THE idea that Boris Johnson might be the Conservative's man to give Ken Livingstone a run for his money in the next London mayoral election is not without merit. London voters obviously like independent-minded men with a gift for the gaffe and Mr Johnson has those attributes in good measure. Whether he has any idea how to run a city of ten million people is another matter; he often seems to have difficulty in running his own affairs.

It is far from clear where David Cameron stands on this: on Wednesday, after Boris Johnson said clearly that he wasn't interested in the job, he later issued a correction that he hadn't made a final decision. One interpretation of this about-face was that Mr Cameron had intervened to encourage him. Who knows?

What we do know is that the Conservative leader made a speech this week offering support for the campaign organised by composers and performing artists to extend the copyright on recorded music from the current 50 years to 70 years, an arrangement which Labour is reluctant to change. However Mr Cameron's offer was conditional on the popular music industry demonstrating a “wider social responsibility” by reducing the number of recordings in which the glorification of misogyny, of the gun culture and of materialism is prominent. How can David Cameron think for a moment that any deal of that kind would be possible or, if entered into, effective? Who advises him on such matters, or are such ideas his very own?


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