Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fantasies and delusions

Ha! A belated catch-up of the weekend's papers has left me rather bemused by this article by John Rentoul in the IoS. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be high-farce burlesque, counter-history, prediction or what. The premise is that Cameron loses an election in 2012, after running a minority Government, because of the failures of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. But it's so, well, odd. Look at the fatal "gaffes" that Boris is scheduled for:
But the real damage was done by the reintroduction of hunting for urban foxes in the Greater London area. After that, 74 per cent of people agreed that Tories were "toffs who think they are born to rule".
He had reckoned without the declining but still strong instinct of discipline among Labour MPs. He had not anticipated the steel of David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, in wielding the knife. He was still kicking himself for buying the conventional wisdom that it would make the Labour Party look ridiculous if it changed its leader twice in one parliament. Of all people, he should have known how such assumptions about leadership contests are there to be overturned.
But he was proud of the way he had responded to the changed situation. He had kept his balance and prevented his party from talking itself into a downward spiral. Miliband had pulled the Government back from the depths and Chancellor Ruth Kelly's Budget had been a clever one that enabled Labour to go into the election with the narrowest of opinion-poll leads.
Chancellor Ruth Kelly? Stop, you're killing me! I mean, come on, it's a bit bloody much. Last week all these people were predicting that voting for Boris as Mayor would mean that there'd be anarchy on the streets by now. And now, even in John Rentoul's laboured work of mental masturbation, the worst thing he could is introduce urban fox hunts? I think it's time for all those who pledged to abandon London to call the Removals vans...

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