United Kingdom

Boris v. Red Ken

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Boris

It's official. Britain's favorite tousle-haired cad, the Tory MP and television personality Boris Johnson, has tossed his bowler into the ring. The former Spectator editor officially announced yesterday his intention to run against Labour mayor Ken Livingstone.

Livingstone, who recently called Castro's dictatorship "one of the high points of the 20th century" and is planning a $4 million tribute to "50 years of justice in Cuba" in London's Trafalgar Square, openly challenged Johnson to run, though, as the Telegraph explains, if there is anyone whose celebrity can eclipse that of "Red Ken," it's the MP from Henley:

Mr. Johnson, a columnist on The Daily Telegraph, is the party's best known MP. His appeal extends across party lines and he has become a regular on television panel games, such as Have I Got News For You.

Predictably, the (London) Times and Telegraph are rather excited by the prospect of Mayor Johnson. Even more predictably, The Guardian's class-obsessed killjoy Polly Toynbee—the real-life version of "modern parent" Cressida Wright-Pratt—thinks the old Etonian is a "sociopath." From Toynbee's account, it sounds like Boris is something of a Tory libertarian:

He hints at utter contempt for the NHS, with USSR comparisons. Though liberal on matters of sex (what else could he be?) and drugs ("I'm instinctively inclined to liberalise"), his politics are right off the Cameron scale. Here he is on education: "I am in favour of selection … So is every member of the British ruling classes"; and on universities: "I believe passionately in academic inequality."

In other nutty British political news, George Galloway, the execrable MP who celebrated Saddam Hussein's "indefatigability" and claimed that the end of the Soviet Union was "the biggest catastrophe of my life," has been suspended from parliament for "concealing his financial dealings with Saddam Hussein's government."

Full story here.

If you are unfamiliar with Boris the TV star, check out this selection of clips from YouTube.