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Matthew Parris

From capering to caped crusader

Matthew Parris says Mayor Johnson must now focus obsessively on fixing London’s transport system In more ways than one, the suffix ‘ism’ is not easily appended to the word ‘Boris’. Indeed ‘Borisism’ sounds so ungainly that some may pray that no such phenomenon ever needs to be described. If so, the prayer has been answered.

How is Boris doing?

We asked a distinguished panel to assess the Mayor’s progress — and what he should do next David Cameron Boris and his team have done a brilliant job in the last year. Under his leadership City Hall has become less extravagant, and more focused on the right priorities: making London a safer, greener and more

Boris for Prime Minister?

Boris Johnson’s first year as Mayor of London has proved something of a shock, especially to his own side. His enemies, including the Tory parliamentary leadership as well as the sort of people who toil on the Guardian’s comment pages, find they have underestimated him. It suited them to write him off as a clown

Boris Johnson’s art of war

‘The thing about Boris is that he really, really wants to be President,’ said an Old Etonian contemporary of his. This was back in 1984 when we were all at Oxford together. ‘Yes, I know,’ I replied. ‘He’s already announced his candidacy.’ ‘I don’t mean President of the Union,’ he said. ‘I mean President of

The only tax-cutting Tory in town

Ross Clark says that we mustn’t underestimate Boris’s greatest achievement: to have frozen the GLA precept without affecting services is a triumph It is hard to remember the horrors of the London inherited by new Mayor Boris Johnson a year ago. It was a city gridlocked with traffic, with unaffordable housing, and where you couldn’t

‘Let’s melt down the railings to make bicycles’

I met Boris Johnson in his office in City Hall overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge. Our former editor seemed a more thoughtful and sensible character than the man who used to practise cycling with no hands down Doughty Street at lunchtime, but there were signs of the old Boris tucked around his mayoral office:

Dinner at the club with the Zulu Mr Everyman

On a blustery southern winter’s night last year, Jacob Zuma hosted a small dinner in the Rand Club for a dozen sceptical guests. Founded by Cecil Rhodes, the dark-panelled club in the centre of Johannesburg was in the old days the preserve of the white English-speaking business establishment. In the early years of majority rule,

A bag of Monster Munch declares the spirit of the age

‘Nice car,’ said my host approvingly, as he saw me off after Sunday lunch last weekend, as the blossom hung heavy on the bough and all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire chorused in the sunshine. I opened the door with pride. At this point I should boast that the vehicle in question is not

There is no sacred right to be a lazy fat slob

If political reality means we can’t tax the overweight, then at least let’s have tax breaks for those who bother to take exercise, writes unashamed metrosexual Dan Jones Hands up if you employ a personal trainer. Actually, that’s a trick question. If you can raise your arm without wincing in pain then either you don’t

Three women showed me how bad things have got

Over the last week I have been pondering the lives of three totally different women. The first was our dim, weasel-worded Home Secretary, adept at letting others fall on their sword but unwilling to follow suit. Second, the late Jade Goody with her sad, manufactured martyrdom, and last a hard-working NHS doctor responsible for the