Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Google Similar Images (Political Doubles)

I've been having some fun with Google's new 'similar image' search. Here's a few of my favourites:

This is England
This is the BNP
Village People Barking People
Not Andrew Gilligan Andrew Gilligan
Red Boris Blue Boris
Can you do any better? Please place links to your finds in the comments box. The best one wins a prize.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Fire Brigade accused of Brian Coleman "cover up"

The Fire Brigade have been accused of trying to cover up a damaging complaint about London's Fire Authority Chairman Brian Coleman.

Earlier this summer, a member of the Authority's catering staff claimed that Coleman had launched into an "aggressive and rude" tirade against her.

The woman, who was employed within the brigade headquarters, said that Coleman had reduced her to tears on two separate occasions.

Asked to confirm or deny the details of these allegations today, a brigade spokesperson would only say that:

"We can confirm that no official complaint has been made and that there are no investigations being conducted into such a complaint."

However, I can confirm that not only did this complaint exist, but that the complaint was raised with several senior members of staff.

The following is from leaked minutes of a meeting held between LFEPA representatives and the catering contractors in July.

Catering Staff Complaint

member of FARE staff made a complaint relating to an issue relating to the “aggressive and rude” comments made by the Chairman of LFEPA when the catering staff were setting up a meeting room. This upset the member of catering staff. ****** is to seek further advise from senior management of LFEPA in relation to this complaint.

I can also reveal that the brigade's Director of Resources Barbara Riddell personally apologised for the incident on Coleman's behalf.

In an email sent to The London Fire Brigade Union, Riddell admits that:

"My role in this was to apologise at the time the incident happened and for a short time afterwards (as I visit the cafe every day) to ask ****** whether she was ok. Our understanding was and is that ****** did not wish to pursue the complaint but that is a matter for her and her employers."

This apology is also referred to in a separate email exchange leaked to this blog.

Following the meeting referred to above, one LFB manager told another that:

"This incident happened on the 25th June. I understand that Barbara did apologise on the Chairman’s behalf."

before adding that:

"This isn’t the 1st occasion where the Chairman has been rude to contractors - can you suggest any further action that needs to be taken?"

The complainant has since decided not to pursue the complaint any further.

However, Coleman's behaviour is well known within the Authority and was even flagged in an Audit Commission report earlier this year

As first revealed here, the report noted that Coleman was a "robust and challenging" Chairman before adding that:

"staff and some external stakeholders find his style too confrontational"

The details of these incidents have never before been made public and the Brigade's Union now believe there has been a deliberate effort to cover them up.

FBU Regional Official Paul Embery told me that:

"In attempting to get to the bottom of these allegations, we have met with the most obstructive resistance from senior fire authority managers. They have completely closed ranks around Coleman. There is no doubt in our minds that there is a shabby attempt at a cover-up taking place."

“If a firefighter had been accused of similar misconduct, he would have had the book thrown at him. Not Councillor Coleman. It seems that senior authority figures are petrified of standing up to this increasingly preposterous character. It’s one rule for Councillor Coleman and one for the rest of us.”

A spokesperson for the Fire Brigade declined to comment any further on the allegations.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Richard Barnbrook suspended for murder claims

BNP London Assembly Member Richard Barnbrook has been suspended from Barking and Dagenham Council for one month, a joint Standards Committee decided today.

The investigation into Barnbrook began last year after he broadcast a series of false claims about murders in his borough.

In the video, shown again at the Hearing today, Barnbrook claimed that:

"This year alone, up until now there has been 27 murders of youths between 13 and 17 by knife crimes with several thousand more being attacked by knives.

"In Barking and Dagenham alone three weeks ago there was a murder of a young girl, we don't know who's done it, her girlfriend was attacked inside an Educational institute.

"Again two weeks ago there was another attack by knives on the streets of Barking and Dagenham and two people were murdered."

Metropolitan Police Inspector Hugh Boyle confirmed today that no such incidents had taken place.

Despite being told that the claims were false, Barnbrook kept the video on his Telegraph blog for at least four months.

When questioned by investigating officers earlier this year, he admitted that he knew the claims to be false at the time.

He has since sought to retract this admission.

The complainant Councillor Val Rush told the Hearing that Barnbrook had deliberately tried to stir up fear within the borough.

In his defence Mr. Barnbrook claimed that dyslexia and "ambient noise" during filming had led him to confuse his account.

Barnbrook apologised for posting the video, but said that he "would never apologise for bringing the plight of knife crime to public attention"

The committee decided that Barnbrook had "knowingly made false statements" and brought both Barking and Dagenham Council and the Greater London Authority into disrepute.

The following sanctions will now be imposed:

Greater London Authority

  1. Formal Censure
  2. Requirement to apologise on the GLA website and on his personal blog
  3. submit to training on ethics and standards in public life

Barking and Dagenham

  1. Suspension for one calendar month without pay
  2. Requirement to apologise
  3. Failure to apologise leading to indefinite suspension

There were noisy scenes at City Hall today as campaigners clashed with BNP supporters outside the chamber

In the normally quiet basement cafe, members of Unite Against Fascism led a series of chants against Mr Barnbrook's supporters.

Barnbrook's supporters in turn shouted "evil woman" at Councillor Rush as she left the chamber.

Richard Barnbrook now plans to take the case to appeal.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Boris Johnson denies he will delay C-Charge axe

Boris Johnson has denied claims made by his own Transport advisor that he will shelve plans to scrap the Western Congestion Charge.

Yesterday Dave Hill claimed that City Hall was considering delaying the axe, and this morning the Evening Standard reported that the axe would be shelved altogether.

According to a statement given by Boris' Transport Advisor Kulveer Ranger:

“We always wanted to remove it at the earliest possible opportunity but it was aspirational and these are difficult times,” he said.

“The Mayor has made clear his determination to sustain the vital investments that are required in the capital's transport system, and ensure that TfL has a balanced business plan.

“These are tough economic times, with factors such as the fall in Tube ridership due to the recession, and the collapse of Metronet, putting significant pressure on TfL's finances.”

Surprised by what looked like a sensible move, I asked the Mayor's office for a statement. Here's what I got back:

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor's Transport Advisor, said:

"Boris Johnson has promised to abolish the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge and he will do so next year. This was a central part of his manifesto, and is in accordance with the wishes of Londoners as expressed in a detailed consultation last spring.

"The details for the removal are being finalised, but there is absolutely no question of this policy being dropped."

Within minutes, Boris posted the following on Twitter:

So which statement from Kulveer should we believe? And what on Earth is going on there in City Hall?

-Update- The Evening Standard's ferret goes into reverse again

Here they are last November when they thought that Boris would keep the extension:

And two days later when Boris announced he would scrap it

And this morning when they thought Boris would keep it again:

Will we see a final installment this afternoon?

Monday, 21 September 2009

Iain Dale: Unbebloodylievable

The problem with writing half a dozen posts a day is that much of what you write ends up being total guff.

Take this latest dog's breakfast from Iain Dale:

Labour's Maddest Idea Yet: Find All Motorists Guilty!

Iain Dale 5:56 PM

Have you ever heard a crazier idea than THIS? Apparently Labour Ministers are intending to pass laws to ensure that all motorists are found to be the guilty parties when involved with accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Unbebloodylievable.

Now if you actually click on the link, you find that Labour ministers are not "intending" anything of the sort.

The proposal (which isn't to find drivers automatically guilty in any case) is from Cycling England, rather than ministers (or Labour).

But as usual, enough has been done to set off Dale's readers:

Mirtha Tidville said...
oooh yes please...this should be a surefire winner eh? day these Liebour clowns will wake up and realise motorists have a vote (lets hope they wake up too late though).....As for bloody cyclists dont get me going or we will be here all day!!!!!!

Simon said...
I am sure that Harriet and the Sisters will insist on a caveat exempting all female drivers from this!

avelin said...
Casual Criminality is rife by New Labour.

Whether is casual acusations of racism or employing illegal immigrants, or finding people guilty without trial - for New Labour the law is just another tool in their thirst for power.

When we are encouraged to be criminals by the actions of Ministers there are no laws. When there are no laws there is anarchy.

And so on.

Now if Dale had the time (or the inclination) to properly read the original piece, then he would have found that no government source is quoted by the hack.

A bit strange no?

And if he had just waited to read his usual paper of choice then he would have found the following killer quote:

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'This is something that gets raised by pressure groups from time to time.

'Cycling England has proposed it, but it is not something that is being considered by ministers.'

Still, what's an official denial, when you've got "Labour's Maddest Idea Yet" eh?

-Update- In related news, Conservative Home has now been bought by Lord Ashcroft. So much for being the voice of the grassroots!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Greenwich foot tunnel closures will be "short"

If you live in SE London you may have heard of the gathering campaign to stop the refurbishment of Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels.

The story, feverishly promoted by several local residents, is that the tunnels will be closed for "up to 18 months" leaving cyclists and pedestrians stranded on the southern shore of the Thames.

In one shock opening local hack Andrew Gilligan told us that:

"GREENWICH foot tunnel will be closed to all users for ten months during its refurbishment, council officials have said."

Now you didn't have to look too far down the page to find that

"Greenwich Council continued to insist today that no official decision has been taken on how long the tunnel will close."

But no matter. Andrew had told us that the tunnels were to close for 10 months and that was the end of that.

Except a certain Boris Johnson has actually spoken to Chris Roberts, and heard differently.

Writing in response to a series of questions about the 18 month closure (no mention of "up to" by this point) Boris replied that:

"Greenwich expect to close only one lift per tunnel at a time. Most work will take place while the tunnels remain open although there may be a need for limited tunnel closures at times when it is not safe to carry out work, even behind hoardings."

and that Greenwich Council are

"seeking to limit the number of times when the foot tunnels will be completely closed and that these closures will be short in duration.”

So that's 'limited' and 'short' closures rather than a 10-18 month cordon.

Has this story been oversold just a little do you think?

-Update- Thanks to Darryl, I see that the Mercury got here first.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Boris saves the Thames (from himself)

So anyway, the big story of the day is that Boris has saved the Thames:

"Boris saves the Thames

This is what Mayors are for.

Boris has returned from his trip to New York to find the Thames has been evaporated in his absence.

We reported yesterday how some jobsworths at Transport for London had decided the current Tube map was a bit too "complicated". Unbelievably, they felt that removing the river would be a good idea...

Anyway Bojo has saved the day."

Now if Boris has saved the Thames from anybody, it's from himself.

You see when Boris isn't working for Disney, British Airways, or the Evening Standard, he occasionally does his job as Chair of TfL.

And surely at least a small part of that job involves knowing what the body he chairs, finances, and directs, actually does.

"'I'm told that he was amazed at what had been proposed while he was away and has now ordered that the Thames should be reinstated as soon as practicable."

I'm sorry but this wasn't "proposed while he was away."

The new maps were actually installed almost a week ago.

And if even us lowly bloggers knew about that, then shouldn't the Mayor have known as well?

Brian Coleman in bitter dispute with fire crews

As reported on Tory Troll, Boris's Fire Chief Brian Coleman has long wanted to remove beds from fire stations.

Currently all firefighters work two 15 hour nights a week and are able to use their beds between incidents.

However, under Coleman's new plans, dayshifts will be lengthened and nightshifts shortened to 12 hours each.

This is ostensibly being done to increase productivity.

However according to the Standard:

"The beds are being phased out as stations are modernised but the Evening Standard understands that senior fire authority figures are determined to use the shorter night shift to scrap them completely. One senior source said: "Do you know any other occupation where people are able to sleep on duty?"

Well I can think of at least one:

Brian Coleman
Spokesman for the London Fire Brigade Union Paul Embery said today:

"The beds are merely for resting on in the early hours of the morning. Firefighters work back-to-back 15-hour night shifts, meaning that they are only off duty for nine hours out of 39. Given the physical and mental challenges they face in their jobs, I am amazed that anyone would begrudge firefighters the opportunity to properly rest for a couple of hours in between incidents. The fire brigade needs policies driven by common sense, not vindictiveness."

Last year, London's fire service was ranked as one of the best in the country.

However, since Coleman became it's Chair, firefighters have been locked in a series of bitter disputes with management over working conditions.

Coleman, who regularly tours fire stations, was described as "too confrontational" in a recent audit report, and is known to row with everyone from firefighters to the Mayor himself.

And with firefighters openly revolting against him and with strikes breaking out across London some are now wondering just why Boris trusts him with the job.

Me at the New Statesman

Head over to the New Statesman to read more on Boris Johnson and the changing face of London's media.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Boris Johnson's "Cycle Fridays" pass Londoners by

Boris Johnson launched "Cycle Friday" last month as a means to encourage nervous cyclists onto London's roads.

Commuters were told to meet at one of six starting points.

They were then led to one of four different finishing points (where by some chance they would all hopefully want to go.)

Part of Boris's "cycle revolution" the Mayor used the following methods to publicise it:

  • Post in Tube stations for four weeks
  • Website with key information on all the rides
  • PR launch which delivered articles in key London press
  • Email to targeted customers
  • Face to face marketing each week (on Wednesdays) to distribute leaflets to commuters at the six start point locations
  • Weekly Metro travel page advertisement
  • Leaflet distribution at 170 bike shops
  • Leaflets distributed at the start points to interested commuters prior to the ride leaving
  • Safety bibs available for participants with Cycle Fridays branding
  • Twitter cards to all participants.

  • And here's how many people have taken part in the first month:

    14 August 82
    21 August 88
    28 August 48
    4 September 54

    Asked By Caroline Pidgeon how much this 'revolution' had cost us, the Mayor replied:

    "The total cost of putting on ‘Cycle Fridays’ is not yet known as the initiative is only half-way through; these will continue into October. Given the numbers who have taken up the offer, with many taking the opportunity to cycle to work for the first time, and the incredible publicity and support for the initiative, I am confident that the cost of ‘Cycle Fridays’ will prove to be money very well spent."

    "Boris Admits Cycle Friday has had a Slow Start

    Boris Johnson's admitted his Cycle Friday initiative hasn't been the success he'd hoped.

    The scheme where commuters can ride in groups into town each morning has been running for a month but the Mayor says even his wife's never heard of it."

    Time for a few more "Twitter cards" perhaps?

    -Update- Caroline Pidgeon AM said today:

    "Cycle Fridays are a nice idea so it is a great shame that they have been implemented so badly by the Mayor.

    "Over the last few weeks it seems there have been far more marshalls and press officers present at Cycle Friday events than people cycling to work for the first time."

    "If the Mayor is really serious about getting people to start cycling there needs to be far more off road training and events like Cycle Fridays must be promoted in a far more intelligent way."

    Speaking of which, the Mayor is now offering a prize:

    "Take part in a Cycle Friday ride on 18 September and get entered into a draw to win a fantastic “money can’t buy” prize at Saturday’s Tour of Britain final stage in London

    The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have teamed up with the organisers of the Tour of Britain cycle race to offer one lucky Cycle Fridays rider the chance to present a top professional cyclist with their winning jersey at this Saturday’s Tour of Britain final stage."

    Well the odds of winning must be good!

    GLA employs BNP members as unions discuss ban

    The Greater London Authority has employed two BNP members, it was confirmed last night, as unions discussed a public sector ban for all BNP members.

    Chris Roberts and Tony Avery, will work with BNP London Assembly Member Richard Barnbrook.

    They will replace BNP Deputy Simon Darby, who was suspended for his "spear-throwing" remarks and BNP councillor Emma Colgate.

    The case will raise questions about reported plans to ban all BNP members from the public sector.

    Although the positions were open to all, City Hall say they had trouble filling them with non-BNP members.

    According to one senior officer:

    "There has been some difficulty in providing staff prepared to work for the BNP, consequently the GLA [have] gone to an agency which had connections with persons who were prepared to work for the BNP."

    Chris Roberts is perhaps best known for his failed attempt to sue Searchlight.

    Less is known about Tony Avery on the other hand.

    However, in the leaked BNP membership list, Avery is described as an "Activist, Experienced video editor" and as an "ESOL teacher" (English for speakers of other languages).

    Perhaps he could give his new boss a few tips.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2009

    Ian Clement speaks out

    I was going to head to Westminster Magistrates today for the start of Ian Clement's fraud trial, but in the end I decided against it.

    I had assumed that he would keep schtum and besides, there's only so far you can stretch the description of a man's suit, into a blog post.

    As it turned out, Clement offered no plea and there would have been little point in me hanging around all day for a statement.

    However, despite his reticence in court, it seems that he is only too keen to set the record straight here online.

    Here he is taking his old friend and colleague James Cleverley to task on his blog:

    Ian Clement said...


    I too knew and liked you and as one of your constituents I consider you do a good job.

    I am sadden that instead of actually contacting me, something you have not done since I resigned on the 22nd of June, to at least hear my side of the story so a rounded and informed view of my situation could be considered you chose to vent forth on you blog indiscriminately.

    Further as you do not know what I have been charged with and the details of those charges then how can you say that it is absolutely right that I have been charged and by inference assume my guilt.

    I also assume by your comments that you do not support the Met Police amnesty for officers who have misused their corporate credit cards, no resignations there just training and will be lobbying the CPS to press charges as it is as you say absolutely right that no one is seen to be above the law no matter who they are.

    In conclusion, I would also ask you to note that I resigned, I did not receive or seek any type of payoff, that I was never a professional politician as such, unlike many of those who inhabit the corridors of westminster but an ordinary person who made mistakes and paid a price for those mistakes.

    To which one of James's readers replies:

    what do you mean "I was never a professional politician as such"!? You were the Deputy Mayor for London and paid £127,000 a year (plus expenses). What did you think it was - a hobby?

    I think any hope that he would just go quietly, must be fading fast.

    Ian Clement will appear before the Crown Court on October 6th.

    Friday, 4 September 2009

    Ian Clement charged with five counts of fraud

    Boris Johnson's former Deputy, Ian Clement has been charged with five counts of fraud, the Metropolitan Police confirmed this afternoon.

    According to a statement issued by Scotland Yard:

    "Ian Clement, age 44 (DOB **.*.**), from Crayford, Kent, has this morning been charged with five offences under section 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act in connection with alleged misuse of expenses.

    The referral was made to police by the Greater London Authority on 24 June 2009 and the charge was placed after consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service."

    The investigation began after Clement was accused of using a City Hall credit card to pay for meals with his lover and former colleagues at Bexley Council.

    Some of the other guests listed at these 'business meetings' have denied ever being present.

    The purchases cover a period of almost a year, and were for several months signed off by Boris Johnson.

    Clement also misused his credit card at Bexley Council, although they have decided not to refer the matter to the police.

    Clement's lawyer told the Bexley Times

    “Mr Clement is surprised and saddened that the CPS should have felt that prosecution was appropriate.

    "He has co-operated fully with the investigation, which relates to five meal expense claims which have a total value of £227.00.

    "In the context of other, and far more significant, investigations it is a matter of regret that political expediency appears to be present."

    He added: "Given that proceedings have been brought it is inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

    Clement has been released on bail and will appear before Westminster Magistrates on September 8.

    -Update- Via @Bethemediauk comes one image Boris never expected

    Brian Coleman victim of "poisonous" blog campaign

    Brian Coleman is the victim of a "poisonous" blog campaign that is beginning to seep into the mainstream media, he has claimed.

    Speaking to an investigating officer in advance of his Standards Hearing, Coleman said that the "drip, drip, drip of poison about him" could not go on.

    "Do you know all that it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing"

    "And I think sometimes you just have to say to these people, look enough is enough. why should my 85 year old mother read this? Why should my friends read this? Why, because it's just personal abuse and we're all thick skinned politicians and week after week you find, I have been called all sorts of things but week in week out drip, drip, drip of poison and to the extent that local papers have started "oh it's a slow news week let's have a look at his dodgy blogs."

    "Well that story and some of the stuff about me was actually seeping into the local paper as news stories which is why I started with the outright tributes I got the press officers to correct because I know even the Evening Standard were starting to look at it. Katherine Barney of the Evening Standard started looking at his blog and picking out stories, oh another story about Coleman and his supposed expenses and it all feeds off each other. So sometimes enough is enough."

    Coleman excluded Tory Troll and Dave Hill's blog from his criticism saying that although we featured him, our coverage was "part of the rough and tumble of politics"

    However, he claimed that other attacks on him were "bordering" on the homophobic and anti-semitic and accused blogger Roger Tichborne of being a "stalker"

    Coleman's extraordinary claims formed part of his defence against a standards investigation into his conduct.

    The case began after he accused Tichborne of being:

    "an obsessive, poisonous individual and Labour Party Member whose blog is full of lies, half-truths and misinformation"

    However, when asked about the investigation Coleman told the Barnet Times:

    "This has absolutely nothing to do with me, nothing whatsoever, and if you say otherwise you will be hearing from my solicitor."

    Unfortunately this was in itself a lie and the Standards investigation was into Coleman

    And although the council's insurers had offered to give Coleman legal cover for free, Coleman instead chose to hire Beachcroft solicitors.

    Barnet Council then agreed to stump up a £10,000 indemnity to pay for it.

    Once paid, Coleman's solicitors trawled through Tichborne's blog and listed every critical comment about his client.

    They then compared Tichborne to a "schoolyard bully" and said that Coleman was the "victim" of an obsessive campaign.

    However, depite this high-class cover, the investigator still found that Coleman had broken the code of conduct.

    The case will be decided by a Barnet Standards Committee next week.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2009

    BNP Cllr Bob Bailey says driving ban "a conspiracy"

    Barking Councillor Robert Bailey blamed a conspiracy against "the indigenous people of this country" today after he was banned from driving for 18 months.

    The BNP's London organiser was stopped after being spotted driving without his lights on. He was taken away by police after refusing to take a breath test.

    According to the Press Association

    "Robert Bailey, 43, of Chadwell Heath, Essex, said he refused to cooperate with officers because he believed they were part of a politically inspired conspiracy acting upon "a higher order..."

    The former Royal Marine, originally from Scunthorpe, told the court he believed he was being set up because of his political beliefs.

    He said: "Well, I spent 14 years in the Marines and spent a good part of this working with the security forces and I know how the system operates."

    He added that he believed he was under surveillance because of his political activities and that his phone and house had been bugged."

    He said: "It adds to my belief it is a conspiracy against me, my party and the indigenous people of this country."

    The court appointed doctor said Bailey suffered from a "possible personality disorder" which made him suspicious of police officers.

    He said that Bailey had suffered from depression which had left him paranoid.

    However, District Judge John Wollard told the court that:

    "I have heard nothing which establishes in my view that this defendant had a reasonable excuse on medical grounds."

    Bailey hit the headlines last year when he turned up at his local newspaper and used a megaphone to hurl abuse at a reporter.

    More recently he sent out emails warning that journalists would suffer "the severest of punishments" if they "fail to exercise impartiality"

    Bizarrely, he also hit the headlines here after accusing Barking and Dagenham Cllr Valerie Rush of being the secret author of Tory Troll.

    Bailey was number two on the BNP list for the London Assembly elections last year.

    Number one on the list was Richard Barnbrook, who is due to face his Standards Hearing later this month.

    However, the GLA have confirmed that neither Bailey, nor anyone else will replace Mr. Barnbrook if he is suspended.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2009

    Boris Johnson continues his bendy bus vendetta

    Boris Johnson will continue his flaghip vendetta against bendy buses today as the 521 route is converted to standard single deckers.

    Converting this route will add an additional 12% tendering cost and will deprive passengers of 231 seats an hour.

    So that's £351,103 extra a year, in order to make the service significantly worse for pasengers.

    So why is he doing it. Are the buses unpopular?

    Well they are according to the East London Advertiser and a hundred other Flat Earth News accounts.

    But has anyone actually asked the people who use them?

    Well the London Paper did and found that passengers on the 507 route overwhelmingly wanted them back.

    In fact TfL's own consultation found that the majority of respondents were against losing bendy buses in the first place.

    TfL have also admitted that there will be no decrease in congestion on those routes.

    Even Boris's claim that "many cyclists [are] killed every year by them," has been disproven, with official figures showing that no cyclists have ever been killed by the buses.

    But they continue to be removed, on the word of just two men (Boris and Gilligan) who never actually use them.

    The full effect of this bizarre vendetta will only be felt once kids return to school.

    But so far it has meant more crowded buses, with less space for buggies, and a greater overall cost to you and me.

    It's a weird policy, but it was a promise that Boris made in his manifesto.

    And for whatever reason, this is one promise that he has committed to keep.