Traffic wardens should become London's guardian angels

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Traffic wardens should become London's guardian angels

Post by falkor » Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:29 pm

Image 12/04/2008
The Tory candidate for London mayor tells Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson how he would make streets safer

"I've lost count of the number of people who have told me they're staunch Labour supporters but they're backing me," he says.

He doesn't think his Eton background is a disadvantage. "People in London don't give a monkey's where you're coming from. They want to know about your ideas."


The Tories, he thinks, could learn from his Compassionate Conservatism. "We've got to take a real interest in the people who are not winning. I don't think I'm going to be able to turn around the problem of family breakdown on my own but this is what the Conservatives should be about."

The super-rich should give more back to society. "I worry about the wealth gap in London, I want to encourage a sense of philanthropy. The mayor should use his bully pulpit to get more out of those who have to help those who don't."

There should, he says, be an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been in London for years - and he would like the Tories to adopt the same policy nationally.

"Every MP will tell you there are people they meet who come to their surgeries who have been in this country for a long time and they deserve to have their position regularised."

He is less sympathetic to anti-social behaviour and wants to take away free bus passes from yobs and ban alcohol on the Underground. "I want a London where kids can walk to school and parents to the park without fear of being mugged," he insists.

Traffic wardens, he says, should become London's guardian angels, protecting the public from vandals and yobs. If elected, Mr Johnson would reward them with restaurant and theatre vouchers for being eyes and ears on the street.

"I think it would be a great thing if traffic wardens and other officials who are seen as somehow hostile to the interests of the public were suddenly seen as people who were helping to make people feel safer in their neighbourhood," he says.

Mr Johnson would raise sponsorship from the private sector to provide the vouchers and other incentives through a scheme called City Safe and there would be an awards ceremony to encourage more public officials to get involved. If successful, the plan could be adopted by the Tories nationally.

What would he do if there was terrorist attack? "The job of the mayor is to speak for London, denounce the cowardice of those who tried to attack decent people and to be the voice of the emergency services," he replies. "I don't think the job of the mayor is to go into the operations room in some Napoleonic way and start directing things."

If Mr Johnson becomes mayor, he would cut back on the bureaucrats at City Hall. "The great pickled onion was designed for 430 people and there are now 730 working there. Transport for London has 22,000 working on it, 232 of them are on salaries of more than �100,000. I want to deliver value for taxpayers."

That includes putting a squeeze on the Olympics. But unlike Gordon Brown, he would go to both the opening and hand-over ceremonies in Beijing. "We all knew the implications of deciding that China would be the host of the Olympics, they deserve to have the international spotlight on them but I won't be shy of saying what I think about Tibet."

Mr Johnson's historical hero is Pericles, the general of Athens during its golden age. "He was a real genius of municipal politics in action."

So has he chosen politics over journalism? "Expressing yourself in print is a continuation of politics by other means," he says. "I can't predict what I'll do for the rest of my life but I'll be a full-time mayor."

Unlike the Tory leader, the father of four doesn't intend to let the cameras into his house for breakfast. "I'm not totally keen on that, although my home at breakfast time is a model of tidiness and decorum."

His private life has not always been so neat. He has had two affairs - but Ken Livingstone, the incumbent, has recently admitted to having three previously unknown children.

"Londoners are interested in the issues. I don't think people's private lives are relevant to that," the Tory candidate says.

Has he got any secret children? "Not as far as I'm aware."

Are there any other affairs? "Not that I know of."

Has he slept with fewer than 30 women, like Nick Clegg? "I've slept with far fewer than 1,000," he replies.

Has he ever had a gay relationship? "I'm not bisexual so far," Mr Johnson says, "not that I would condemn myself if I later discovered I were."

In Richmond we meet Mr Cameron and Zac Goldsmith, the prospective Tory parliamentary candidate. As we walk down the High Street, Dave is accosted by middle-aged women who see him as the perfect son-in-law, Zac attracts the leggy blondes, but Boris is hailed from across the street by bus drivers, builders and City boys.

As he stands up to address a crowd, he turns into a performer, switching from jokes about Ken Leavingsoon to pledges about campaigning against a third runway at Heathrow. The people love it. Perhaps Old and New Boris can be combined.

Harold S

Re: Traffic wardens should become London's guardian angels

Post by Harold S » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:07 am

GOOD OLD BORIS. I HEARD ABOUT HIS ATTENDANCE AT SOEM RADIO STATION EVENT AND THAT RED KEN WAS HELPING HIM WITH HIS TIE. PRICELESS.

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Re: Traffic wardens should become London's guardian angels

Post by Chan76 » Wed May 07, 2008 10:26 am

HA HA, Good ol' Borris

Who'd have thought he'd make Mayor of London......???

Just goes to show the good old British sense of humour :lol: :lol:

Borris for King

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Re: Traffic wardens should become London's guardian angels

Post by falkor » Thu May 08, 2008 4:49 pm

indeed :lol:
Image < new recruit?

and there he is in Trafalgar Square!! there's Boris right there!!! enjoying his new found "London" status :D he looks about 17 :wink:

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