Friday, 29 October 2010

Big Mistake

Boris reaches the parts that other Conservatives do not reach. This seems uncontestable, as measured by his victory in the London mayoral election and the wide spread of those votes. Sure, he pisses off some Tories with his inconsistencies and stunts (let alone being a shagger extraordinaire and therefore a cad to his long-suffering wife), but he has an ability that so obviously eluded Cameron at the last election- that of being able to secure a majority from a broad constituency.

One of the things that people like about Boris is that he is not overly political - he jumps in with both feet instead of dilly-dallying on the edge like so many politicians who are terrified of upsetting even a tiny minority.

But he has made a mistake over housing benefit and exacerbated it by using imagery which is just bonkers. With next year's re-election in mind, he has made a fool of himself. Kosovo-style social cleansing, my foot! Doubtless his quick mind hadn't quite approved it for compliance purposes as he started blurting it out, and he will have to retract this in toto, and issue an apology, I'll wager.

Here is the public opinion on the matter:

"...An ICM poll in June asked: "Do you support or oppose imposing a maximum weekly limit of £400 on Housing Benefit." Support was 68% with 23% opposed. Even among Labour voters there was strong support - by 57% to 35%.
A YouGov poll in August asked: "Here are some policies the coalition government have announced in their first hundred days. For each one please say if you oppose or support it?" Among them was: "Putting a limit on housing benefit." 72% expressed support. 17% said they were opposed. Again even among Labour voters there was strong support - by 53% to 35%."

(ConHome, Harry Phibbs)

Boris still sees himself as PM after Cameron, or certainly harbours such ambition. Well, if he makes it, it will be as leader of a party other than the Tories; he cannot have improved his appeal to those outside London with this stunt.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Digging Deep

Is it just me, or have our allies in Chile made a damn site better fist of this rescue than we might have done? The Minister for Mines (is his name really Laurence Fishburne?) appears competent, genuine and speaks better English than most residents of Blighty. He's pulled it off.

One's heart bleeds for the miner whose wife AND mistress were both waiting patiently at the top of the shaft, and became aware of each others' identity for the first time just days ago. Tricky reconciliation there, one fears.

The country which had the good sense to topple its Marxist leader and appoint Milton Friedman as economic consultant in 1973 has been an exemplar to the other basket case economies of South America for decades. This is why I like the country instinctively and am not surprised by its great feat of the past two months.

Red hot, Chile!

Monday, 11 October 2010


Brilliant solo performance.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Peta, 23, from Essex

I am considering employing Peta in my investment advisory department. She has many of the attributes that some of our male entrepreneurial clients find attractive in a private banker.

And she is well briefed on precious metals' market behaviour.

I dare say she can provide a couple of tips for our clients that they will find most persuasive.

Feel free to add your own puns in the comments thread.

H/T FT Alphaville