Sunday, 30 November 2008

Boris's diplomatic stand-off lasts just three weeks

Boris Johnson speaking about foreign diplomats who refuse to pay the Congestion Charge:

"I think it's the Geneva convention which prevents me from slapping an asbo on every single diplomat who fails to pay, I think it's an unbelievable scandal."

It is Boris. It really is.

"This is not a tax, this is a charge for the use of our roads, and I believe the diplomatic community should have the decency to pay it. I intend to stick to that decision."

That's what we like from our leaders in this country Boris - stubborn pig-headed determination. 

But hang on a minute, what's this from just two days ago?

"I have asked Transport for London to begin the legal process to remove this charge with all convenient speed...

"we can lift this tax within fourteen months at the absolute outside and hopefully earlier than that."

Whoops! I guess those diplomats can refuse to pay those fines a little while longer then.
(With thanks to prj45)

-Update Mon 16:30 - This just in from the Mayor's office:
"The Mayor, TfL, and the government share the view that the congestion charge is a charge, not a tax, and that foreign diplomats should pay it. The original zone has clearly served a useful purpose, but the western extension was forced upon local people despite fierce opposition, and the legal process to remove it will now begin."
So we're clear then. When it's useful it's called a charge. When it's no longer useful it's called a tax. 


Tom said...

Have you contacted the Mayor's office for clarification yet? Cc. the US Embassy, just to get their pulses racing a bit.

The Troll said...

I've put in a question to the press office and I'm awaiting their response. Now should I contact Tuttle? Hmm...

Anonymous said...

It looks like they've just been handed a get out of jail free card. Boris = EPIC FAIL.

The Troll said...

Still no response from City Hall. Anyone got Tuttle's number?

Anonymous said...

020 7499-9000

The Troll said...

Thanks Anon. I think I will leave it there for now.

prj45 said...

Is this going to be the most expensive thing Boris has ever said?