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Boris Johnson

a member of the hard Tory right

compass DIRECTION FOR THE DEMOCRATIC LEFT Boris Johnson a member of the hard Tory right



Boris Johnson – a member of the hard Tory right

Part 1.

A brief analysis of Boris Johnson’s politics – a hard line right winger

Part 2.

Boris Johnson’s political views in detail

Part 2. Boris Johnson’s political views in detail “Boris Johnson is by far the most right

“Boris Johnson is by far the most right wing candidate ever to be presented by a major party for Mayor of London. This reality gives a tremendous opportunity to expose the real politics of the Tory Party not only in London, in the elections for Mayor and the London Assembly, but also nationally in the run up to the general election. “

Compass publications are intended to create real debate and discussion around the key issues facing the democratic left - however the views expressed in this publication are not a statement of Compass policy.

Boris Johnson – a member of the hard Tory right Part 1. A brief analysis

Boris Johnson

– a member of the hard Tory right

Part 1. A brief analysis of Boris Johnson’s politics – a hard line right winger

of Boris Johnson’s politics – a hard line right winger Compass wants to help develop a

Compass wants to help develop a progressive consensus for political advance across London that is based on greater equality, a deepening of democracy, improved quality of life and well-being for all as well as environmental sustainability. We believe there is a very large progressive consensus in the capital for these politics. Boris Johnson would only be a real electoral threat if Londoners do not know what his real views are - which is why his campaign will try desperately to hide them. But he will endeavour to stir up a regressive consensus. The battle lines of future political wars between left and right are going to be fought in London over the next ten months. It is essential that people know the truth about Boris Johnson and the politics he represents through his own words.

Boris Johnson is by far the most right wing candidate ever to be presented by a major party for Mayor of London. This reality gives a tremendous opportunity to expose the real politics of the Tory Party not only in London, in the elections for Mayor and the London Assembly, but also nationally in the run up to the general election.

By running such a hard-line right wing candidate for a powerful and high profile position, as well as one who has no record of any serious managerial competence, the Tory Party will be directly associating itself with Johnson’s views. Johnson’s extremely right wing positions will not only seriously damage the attempt of the Tory party to present any type of progressive image, but will particularly damage their relations with all the groups they have been trying to woo by camouflaging the character of the party.

How can the Conservative Party seek to gain credibility among black people while referring to them, as Boris Johnson has done, as ‘picaninnies’ - and Africans as having ‘water melon smiles’? How can the Tory Party pretend to be environmentally concerned while having a candidate for Mayor of London who opposed, as Boris Johnson did, the Kyoto Treaty on climate change? How can you attempt to get rid of a sexist approach to


women with a candidate who extols cars as ‘chick pulling’? How can the Tory Party attempt to present itself as being concerned with the poor with a candidate who opposed the national minimum wage and opposed full pension rights for part time workers? It will have a candidate who whole heartedly supports grammar schools. How can you present the Tory party as socially concerned when Boris Johnson was a member of one of the most socially elitist and yob-dominated drinking clubs at Oxford University – and when it will draw attention to the fact that David Cameron was also a member? How can you present the Conservative Party as interested in morality in politics when its candidate for Mayor of London was prepared to discuss with a fraudster and fellow Etonian, Darius Guppy, about supplying a private address so that a journalist could be beaten up?

The dynamic is clear. One of the most important Tory Party websites, Conservative Home, was already debating by mid- August the acceptability of calling black people ‘picaninnies’. The overwhelming response of Tories replying was that it was.


new-nation-is-l.html). Such discussion, defence of such positions and language, will destroy any image of the Conservative Party as even faintly progressive – and destroy the false image Cameron has spent the last eighteen months trying to create.

Such hard line right wing views are not surprising given that Boris Johnson is the former editor of The Spectator and chief columnist for the Daily Telegraph – both publications of the Tory right. Some of his remarks are now rightly getting the attention that they did not receive when he was running for nothing more serious than chairing Have I Got News for You and therefore could be treated as an irrelevant joke. But it is very important to realise that these types of statements, such as those on ‘picaninnies’ and ‘water melon smiles’, are not just a few isolated comments taken out of context or misrepresented. It is to avoid any such impression that Boris Johnson’s views are outlined comprehensively and at length here.

Boris Johnson is frequently presented in the press merely as a buffoon. It is certainly true he has never shown any serious managerial experience or competence, that he regularly makes huge mistakes and reverses positions, and this is an extremely serious impediment to running a huge city such as London. But as is shown here his buffoonery conceals a hard line right wing set of views – a type of Norman Tebbit in clown’s uniform.

This point is important to make because Boris Johnson himself, from his earliest career, has always attempted to conceal his positions when he found it advantageous to do so – one of the features even his fellow right wingers found undesirable. Andrew Gimson, in his mainly supportive and airbrushed


compass make sure that everyone knows these views and that what is being dealt with are

make sure that everyone knows these views and that what is being dealt with are not a few odd offensive remarks. It is an important opening to debunk any newly more progressive image that the Tory Party has tried to create for itself in London and throughout the country.

Part 2. Boris Johnson’s political views in detail

International and overall politics

* Fanatical support for the Iraq war

* Supporting both the election of George W Bush in 2000 and his re-election in 2004

* Opposed the Kyoto treaty on climate change

* Is an evangelist for nuclear power – and opposes wind farms

* Is a fanatical Thatcherite

* Considers Liberal Democrats have ‘a characteristic human psychological deformity’

biography Boris, notes the following of Boris Johnson’s earliest electoral campaign – when he was a Tory but running for the President of the Oxford Union:


his own political opinions

witnessed by Frank Luntz, an American at Oxford, [now a Republican Party pollster] whose outrage at Boris’s conduct can be heard even down a transatlantic telephone line

practiced a series of bold deceptions about

This behaviour was

twenty years later. Luntz says: “He renounced his Conservative affiliation and fully embraced the SDP and the principles and people who supported the SDP to help him get elected. At that time being a member of the Social Democrats was the best thing to be at Oxford. I said to him ‘You don’t do this, this is a very small country and it’s not right and it will come back to haunt you.’ He abandoned them to get elected and after he was elected he said he was a Tory again.”

Radek Sikorski confirmed this: “Boris made these SDP speeches at the Union which was how he got elected” ‘To pass himself off as a Social Democrat was not Boris’s only deception. At Balliol, according to Lloyd Evans: “He never stood in the Conservative interest. When he stood for the Union he told us he was an environmentalist.” (Andrew Gimson, Boris:

the Rise of Boris Johnson p71)

Boris Johnson is also not above straightforward invention – The Times sacked him as a journalist for inventing a quotation. The Guppy affair also shows his very ‘singular’ sense of political morality. Standing for Mayor of London is certainly not the type of amateurish politics of the Oxford Union. Boris Johnson will be forced to stand nine months of full scale examination of his politics and views. But it shows the type of activity he, and those in the media who support him, will get up to.

Boris Johnson can be elected MP in a constituency such as Henley, one of safest Tory seats in the country, by honestly presenting his views. But he cannot be elected presenting these views in London. Therefore the aim of those supporting him – including in the media - is to conceal his views by presenting the whole election as a ‘joke’.

The aim of the material collected here is therefore simple. It is to state the reality of Boris Johnson’s hard line right wing political views. There is not the slightest need to rip isolated phrases out of context or to misrepresent them. He has had twenty years to put them down so there is no shortage of expressions of his positions.

Economic Policies

* Opposed the introduction of the national minimum wage

* Opposition to full pension rights for part-time workers

* Believes trouble comes from ‘too zealous’ attempts to tackle inequality

* Calls for large scale sacking of public sector workers as good ‘for themselves’

* Defends privatisation of the railways

The job of progressives both in London and nationally is to

Social and Environmental Policies * Attacks the welfare state as ‘excessive disbursements that warp honest

Social and Environmental Policies

* Attacks the welfare state as ‘excessive disbursements that warp honest people’

* Wants to introduce the private sector into the NHS and believes patients should pay more

* Is opposed to the Social Chapter of the EU and also against its provision on paternity leave

* Supports grammar schools and public schools

* Does not support affordable housing

* Opposition to the congestion charge

* Is in favour of not only fox but stag hunting

* Opposes the ban on smoking in restaurants and public places

Attitude to black people, women, gay rights, the Chinese and others

* Refers to black people as ‘picaninnies’ and ‘with watermelon smiles’

* Attitudes to the black community and calls the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry ‘Orwellian’

* Believes in South Africa there is the ‘majority tyranny of black rule.’

* On Africans and ‘instant carbohydrate gratification’

* Believes Chinese culture is merely imitative

* Sexism

* Labour’s ‘appalling agenda’ of ‘the teaching of homosexuality in schools’

* Attitude to the Koran

Political morality

* Considers Edward Kennedy faced a dilemma on whether to ‘come clean’ on Chappaquiddick

* Supports Silvio Berlusconi

Other positions

* Opposes devolution for Scotland and Wales

* Insults New Guniea

* Insults Liverpool

* Insults Portsmouth

* Insults the Dutch

* Believes ‘former crypto communists’ run the BBC

* Is prepared to discuss how seriously a journalist should be beaten up and whether to supply his address

Fanatical support for the Iraq war

‘Crumbs, I thought, as I stood on the edge of the crater. Crumbs was the word. Or perhaps that should be fragments, little fist- sized fragments of house. Whatever explosive the US Air Force use in their bunkerbusters, it is powerful stuff… When I first became a journalist fifteen years ago, America had not yet reached this pitch of technological virtuosity, of being able to


drop a bomb on any house in any third world capital, at a time of her choosing. And she certainly did not have the licence to do so.

‘It was mesmerising, in April 2003, to stand in Baghdad and look at the contrast between the Americans and the people they had liberated. The Iraqis were skinny and dark, badly dressed and fed. The Americans rode in their Humvees (a vehicle that is eloquently bigger than our Land Rover: more slouching, bigger tyred, cooler). The marines had the shades with the slick little nick in the corner. They were taller and squarer than the indigenous people, with heavier chins and better dentition. They looked like a master race from outer space, or something from the pages of Judge Dredd…

‘But as I looked at the American effort, at the vast caravanserai of victualling lorries, I felt a real sense of awe. Saddam may have turned out to be a papier mache dictator. But it was still an astonishing military achievement to remove him with so few casualties on either side; and the political achievement was still greater.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p1)

'America's performance in Iraq was formidable, and made Europe look ridiculous.' (Lend Me Your Ears p26)

‘If we know the Pentagon, there must be a very good chance that this will be an outstandingly successful and stress-free war, with computerised drones queuing up over Baghdad and Basra to pulverise the relevant silos and barracks.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p363) ‘There must also be a risk, however, that the war will not only involve the deaths of many innocents, but will also cost the British taxpayer considerable sums. The latest figures suggest our bill could be £5 billion, which is almost as much as Labour blew on foot and mouth. That is why it is so important to persuade the public to snap out of their current curmudgeonliness.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p363)

‘Since it is time to put the good news into our utilitarian scales, here is a statistic that you should be aware of, all you Fisks and Pilgers and Robin Cooks, who prophesied thousands and thousands of deaths. I went to see Qusay Ali Al-Mafraji, the head of the International Red Crescent in Baghdad. Though some nametags have been lost, and though some districts have yet to deliver their final tally, guess how many confirmed Iraqi dead he has listed, both military and civilian, for the Baghdad area? He told me it was 150, and he has no reason to lie.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p375)

‘That is the best case for Bush; that, among other things, he liberated Iraq. It is good enough for me.’ (Daily Telegraph 26 February 2004)

‘We taxi pass the other Strike Eagles [US F15] 92 of them


arrayed on either side like a guard of honour on their high, spindly legs, £4 billion worth of testosterone wrapped in steel and titanium.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p310)

Supporting both the election of George W Bush in 2000 and his re-election in 2004

‘You know, whenever George Dubya Bush appears on television, with his buzzard squint and his Ronald Reagan side- nod, I find a cheer rising irresistibly in my throat. Yo, Bush baby,

I find myself saying, squashing my beer can like some crazed

redneck; you tell ‘em boy. Just you tell all those pointy-headed liberals where to get off.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p317) ‘Will Bush win…? Does he deserve to win? It may seem unwise to forecast the outcome of an election where there are 60 days to go and even pollsters, such as my old friend Frank I. Luntz, say that the result will be a matter of 1 per cent either way; and it may seem especially perverse for me both to think that he will win, and – on the whole – to want him to win.’ (Have I Got Views for You p260)

‘Not only did I want Bush to win, but we threw the entire weight of The Spectator behind him.’ (Have I Got Views for You


Opposed the Kyoto treaty on climate change

‘But of all the tough-guy acts that Bush has performed in his first few months, of all the pieces of exuberant Reaganism, nothing has so intoxicated the world with hate as his decision to scrumple up the Kyoto protocol and use if for putting practice in the White House…

‘Because we still need a rich, confident America; not just to provide the cash for the global military leadership that the United States has to give from the Gulf to Kosovo, but also to keep the world economy moving…. If America were to meet its Kyoto targets now, it would require a cut of 30 per cent in emissions, and how, exactly, is that supposed to work in the current economic downturn…. It would exacerbate the recession, and when Bush says no, he is doing what is right not just for America but for the world.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p318)

Is an evangelist for nuclear power – and opposes wind farms

‘We are responsible for just about every ground breaking scientific advance… Above all we were the nation that ushered in the dawn of the atomic age.

‘That was the subject of the first major essay I ever wrote, and

I am happy to confess now, at a safe distance, that I plagiarised

it entirely from a Ladybird book. It was called “Atomic Power”,

I produced it at the age of nine, and in a spirit of unabashed and exuberant technological optimism I hymned the wonderful things that followed the fission of an atom of uranium-235… This is the nation that split the atom and yet now, my friends, how fallen, how changed we are from that position of global


‘There is now a growing agreement that for the first time in a quarter of a century we must build nuclear reactors; there can be argument about how many, but they must be a part of the solution to our increasing energy problems….

‘As I said on this page recently, I am far too terrified to dissent from the growing world creed of global warming.

‘But even if it turns out that the worry has been overdone (by the way, jolly nippy today, eh?), then there still seem to be overwhelming arguments for going nuclear. Look at the size of your gas bill…

‘We need an alternative, and one that doesn’t just involve crucifying our landscape with wind farms which, even when they are in motion, would barely pull the skin off a rice pudding.‘That is why I am reverting to my nine-year-old self’s evangelism for nuclear power.’ (Have I Got Views for You p83)

Is a fanatical Thatcherite

'There is no need here to rehearse the steps of the matricide. Howe pounced. Heseltine did his stuff. After it was all over, my wife, Marina, claimed that she came upon me, stumbling down

a street in Brussels, tears in my eyes, and claiming that it was as if someone had shot Nanny.' (Lend Me Your Ears p13)

On Blair: 'Give that man a handbag! And while you're at it, tell him to wear a powder blue suit and a pineapple-coloured wig next time he wants to impersonate this century's greatest peace time prime minister.' (Lend Me Your Ears p132)

'Mrs Thatcher pioneered a revolution that was imitated in one way or another, around the world.' (Lend Me Your Ears p134)

Considers Liberal Democrats have ‘a characteristic human psychological deformity'

‘there is a third group, a minority, but a minority that possesses

a characteristic human psychological deformity. They can’t

stand the pettiness of intellectual consistency. They want it all ways, and are capable of holding to mutually contradictory positions at once. Their policy on cake is pro-having it and pro- eating it, and they need a party that reflects them and their

politically schizophrenic personalities… There are not many Lib Dems in Parliament, but even in that

politically schizophrenic personalities… There are not many Lib Dems in Parliament, but even in that tiny group they incarnate dozens of diametrically opposing positions. You want to know what the Lib Dem policy is on taxation, for instance, and you want to know whether you are for or against a 50 per cent tax rate. One half of your cerebrum thinks it quite right that the rich should pay more; the other lobe thinks tax is quite high enough already. You are a perfect Lib Dem, a mass of contradictions, and your party supplies exactly what you are looking for.’ (Have I Got Views for You p90)

Opposed the introduction of the national minimum wage

‘Not even Mr Blair has been able to erode the unions’ conviction that we all have a “right” to a minimum wage… Both the minimum wage and the Social Charter would palpably destroy jobs.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p387)

Arguing for a Tory election victory in 1997: ' Golly it occurs to you: no more minimum wage. The polls had been so confidently predicting a Labour victory that you had already made provision to pay your workers at least £4.10 an hour, putting up your costs and greatly reducing your ability to re- invest. Your mood lifts a notch higher at the thought.' (Lend Me Your Ears p104)

Opposition to full pension rights for part-time workers

‘It's like Brussels imposing full pension rights for part-time workers. The guys who turn up at the end get as much as the people who worked all day!’ (The Spectator 16 December


Believes trouble comes from ‘too zealous’ attempts to tackle inequality

Conservatives: 'accept that material inequality is inevitable, and that trouble comes from too zealous an attempt to change this.'(Lend Me Your Ears p126)

‘We seem to have forgotten that societies need rich people, even sickeningly rich people, and not just to provide jobs for those who clean swimming pools and resurface tennis courts.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p384)

[On test driving a Nissan Murano] “Tee hee,” I said to myself as I took in the ludicrously arrogant Darth Vader-style snout. What was it saying, with the plutocratic sneer of that gleaming grille? It was saying “out of my way, small car driven by ordinary person on modest income. Make way for Murano!”’ (Life in the Fast Lane p239)


Calls for large scale sacking of public sector workers as good ‘for themselves’

‘It is agreed across the political spectrum that the public sector is growing at too fast a rate, and that this involves much waste. When we Tories discuss this subject, we invariably speak with brutal impersonality. We rave about the new public sector jobs that have been created since 1997, which we estimate at between 530,000 and 650,000. We wave copies of the Guardian appointments pages, where weird, politically correct non-jobs are advertised, week in, week out, often with very attractive salaries and perks.

‘Or we might cite Ross Clark's Job of the Week column (in a magazine I dare not name), in which he picks the barmiest sits vacs, the waist-upwards gender awareness co-ordinators, the innumerable outreach and diversity officers, and we make the whole thing sound - as indeed it is - not just expensive but also ludicrous.

‘We point out that, from April 2003 to April 2004, the number of officials in Whitehall alone expanded by 12,280. That is bigger, my friends, than the entire population of Henley-on- Thames. It is bigger than Thame. If we Tories wished to reverse just one year's growth in Whitehall, we would have to sack the equivalent of the entire population of Ilfracombe, the seaside town in Devon!

And that is a problem about which we need to think more keenly, and not just because I am fond of Ilfracombe, and used to have a jacket that was made there. It may be that many of these 650,000 new jobs are "non-jobs", in that they have been generated according to some demented politically correct algorithm. But we should also accept that the holders of these jobs are flesh and blood; they have families; they have mortgages; they have votes.

‘It is the most ingenious feature of Labour's public sector expansion that they have thereby created a clerisy of officials who depend for their livelihoods on a high-taxing, high- spending politically correct government; and therefore any incoming Tory administration must realise that shrinkage of that

public sector will necessitate real courage, and will involve real


dismissal could be good not only for the economy as a whole,

but also for themselves

of these jobs are the result of reckless legislation and regulation: if you endlessly pass pointless health 'n' safety law, you will need pointless compliance officers, and so on.

that is why we must explain to them why their

It is also worth reiterating that many

‘But the most important point is that these public sector jobs represent a huge transfer of wealth from the productive to the non-productive sectors of the economy, at a time when the


private sector labour market is very tight, and skills are in short supply. There are other jobs waiting to be done and, if the coming shake-out directs people back on to the market, that will be no bad thing. (Daily Telegraph 2 December 2004)

‘We should never forget that in asking people to vote for us we are essentially asking to take charge of taxation and spending, and that our prime duty is to bring a new and more sensible – and more Conservative – style of economic management… the public sector is continuing to expand, and Brown is taking ever more money from the private sector to fund this expansion, and therefore preventing its use in wealth creation or the generation of new jobs.’ (Have I Got Views for You p95)

Defends privatisation of the railways

‘For all its faults, privatisation led to a 25 per cent increase in railway use; it allowed huge quantities of cash to be raised on the markets - £2 billion in 2000 alone; and, in spite of the crashes at Paddington and Hatfield, you were far safer travelling on the privatised railways than you were on British Rail.

‘What has caused the railways' recent cardiac infarct has been four years of Prescottian inertia, coupled with a hysterical reaction to the Hatfield crash, which drove Railtrack into a bankruptcy that secretly or openly delighted every section of the Labour Party. The railways have been managed fantastically badly by this Government.’ (Daily Telegraph 10th January 2002)

Attacks the welfare state as 'excessive disbursements that warp honest people'

'With £90 billion circulating through the tax and benefit system, and with one in three households receiving a major benefit, Beveridge's plan has become like the Common Agricultural Policy. People feel silly, indeed irresponsible towards their families, if they pass up their chance to take a slice of the enormous communal pie, especially while everyone else is doing the same. The logical answer might be to apply free market principles, and attack this irrational system of subsidy, the excessive disbursements that warp honest people.' (Lend Me Your Ears p412)

Wants to introduce the private sector into the NHS and believes patients should pay more

'I was much struck to read the words of Sir Duncan Nichol, the former NHS chief executive, who has said that the only way to solve the service's long-term funding problem is “increased private expenditure through, for example, an extension of user charges and patient co-payments”. Good point, Sir Duncan

Mr Rodney Walker, former chairman of the NHS Trust federation, is also bang on the nail when he says that in the future the NHS should be for those who are genuinely sick, and for the elderly. There is a moral point. If NHS services continue to be free in this way, they will continue to be abused, like any free service. If people have to pay for them, they will value them more.' (Lend Me Your Ears p408)

'we need to think about new ways of getting private money into the NHS.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p15)

'my sermon about the beauties of putting private money into

the the NHS

sole and sufficient provider

one of the reasons why we have a system which treats the patients as dolts and serfs

You can continue to believe in the NHS as the

or you can conclude that this is

'My point is not that we should scrap the NHS; of course not. But in so far as we push new money into health, we should shorten the distance that money travels between leaving our pockets – as taxpayers or premium-payers – and buying the operation or service we need. As it happens, Dr Laura, my friend the South Oxfordshire GP, is more robust. “Privatise the lot,” she tells me.

'And usually, as I say, these points – once taboo – are increasingly well taken, especially during the election.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p134)

Is opposed to the Social Chapter of the EU and also against its provision on paternity leave

Arguing for a Tory victory in 1997: ' Golly it occurs to you: no more minimum wage. The polls had been so confidently predicting a Labour victory that you had already made provision to pay your workers at least £4.10 an hour, putting up your costs and greatly reducing your ability to re-invest. Your mood lifts a notch higher at the thought…You close your eyes, and then you remember that the Social Chapter won't be coming into force after all. Hmm. None of that mandatory four week

holiday for the staff, none of that ridiculously compulsory paid

paternity leave, none of those extra non-wage costs

be said, you reflect, that you have been spared Labour's windfall tax on utility profits.' (Lend Me Your Ears p104)

It has to

Supports grammar schools and public schools

'And then another happy thought strikes you. Your children are at a local grammar school, and you had been dreading that Labour imposed ballot about abolishing selective admissions.' (Lend Me Your Ears p104)

'there was one new concrete promise, that every child of five, six or seven shall

'there was one new concrete promise, that every child of five, six or seven shall be educated in a class of fewer than 30 pupils. This, said the Fettes-educated Mr Blair, would be paid for by cancelling the assisted places scheme, and the chance of thousands of children to attend independent schools.' (Lend Me Your Ears p96)

'He [Blair] wanted to scrap the assisted places scheme. The £100 million raised by this petty mutilation, by which the Fettesian will deprive thousands of children of the chance he had at an independent school, is to be used to take 250,000 youngsters off the dole and put them into makework schemes of moss-picking and origami.' (Lend Me Your Ears p117)

Does not support affordable housing

'the solution actually being deployed, which is to build some affordable housing, and designate it specifically for the use of local people. For instance, South Oxfordshire District Council can require that, if there is a new development, it should contain a proportion of “starter homes”, and it can ensure that exceptions are made to normal planning rules to build social housing. You can see the problems already. How can you tell who is “local”? How can you stop the market from asserting itself, as it always will, and tempting the owners eventually to achieve the real value of the property? And what, above all, do you do with the Nimbies.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p74)

Opposition to the congestion charge

‘In these dark days of the New Labour tyranny, when the maniac Ken Livingstone is charging you an extra £1,200 for the privilege of using the Queen’s highway’ (Life in the Fast Lane


Is in favour of not only fox but stag hunting

‘All the warning we had was a crackling of the alder branches that bend over the Exe, and the stag was upon us. I can see it now, stepping high in the water, eyes rolling, tongue protruding, foaming, antlers streaming bracken and leaves like the hat of some demented old woman, and behind it the sexual, high pitched yipping of the dogs. You never saw such a piteous or terrible sight…

‘I remember the guts streaming, and the stag turds spilling out onto the grass from within the ventral cavity. Then they cut out the heart and gave it to my six-year-old brother, still beating, he claimed ever afterwards, or still twitching, and he went home singing “We’ve got the heart! We’ve got the heart!” so we cooked it up with a bit of flour

‘No you don’t need to tell me that hunting with hounds is


cruel! We don’t need some report by scientists to show that the animals suffer “stress”. No one looking at that deer could deny that this was a sentient being in the extremity of suffering. This wasn’t the stopping of some Cartesian clock. This was savagery…

‘When the 80,000 or so marchers for the preservation of country sports arrive in Hyde Park tomorrow, they will have my support…

‘the strongest argument for protecting the Devon and Somerset stag-hounds – and I pick the staghounds because those are the ones I have observed the closest and which are, in the popular imagination, even more brutal than the fox-hounds. The best argument in favour of keeping them is that hunting is the best for the deer.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p413)

‘Among the many reasons for mourning the passing of

Auberon Waugh is that he will not be here to witness the final

obliteration of hunting by the Labour Party

Tory, I think I would become one on this issue alone.’ (Daily

Telegraph 18 January 2001)

If I were not a

'I will never vote to ban hunting. It is a piece of spite that has nothing to do with animal welfare, and everything to do with Blair's manipulation of rank-and-file Labour chippiness and class hatred.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p146)

'I remember thinking to myself that if the future Member for Henley-on-Thames goes shooting, he should damn well look as though he knows the business.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen


'Ok, I said to myself as I sighted the bird down the end of the gun. This time, my fine feathered friend, there is no escape.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p59)

Opposes the ban on smoking in restaurants and public places

‘Lefties are fundamentally interested in coercion and control, and across British society you can see the huge progress they are now making in achieving their objectives: in the erosions of free speech and civil liberties that are taking place under this government, in the ever more elaborate regulation of the workplace, the ban on hunting, smacking, smoking.’ (Have I Got Views for You p153)

'I want now to reassure all smokers that in one way I am on their side. It is precisely my continued failure to take up smoking that leads me to oppose a ban on smoking in public


from passive smoking - far more difficult than contracting HIV,

It is extremely difficult, statistically, to contract a cancer


and no one is going to ban HIV sufferers from having sex

ban on smoking in public places would not only take away discretion from the many establishments that want a smoking clientele - people who want to enjoy a legal substance in perfect understanding of the risks. Above all, a ban on smoking in public places substitutes the discretion of the state for the individual will, in a way that is morally sapping.


'If this stuff is legal, then people should be left to make up their minds. They have the facts. We can all read the cartons. If there is one thing wrong with us all these days, it is that we are so mollycoddled, airbagged and swaddled with regulations and protections that we have lost any proper understanding of risk. As long as tobacco is legal, people should be free to balance the pleasures and dangers themselves.' (Daily Telegraph 23 June 2005)

Attacks Tory Party admirers of Polly Toynbee

‘She [Polly Toynbee] incarnates all the nannying, high-taxing, high-spending schoolmarminess of Blair's Britain. She is the defender and friend of everyone whose non-job has ever been advertised in the Guardian appointments page, every gay and lesbian outreach worker, every clipboard-toter and pen-pusher and form-filler whose function has been generated by mindless regulation. Polly is the high priestess of our paranoid, mollycoddled, risk-averse, airbagged, booster-seated culture of political correctness and 'elf 'n' safety fascism.’ (Daily Telegraph November 23, 2006)

Refers to black people as ‘picaninnies’ and with ‘watermelon smiles’

‘What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving picaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness.

‘They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.’ (Daily Telegraph 10 January 2002)

‘He cannot resist the sort of public-school joke that falls badly on black ears. Rod Liddle recalls that when he and Johnson went to Uganda together to look at the work of Unicef, Johnson cheerily remarked to the Swedish Unicef workers and their black driver: “Right, let's go and look at some more picaninnies.”' (The Observer Sunday October 5, 2003)

Attitudes to the black community and calls the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry ‘Orwellian’

'Thoughtful Labour figures have for some years been brooding on why Peckham, and other such areas, are so much nastier than, say, the Nigerian suburbs from which Damilola originated. The answer, they think, is to do with the anomie of the inhabitants, a sense that they have no stake in their society. They take their benefits from the state, but feel no particular loyalty in return. In areas where primary immigration is still taking place on a large scale, there is only the vaguest sense of belonging. To what do they belong? The African-Caribbean community? The Vietnamese community? The answer is often unclear, and this has psychological consequences. There seems no reason to behave respectfully towards that little old woman coming out of the Post Office if you feel that she belongs to a

culture that is alien from your own

wall if you feel that it is not really your wall, but part of a foreign country.' (Lend Me Your Ears p207)

Why not piss against the

'When I shamble around the park in my running gear late at night, and I come across that bunch of black kids, shrieking in the spooky corner by the disused gents, I would love to pretend that I don't turn a hair.

'Now you might tell me not to be such a wuss. You might see that I am no more at risk than if I had come across a bunch of winos. But somehow or other a little beeper goes off in my brain. I'm not sure what triggers it (the sayings of Sir Paul Condon? The Evening Standard?), but I put on a pathetic turn of speed. You might tell me that when they shout their cheery catcalls, I should smile and wave. And, you know, maybe a big girl's blouse like me would break into an equally rapid lollop if it were a gang of white kids.

'Quite possibly. The trouble is I am not sure. I cannot rule out that I have suffered from a tiny fit of prejudice. I have prejudged this group on the basis of press reports, possibly in the right-wing newspapers, about the greater likelihood of being mugged by young black males than by any other group. And if that is racial prejudice, then I am guilty.

'And so are you, baby. So are we all. If there is anyone reading this who has never experienced the same disgraceful reflex, then – well I just don't believe you. It is common ground among both right-wingers and left-wingers that racism is “natural”, in that it seems to arise organically, in all civilisations.' (Lend Me Your Ears p210)

'Heaven knows why Macpherson made his weird recommendation, that the law might be changed so as to allow prosecution for racist language or behaviour other than in

a public place. I can't understand how this sober old buzzard was prevailed upon to

a public place. I can't understand how this sober old buzzard

was prevailed upon to say that a racist incident might be so defined in the view of the victim or any other person’. This is

Orwellian stuff.

'Not even under the law of Ceausescu's Romania, could you be prosecuted for what you said in your own kitchen. No wonder the police are already whingeing that they cannot make any arrests in London. No wonder the CPS groans with anti- discrimination units, while making a balls-up of so many cases.' (Lend Me Your Ears p211)

'it is as if the PC brigade, having punched this hole in the Metropolitan Police, having forced this admission, is swarming through to take over the entire system. There has been a whiff of the witch-hunt as the Lawrence road-show tours the country, demanding confessions of racism from senior officers, and excoriating those, like Sir Paul [Condon] who are not prepared to defame their entire force. If, in a few years' time, you were to ask a member of the public: “Who killed Stephen Lawrence?”, the answer would probably be “The Police.” Am I alone is wondering whether a sensible attempt to find justice for the family of Stephen Lawrence has given way to hysteria?' (Lend Me Your Ears p426)

'What about the Ceaucescu-ish recommendation that it should be possible to legislate against racism even in a private place.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p216)

'we could probably achieve the same results, if not better, if

we axed large chunks of the anti-racism industry, stopping taxing so many people with the threat of legal action, and left

a bit more of the struggle against racism to tolerance and good manners.' (Lend Me Your Ears p212)

‘It may be that The Spectator will be burnt across Britain this morning by a public which feels that this time we have gone too far. We carry the first English-language post-election interview with Jean-Marie Le Pen.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p297)

[Boris Johnson] Do you really mean to say the empire wasn’t a good thing? [Clare Short] No it wasn’t ‘[Boris Johnson] The British empire ended slavery, though; no one else. ‘[Clare Short] The British empire helped to organise slavery. ‘[Boris Johnson] Well, I say, it was the native rulers of West Africa who invented and also helped organise slavery. ‘[Clare Short] It was the black African kings who had feudal friends in Europe. They both organised slavery,’… and our discussion on slavery ends with a nil-nil scoreline.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p454)


Believes in South Africa there is the ‘majority tyranny of black rule.’

‘Mandela never accepted the Swiss-style constitution he [de Klerk] proposed; and last year, fed up with being marginalized, de Klerk quit the government. He must have known that this would happen, that the minority tyranny of apartheid would be followed by the majority tyranny of black rule.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p464)

On Africans and 'instant carbohydrate gratification'

'The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we

are not in charge any more as an example of the British

coffee and cotton and tobacco, and they were broadly right

left to their own devices, the natives would rely on nothing but the instant carbohydrate gratification of the plantain. You never saw a place so abounding in bananas: great green barrel-sized bunches, off to be turned into matooke. Though this dish (basically fried banana) was greatly relished by Idi Amin, the colonists correctly saw that the export market was limited The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the

understanding that this time they will not be asked to feel guilty. (Spectator 2 February 2002)

Consider Uganda, pearl of Africa, the British planted


Believes Chinese culture is merely imitative

‘Chinese cultural influence is virtually nil, and unlikely to increase… Indeed, high Chinese culture and art are almost all imitative of western forms: Chinese concert pianists are technically brilliant, but brilliant at Schubert and Rachmaninov. Chinese ballerinas dance to the scores of Diaghilev. The number of Chinese Nobel prizes won on home turf is zero, although there are of course legions of bright Chinese trying to escape to Stanford and Caltech… It is hard to think of a single Chinese sport at the Olympics, compared with umpteen invented by Britain, including ping-pong, I’ll have you know, which originated at upper-class dinner tables and was first called whiff-whaff. The Chinese have a script so fiendishly complicated that they cannot produce a proper keyboard for it.’ (Have I Got Views for You p277).

"A sweet-faced Chinese air stewardess [is] standing over me in my aisle seat. 'Prease, sir,' said the BA girl, 'Prease come with me. I have found a better seat for you in row 52'." It transpires that BA have a policy of separating adult men from young children. But one of Boris's offspring gives the game away:

"'He's our father!'

solly.'" (The Spectator 4 January 2003)

'Oh,' said the stewardess, flummoxed. 'Velly



'none was hotter than the shadow social security secretary, David Willetts. Round and round he twirled, squiring one Tory filly after another, until flushed and satiated they could take no more. Around him we moved in our admiring orbits, old beldames, jigging white-haired captains of industry, but none

was faster than Willetts

success? There is one measurement I hesitate to mention, since the last time I did, I am told, the wife of the editor of the Economist cancelled her subscription to the Daily Telegraph in protest at my crass sexism. It is what is called the Tottometer,

the geiger-counter that detects good-looking women. In 1997, I reported, these were to be found in numbers at the Labour conference. Now - and this is not merely my own opinion - the Tories are fighting back in a big way. ' (The Spectator 10 February 2001)

Why was the evening such a

[On driving a Ferrari]: 'I seemed to be averaging a speed of X and then the M3 opened up before me, a long quiet Bonneville flat stretch, and I am afraid it was as though the whole county of Hampshire was lying back and opening her well-bred legs to be ravished by the Italian stallion.' (Life in the Fast Lane p261)

Or on a Lotus: 'That is why it was such a huge moment when two of the biggest cheeses in the Lotus group came in to my office to hand over the swishest, fastest, most chick-pulling Lotus ever devised.' (Life in the Fast Lane p243)

‘The chicks in the GQ expenses department – and if you can’t call them chicks, then what the hell, I ask you, is the point of writing for GQ.’ (Life in the Fast Lane p57)

[On driving an Alfa Romeo] ‘She was blonde. She was

beautiful. She was driving some poxy little Citroen or Peugeot


wasn’t having it.

And she had just overtaken me

And let me tell you, I

‘Because if there is one thing calculated to make the testosterone slosh in your ears like the echoing sea and the red mist of war descend over your eyes, its being treated as

though you were an old woman by a young woman

whole endocrine orchestra said: “Go. Take.” You can’t be dissed by some blonde in a 305.


‘Yes there is something about the very marque, Alfa, that makes the seminal vesicles writhe like a bag of ferrets.’ (Life in the Fast Lane p26)

‘Like much of western Europe, Britain faces a demographic quandary. In the words of a recent UN interview the populations of EU countries are “melting like snow in the

sun”… No one knows whether this is caused by the fecklessness of the modern British male, or by women’s liberation; or whether it is because divorce has become too easy.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p395)

‘Alan Clark… Here was a man, just like the readers of GQ, Esquire, Loaded – all the reassurance-craving magazines that have sprouted in the last 10 years – who was endlessly fascinated by the various advantages and disappointments of his own gonads. He was interested in cars; he had Bentleys bulging with tinplate testosterone; he had Rollers and Aston Martins and special chickwagons for arriving at the Spectator party… Above all, like the ideal Loaded reader, he had a selfish side to him. (Lend Me Your Ears p500) 'Some dream their teeth are falling out, or that they are about to be executed with a scimitar by a beautiful black woman (I have this quite often, actually).' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen p48)

Labour’s ‘appalling agenda’ of ‘the teaching of homosexuality in schools’

‘Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of

homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it.’ (The Spectator

15 April 2000) ‘the essence of that Tory case is unchanged

is more sensitive to spare parents' anxieties, than to allow Left-

wing local authorities to waste taxpayers' money on idiotic and irrelevant homosexual instruction.’ (Daily Telegraph 3 August



‘Slowly Labour is winning the battle it really cares about, the Kulturkampf, adjusting what can be said, and what cannot be


29 April 2000)

Homosexuality is to be taught in schools.’ (The Spectator

‘I first met the Bishop [of Liverpool] a few weeks ago at a gloomy convocation of top clergy and journalists in Windsor

Castle. The hacks were thin on the ground

clerics gave us a wigging for being so mean to the Church of


homosexuality, aka the Pulpit Poofs issue?’ (The Spectator 16 December 2000)

I can say that the

Why did we draw attention to tricky subjects like

'if gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.' (Friends, Voters, Countrymen


‘When the [hunting] ban is blocked in the Lords, as it surely will be, Blair will have his excuse for another attack on the Upper House. If Labour wins the election, Blair will invoke the Parliament Act to sweep aside the opinion of the peers, as he

did over homosexual sex at 16, making a mockery of the Lords and consolidating his

did over homosexual sex at 16, making a mockery of the Lords and consolidating his elective dictatorship. (Daily Telegraph 18 January 2001)

‘Notice the way Peter Mandelson is pictured out on the town with his boyfriend; not that there is anything wrong with that, perish the thought, just that it would have been unimaginable before the last election.’ (The Spectator 29 April 2000)

‘More important, I am not sure how widespread this new right- on mood really is. Metropolitan opinion was wrong-footed over Section 28, where the public thought differently from New Labour; and three days after the event it was clear that the country did not agree with the editorialists on the verdict passed on Tony Martin. You can say that William Hague is opportunist to see the gap between the polite view and the public view. But you can't deny that he is right to go for it.’ (The Spectator 29 April 2000)

Attitude to the Koran

‘The proposed ban on incitement to “religious hatred” makes no sense unless it involves a ban on the Koran itself.’ (Daily Telegraph 21 July 2005)

‘When is Little Britain going to do a sketch, starring Matt Lucas as one of the virgins? Islam will only be truly acculturated to our way of life when you could expect a Bradford audience to roll in the aisles at Monty Python’s Life of Mohammed.’



Considers Edward Kennedy faced a dilemma on whether to ‘come clean’ on Chappaquiddick

‘It is difficult to keep a clear head when you’ve driven off the bridge at Chappaquiddick in the middle of the night, and the water is closing around your head and you have to order your priorities: save self; save pretty blonde co-passenger? And you then have to work out whether to deny all knowledge of Mary- Jo Kopechne in the hope of protecting your political career, or whether to do the right thing and come clean.’ (Lend Me Your Ears p401)

Supports Silvio Berlusconi

‘You could try the Italian political establishment; or the European liberal elite; or just civilised Western opinion: all things which Silvio has scandalised and divided… But it was the attack by the Economist newspaper that, I suspect, got in among Berlusconi and his team. ‘Twice now, this distinguished paper (motto: the wit to be dull) has given Silvio a frenzied kicking. It has said that he is not fit to govern Italy, and in a


recent edition it laid 28 charges against him and said that not only was he unfit to govern Italy, he was also unfit to be president of the EU… It is the Economist attack which may have contributed to the presence of The Spectator here amid the wattle and rosemary of his 170-acre Costa Smeralda estate…

‘But we know that we are unlikely to reach a verdict on the key questions, relating as they do to the abortive 1985 sale of a state- owned biscuit company to Buitoni, the spaghetti kings. Let us leave those matters to the lawyers and desiccated calculators of the Economist. We have a broader and higher purpose: that is, to establish whether or not we feel that Sig. Berlusconi is on the whole a force for good in Italy, Europe and the world…

‘We have drunk pints of sweet iced tea, brought silently and unprompted, as he has outlined his robust, neo-conservative views of the world… We have heard him extol Thatcher, praise Blair (“I have never known us to disagree on anything”), laud Bush…

‘It is quite the done thing, he protests, to pass a law exempting himself from prosecution for the term of his office. Chirac has done the same. But it was never our goal, in this interview, to establish the dodginess of his business practices…

‘If we are obliged to compare Silvio Berlusconi with Anna Lindh [the Swedish foreign minister], and other bossy, high-taxing European politicians, I agree with Farrell: as the narrator says of Jay Gatsby, a man Berlusconi to some extent resembles, he is “better that the whole damn lot of them”.’ (Have I Got Views for You


Opposes devolution for Scotland and Wales

Imagining the Tories had won the 1997 election: 'As you saunter along the sunlit street, it strikes you that the United Kingdom as a whole has escaped destruction at the hands of Blair, and his plan for Scottish devolution.' (Lend Me Your Ears p105)

'It is utterly absurd that Labour should be calling on us all to remember the value of that inclusive word “British”, when it is the government's own devolution programme which has fomented the rising sense of Scottishness, and Englishness.' (Lend Me Your Ears p209)

Insults New Guinea

"For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party."


Insults Liverpool

Boris Johnson did not write the notorious article on Liverpool that appeared in The Spectator after the murder of Ken Bigley. But as editor he approved its publication as a leader article and therefore bears full responsibility for it:

‘Liverpool is a handsome city with a tribal sense of community.

A combination of economic misfortune - its docks were,

fundamentally, on the wrong side of England when Britain entered what is now the European Union - and an excessive predilection for welfarism have created a peculiar, and deeply unattractive, psyche among many Liverpudlians. They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it. Part of this flawed psychological state is that they cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes,

but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of society.

The deaths of more than 50 Liverpool football supporters at Hillsborough in 1989 was undeniably a greater tragedy than the single death, however horrible, of Mr Bigley; but that is no excuse for Liverpool's failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon. The police became a convenient scapegoat, and the Sun newspaper a whipping-boy for daring, albeit in a tasteless fashion, to hint at the wider causes of the incident.’ (The Spectator 16 Oct 2004)

Insults Portsmouth

Portsmouth is: ‘one of the most depressed towns in Southern England, a place that is arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs." (MP slammed over 'fat city' slur", BBC, 2007-04-03.

Insults the Dutch

'It is a wonder that the Dutch look so tall and healthy, when

you consider what they eat.' (Lend Me Your Ears p19)

Believes 'former crypto communists' run the BBC

‘the former crypto communists who now run the BBC.’ (Have I Got Views for You p151)

Is prepared to discuss how seriously a journalist should be beaten up and whether to supply his address (the Darius Guppy transcript)

The most notorious episode concerning Boris Johnson and his concept of personal morality was the telephone conversation he had with the convicted fraudster Darius Guppy about the later’s proposal to have the journalist Stuart Collier beaten up. Guppy wanted Johnson to supply Collier’s address. The transcript of this conversation has been published in Private Eye and elsewhere.

Johnson did not tell Guppy to go to hell, or threaten to inform the police if anything happened to the journalist but instead discussed how badly Collier was to be beaten up.

GUPPY: ‘Not badly at all. ‘JOHSON: ‘I really want to know… ‘GUPPY: ‘I guarantee you he will not be seriously hurt. ‘JOHNSON: ‘How badly will he be… ‘GUPPY: ‘He will not have a broken limb or broken arm. He will not be put into intensive care or anything like that. He will probably have a couple of black eyes and a… cracked rib or something like that. ‘JOHNSON: ‘Cracked rib? ‘GUPPY: ‘Nothing which you didn’t suffer at rugby, OK?’

The conversation ended with Johnson saying ‘OK, Darrie, I said I’ll do it and I’ll do it.’

The Daily Mail carried a comprehensive account of the background to this phone call on 16 July 1995:

‘The telephone call to the Brussels office of the Daily Telegraph was from a desperate man. Darius Guppy, ex-Eton and Oxford and soon to become one of Britain’s most notorious fraudsters was becoming agitated.

‘For weeks, Guppy had been trying to track down a man with whom he had become obsessed, News of the World journalist Stuart Collier, who had been inquiring into his background.

‘Guppy wanted him stopped, frightened and physically assaulted – and had lined up a mysterious South London figure to arrange it. However, one crucial part of the plan remained elusive – Collier’s private phone number and address.

‘One man could provide the key: Guppy’s old school and university confidant, Boris Johnson, then the Telegraph’s European correspondent in Brussels.

‘Today, Johnson and his Right-wing clique enjoy the company of

ex-Cabinet Ministers the bible of those who believe they have a divine right to tell

ex-Cabinet Ministers

the bible of those who believe they have a divine right to tell

the rest of us how to behave and to vote – he might like to think he has become a modern day sage

In the pages of the Spectator magazine –

‘Johnson also believes in friendship. When Darius Guppy telephoned him about his plan for Collier, Johnson led Guppy to believe that he had arranged for a number of “contacts” to try to get Collier’s details. It was taking some time, and Johnson appeared worried that he would be caught out. He knew what Guppy was planning for Collier – but, amazingly, Guppy assured him the “beating up” would not be too severe.

‘The details of Guppy’s extraordinary plan are revealed in a secret tape recording made of Guppy’s home telephone some months before he was charged with a £1.8 million insurance

swindle. Guppy was jailed for five years

which has been vice analysed by experts, Guppy rehearses with Johnson why he wants to take violent revenge on Collier – and how he desperately needs his friend’s help. Guppy and Johnson had a close relationship, forged amid the privileged surroundings of Eton and then Oxford, where the pair became leading lights in one of the university’s most blue-chip dining

societies, the Bullingdon.

In the recording,

‘In the 21 minute conversation, in the summer of 1990, Guppy says he is a potential psychopath, before comparing himself to history’s great generals from Rommel and Patten to Napoleon. Sometimes shouting, sometimes cajoling, he explains he cannot afford to “look stupid” by delaying the attack on Collier.

‘He says Johnson has his “word of honour” that his (Johnson’s) role in the assault will remain undetected.

‘More than once, Johnson tries to find out how severely Collier is to be injured. Guppy tells him “not badly at all”.

Johnson: “I, really, I want to know ”

Guppy: “I guarantee you he will not be seriously hurt.”

Johnson: “How badly will he be ”

Guppy, interrupting: “He will not have a broken limb or broken arm; he will not be put into intensive care or anything like that.

He will probably get a couple of black eyes and a or something.”

cracked rib

Johnson: “Cracked rib?”

Guppy: “Nothing which you didn’t suffer at rugby, OK? But he’ll

get scared and that’s what I want

want him to have no idea who’s behind it, OK? And I want him

I want him to get scared, I


to realise that he’s ****** someone off and that whoever he’s ******* off is not the sort of person he wants to mess around with. “

‘Johnson had evidently spoken of Collier before: the conversation begins with him telling Guppy he has someone “going through the files”, news Guppy describes as “brilliant” and “fantastic”.

‘But there is no doubt Johnson appears to be afraid of detection. “If you **** up, in any way,” he warns Guppy, “if he suspects I’m involved ”

Guppy: “No, no, he won’t, Boris.”

When Johnson says Collier will go “apeshit” if he finds out who is responsible for the attack, Guppy says he “doesn’t give a **** because no one he has ever met is “as psychopathic potentially as me”.

‘Both agree that things are “getting serious”.

Johnson: “If it got out

Guppy interrupts: “That he’d been beaten up.”

Johnson: “Beaten up, it would inevitably get back to the contact.’

‘Johnson says he has used four contacts to track down information about Collier, and is worried one of them “might put two and two together, if he heard this guy [Collier] had been beaten up.”

Guppy interrupts: “But Boris there’s absolutely no ****** proof:

you just deny it. I mean, there’s no proof at all.”

Johnson interrupts: “Well, yeah.”

Guppy: “I mean, you know, big deal. You’re sitting in Brussels and the day it happens you’re in Brussels, its as simple as that.’

‘He repeatedly appeals to Johnson so have faith in him. At one stage, Johnson replies: “I do have faith in you.”

Guppy insists: “As far as I’m concerned, I have never told you

what I require this number for. You do not know at all

are totally off the hook.” He adds: “You have nothing to fear. I give you my personal guarantee, OK, and my word of honour.” By the end of the conversation, Johnson is volunteering to do

what he can to help.

so you


Guppy: “Well do it discreetly. I

suspicious. That’s all I require – just the address: the address

and the phone number

have nothing to worry about. [Slowly, emphatically] Believe me. All right? You have my personal guarantee. I’ve never let

you down, all right?”

if it’s in that way going to look

all right? Now I guarantee you, you

Johnson: “OK Darrie, I said I’ll do it and I’ll do it. Don’t worry.”

Guppy: “Boris, I really mean it, I love you and I will owe you this, all right? And I’m a man who keeps my word.”

Bibliography Boris Johnson (HarperPerennial, 2004), Lend me your ears Boris Johnson (HarperP er ennial,

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