The Mayor of London Boris Johnson won a standing ovation for his speech to the Party Conference in Manchester and told some jokes which have the merit, exceptional at Party Conferences, of being funny. However the speech was conversational rather than rousing. The tone was calm and thoughtful for one supposedly crazed with ambition. There was some ambiguity – was the audience meant to cheer or boo a reference to Jamie Oliver?
He talked about his record, saying his about the fall in crime:
It makes my blood boil to read a casual quote from a Labour frontbench politician, it may even have been the Shadow Home Secretary, comparing London to Rio de Janeiro… you’re twice as likely to be murdered in Brussels – sleepy old Brussels – than London, presumably with lobster picks.
Nor was that all. The OIympics increased the birth rate:
“Like all my predictions and promises, I have delivered in that GLA economics now say live births this year will be 136,942 – more than in any year since 1966, when England won the World Cup and the PM was born, I think.”
There were some specific policy pitches. An attack on any third runway at Heathrow and also this message.
“Can I also suggest to my friend the Chancellor to look at the baleful effects of Stamp Duty in London?… It’s stamping on the figures of those trying to climb on the property ladder.”
Of course being Boris he warned against Labour’s yearning for price controls with a reference to “going back to the days of Emperor Diocletian.”
The conclusion certainly had a rallying message:
I know what I want as Mayor of the greatest city on Earth – I think I know what you want, I know that we can do it, so let’s go for it over the next two years. Cut that yellow Lib Dem albatross from around our necks and let it plop into the sea by working flat-out for DC as PM and an outright Conservative victory in 2015.