Although Brown had to work hard to keep his stage grin on yesterday as Livingstone pumped his arm it is clear that the PPP feud between Brown and Livingstone has definitely been been settled. Besides the mood music – such as Brown’s favourite sidekick, the corrupt Balls, joining in the Johnson baiting yesterday – the Brown team are putting themselves out to prop up the Mayor. If Brown is thinking of playing a long game with the general election then having a Tory mayor in place for that period would really make that plan look unattractive so I guess it is not surprising.
Giving Livingstone the main conference platform is one example of this.
This story (left) popped up whilst I was on holiday and provides another example. Whilst youth provision is properly a subject for minister Balls and for the Boroughs I really don’t see how the Mayor fits in. How does youth provision fit into the Mayor’s competences? It does not. Balls is quite happy to do a photocall with Livingstone to allow him to rebrand £40 million of an existing government programme as his own. The Mayor also seems to be happy to divert £20 million of LDA money towards this programme. Aren’t they meant to promote economic development rather than youth clubs? I’m not saying that youth clubs are a bad thing. Just that the LDA’s economic development pot seems to be being spent on anything rather than economic development.
Right now Labour ministers are twisting the City’s arm to get more cash for Crossrail but at the same time LDA budgets are spent on anything other than what should be their main priority – getting young Londoners good jobs in the City. Or am I missing something? Are Livingstone, Balls and co so patronising that they don’t think that London youth are capable of working in about the only world class industry that we still have left? What is the LDA doing? Investing in the Tate gallery, sponsoring the Tour de France and paying for youth clubs.