. He has no plans for the UK other than just being there . His record is poor. He has done little whilst in office in London. There are plenty more who can offer that.
    I reckon the two biggest achievers are Osborne and Gove. Gove had to be sacked because he was upsetting teachers near the election.

  • Thomtids

    Boris is a professional politician. This means he dissembles constantly. He cannot lay straight in bed. He is so bent he screws his shoes on in the morning. He has no policies that he wishes to communicate that might induce you to vote against him, nor can he tell you what the Civil Service might permit him to do, were he to come to power or influence.
    He is though, not merely your ordinary politician. He has form for lying to his leader. This man is an “M & S Politician”.
    He is vain and obscures his progressive baldness with various head-gear.
    He is not honest.
    That should exclude him from the acme of power in Public life but, yet, it is now considered the only skill necessary to possess to progress to the very pinnacle of the greasy pole.
    His brother Frank was an infinitely preferable choice but, alas, died some years ago.