Boris Johnson: At least he isn’t Ken Livingstone

Honor Mishcon (England, AC 07-09)


There are two problems with Boris Johnson as the mayor of London: one, he’s a complete buffoon, (and that is terming it politely) two, he’s a Tory, a conservative. I will deal with the former first.


As a Liberal, the concept of my beloved London being in the hands of my rival party, pretty much spells out disaster. However, I am also one of the Londoners that have an eternal distaste for Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London. Of course, as a politician he was always going to lie to us, nevertheless I could never envisage the scale at which he would ‘go back on his word’. Most (clever) politicians create a momentous masquerade to cover their disregard for the peoples’ wishes. But ‘Kenny’ doesn’t even try to use a ‘band-aid to cover the bullet hole’. When bringing in the London Congestion Charge he promised three things: He stated that the congestion zone would never be expanded, that the cost would never go over the rate of inflation and that all the money from this ‘wondrous’ scheme would be utilised to improve public transport. Well, guess what; he put the price from £5 to £8 to enter the zone, within a couple of years, expanded the area into a place that wasn’t even that congested to begin with and the only thing I have noticed in terms of improvement is that my closest bus line is now double-decker. There are still stupendous delays, constant closures and the underground smelling like a tramp on a really bad day, accompanied with rush hour leaving you feeling distinctly like a sardine in a tin can.


After this ignoramus it is not surprising that most Londoners wanted him out, which is why there was a 15% increase in those going to vote. Johnson won the election by over a million polls, with 45% of Londoners turning up, which is a lot for the record.


So what does Mr Johnson plan to implement during his reign? Well, to appease all of his upper class crew, he will not adopt Ken’s plan to charge £25 for a 4 by 4 to enter the congestion zone (this is ironically the only policy I agree with as it would mean that people wouldn’t buy the damn cars in the first place as suburban housewives with only two children really, really do not need them in London) but instead remarked that the contribution of carbon dioxide emissions by these cars was negligible.


Instead he’s going to make London safer as violent crime has risen quite dramatically under Ken – no shocks there. Nevertheless, the way in which he is planning to achieve this is by targeting the youth.  Now, misbehaving youths are going to have their transport privileges striped from them as a penalty and will only get them back if they complete a certain number of community service hours. However, what I want to know is about ‘our’ protection from unruly grandmothers with their walking sticks? I don’t see anyone in a rush to strip their old age pensioner status; just because they turned sixty does not give them the right to abuse us kids. Anyone who has come face to face with an angry granny with a zoom-a-frame will know what I am talking about! There is one massive (serious) over sight in his plan, which is the most ‘dangerous’ youths may not even have a pass. This is a huge generalisation but it usually and unfortunately the case that to qualify for the 16-18 year old pass, you have to stay in school and the most troublesome youths will probably not chose that path in life.     


He is also going to attempt to turn London into the next Amsterdam by buying thirteen thousand bike stands and introducing a bike-renting scheme into London. This is all very nice, however, I would spend the money creating bicycle lanes as riding in London presents peril and disaster at every turn. As it is all very well having a place to put your bike, but until it is safe enough to ride in London, then it is a pointless venture.


There is one policy that I do like and I hope does come into effect. This is the plan to plant ten thousand trees and spend more money and time protecting London’s parks as we still hold the title for the most leafy and green city in world.    


Unfortunately, there is still the underlying problem of Johnson being one of the biggest idiots politics has seen in a very long time. Every time he opens his mouth he always comes out with some contentious comment. Furthermore, he is against homosexual marriage and adoption, which in this day in age along with being wrong is simply archaic.


What time will tell is whether he can overcome his shortcomings (and employ some damn good PR) and actually implement his schemes. Most importantly I just hope he doesn’t lie and go against his word like every other politician out there, but I think that is just wishful thinking on my part.  


– United World College Student Magazine-


3 thoughts on “Boris Johnson: At least he isn’t Ken Livingstone

  1. Whilst I too dislike Boris Johnson’s prefered political party, I don’t think calling him a buffoon is going to help to the situation as I don’t believe that he is as stupid as you think, and as they say “You get the politics you vote for”

    However a couple of the comments that you have made are equally unhelpful, in that you seem to have made an assumption that the rise in violent crime is in some way directly associated with Ken livingston’s mayoral tenure, and this is not the case. The increase in Knife crime is due to many complex reasons and until there is an open debate about the nature of these crimes and who the perpetrators are then this will not go away. Police statistics and indeed the location of the majority of these crimes may well indicate where the real problem lies. I think Londoners would do well to focus on the corruption in our borough town halls and the mispending of large amounts of public funds for the benefit of small minority groups.

    The point about the Grandmothers, I am hoping was little tongue in cheek. Having seen the way a large percentage of people treat those older than themselves whilst on public transport, I can only say that maybe they are just not ‘playing the victim anymore’ I shall in anticipation of my ‘old age’ take up a martial art and defend my right to a designated seat with much vigour. Look forward to seeing you on the underground some day.

  2. In reply to Richard’s comment I would like to add a few points about my article.
    It was meant to be a satirical piece filled with irony and hyperboles. I wrote it with the intenion of being ridiculous and funny (i hope). I of all people, i am all too well aware of danger and vunerablity of people on public transport – as I have experienced it first hand and believe me being trapped at the back of a double decker bus when you are three girls to whole gang of boys trying to get blow jobs or being followed home or being mugged – is not fun.
    I also do not believe that grandmothers with walking sticks are particulary dangerous unless you happen to come accross mine – then you might want to stay well clear.
    However, i still maintain my position that Johnson isn’t exactly as socially aware as the mayor of one of the most multi-cultural cosmopolitans in the world should be. As no one should refer to black children as ‘pickaninnies’ or claim to be ‘down’ with the ethnic community because his children are a 1/4 Indian.
    Finally, I would like to point out that this is a completely biased article and i do not address any of the positive attribrutes of Ken Livingstone in order to make my argument appear more valid and also because I just simply don’t like the guy.

  3. Hi
    Honor, the aim of a “satirical” piece is to actually provide some insight with a dash of didatic motive, meaning that as you are so full of criticism maybe some positive suggestions may be welcome or at the least humour?
    It should be known that it is incredibly difficult to be a politician, with restraints on funds, authority, and lack of mystic future reading abilities, let alone the millions of critics and newspapers baying for blood. Therefore Ken’s reign should be, i think be seen as fairly successfull and he does, as many people ive spoken to agree ; know london.
    Also before you embark on your next politically righteous but unsubstantial romp you should consider that we do live in a democracy and so, it was “your beloved london” that actually voted for this “buffoon”. In light of this fact maybe you should consider it the wrong doings of the people because apparently unlike Ken, Boris did as the ‘people’ wanted and resumed office, under the legitmate ‘vote’ of constituency.

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