Even in the midst of the Leaders’ Debate David Cameron can’t forget his grudge match with Mayor Boris Johnson

The Leaders’ Debate tonight was fairly predictable.  Of course, Nick Clegg, the one Leader there whom no-one expects to emerge from this General Election as Prime Minister, was able to appear relaxed and do his “plague on both your houses” bit.  And surprise, surprise was seen in the immediate aftermath as “the winner” – doesn’t mean that when people wake up tomorrow they’ll vote for his Party …

David Cameron should have performed better – shallow sound-bite discussions have always been his medium, whereas Gordon Brown prefers substance, detail and analysis.

What was striking, however, was the extent to which Mayor Boris Johnson seems never to be far from David Cameron’s thoughts.  He seems to be obsessed by his tousle-haired would-be rival.

He never mentioned his name, but what example did he give when he wanted to describe mis-management of resources in the police?  Why, it was in the Metropolitan Police, of course.  He asserted that four hundred uniformed officers were deployed on form-filling in the Met’s HR department – the sort of thing a Conservative Government would sort out.

But hang on who has been in charge of policing in London for the last two years?

Remind me.  Isn’t it the tousled-haired one himself?

And isn’t Mayor Boris Johnson a Conservative?

Well, yes, but he’s not a Cameron Conservative, is he?  So it’s OK for “Dave” to put the boot in.

(Presumably, Mayor Johnson’s defence is that he leaves details like that to his Deputy for Policing, the Dog-Catcher-in-Chief, Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse AM.  And, of course, he in turn has been rather busy arguing for VAT to go up from 17.5% to 120%.  Another election intervention hardly likely to be popular with Team Cameron who are desperately trying to pretend that they are NOT planning a big hike in VAT if they win.)

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