Boris said "It is flattering that Brian Paddick has used his first policy launch to endorse my plans for black cabs in London. What Londoners are calling out for is a change of Mayor, not a copycat Mayor."
I'm not going to go into the details of Derek Conway's situation (mainly because I don't know more than is in the press) but I do think it is worth looking at how both he and David Cameron have reacted.
Once the Standards & Privileges Committee made their report Derek made an immediate apology. He didn't squirm, he didn't hide and he didn't blame a great left-wing conspiracy.
David Cameron has also acted fairly and decisively, having spoken with the Chief Whip (who had spoken with Derek) and deciding that the party whip had to be withdrawn. David Cameron has made his position on issues like this clear and has taken a much firmer line within his own party than he has called upon Labour to do. Derek has taken it on the chin.
It is clear that Cameron and the Conservative party as a whole, expect higher standards from Conservative MPs than from Labour MPs and I am glad to see it.
Compare the situation with that of Haine, Alexander, Harman and Livingstone. What will it take for Gordon Brown to stop dithering and make a stand?
There will, no doubt, be people who say "well they knew what they were letting themselves in for". If you feel that please remember these people are not leaving because they don't want to got to war, they are leaving because they are going to war so often they are not seeing their families any more.
I don't expect the government keeps figures on divorce rates amongst soldiers but I would bet my life savings that there has been a sharp increase over the last few years.
James Purnell is the new Work & Pensions Secretary. He got his job because Peter Hain is being investigated by the police, a number of other ministers have confessed to breaking the rules with regard to fundraising.
When asked if all this left a "bit of a taint around the question of Labour's relationship with money", he replied "no".
I was at a meeting of the Bexley Pensioners Forum this morning, sharing the stage with the GLA candidates from Labour and UKIP and the Lib Dem PPC for Old Bexley and Sidcup.
I had met Arnold Tarling (UKIP candidate) in the 2005 General Election when we both ran in Lewisham East, we disagreed on a number of points but I found him a fair and principled man. Because of this both I and Duncan Borrowman (Lib Dem) found ourselves agreeing with him on some of the questions around personal responsibility and youth anti-social behaviour.
I almost felt sorry for Alex (sorry I have forgotten his surname), the Labour candidate, he tried so hard to stick to the party line and was ripped apart by the audience accordingly. I found myself wondering at times is I was going soft, agreeing with a Lib Dem and feeling sorry for a Labour candidate!!!!!
If I had to say which of us came out on top it would be difficult, we all had our little ripples of applause and nods of agreement at times, except for Labour's Alex, who must have come out of it feeling rather battered.
I see that Michael Eboda subscribes to the old adage "never let the truth get in the way of a good story". He has written about the Evening Standard's panel discussion in the Guardian's Comment is Free section and what a load of rubbish it is too.
Michael describes "a jeering mob" shouting racist obscenities and claims that their behavior is proof that Boris is a racist. I am sure that Livingstone's fans will be hopping from one foot to the next shouting "You see, you see what he's like, we told you so!!!!!"
I like Boris, so maybe I'm being blinkered, but I cannot see how anyone can reconcile Michael Eboda's account with what is shown. This is proof, if any more was needed, that some people will say almost anything to undermine the only real threat to Livingstone's third term as Mayor of London.
If the resignation of the Rosemary Emodi, one of Livingstone's race advisers, was an isolated event it would almost not be worth writing about. It isn't, the catalogue of allegations surrounding Livingstone's inner circle is long and getting longer.
Rosemary Emodi was initially defended by Livingstone and it seemed that he didn't check the facts before jumping to her defence. This demonstrates loyalty and stupidity in at least equal measure.
Livingstone clearly feels that public money is his to spend, that public servants are paid by the state to do his personal and political bidding and that his inner circle are above the law. Those on the left who blindly defend him now, may well get find it harder to maintain their position in the future.
1984 is one of my favourite books. It scares me, I am genuinely worried that the government is drifting down a path towards the dystopia that Orwell describes.
First there was the renaming of the ministries. As far as I can make out the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is actually the department that stifles business and enterprise with a huge mountain of regulation.
I now have more proof that Orwell's chilling predictions are becoming reality, Guido has a worrying story about Gordon's spinners rewriting history. Gordon claimed that 1 billion people represented one third of the world's population (population of 6 billion), oooops. Once the error was highlighted the spinners got to work and esponged any trace of Gordon's error.
According to his press release Ken Livingstone has written to Andy Duncan, the Chief Executive of Channel 4 television, calling on him to pull the Dispatches programme scheduled to be shown this evening.
Livingstone claims that the Dispatches programme is biased because Martin Bright wrote in the Standard saying ‘The voters of London should kick Ken out when they go to the polls in May.’ He is mixing cause and effect, assuming that Bright made the programme because he wants rid of Livingstone. I suspect that he wants rid of Livingstone because of what he found out making the programme.
I didn't hear calls from Livingstone to leave Boris alone when elements of the media went sniffing around after him. Funny how so many on the left of politics advocate censorship when the news isn't good for them.
As you may have noticed I don't think too highly of Ken Livingstone, I suspect the feeling is mutual. I have written on a number of occasions about his unsuitability to be mayor, a list of them can be found here.
But when a Conservative warns you about Livingstone it is easy for people to say "well he would say that wouldn't he!"
Well, don't take my word for it. You can read what other left wingers have said about Livingstone here, here and here. Not good news for the current Mayor of London.
When I was at Junior Staff College in 2001 we had to work through a huge tome about "Service Writing". This covered the appropriate formats for formal letters, informal letters, semi formal letters, lose minutes, written military orders, etc, etc, etc. Tucked in at the back were a few pages on electronic communications.
Only a few days ago I received an email which was circulated to embarrass an officer who had sent a rather pompous email. It had been forwarded and forwarded with people appending comments at each stage. Because of this it contained the email signatures of hundreds of military people, some quite senior.
Data security is something that everyone has as second nature, the government must instill a greater sense of its importance, unfortunately I can't see how this will happen while the government itself has such a lax attitude.
I am now working out of offices in Shoreditch rather than in Chelsea and I have yet to organise my showering and changing facilities. Because of this I haven't been cycling to work.
Commuting by public transport is something that I have grown unused to over the last 12 months and January has been a bit of a rude awakening for me. Expensive, crowded and often late, I can't wait to get back on the bike.
One thing that really struck me was the reaction of a bendy bus driver when I got on at London Bridge this morning. I got on at the front door and flashed him my travelcard (Oyster cards don't work in suburban south east London!), he didn't even look look up. I might as well have shown him a Christmas card from my children.
It is clear that he had little or no interest in seeing whether I had a legitimate right to travel. Fair evasion is prevalent on bendy buses and the operating companies' funding gives them little incentive to make people pay. The sooner we get a grip of London's public transport the better.
I've just got back from the lecture by Mark Thompson (Director General of the BBC), it was very interesting. No seriously it was. Mark has blogged about it here, it is rather long and makes easier listening than reading.
The BBC enjoy a highly trusted place in British hearts, unlike politicians. This graph shows what people think about political people.
The really interesting thing is that this graph is from August 1944. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Labour are trying to sell the idea that the donations situations with Osbourne and Hain are basically the same. Really? Well lets look at just how "the same" they are?
One takes money from people whose companies he then goes on to endorse, he then fails to register the bulk of the donations anywhere. He admits to the donations one by one as they are exposed by bloggers and the media. Much of the money is still unaccounted for.
The other receives donations which he fully discloses to the electoral commission, unprompted. He then asks the parliamentary authorities if he also needs to record the donations in the register of members' interests, he is told "no" so doesn't. Not exactly the actions of someone trying to hide anything.
Is it just me or do these two cases look like chalk and cheese?
I don't normally link to opposition party's content but this made me laugh. Some fan's of Livingstone have put together a YouTube channel, well done, it's good to see political people grasping modern communications methods.
The problem is that YouTube is a web 2.0 site (sorry Dizzy, I know you hate that term) which means that other people can comment on the content you upload. Have a look at the comment stream on the two videos that they have uploaded so far. Video number one and video number two.
They might have got a better response had their videos not been devoted to slagging off Boris.
Those were the now infamous words that the then Defence Secretary used to send British forces off to Afghanistan.
Last year 4 million bullets were expended by our troops in Afghanistan. Slightly more than the "none" predicted by John Reid. Trust me, those bullets aren't being shot at birds and rabbits.
The scale and severity of the Afghanistan deployment has been underestimated and under resourced from the start and the government's excuse, "no one could have known how hard it would be" doesn't wash. I saw it coming, as did Patrick Mercer, as did Nick Soames, as did almost anyone who had the faintest idea about military matters. The government chose to ignore that.
Brown needs to start taking Afghanistan seriously.
I was at the filming of the mayoral debate for ITV, each party was allowed 12 supporters for the audience. Across the whole of London the Lib Dems could only manage to drum up 11 supporters. To fill the numbers the TV people had to draft in an "extra".
When you watch it spare a thought for the young man sitting next to me at the back. When he arrived the conversation went something like this:
Floor manager: Hi, can you show your rosette please? Extra: OK, how about that? FM: Bit more please. E: OK? FM: No I still can't see it. I need to see it. E. Better? FM: Look, either put the rosette on the jacket or take the jacket off. E: OK, there you go.
Poor guy, by this time everyone was looking at him. He sat quietly throughout the event doing his best to look like a Lib Dem.
He rather blew his cover at the end when he took his Lib Dem rosette (the one he had tried so hard to hide) and walked up to Boris and asked him to sign it.
Earlier this afternoon I was with the residents' association, local police and Bexley council's safer neighbourhood team for the Larner Road estate. We were delivering witness appeal notes and letters of reassurance from the police.
Understandably the mood was somber but there was a very clear sense of community and teamwork. There was also a great deal of disappointment that the estate will be remembered for this murder for a long time to come.
I spoke to the local police team about what would help the estate move away from the reputation that it had, their response mirrored the comments made by Boris Johnson in the Standard. Young people need activities and a belief that the system is there to protect them too.
The Larner Road team are keen and committed but they cannot be everywhere at once.
Apart from the children's' television style design and the Janet and John language the most galling thing about this consultation is that it basically presents the plans for Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley's hospitals as a done deal. The three different options are all just tweaks in service at Lewisham Hospital.
While there are some interesting and/or useful ideas in the document they are clearly the little bit of sugar sat on top of a big spoonful of very bitter medicine. The crayon graphics and condescending language don't hide the fact that this document is all about cuts, cuts, cuts.
Less than a week into the new year and two young people have been murdered in London. The terrible news of the fatal stabbing in Erith reinforces the need to break the cycle of violence and ensure that there is a visible and effective police presence right across London.
Bexley and Bromley have some of the lowest proportions of police officers to population in London. The killing in Beckenham last year and now this show that the image of leafy outer London suburbs is no basis for policing policy.
I have spoken with local senior police officers, they are far from complacent, they are just as keen to be out and about as we are to have them do so. The politicisation of senior police management linked with Labour's obsession with targets means the increases in police spending are not reaching the front line.
While more police on the beat is not the complete answer it is a good starting point and I will fight to make sure that Bexley and Bromley don't lose out as they have done up until now.
There has been speculation in the media, on both sides of the pond, that Oprah Winfrey's backing of Obama was a large factor in his success in the Iowa caucuses. I'm sure that's the case, but I think that Obama needs to give a big "thank you" to the US TV drama and film industries.
Everyone knows that the US televisual media is Democrat leaning but more specifically there has been a long history of casting black actors in the role of tough but principled leaders.
From the cigar chewing cops in the 1970's through to David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) in 24 and Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) in the film Deep Impact. America has been gently prepared for a black president for years.
Based on US media output, you might think it not worth trying to become a judge unless you're black. Or Fred Thompson.
According to today's YouGov poll for London Tonight, Boris and Livingstone are only 1% apart. This is despite an ongoing and cynical attempt to smear Boris both by Livingstone's supporters and by Brian Paddick.
Boris has been criticised in the past for not being aggressive enough in his comments about his opponents. I think he is right to keep it clean and let Paddick and Livingstone scrap around in the dirt. Paddick's increasingly personal attacks on Boris have seen his support sit at only 7%, he is performing significantly worse than his party, a sure sign that Londoners do not like these nasty attacks.
I tried to keep my mind focused on the family over the Christmas break and stay away from politics and current affairs. Tuning back into world events after a few days away was a bit of a shock to the system.
So much death!
Pakistan and Kenya both appear to be teetering on the edge of civil wars, a toddler killed by their family dog, teenagers stabbed to death others killed in a car crash. They say "no news is good news" but it seems that good news is no news.
I'm very careful about letting the boys listen to the news in the car. I must be getting old.
I'm sure that there have been plenty of good things that have happened over the last week, they just don't seem to make the news.