The Evening Standard's serialisation of the Gilligan Doomsday Prophecies has continued, with a call for Boris to sacrifice all spending commitments, to the coming FINANCIAL APOCALYPSE.
With all the electoral nouse that has so far kept him out of politics, Andrew Gilligan declares:
"What hasn't yet been widely understood — not least by the politicians themselves — is that in this new world, many of the cornerstone assumptions that have governed London politics for years are going to be destroyed. Huge numbers of things London's rulers have been talking about as recently as the May election are either at serious risk, or are effectively already dead."
Oh really. So what will be the first to get the chop Mr. Gilligan?
"At the election, one live issue was the best way to get developers to build affordable housing. Ken famously promised all new developments would be 50 per cent affordable. Boris rejected quotas but still promised to deliver 50,000 new affordable homes in his first term."That argument, and both those policies, are now as quaint and irrelevant as the debate about Irish home rule in 1912. Some new homes, started during the boom, are still in the pipeline — but nobody will be building any more, affordable or otherwise, for quite a while. Several developers are on the verge of bankruptcy."
Okay so there will be no more new homes. What else Gilly?
"Tall buildings is another one of those live issues which might be about to die. There is already a glut of office space. Whatever your views for or against, whatever the mayor decides, it seems highly unlikely that many tall towers will ever get off the ground."
Now quite why you would want to get a multi-storey office block 'off the ground' is anyones guess. But if Boris had indeed promised that and I somehow missed it, then I must agree with Andrew wholeheartedly.
Of course there are some things that Boris can't scrap. His anti-crime measures for instance. No?
"violent crime, may become less of a concern. Recessions usually reduce crimes against people and increase crimes against property. Because property crime is common and violent crime is comparatively rare, however, that could also halt or reverse the recent reductions in crime."
Right, so as we get poorer we will have less fear of violent crime. Now remind me where are the most violent parts of the capital again Andrew?
"So what should the new times mean for Boris? Obviously, it adds urgency to his so far unconvincing effort to slim down TfL and the rest of the “GLA family”. I've sometimes been accused of favouring cuts for their own sake: actually, I favour cuts in unnecessary vanity projects to ensure that we do not have to cut the things that matter, such as bus and Tube services."
Ah yes. Unnecessary vanity projects. Care to remind us of any Andrew? Care to think of any vanity projects that would come at vast expense and with little justification? Care to think of any doomed pet projects that you have personally pushed for against all expert advice?
No? Somehow I didn't think that you would.