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On Boris and Bad Press

By January 31, 2006News

There’s an interesting debate on the “Rome is an Education” post, and one which I have to say has knocked me off my perch. “TC” wrote a comment yesterday bemoaning the lack of critical coverage of Boris here. At first, I was affronted – but then I thawed. It’s true that there should perhaps be more critique – but in all honesty there is very little negative coverage of Boris these days. One article that drew TC’s attention was “Crikey, Boris you missed the big Tory story” which appeared in The Guardian yesterday. It’s written mostly from a New Statesman perspective – a publication in competition with The Spectator, but with very different views – and this fact does not bode well for any pro-Boris paragraphs appearing. It is, however, a decent stab at explaining the other side of Borismania – how, underneath the sheen and his undoubted eye for publicity, Boris’s success may be slightly inflated.
However, be it biased or not, I can’t help feeling that they may be clutching at straws. My colleague Tim and I – joint purveyors of the online presence Boris now has – went to The Statesman Media Awards last year, a trip I detailed here on Boriswatch. Boris was up for a category he should have won, if only because the competition was so terrible. However, instead of deciding on a winner, they announced that there would be no result in the category, blaming the “postcode lottery” of applicants – a phrase whose relevance I still can’t fathom to this day. There was never a decent explanation.
And it is that night that crept through my mind as I read The Guardian’s article. Of course there are people who don’t see the interest in Boris. Rivals may try to dumb him down. He might slip up once in a while – he’s not perfect, and neither are his critics. He or his followers may defend him to the hilt. It’s all part of the circus of media. What we do know, however, is that we’d prefer to see him make it to the top than the rest of the bland political folk…


  • TC says:

    I am a fan of BJ. However he has done some things that I totally object to: for example going on an “apology tour” of Liverpool under Howard’s orders when it was clear that Howard was waiting with a knife for him to return. Yes BJ should have won that award. I was simply reacting in the comments on the last post to what I perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a trend to ignore (rather than comment on) any articles which are critical.

    My own assessment of the Guardian article is that it is very weak. The DC “phenomenon” as such is new. Nobody missed a trick.

  • I refer to Boris’s new TV series and the Odone article in a short memoir of personal reminiscence on Boris on my new blog at

    It’s the only post there at the moment, so it won’t take up much of anyone’s day. I can’t promise to blog about Boris often, but I’ll do what I can.

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