I am not the biggest fan of the Evening Standard. It’s a free rag that belongs to the same stable as The Daily Mail, that exemplar of spleen.
However, I picked up a copy tonight at the bus stop outside Waterloo station, returning from a day in the country. It was work rather than pleasure, but very enjoyable to be in Wiltshire.
The ES is not a demanding read, or at least only in the sense that one usually struggles to find anything worth reading. It is the perfect fit for the litter tray, and I use it on das Boot all the time. Tonight though, as I flicked through the pages I found this picture.
So yes, I’m back to BoJo and Trump, two politicians with so much in common, not least the attraction they have for otherwise sensible people. An American lady I met last week told me how much she liked BoJo. She also told me she disliked the new tall structures of glass and steel that are springing up across London. That’ll be Boris, I said. Her eyes widened. He has overruled local authorities fourteen times and given planning permission for very tall buildings, some in quite sensitive areas I explained. She leant forward and listened. This was obviously not the tousle-haired, lovable Boris of her imagination. Developers and that magazine no home should be without, Skyscraper News, love him. Read it if you don’t believe me. The man has done immense damage to London, and bar the cycle super highway, little good. Even the so-called Boris Bikes were a Ken initiative. Ah, Ken, another politician whose ego has destroyed him. He was a great Leader of the GLC, and for that I shall always have a residual affection for him, but he was a much less great mayor.
A couple of weeks ago the Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland wrote a piece which made me laugh and despair in equal measure. I have already promised a link to a fellow blogger over at Outwards Hounds, and I am sure Pat will enjoy it too, grinding her teeth all the while perhaps. Incidentally, does to trump mean the same in the US as it does here? Just a happy coincidence perhaps.
At the weekend George Osborne almost made me consider voting to leave the EU. Bremain and Brexit appear to be competing to paint ghastly pictures of the future if we vote against their side. But George, whose family is not short of a bob or two, decided to warn us that prices of London homes would fall and investors would find London property less appealing. Well, both those outcomes sound vastly attractive to me. London property prices are absurd. Developers building for foreign investors who find the bricks and mortar of this great city a safer place to stash their dosh than the bank, are destroying London. Ordinary people doing vital jobs are being priced out of both the rental and to buy markets. Then the Brexiteers responded by saying this was nonsense; foreign investors will still want to buy, and property prices will stay high. So my very brief flirtation with Brexit was over.
Although I am in the Bremain camp, I find much of their message repulsive. Tonight we were warned that the cost of travel to Europe would increase if we leave. Is that what it comes down to? Is that the most important issue at stake here – holidays on the costas? The politicians are infantilising the electorate. Boris’ lies about square strawberries, straight bananas, and the popular but inaccurate view that we are ruled by an uncaring bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels are left unrefuted. Honestly, we’ll get the result we deserve if this goes on.
Europe protects us through its laws, through security, and financially. The next time some bloody Brexiteer says we survived two World Wars and that is their reason for voting leave I may scream. It’s seventy years since the second of those world wars, a century since the first. The world has changed.
I warned you there was a rant due Celia.