As the most powerful Conservative in Britain, Boris Johnson has plenty to teach his old schoolpal, David Cameron. But, says James Forsyth, the Cameroons are too busy criticising the Mayor’s ‘amateurish’ approach to see what they’re missingAs a piece of political propaganda, the sticker issued by the Crisis housing charity at the last Tory conference came close to perfection. It had a picture of the Mayor of London in jogging gear, with the caption: ‘Boris is making the running on rough sleeping.
Alistair Darling’s budget forecasts assume that Britain can keep borrowing all it wants for the foreseeable future.We may not be so lucky, says Irwin StelzerFederico Sturzenegger and Jeromin Zettelmeyer are not exactly household names. They are, respectively, professor at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella, and an adviser to the International Monetary Fund. Some months ago, as I watched Britain roll up debts that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago, I moved their book, published in 2006, from a back shelf to the top of my desk.
However he has behaved, Tiger Woods’s personal life just isn’t our business. Brendan O’Neill on the relentless erosion of the line between public and privateAm I the only person who feels repelled by the naked glee with which Tiger Woods has been and is still being beaten to a pulp — no, not by his golf club-wielding wife, but by the world’s media? Ever since Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his home two weeks ago, his private life has been splashed across the front page of every tabloid from Tennessee to Timbuktu.
I’m not sure how many members of the London Labour party I’ve met over the last 20 years or so. A thousand? Must be something like that. Sitting in local authority buildings which smell slightly of gas, the night outside cold and damp, ploughing through an interminable agenda of candidate selections; or down the pub after canvassing. Nice people, largely — you’d be surprised. I’m not a member any more but a lot of my friends still are, so it’s a constituency I know very well.
Just the idea of the Copenhagen summit is enough to fill me with dread. Not because I’m frightened of global warming or enforced vegetarianism, or because I’m worried that environmental evangelists are leading us up the garden path. But, truthfully, in case all the eco-awareness encourages more cyclists.London is under siege. They can’t be seen until they’re on top of you, can’t be heard, and can kill you instantly: bicycles are taking over and it’s got to the point where just the squeal of a bike break can induce in me a moment of sudden, heart-stopping panic.
London is the creative capital of the planet. The city’s abundant talent — in design and media, in commercials and special effects, food, leisure, architecture, publishing, retailing and telly — will drive the economy from today’s precipice of the dark abyss to tomorrow’s sunkissed higher ground of recovery. Birds will sing and soft zephyrs will blow. So long dismissed as the visually illiterate of Europe, we are now known for our point and style.