Sunday, 16 February 2014

What does Boris Johnson's mayoral victory speech reveal about him?

I'm not going to discuss the ins and outs of the tube strike. Rather I want to point to something that I think tells us quite a lot about Boris Johnson.

This is a link to the speech he made straight after the election result was made.

Johnson's victory speech

Fast forward to 7.30. This is the very last part of Johnson's almost five minute speech - after he has told us all about the improvements he made in his previous term, after he has outlined his vision for the next term, after he has praised Ken Livingstone and the other losing candidates, after he has thanked his family, after he has thanked everyone who voted for him and everyone who didn't: just as he is about to finish his speech, he says the following.

"Some of you may know I have a nine point plan. I was canvassing in Harrow when I met an 11 year old who completely stumped me by saying: if you had a tenth point to your nine point plan, what would it be?"

I remember when I was watching this on TV thinking to myself that Johnson might come out with something interesting. He might mention a policy that hadn't quite made the nine point plan but he nevertheless thought was pretty good. Or I thought maybe he would relay some interesting suggestion that someone had made while he had been out on the streets campaigning. But what he said was:

"I have to say that my brain rather froze at that point. But I've got the answer now. The answer is, to win on May 3rd and to have a small celebration on May 4th. And that is what I propose to do...."

When I watched it live on TV originally, I found it pretty revealing that someone who had just been re-elected as mayor of London wasn't able to give an example of just one more policy that might improve the city. I also find it pretty worrying in a mayor of London and with Prime Ministerial ambitions.

Btw pt. 1, I mentioned I wasn't going to discuss the tube strike. However two articles worth reading:

Boris Johnson not Bob Crow is behaving despicably
Bob Crow Interview

Btw pt.2, these are the nine points:

Boris Johnson’s 9 point plan for a Greater London:
1.       Cutting waste at City Hall – freeing up £3.5 billion for services
2.       Putting £445 back in your pocket by freezing the Mayoral share of council tax
3.       Creating 200,000 new jobs over the next four years
4.       Making our streets and homes safer with1,000 more police on the beat
5.       Restoring 300 acres of green space and planting 20,000 street trees
6.       Investing £221 million to transform local high streets, supporting small businesses
7.       Ensuring a true Olympic legacy – 11,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs
8.       Reducing Tube delays 30% by 2015. Building Crossrail and orbital rail to link our suburbs. Extending the Bike Hire scheme
9.       Securing a better deal for London from No 10

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