City Hall bantz: The protoplasmic jelly and the Bullingdon Club bully

WITH Boris Johnson and Labour’s Andrew Dismore both possibly swapping the London Assembly for the House of Commons next year, the main drum at City Hall may soon fall noticeably quieter. It is no advert for politics, granted, but there has been something curiously fascinating about watching Dismore, Camden’s representative there, and Johnson wind each other up at nearly every other meeting: Dizzy playing the role of a homework club Walter always on hand with a nagging, statty question, against Boris as the sand-kicking ruffian. At its worst this year, the Mayor gave up on his more florid put-downs and simply told Dismore to ‘get stuffed’. 

Their pokey squabbles are well rehearsed over these pages, but here’s another from a few weeks ago that must not be allowed to slip away unseen just because more interesting things have happened this summer than these two irritating the entrails out of each other.

Prodding the Mayor over whether locals in Swiss Cottage will really have a say over the giant tower planned for the old Ham & High office site, Dismore is eventually told he is ‘spineless’ and a ‘protoplasmic jelly’, the latter an insult which Mr Johnson has used before in this arena and which always draws a gasp from the smattering of onlookers who have stumbled into the public gallery.

Dismore yells back: “Here we go again, the Bullingdon Club bully strikes again.”

Maybe they can continue such lively bantz in Parliament next year, Mr Speaker. 

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