Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Opposition – The Early Days

Some of us have been there. Thrown into opposition, when you know that by rights you should have been returned to power again. You blame the electorate for being so utterly wrong. You then comfort yourself with the thought that the new incumbents will screw up all by themselves and the voters will soon realise what a terrible mistake they made. In the meantime you get on with the job of opposition by focussing on the irrelevant minutiae – the sort of thing you had to do in power, but you just can’t get out of the mindset.

So it was with many Conservatives in 1997 … and so it is in 2008 in City Hall, if the recent examples of pathetic juvenile bleatings from Boris’ critics are anything to go by.

First, blame the electorate – especially those from Outer London. How dare they kick him out of office when they are not even “proper” London! Well, I’m sure if you asked many people in Bromley (Kent), Sutton (Surrey) or Romford (Essex) to name but a few, they would be quite happy not being “proper” London so long as they didn’t have to pay the London precept.

Then, it’s the wait for Boris to screw things up. Certainly, from what I’ve been told by certain assembly members already, that is the collective view of some of the residual Livingstone-ite staffers at City Hall. Boris is a racist bumbling buffoon, after all, and couldn’t run a whelk stall, they might say. Well, six weeks in and he’s still there. The thing is, he recognises that the Mayor is a presidential role, where much work is done by the cabinet and advisors, with the Mayor simply providing a strategic visionary role and figurehead, and he’s not doing a bad job at that.

And now we are seeing the ineffectiveness of the new opposition. Really, do they honestly think that the average Joe (or Jo) cares about some cigar case? Or that Boris has chosen to put a business hard-nut in charge of TfL instead of doing it himself? I mean, it’s hardly the sort of amended manifesto pledge that ranks with … ooh, say, not holding a referendum on the EU treaty is it?


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