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Boris should call a referendum

27 March 2014

27 March 2014

Everyone can see that the West has no idea what to do about Russian power in the Ukraine. Britain, in particular, is at the margins.

It is time for the Mayor of London to fulfil his historic role of stealing a march on more conventional politicians. Boris should take a leaf out of President Putin’s book and call a referendum of Londoners. He should ask them whether they would like all Russian housing in London to be seized, and be inhabited, instead, by British families.

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I predict a Yes vote whose percentage would exceed even that of the recent Crimean plebiscite. Obviously the Mayor, unlike Putin, has no military forces to implement such a measure (which is just as well), but the vote would make us feel a bit better.


This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes in this week’s Spectator.


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Show comments
  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    What a brilliant idea! Straight out of the Nick Griffin handbook on how to deal with Johnny Foreigner. What’s the next big idea? Seize all property belonging to Jews?

  • swatnan

    We need to extend that Referemdum to ridding ourselves of Russian Oligarchs and Malaysian swindlers and Arab Sheiks and American used car salesmen buying up our Football Clubs, and foreign Managers.

  • Frank

    Lets be sensible and have a referendum on taking control of all foreign owned property and assets in the UK (and offshore centres) until the owner can pass a proper money laundering scrutiny.
    Meanwhile our esteemed leader Dave says that nobody in Britain wants an immediate referendum on Europe. This is a pretty absurd assertion since, at the very least, a large number of people have made their wish for an immediate referendum clear by joining UKIP.

  • Colin

    Why not go the whole hog and follow Yulia Tymoshenko’s example ? Have a poll calling for all Russians in London to be killed by nuclear weapons.

  • Smithersjones2013

    I had thought Charles Moore was one of the very few grown up Tory commentators. On the basis of this clearly I was wrong…..

  • judyk113

    How stupid is this suggestion. Why should Russian citizens be held responsible for and punished for the actions of their government? Why not seize Chinese owned properties, turf their owners out and give them to deserving Brits, because of their seizure of Tibet? And what about seizing Turkish homes and handing them over to Brits of Greek Cypriot origin because of Turkey’s actions in seizing and occupying Northern Cyprus? Plebiscites like the ones you suggest are indeed the sort of stuff that Hitler went in for. Boris is popular because he’s so obviously humane and speaks like a human being. There’s all the difference in the world between between being popular and being a populist demagogue.

    • Daniel Maris

      Personally I think London would be better off without all the oligarchs from around the globe who have mostly gotten their riches through corrupt dealings – many come from Russia but also China, Saudi Arabia and other corrupt countries.

      Moreover such measures do not require a referendum. They can be implemented by parliament, even within the EU.

  • George_Arseborne

    Boris should call a referendum. How? Who is he? He is not the Prime Minister and will never be one . I will advise him to pick up a job as a Comedian in 2016 either in BBC or ITV.All this Boris madness is getting out of hands

  • saffrin

    Dumbest idea this century.
    Putin has done nothing wrong. If any homes are to be seized, try the EU’s mandarins.

  • London Calling

    Hello Charles…………

    Referendums are all the rage nowadays………..not this one though, sorry, picking on Russian families isn’t the way forward, a referendum on Europe is, however would the EU accept an out vote, I think not, like Ireland we would be forced into voting again and again until we’re sucked in…………..:)

  • itdoesntaddup

    Charles Moore is plainly unacquainted with the population of London. Such a referendum might even be voted down, on the grounds that if Russians could be voted out, so would all the other foreigners who now form a majority of the London population.

    • Makroon

      Charles Moore badly needs to spend more time with his family.
      He was a serious and thoughtful journalist once.

  • George Laird

    Dear All

    Tongue in cheek, I love it.

    That being said; is it sensible to go around dropping ideas like this about the place like grenades with the pins pulled out?

    “It is time for the Mayor of London to fulfil his historic role of stealing a march on more conventional politicians”.

    If not now, when?

    Or better still, when did he acquire a ‘historic role’, I thought that everyone regardless of politics had come to the understanding that most historic task was to keep Boris out of Westminster.

    “Everyone can see that the West has no idea what to do about Russian power in the Ukraine. Britain, in particular, is at the margins”.

    Well, this one like many others has disaster written all over it.

    “Boris should take a leaf out of President Putin’s book and call a referendum of Londoners. He should ask them whether they would like all Russian housing in London to be seized, and be inhabited, instead, by British families”.

    I have a Russian friend, she does law and lives in London, she is wouldn’t be suited to living in a tent in the local park, plus she needs to enjoy a certain standard of lifestyle, plus she can play the piano. So, on that single point (piano), a tent in the park won’t work for her, plus where would she hang her clothes! She also went to ‘model school’ which I couldn’t get my head around but apparently they do that over there.

    And also she goes into the huff if not happy.

    “I predict a Yes vote whose percentage would exceed even that of the recent Crimean plebiscite. Obviously the Mayor, unlike Putin, has no military forces to implement such a measure (which is just as well), but the vote would make us feel a bit better”.

    Sounds like someone who has a share in tent manufacturing to me!

    We will just have to live with the fact that rich Russians will continue to enjoy their lavish lifestyles in trendy parts of London such as St John’s Wood while Putin flips the West, the bird!

    As for Boris; ideas are useful but be aware, they could blow up in your face if they fall in the wrong hands.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

    • Tom Tom

      With the Saltire being the flag of the Russian Navy I suggest an independent Scotland offer naval bases to the Russians and see their own flag on warships berthed there

    • Nick

      You have been posting as the Campaign etc etc for a very long time. Any danger that you might graduate and go and get a proper job?

  • Tom Tom

    What an interesting idea Charles, maybe seizing Jewish property to show solidarity with Palestinians would catch on too ?

    • sir_graphus

      I think Charles may be pointing out that invading Crimea was wrong, rather than suggesting extending the policy, while also pointing out a problem with Londoners’ access to affordable housing.
      He’s done it in a manner too subtle for many of his readers, it seems.

      • monty61

        indeed.

        • Wessex Man

          How very arrogant of you both.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        I think he may be pointing out that he’s a card carrying denizen of the Londonistan bubble, forever seeking to blather about his bubble mates. But he didn’t have to go to all that trouble, we already knew all that .

      • Greg

        Only Crimea wasn’t invaded.

    • sarah_13

      Very good point but I had actually assumed Mr Moore was joking, making a point, am I wrong?

  • Colonel Mustard

    I wouldn’t recommend it. I think you’d find Mr Putin’s response might be more robust than the wet softies occupying Westminster. Besides he has an aircraft carrier and with aircraft to put on it.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Haha, the majority cannot be trusted. Who could object to that?

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