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Rome is an education

By January 29, 2006News

After making small but important media waves in defending “Mickey Mouse” degrees on his website – pronouncing “One man’s Mickey Mouse course is another man’s literae humaniores – this week has been a busy
one for BoJo followers. He first appears in a decent-length and enjoyable article in The Guardian. In “Ich bin ein Frankfurter” – so named after a BoJo utterance during the interview – Boris manages to lay down some home
truths while staying reservedly on the fence on many major topics, blunting any possible attacks from other parties. But the real gem of this article is the attached “podcast” (??) of the interview, in which we get The Full Audio Boris. I recommend setting aside a good half hour to listen!
The Times also pops up with a fairly fawning article with Boris, describing Boris as one of the “cleverest acts in British politics.” Damn right!
And while we all discuss that article, Boris has been plugging the Conservative educational cause up north in Edinburgh. Your humble Boriswatch host – by complete coincidence – was also up there, but I’m afraid there were no reported sightings of BoJo. And more’s the pity, as he managed to get around a bit, by all accounts. In the day or so he was up there, he managed to share breakfasts with students, get baffled by his popularity and wallow in pride as he managed to garner an enormous amount of votes. The only fly in the ointment came in the hours before he arrived in Edinburgh – his declaration in support of Top Up fees did not go down well with the student community. As Boriswatch readers “Saxmachine” and “Rich May” revealed mere minutes after it happened – and The Scotsman later revealed in their article “Beer, jeers and cheers for Boris” – Boris had a pint of beer thrown over him by an angry student. Boris remarked on it later: “I tried to make a speech but I couldn’t hear anything because of the noise. At the end, someone very kindly poured a pint of beer over my head. I am most grateful because it was the first of many
drinks I received one way or the other over the evening.” Pure Boris!
Coverage overall, though, has been favourable. Google News has a collection of stories about the trip. And to top it off, reader “chromatius” informs us that while Boriswatch was snoozing this morning, BoJo appeared this morning on Sunday AM with Andrew Marr, bringing up allegations that Blair agreed to go to war long before it was announced. Chromatius details the appearance here in his blog.


  • TC says:

    Is this blog simply going from one fawning account of BJ to another?

    Where’s the mention of critical comments of BJ? Who actually writes these posts, someone by the name of Mellisa?

  • Wibbler says:

    TC – this site was set up as a hub for information on Boris, and is many visited and run by fans of Boris. When Boris makes mistakes, we highlight and discuss them – but generally we wouldn’t take the effort with the site unless we were fans of him! And no, my name’s not Melissa – which will be a blessed relief for my girlfriend…

  • TC says:

    Fine then Chairman Wibbler, I am (generally) a fan of BJ too. But I think that you should drop this Stalinistic approach to only reporting “positive” news and views on BJ.

    If you want to be a “boriswatch” site (rather than say a “borisfans”) you should also report and link on some of the more negative stuff. We can then debate this healthily, say why we agree/disagree etc. Besides for being politically offensive, your approach just makes boriswatch boring.

    For example there was an interesting article in the Media Guardian this morning: Crikey, Boris you missed the big Tory story. Not worthy of discussion even, comrade?

  • Wibbler says:

    TC – I have to say that I agree that maybe there should be more conjecture and criticism, if it is needed. As you can imagine, the news on Boris is geneerally overwhelmingly positive – and the article you highlight passed neatly under my radar. Interesting – I may well post on it when I’ve had some thinking time…

  • Saxmachine says:

    Oi, if you think Boris having a pint poured over his head by the Young Socialist party as part of a protest against his top-up fees stance is positive news, you’re having a laugh.

    The only positive part of the story is how Boris handled it, in, of course, his customary legendary manner. Surely it is only right to highlight this, as it illustrates the character, wit and good grace of the man.

    Do you really think this story would have been ignored had Boris told the students in question to f off? No, of course not.

    Plus, as a Boris fan, why not just revel in the genius and geniality of the man, rather than desperately clutching at every opportunity to show that he is not practically perfect in every way.

    If you must do this, at least have the grace to do it to some deserving, malignant, lying, sleaze-ridden waste of space (note, no names mentioned to maintain political/ideological impartiality) and do the world a favour.


    P.S. Sorry for the rant, but you get the point – leave Boris alone!

  • TC says:

    Saxmachine, what are you going on about? You seem to have missed my boat and to be floating your own. Enjoy!

    In case you are interested in what I was saying, I was commenting that I would appreciate Chairman Wibbler posting and commenting on “negatively” written articles as well as the glowing reports (such as the positive article which covered the negative reaction Boris received in Edinburgh). Reading all the positive articles, followed by multiple “hear hears” is becoming a tad tedious IMHO.

    If you can’t even distinguish news from reporting of news then I think we have very little to discuss, you and I. And if you can’t distinguish between wanting to critically discuss “negative” reports with “desperately clutching at every opportunity to show that he is not practically perfect in every way” then you, sir/madam, are a fool!

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  • Saxmachine says:

    OK, TC, fair enough.

    In retrospect (or should that be rectorspect? (no definitely not!)) I seem to have got a bit caught up in the old Borisfever.

    Still, you’ve gotta love the guy, haven’t you?

    I would like to pick you up on one thing though – in one comment above you say, “your approach just makes boriswatch boring”. I would have thought that if there was one thing we could all agree on, it would be that Boris is definitively the opposite of boring!

    Besides, if it is the case that, “Reading all the positive articles, followed by multiple ‘hear hears’ is becoming a tad tedious IMHO,” there is always another solution: don’t read them!

    Never mind, eh.
    I wish you well, TC.

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