Boris Johnson talks to bricks and raises Conservative Party conference spirits: 'We'll eat Ukip for breakfast'

His speech showed once again that even if Johnson is not the deepest thinker in modern politics, he is surely the one who tells the best jokes

Andy McSmith
Tuesday 30 September 2014 23:35
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Mayor of London Boris Johnson holds a brick as he addresses delegates on the third day of the annual British Conservative Party conference in Birmingham
Mayor of London Boris Johnson holds a brick as he addresses delegates on the third day of the annual British Conservative Party conference in Birmingham

Boris Johnson raised the spirits of the Conservative annual conference by telling them that, they could win the next general election outright despite the opinions polls and recent defections to Ukip.

He claimed that the Tories can reap the benefits of a recovering economy, which he illustrated by describing a factory in Wiltshire that exports chilis to India, and claiming that anyone who catches a bus in Las Vegas is probably standing at a bus stop that was made in London.

He also talked about a factory in the marginal Labour seat of Newcastle-Under-Lyne which is making fire bricks for London’s housing market, to emphasise his point that London’s growth benefits other parts of the country. He held one of the fire bricks aloft, and at one point in his 30 minute speech, actually talked to it, telling it that it was not alone.

The speech showed once again that even if Boris Johnson is not the deepest thinker in modern politics, he is surely the one who tells the best jokes.

“Behold this brick, amigos,” he said, as he held the object aloft. “This brick was given to me yesterday in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, in a factory that only started last year and is now capable of making 80 million of these objects a year.

“If you want to know why that factory started to hire and fire - sorry hire people and fire bricks, I should say – in huge numbers, look at the sky line of London rising and sprouting with extraordinary growth like a sped-up David Attenborough nature film about the return of spring to the Canadian tundra – and that was why Ed Miliband was silent on the key issue facing our country… the economy.

“The difference between us and Labour is that they talk, and we do. An ounce of Tory action is worth a ton of Labour fury.”

He added: “We will need one billion of these bricks – so, brick, you will not be alone.”

During a passage attacking excessive EU regulation, he went on to suggest that a suitable fisheries policy would be to “chuck Salmond overboard then eat the kippers for breakfast.” Kipper is a nickname for members and supporters of Ukip.

“This is a fantastic time to be a Conservative,” he claimed. “In the last few weeks, particularly last week, we have seen the beginning of the end of the tapioca-like consensus that Ed Miliband can somehow osmotically infiltrate or inveigle himself into power by pandering to his core vote and relying on the gross unfairness of the electoral system. Like scales falling across the country, the chattering classes are waking up to the reality that victory is within our grasp.”

“Last week in Manchester you saw the final explosion of the myth that Labour is doomed to succeed.”

He also attacked what he called the “Londonophobia” displayed by the pro-independence campaign during the Scottish referendum. “To listen to some of the London bashing, you would think that our capital was a modern Babylon, with billionaires being plied with hot towels on the top deck club class of their swanky new buses or guzzling pearls dissolved in vinegar while lolling back on the padded cushions of their Barclays power bikes,” he added

He added; “If they try to imply that what happens in London is irrelevant to the economic fortunes of our nation, then I would respectfully tell them that they are talking through the back of their neck.”

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