Iraq

London Calling to the Zombies of Death

|

The most interesting thing about Boris Johnson's victory in the London mayoral race might be what hasn't changed. The office has moved from the hard left to the hard right, but there's one issue where it is staying put:

London voters just voted out Ken Livingstone, the iconoclast left-wing antiwar mayor, and replaced him with the iconoclast right-wing antiwar Boris Johnson….

Johnson is not a neocon. In fact, he comes from the same sort of paleo-conservative roots as Pat Buchanan. He is opposed to British imperial dreams, and is in direct conflict with much of the UK Conservative Party.

In the last few years, he has been a strong opponent of the Iraq War, the rush to war with Iran, and Blair's crackdown on civil liberties.

Something else that hasn't changed: The mayor of Greater London does not, alas, have much influence on his country's foreign policy.

Advertisement

NEXT: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. First to comment on two threads. Awesome!

  2. I’m not getting the title? Zombies of Death?

  3. Nice Clash reference: I saw them on their last tour, and it was one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen…if I wanted to see a bunch of middle-aged men play soldier, I should’ve stuck to reruns of SGT. BILKO.

  4. And Eric Dondero is celebrating his victory!

    Comic gold!

    OK taking bets on how long it takes Eric to delete the posts celebrating his election. 🙂

  5. Gee, what a crappy link. Thanks.

  6. In the last few years, he has been a strong opponent of the Iraq War, the rush to war with Iran, and Blair’s crackdown on civil liberties.

    Eric, where art thou?

    I changed my mind. I like Johnson now.

  7. Naga Sadow:

    I would guess that “Zombies of Death” is a Dr. Who episode, like Seeds of Death, the City of Death, or [of course] the Robots of Death.

  8. Also:

    Dr. Who and the Planet of Death
    Dr. Who and the Spaceship of Death
    Dr. Who and the Coffeemaker of Death
    Dr. Who and the Donuts of Intestinal Discomfort

  9. No, you fools….It’s a line from “London Calling” by The Clash, from the 1979 album of the same name!

    Guess I am showing my age.

  10. Dr. Who was travelling through time and space while The Clash were still being toilet trained.

  11. Jesse Walker,

    The office he won only came into being in 2000. Apparently there is a Mayor and a Lord Mayor (the latter being extant since the 12th century).

  12. Since BJ is American born he should be hailed as Presidential timber. Hard to imagine any of the current lot of wannabe’s editing the Spectator or much of anything else

  13. London Calling to the Zombies of Death

    Geez, I assumed this meant that Ron Paul was staring a movement in England.

  14. Edward,

    Why don’t you find yourself a good taxidermist and get stuffed?

  15. I was aware “London Calling” has lines, I just couldn’t tell you what most of them are saying. Damned kids with their rock ‘n’ roll records! Can’t understand a damned word!

  16. Eric Dondero! Where are you, little buddy?

    What do you think of an opponent of the Iraq War getting elected to head one of Europe’s most important cities?

    Come on…I know you’re out there…little Rittberg…

    (Internet Confession: I hit the homemade Sangria a little early…)

  17. One other thing that hasn’t changed is that both Johnson and Livingstone are famous lushes. So the chances of the mayor getting wasted at a party and hilarity ensuing are just as good…

  18. Edward,

    Why don’t you find yourself a good taxidermist and get stuffed?

    Hey, I’ve been stuffing Edward on a regular basis.

  19. Mad Max,

    Do you like the new Dr. Who?

  20. I don’t want to belittle the efforts of the good British people who are serving in Iraq–God bless each and everyone one of them for their efforts.

    …but one of the other things that hasn’t changed much is that Britain has very few troops, relatively speaking, in Iraq. My understanding is that there are about 4,000 British troops there. Consider there were some 45,000 British troops at the time of the invasion, and it looks like Britain has, effectively, already withdrawn its troops.

    Like I said, God bless ’em for their efforts. …but 4,000 troops, compared to some 160,000 American troops, it’s not insignificant enough to dismiss as a symbolic contribution, but we’re not looking at doubling the size of our troop commitment to keep overall troop strength at the same level should the British pull out entirely either.

  21. One thing you have to remember when you are fixin’ to confront British zombies.

    They are very hard to tell apart from the non-zombies.

  22. What does Boris’ position on the Iraq War have to do with running the city of London?

    He like Alan Duncan MP are libertarian Tories. That should be a good thing all libertarians can celebrate.

  23. What does Boris’ position on the Iraq War have to do with running the city of London?

    Nothing directly, but I would imagine that being the political leader of the largest city and the capital of England means that he can provide quite a bit of moral leadership. Additionally, he has the “bully pulpit” as one of England’s most prominent politicians.

    Finally, I’d like to mention that the mayor of America’s largest city was once widely regarded as a frontrunner for the Presidency.

  24. What does Boris’ position on the Iraq War have to do with running the city of London?

    It has to do with Eric Dondero supporting him, only to find out that Boris is the antiwar type.

  25. Boris Johnson is a bit of a doofus, but he’s great:

    “Yes, cannabis is dangerous, but no more than other perfectly legal drugs. It’s time for a rethink, and the Tory party – the funkiest, most jiving party on Earth – is where it’s happening.”

    “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.”

  26. What does Boris’ position on the Iraq War have to do with running the city of London?

    You cannot be opposed to the Iraq War and be a True Libertarian! Even my main squeeze Sarah Palin agrees, libertarianism is about killing Muslims. Since this jerk want England to pull out [wanker] of Iraq, he is not a libertarian and will raise your taxes and ban your hookers.

    I did not call Mr. Johnson a libertarian! That is a vicious lie. You have my phone number, call me!

  27. Some baackground on Mayor Boris from the BBC.

    I have to say, the trail of waving hankies the man leaves wherever he goes endears him to me already….

  28. Mad Max

    If you ever pulled your head out of your libertarian ass, you’d probably die from an oxygen overdose.

  29. Colin Clout,

    How do I like the new Dr. Who? The special effects are better, the Daleks are cool as always, and there are some great storylines – but there’s a major change in tone since the producers started trying to appeal to the female demographic, and I can’t say I approve of that particular development. The ratio of relationship-related talk to explosions has grown dangerously high.

    “. . . the Tory party – the funkiest, most jiving party on Earth – is where it’s happening . . .”

    I hope he said that in the Seventies, otherwise it’s kind of self-refuting.

  30. Edward,

    Bless your heart!

  31. Andrew,
    His opposition to the Iraq War has nothing to do with the job of Mayor of London. But if he was pro-war, it’s a pretty sure bet he never would have been able to win as Livingston would have hammered him mercilessly on the issue.

  32. “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.”

    LP needs to adopt this rhetoric ASAP

  33. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

    Neither is supporting the Iraq War.

  34. Dr. Who was travelling through time and space while The Clash were still being toilet trained.

    1979?

    The mayor of Greater London does not, alas, have much influence on his country’s foreign policy.

    Perhaps not, but he may have some sway when it comes to preventing any more of those damnable cameras that keep popping up in the London streets.

  35. Does he have a cat to advise him? It worked once before, at least in kids tales.

  36. but there’s a major change in tone since the producers started trying to appeal to the female demographic, and I can’t say I approve of that particular development

    Well put. I think the producers saw this and now we have Donna – who explicitly pulled a face at the suggestion of any romance with the Doctor. And she’s been great so far.

  37. Eccleston was great. Haven’t been able to see any of the Tennant eps, to my great dismay.

  38. Aren’t British zombies fast zombies?

  39. Eric Dondero has been caught LYING. Yesterday he said the following:
    about Boris Johnson:

    “You all, huge news just breaking?

    LONDON ENGLAND JUST ELECTED A LIBERTARIAN TORY AS MAYOR.

    I shit you not! The guy is a self-described “libertarian” and is a part-time comedian who hates political correctness.

    This is sooooo cool!”

    http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/05/02/bob-barr-wins-georgia-delegate-straw-poll/#comments

    Now that he found out Johnson is against the Iraq war, against an Iran invasion and critisize civil liberties attack by Blair (and also Bush), he calls Johnson not a libertarian anymore. Too funny.
    He used to call those libertarians that are against the war, “left libertarians” Now he call them not even libertarians at all!
    It is clear Eric is a neocon shill and has no real idea about libertarian and constitutional foreign policy.
    What is even more shocking is that he defines “libertarianism is about killing Muslims”. I mean terrible! He is a shame for any libertarian and libertarians should disassociate themselves from him.

  40. Finally, I’d like to mention that the mayor of America’s largest city was once widely regarded as a frontrunner for the Presidency.

    Keep in mind that, having been born in the U.S., Boris could establish residency requirements and run in the 2022 election. But he’ll have to move here now. Come on Boris, America needs you!

  41. The mayor of Greater London does not, alas, have much influence on his country’s foreign policy.

    Yes, but when electing someone to office it should be assumed that at some point they will run for higher office. He may not have influence now, but some day he might, and it is nice to know he’s thinking correctly on the issue.

  42. ed,

    What’s the matter? Need him to replace every other “anti-war” candidate put there for what reason?

  43. Boris? Paleo-con? Like Buchanan?

    Good grief. Classically liberal side of the Tory party, please. Free trade, individual liberty etc.

  44. Mad Max

    ‘ “. . . the Tory party – the funkiest, most jiving party on Earth – is where it’s happening . . .”

    I hope he said that in the Seventies, otherwise it’s kind of self-refuting.’

    Ah, the famous failure to understand irony shows itself again.

    Boris is one of the smartest guys in politics, as well as easily one of the wittiest. Its impact is that his electorate is the biggest in the UK and includes a raft of Parliamentary seats which are clearly under threat if the voting trends play out at the next general election. The Mayor of London can get on the TV pretty much any time he likes and spout off on anynumber of topics (KenLivingstone had no problem sticking his nose in Foreign policy). None of the candidates supported the Iraq war,as far as I can tell.

    Boris is going to have fun. He is already getting brown-nosed by the head of the Metropolitan Police and he also gets to play with loads of buses and trains and send bills to the US Ambasssador for driving his cars in central London if he feels like it, though they aren’t usually paid, and Boris is thinking about stopping that.

    He will also be arranging to pay for a huge part of the 2012 Olympics – he has tax-raising powers and a lot of money to spend.

    The ‘Lord Mayor’ by the way, is a one year term for guy who gets to be Dick Wittington and represent the City of London – the financial district in a silly costume. Only a job really available to bankers these days.

  45. Ah, irony.

    I’m “down with it,” as the kids say today. I can groove to it. As a “hep cat,” I certainly know “where it is.”

  46. I mean, “where it’s at.”

    Can you dig?

  47. Boris would have been 5 in 1970, so he was probably doing his digging in a play pit.

  48. The Lew Rockwell crowds are fans of Boris, too:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/020819.html

    Dondero must be devastated.

  49. ed,

    Keep in mind that, having been born in the U.S., Boris could establish residency requirements and run in the 2022 election. But he’ll have to move here now. Come on Boris, America needs you!

    You may want to do some math on that. Unless you meant a house of senate election, in which case, a) he didnt need to be born here and 2) he has plenty of time to establish residency.

  50. Livingstone was /is a buffoon. This is a definite improvement.

    Tories have had a nice week in England. I wonder if Brown can re-group Labor.

  51. robc,
    I believe since Boris was born here and is at least 35 years of age, he need only become a citizen and establish residence for 14 years and he can become president. That is, if anyone can agree on the definition of “natural born citizen”. Opinions vary.

    Guy,
    For comedic value, of course.

  52. Are there any American politicians on the same level as Boris? The closest I could come up with was Jesse Ventura.

  53. Dr. Who was travelling through time and space while The Clash were still being toilet trained.

    1979?

    Yeah, toilet-training them was a bitch, just ask their manager.

  54. Boris is going to wreck the city by destroying the key metropolitanised public transport and pandering to the middle classes by targetting minor crime.

  55. lol, i get jokes 🙂

    Guy,
    For comedic value, of course.

  56. Boris is going to wreck the city by destroying the key metropolitanised public transport

    How will he manage that?

    and pandering to the middle classes by targetting minor crime.

    Given the Brits descent into a completely infantilized surveillance state, I would say that targetting actual crime, however minor, would be a major improvement.

  57. What are you referring to against metropolitainised public transport? Do you object to city-owned public transport in principle or dont believe he has the capacity as mayor to make these changes?

    The surveillance state is an issue for London and other major cities, not the whole of the UK.

    Minor crime isnt really crime in its purest sense. All crime, but particularly muggings and the such, are a consequence of social conditions and Boris’ plans are inline with the vote winning ideas of putting ‘a police officer on every corner’ and a name in the neighbourhood type thing. Its complete crap for all the obvious reasons. Funds are obviously finite and it would do no good to spend it on these kind of strategies.

  58. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.