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Comment is free Mayor Johnson

Fares increase in perspective

Much of the commentary about last week’s London fares rise ignored the fundamentals and focused on distractions. This piece for the Guardian’s Comment is free blog is an attempt the explore those fundamentals.

I don’t want fares to go up, I wish that TfL could just learn to control its costs. Unfortunately cost control is simply not in its culture. The new administration has got to make such a culture change a priority. In the meantime this fares rise is a necessary evil I suspect.

Update: Andrew Gilligan in the Evening Standard is on the pretty much the same subject today, see here. He might have acknowledged his sources.

Categories
Comment is free Mayor Johnson

The Forensic Audit Panel’s report

Bashed out a quick piece for the Guardian’s Comment is free blog this afternoon, here. You can see the Mayor’s press release here and the Standard has various pieces here and here. The BBC, unusually, has called it right with their headline here.

Categories
Comment is free Mayor Johnson

Election figures revisited

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This is probably my last Comment is free piece for the Guardian for a while.

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Comment is free Mayor Johnson

Why Boris?

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My latest Comment is free piece for the Guardian tries to answer the question as to why people should vote for Boris Johnson.

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Comment is free Ex-Mayor Livingstone

Taking down the LDA

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My latest Comment is free piece for the Guardian looks at the Mayor’s piggy bank – the London Devempment Agency or LDA.

On Wednesday the FT were quoting Steve Norris on the LDA. He said:

It is the most dysfunctional body that most of us can think of.

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Comment is free Ex-Mayor Livingstone

If competence is the issue…

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The Guardian’s Comment is free people have kindly published this piece from me tonight. Essentially I point out that it is all very well the Mayor claiming to be competent but three of his biggest “achievements” do rather undermine that claim.

Categories
Comment is free Mayor Johnson

Boris’ last push

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On Monday I drove round to Edmonton to take part in the final launch event for Boris’ campaign. I wrote it up overnight and submitted it to the Comment is free people but it didn’t get published until today. Oh well.

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Comment is free Mayor Johnson

The competence question

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Having spent yesterday morning going into the City to see Boris’ “The Cost of Livingstone” event and then seeing the coverage of the Mayor’s transport event in the press during the day, see his speech here, I have sought to link the two together and question the Mayor’s claim of executive competence in this piece for the Guardian Comment is free blog.

Categories
Comment is free Ex-Mayor Livingstone

10 things the Mayor would rather you didn’t know

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Today the Guardian Comment is free blog has published the piece below from me. They changed the title and added an intro that slightly garbled the point of what I was trying to say but it was very sporting of them anyway.

I have reproduced the article below so that I can put in the links to the background.

Categories
Comment is free Mayor Johnson Policing

Boris’ crime manifesto

Back BorisI went into town yesterday morning to listen to Boris’ crime manifesto launch. It was a treat to be in the 28th floor conference suite at Millbank Tower. It has 270 degree views of the London and the Thames which looked magnificent in the sunshine and receding mist.

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I wrote a report for the Guardian’s Comment is free blog. Their deputy editor, Matt Seaton, has asked me to do a weekly piece in the run up to mayoral election. Apparently they want to make sure they’re “covering the waterfront politically”. Very commendable. Anyway don’t stress, I haven’t gone soft.

Back to Boris. The speech was absolutely rigid with numbers and the manifesto document is referenced and footnoted throughout. It looks more like a scientific paper than manifesto. Clearly Boris’ team are savvy enough to know that if they make uncosted promises or get the numbers wrong they will get into trouble with the more nerdy bloggers like me as well as the Mayor’s press machine. Although Boris retained his lightness of touch it would be hard to argue on the basis of this performance that Boris has not had his Prince Hal moment. For the whole piece follow this link.

At the event I introduced myself to Tim Mongomerie who did this piece yesterday for ConservativeHome. He congratulated me on this blog and the jacket I was wearing. He wondered if it was German. I explained that it came from Ted Baker and was a birthday present from my wife.

See it on TV here.