Today Boris Johnson launched his â€œ9 point plan for a Greater Londonâ€ at the Tory Spring Conference.
Out campaigning for Boris it is sometimes hard to point to the big, exciting achievements of his mayoralty. Keeping his share of council tax constant for three years and cutting it next year, increasing police numbers by 1,000 and cutting crime, making public transport more reliable and securing Crossrail and the Olympics for London. It is all a bit business as usual. Or at least it would be in normal times. Through the worst modern recession and huge government cuts Boris has kept Londonâ€™s wheels on. That is a huge achievement and if his 9 point plan looks similarly modest then I say hooray. We donâ€™t need promises we need to keep what we have at the least possible cost. Boris is the man for the times.
Ken Livingstone on the other hand keeps throwing out increasingly ludicrous promises. At the start of the year it was his Fare Deal which was comprehensively debunked by Channel 4â€™s independent Fact Check blog before January was out. This Thursday Livingstone proposed reinstating the Â£30 a week EMA for Londonâ€™s teens. This claim has died before the week was out and again was debunked by the Fact Check blog. The idea that cash strapped colleges and councils are going to hand over millions to Livingstoneâ€™s latest new quango to dish out to students is quite simply risible. If Londoners fall for this nonsense I really will despair.