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-