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  1. Politics
9 May 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:54am

Boris the banner

By Paul Evans

A ban: not a whimper

The Borisphere, that is to say the vocal libertarian bloggers who fizzed with hope for Boris Johnson, appeared a little sheepish this week – as the new Mayor of London kicked off his administration by banning alcohol on public transport. Leader of the pack Guido Fawkes initially bit his tongue, before soberly warning Boris that: “… if you go to Beijing to hob-nob with Tibet’s oppressors (and don’t send the right signals) as well as getting all authoritarian in your first week with the G&T swilling classes on the long march to Zone 6, we will remember your treachery come 2012.”

Brighton Labourite Neil Harding felt no obligation to give the benefit of the doubt, and decided to rip the Mayor a new one, writing: “This will do nothing to concentrate police resources on the minority who are anti-social (who may or may not be drinking). This will not stop drunk people getting on the tube, it will simply waste time and money harassing the majority who want to enjoy a drink and who cause no nuisance to anyone.” Others were more receptive though to the move. Occasionally controversial ex-Lib Dem Susanne Lamido lapped it up, cooing: “People are asking is how will they enforce it. Don’t think it will be a problem people will snitch on drinkers I’m quite sure about that. Most people hate it as much as I do.” That’s the spirit! Or rather, it isn’t.

Wendy’s House

Pulses were racing at Holyrood, as Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander challenged the SNP to hold their much anticipated independence referendum sooner rather than later. As Alex Wilcox observed:

“She’s adopted the tone of a bellicose pub drunk to say ‘Referendum? Go on then! Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”

Rumours of a rift with Gordon Brown emerged, leaving Scottish Nats-backing blog North to Leith convinced that she had acted without the consent or knowledge of the PM:

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“FMQs has come and gone and Wendy has said that she does want and [sic] early referendum (which is odd as yesterday Gordon Brown said she wasn’t calling for an early election…).

Its fairly clear that Wendy doesn’t have Brown’s backing, various MPs and MSPs have been briefing off the record that they don’t back her sudden U-turn on the election.”

What have we learned this week?

That the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, wants to harass young ‘ooligans. An Open Letter By a Feminist pondered:

“…if the state has the money and resources to commit people and time to this sort of state harassment, why does it not use it to address why people behave in anti-social ways in the first place?”

Across the Pond

While the headline-grabbing story of the week might be Hillary Clinton’s waning presidential hopes, Elonkey touched upon John McCain’s attempts to woo the increasingly influential Hispanic vote. Despite his pro-life and immigration-moderate views, Elonkey acknowledges that he might struggle, since:

“… only 23% of American Latinos now identify themselves with the Republican Party, down significantly since 2000 when George Bush managed to carry a majority of the Hispanic vote in the general election.”

Video of the Week

The parties are quick off the mark in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. Already, Dunwoody the younger and Thoroughly Modern Miliband are popping up on YouTube. They demand town-centre regeneration NOW.

Quote of the Week

“If you’re so hell-bent on getting legless, if you’ve cleared your diary of all other events for the sole goal of consuming gallons of wine, if you’re that ambitious about your drinking, surely you can spare the rest of us and wait the 20 minutes it takes to get to the pub.”

Telegraph.co.uk food blogger Sally Peck backs Boris’ tube booze ban.