Friday, 27 April 2012

Bo Jo: Four More Years!

by William Wallace


Four years ago, Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London. He defeated Ken Livingstone and received over one million votes, giving him the largest personal mandate of any politician in British history. In the space of four years, he has achieved what Ken couldn't in eight. Boris has kept the promises he made in 2008, yet Ken failed to deliver the key pledges he had made during his mayoralty, most notably being Ken’s election promise to keep council tax down. During his time as mayor, council tax rose by 152%. Boris however has stuck to his word and frozen council tax. It seems that this election is all about trust: who can be trusted to deliver the change that London still needs? The mayor who didn't deliver during his two terms? Or the mayor who has delivered in his one term? The decision for Londoners is clear. 

Boris Johnson (or ‘Bo Jo’ as some dub him) inherited a pretty dodgy situation in City Hall. There was waste, bureaucracy and inefficiency – let alone rising crime, a failing transport system and broken communities.  Boris has made City Hall more accountable and transparent by cutting pointless vanity projects set up by Ken, and by publishing administrative payments. Boris has tackled crime by deploying one thousand more police than there were than in 2008, and by investing £132m into the Metropolitan Police; the results are definitely something to boast about: overall crime down by 10.8%, robberies down by 16.3%, murders down by 25.9%, youth crime down by 13.8%, bus crime down by 32.9% and tube crime down by 20% (making the London Underground the safest metro system in Europe). Boris has financed the Tube’s biggest upgrade on record, introduced a cycle hire scheme across the city and replaced the bendy bus with the much-loved Routemaster.

Last Saturday, I was at the Conservative Campaign HQ in Millbank, London.
The task for the volunteers there was to speak to Londoners down the phone and address their concerns. I spoke to a few people who said they wouldn’t vote for Boris because of Cameron, Osborne, etc. But a great number of people confessed that though they would never normally dream of voting for a Tory, Boris was ‘an exception’. It’s difficult to ignore the Mayor’s great persona. Posh? Yep, but he somehow isn’t the snobbish type that is associated with members of the Cabinet. Funny? Certainly, just watch the video below! A fool? Absolutely not. Don’t be deceived, because Boris Johnson is an extremely clever man. His Oxford tutor even said that he was the brightest student he had taught.
So the decision really is clear for Londoners. A return to a mayor who depends on the support of trade unions, wastes tax-paying Londoners’ money and cannot keep to the promises he makes. Or a mayor who protects the interests of Londoners, invests wisely and delivers by keeping to his word. London has a decision to make, between growth and decline, competence and incompetence.
However, if Livingstone does win on May 3rd, will the last person to leave London please turn out the lights.
  
  
The Ping Pong Speech


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