Guido on Boris

Paul 'Guido Fawkes' Staines is, unsurprisingly, supporting Boris Johnson for Mayor of London. I don't that Mr Johnson would want the support of someone who advocates copyright theft is beyond me; I'd have expected Staines to be in favour of property rights, but it would seem that does not apply to people he doesn't like.

One of the problems with the blogosphere is that lots of people keep trying to break news stories. Unless a blogger is actually on scene or has a creditable source, it's barely worth trying. One person cannot compete with the news gathering capacity of a news outlet that actually has people on the street reporting on and looking for news, if for no other reason than that they seem to be permanently stuck behind their computer. Thus, we have Staines' first enlightening post:
Boris! Confirmed!

There is joy unabounded in Guido's cellar.

In fact this calls for a drink...
Hardly cutting-edge stuff. Guido thinks Boris is a good candidate, but cannot bring himself to say why. He also says:
Boris Campaign Under Way

Guido hears that Dan Ritterband, who was key in Cameron's leadership campaign, has switched from backing Nick Boles (pulled out due to serious illness) to campaigning for Boris.

A campaigning web-site will be live soon...

BackBoris.Com is live.
"Guido hears...". Well, good for bloody Guido. The last sentence is laughable. Does Guido thinks that it is newsworthy or bloggable in any way at all that Boris Johnson will have a website for his campaign for the Tory mayoral nomination? Later on, he links to it. How kind. I do know how to use Google. I'm sure other news sites will link to it.

Is it a particular surprise that someone who was 'key' in Cameron's campaign is moving to support the only decent candidate the Tories can muster for the mayoralty? Indeed, the other candidates are either now ministers in the Labour government, unfortunately ill, out of contention because they reportedly wanted to stand as a joint candidate with the LibDems, or completely unheard of.

He also is certain that Boris is going to win and comes up with some interesting ideas to back his position. He starts:
The Tories are more popular now than before and they have in Boris a likeable candidate.
Labour is also more popular - it is the LibDems who have suffered of late. Ken is also a popular candidate. Despite the howls of protestations from some corners when the congestion charge was introduced, Ken was re-elected on the basis of his platform. Boris, as yet, does not have a platform. Boris comes across as an amiable buffoon; that will go down rather less well in London than Henley. His attraction is on the basis that he is a 'character' or outspoken. Ken matches him on that.

He then goes on to say in the same post
He is extremely popular with the Conservative grassroots and if Boris just succeeds in motivating them to go out and vote, he will win. On the basis of the last election's results Boris needs to get an extra 1 in 5 Tory sympathisers in London to go to the polling station. This is without the extra oomph from the Conservatives nationally polling better than in 2004. Boris inspires a great deal of enthusiasm, he will without doubt energise that base. He also has first-name brand recognition.
One universally acknowledged fact is that the Conservative base tends to come out more than the Labour base, ceteris paribus. That extra one in five is harder for the Tories to find than for Labour. There is also extra oomph behind Labour at the moment. 'Ken' has as much first-name brand recognition as 'Boris'; it should be remembered that Ken and Boris have both appeared on Have I Got News For You seven times.

HIGNFY is a good place to point out the next problem with Boris. As Ian Hislop challenged Boris in 1998, Johnson provided information on the whereabouts of a News of the World reporter to one Darius Guppy, who wished to assault said reporter - a fact Johnson appears to have known. In short, Johnson is spectacularly gaffe-prone, matched only by Prince Philip. One insult on a par with Liverpool during the campaign could do for Boris' campaign. Pray remember that at the time he was in the shadow government.

Polly Toynbee does an excellent job in The Guardian of pointing out some of Johnson's many other flaws.

Going back to Guido, he also makes a rather large mistake - he predicts that Boris won't stand.
Boris - Latest

Nominations close 10 a.m. Monday - expect Boris to make an announcement on the day - not sure if it will be the announcement many hope for... [...]
and before Guido says that he meant it the other way:
Everyone is Backing Boris

Despite the fact that Guido rarely meets anyone who doesn't want Boris to run, [...]
As various other people have pointed out before, Guido Fawkes (aka Paul Staines) is a lousy blogger. His facts are pinched, his predictions wrong, his opinions at best misinformed and at worst deliberately misleading. In a similar way to the tabloid press, he has tapped into a vein of (as his website says) "Tittle Tattle, gossip and rumours" that does very little for democracy. Sadly, and more so because the same is true of the tabloids, people seem to listen to him.

Before you mention it, I know I said I wouldn't write about Guido Fawkes/Paul Staines any more. I relent. I'm going to. I do occasionally still flick onto his blog.


UPDATE 2210: Guido says on his 'Why Boris will win' post that
People seem to forget that Boris got to Eton on a scholarship, not because he was a toff, the buffoon tag can be shaken off easily.
which I find faintly laughable. It really is clutching at straws; his entire first-name brand recognition is based on being an eccentric toff. He has played off the image (or actually is an idiot). A rather week point, Guido, particularly as 'scholarship boys' can be really very middle class as those awards are given out on academic merit, inter alia, and often require middle class parents to send their child in that direction.

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