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Thread: I knew he was American, but...

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    ...I lost track back when he was going to renounce his U.S. citizenship, and hadn't a clue as to his "ambitions".

    Do you Brits think you can spare him?


    The Mayor of London Who Would Be President

    WASHINGTON -- The most momentous political story of the hour is not what you might think … whatever you might think. It has to do with an American politician now living in London and his aspiration to become president of the United States. His name is Boris Johnson. He, an exemplary conservative, has just beaten one of the most rebarbative left-wing reactionaries in the United Kingdom, to become mayor of London. Johnson ran a very fine campaign, an amalgam of high intelligence, sound principle, rollicking good humor, and energy that could be branded New Tory. Mind you, New Toryism will arrive on these shores in due course.

    Presidential aspirants often are accused of pursuing office with the intent of using that office as a "steppingstone" to still higher office. The wife of a former Arkansas governor, when running for a Senate seat in New York in 2000, was accused of intending New York to be her "steppingstone" to the presidency. Her husband, too, was accused of using his re-election to the governor's mansion as a stepping stone to the White House; months after re-election, Boy Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign began. For that matter, the New York Senate seat that Hillary now holds is the same seat once held by Robert F. Kennedy, who also was presciently accused by opponents of intending the seat as his steppingstone to the highest office in the land. Incidentally, both Hillary Clinton and Robert Kennedy came to New York as outsiders -- she from Arkansas, he from Massachusetts. Consequently, both suffered the charge of being called "carpetbaggers."

    So using a governorship or a Senate seat as a steppingstone to the presidency is not new. Using City Hall in London is. Geographically speaking, Johnson's presidential campaign will make him the most ambitious carpetbagger in American history. He was born in New York General Hospital June 19, 1964 -- the year remembered by American conservatives as the Goldwater Year.

    It is now faintly circulating through American media that Johnson was born here, but so is the report that he gave up his citizenship in 2006 after encountering passport problems with fussy U.S. immigration authorities. The report is in error. I now can reveal that The American Spectator, in another of its world exclusives, has discovered (see the June issue) that the newly elected mayor of London never terminated his citizenship. He is as American as Barack Obama.

    The confusion arises because of a comical piece Johnson wrote in the August 9, 2006, issue of The Spectator of London. In it, he reported his rude encounter with our immigration authorities and his vow to give up his American citizenship. But hold! Now I can report that when he presented himself at the U.S. Embassy to terminate his U.S. citizenship, he good-naturedly changed his mind. The procedure threatened to become too expensive in terms of tax liabilities alone. When Johnson sets out for the Republican nomination, there will be no doubt as to where he stands on tax cuts.

    Already Johnson's presidential ambitions are being circulated in the British press. Apparently, he has joked about his plans for years. This week, Stuart Reid -- a confidant of Johnson's at the British Spectator, which Johnson edited -- has written that Johnson will not actually launch his campaign until 2016. Reid believes Sen. Obama will win the presidency this fall.

    I doubt Obama will defeat Sen. John McCain, and readers of this column might recall that one year ago in "The Clinton Crack-Up," I predicted Sen. Clinton's faltering before a challenge from the Democratic Party's younger generation. My prediction came at a time when such political savants as Dick Morris were touting Clinton as the "inevitable" nominee and next president. Today I predict that Johnson, working from the City Hall of London, will have a salubrious influence on conservatives both in the U.K. and the U.S. His campaign for the American presidency will begin long before Reid speculates that it will, and it cannot begin too soon for me.

    I say Johnson will be a salubrious force because I have known him since his tenure as editor of The Spectator. He brings to conservatism something it has lacked, at least on this side of the Atlantic, since the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the retirement of William F. Buckley. Frankly, it is my kind of conservatism: libertarian, admiring tradition, and employing government only in those areas where government is needed. After his stint in journalism (where he was superb), Johnson entered Parliament. There he was a Thatcherite, but with beneficent bacteria of skepticism, irony and subversion.

    All of this comes together on the campaign trail, where he is a refreshing contrast to the solemn blowhards. Campaigning in upscale Henley, he joshed about his Conservative Party's excessively grim slogan -- "You've paid your taxes. So where are the police?" -- employing his own whimsical alternative: "You've paid your taxes. So where are the tennis courts?" Campaigning in 2004, he famously declared, "Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3." Now after all these months of Barack and Hillary's poppy and cock, imagine the heap Mayor Johnson would leave them in. It is only a matter of time before he returns to his native land and saves conservatism from Newt Gingrich.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    personally i wouldn't put him in charge of a stapler, but i'm sure there'll be plenty of people (in full time employment) to ensure he doesn't hurt himself or others.



    A few years back, during the run-up to the Nathan Barley TV series, my co-author Chris Morris and I briefly kicked around a storyline about an animated MP running for election. When I say "animated", I mean literally animated. He was a cartoon - the political equivalent of Gorillaz - fashioned from state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery so that he could move and talk in real time, like Max Headroom. His speech would be provided on-the-fly by a professional cartoon voice artist working in conjunction with a team of political advisers and comedy writers, so he'd have an impish personality not dissimilar to the genie in Disney's Aladdin. Debating against him would be impossible because he'd make outrageously goonish statements one minute and trot out cunning political platitudes the next. Because he wasn't real, he'd never age, die, or be bogged down in scandal - and huge swathes of the population would vote for him just because they found him cool or fun or different.

    Fast-forward to now. On May 1 London chooses its mayor, and I've got a horrible feeling it might pick Boris Johnson for similar reasons. Johnson - or to give him his full name, Boris LOL!!!! what a legernd!! Johnson!!! - is a TV character loved by millions for his cheeky, bumbling persona. Unlike the cartoon MP, he's magnetically prone to scandal, but this somehow only makes him more adorable each time. Tee hee! Boris has had an affair! Arf! Now he's offended the whole of Liverpool! Crumbs! He used the word "picaninnies"! Yuk yuk! He's been caught on tape agreeing to give the address of a reporter to a friend who wants him beaten up! Ho ho! Look at his funny blond hair! HA HA BORIS LOL!!!! WHAT A LEGERND!!!!!!

    If butterfingers Johnson gets in, it'll clearly be a laugh riot from beginning to end, like a series of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em in which Frank Spencer becomes mayor by mistake. Just picture him on live TV, appealing for calm after a terrorist bombing - the scope for chuckles is almost limitless.

    Assisting Boris in his run, the London Evening Standard is running an openly hostile anti-Livingstone campaign, which means every other page carries a muckraking down-with-Ken piece from crusading journalist Andrew Gilligan, played by Blinky, the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons, in his byline photo. All the articles blend into one after a while, but their central implication is that Ken's a boozy egomaniac surrounded by a corrupt circus of cronies, so you might as well vote for a rightwing comedy pillock instead. You know, him off the telly. With the blond hair. LOL!!!! WHAT A LEGERND!!!!!

    Now, even if the Standard photographs Ken carving a swastika into a dormouse's back, I'll vote for him for the following reasons:

    1) I'm genetically predisposed to hate the Tories. It's my default, hard-wired position. If Boris wins, their simpering pudge-faced smuggery is going to be unbearable. Picture the expression Piers Morgan makes when he's especially pleased with himself, then multiply it by 10 million, and imagine it looming overhead like a Death Star. That's what it's going be like. Therefore I don't care who wins provided Johnson loses, and loses hard, preferably in close-up, on the telly.

    2) Ken's other main rival is solid-but-dull Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick. He probably deserves a shot, but as he's not going to win, voting for him would be a waste of a perfectly good X, which might otherwise be used to pinpoint buried treasure, indicate affection, or mark a plague victim's door.

    3) I wouldn't trust Boris to operate a mop, let alone a £10bn Crossrail project.

    4) On a related note, I don't believe in my gut that Boris gives even the faintest hint of a wisp of a glimpse of a toss about London, or indeed humanity in general. Both of which are fairly important in a job like this.

    5) But on the other hand OMFG LOOK AT HIS FUNNEEE HAIR LOL!!!! BORRIS IS A LEGERND!!!!

    Anyway, if the worst happens and Boris gets in, then provided he doesn't obliterate the capital in some hilarious slapstick disaster, or provoke war with Portsmouth with a chance remark - provided, in short, that London still exists in some recognisable form - the rival parties should fight fire with fire by running equally popular TV characters against him in the next election.

    It doesn't even matter if they're real or not. Basil Brush would be a shoo-in. Churchill, the nodding dog from the car insurance ads - he'll do. Or if we're after the ironic vote, how about Gene Hunt from Life on Mars? Or Phil Mitchell? At least he's a Londoner.

    They might as well. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there's no more desperate sign of the times than the current wave of LOL OMFG!!!! BORIS DONE A GUFF!!!! ROFL!!!!!!! THE MAN IS A LEGERND I TELL YOU LOL!!!!! I CARNT WAIT 2 SEE HIM RUNNING THE INTIRE CITTY!!! BORRIS 4 KING!!! LOL!!! LOL!!! LOLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This week: Charlie toyed with the idea of growing a beard, then dismissed it as madness. He saw an advance copy of this Wednesday's The Apprentice, and has since had to repeatedly stifle the urge to discuss it with everyone he met.
    edit: mop/stapler whatever

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Boris's biggest problem is that he opens his mouth before he has given the slightest thought to what might be coming out of it.

    Still, that's far better than Red Ken, who would have raided your wallet before he had given the slightest thought to what he might waste the money on. That was never his agenda, like Gordon Brown he just wanted to get the money out of your wallet. A sensible plan of what to spend it on? Mere details, the bureaucrats will find a way to get rid of it somewhere.
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  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    Boris's biggest problem is that he opens his mouth before he has given the slightest thought to what might be coming out of it.

    Still, that's far better than Red Ken, who would have raided your wallet before he had given the slightest thought to what he might waste the money on. That was never his agenda, like Gordon Brown he just wanted to get the money out of your wallet. A sensible plan of what to spend it on? Mere details, the bureaucrats will find a way to get rid of it somewhere.
    Ah, but you describe everypolitician.

    Refreshing to hear you sound so conservative, sir.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    don't really want to defend a man who tbh i think is a bit of a cock, but to be fair inner city 4x4 drivers bore the brunt of his tax drive and theres few people more deserving of a little pain

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilw View Post
    don't really want to defend a man who tbh i think is a bit of a cock, but to be fair inner city 4x4 drivers bore the brunt of his tax drive and theres few people more deserving of a little pain
    Elaborate if you would, Ian.

    I sense some anti-consumerist tendencies, but I want to be sure.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    they're a hazard to the all other road users and the environment. Plus they're cutns

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilw View Post
    they're a hazard to the all other road users and the environment. Plus they're cutns
    I guess that last is the straw that breaks the camel's back, eh?

    Do you suppose it is the fact of having purchased an SUV for transportation or merely possessing the money to buy one that earns them the vaginal designation.

    Methinks I smell classism...
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    lynx's Avatar .
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    I think Ian's talking more about the total lack of road manners (and sense) that most of the people who drive those things over here seem to display.

    You need to remember that your cars, and consequently roads, tend to be wider than ours. Our smaller cars tend to be dwarfed by these monstrosities. Added to this is the fact that the owners mainly buy them because they are such incompetent drivers that they have lots of accidents unless everyone gets out of their way.

    That said, this taxation bit is bollocks. In general the people who can afford these things can afford the tax and aren't much bothered by it, the people who are really affected are those on lower incomes who wouldn't buy a larger vehicle unless they actually needed it.

    It's going to happen again next year, except this time nationally, with the doubling of annual tax on vehicles with higher emissions. Those who can afford to will either change their vehicles to ones with "lower emissions". Those who can't afford to change vehicles will be stuck with vehicles that they can't sell and can't afford to tax. If they can't afford the tax, then they will probably take the view that they may as well not insure the vehicles either, since the fines if they are caught are pretty much the same. Another policy that hasn't been thought through.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    I think Ian's talking more about the total lack of road manners (and sense) that most of the people who drive those things over here seem to display.

    You need to remember that your cars, and consequently roads, tend to be wider than ours. Our smaller cars tend to be dwarfed by these monstrosities. Added to this is the fact that the owners mainly buy them because they are such incompetent drivers that they have lots of accidents unless everyone gets out of their way.
    pretty much that, but i'd also add that they specifically buy bigger cars because they provide a small increase in safety for their passengers. However, in a large car a small increase in its passenger safety comes at a large decrease in the safety of other car's passengers, pedestrians and cyclists... and 4x4 drivers know it and accept it, which makes them cunts.

    I'm fine with other expensive cars e.g. mercs, jags, sports cars of all sorts. Its just that i hate 4x4 drivers


    oh yeah and bmw drivers

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