Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Boris Johnson and Chris Grayling: before and after

Boris Johnson attacking Chris Grayling for comparing crime levels in London to The Wire:

“Someone the other day compared London with Baltimore, absolute nonsense. You know, this programme, The Wire in Baltimore.

“There are 35 murders per 100,000 in Baltimore, there are approximately three murders per 100,000 in London. It is far, far more dangerous in Baltimore than it is in London, especially for gun crime.”

He's absolutely right of course. London is a relatively safe city, and remains so despite the recent rise in gun crimes.

By speaking as he did, Grayling was committing the worst kind of political scaremongering, deliberately exploiting fears in order to win a few more votes.

So what was Boris thinking when he did exactly the same and worse during his Mayoral campaign?

I'm sure that Grayling will have learnt his lesson now. Only whip up fear where you've not already won.


CHPaul said...

"He looked me straight in the face and replied: 'I agree. Look, I know that Ken, the Met and you, in particular, have a good story to tell about crime in London in these last few years but I simply would not have been elected mayor of London if I had admitted that.'"


AdamB said...

Brass neck there as ever then.

barry rochford said...

This is worrying, as if we needed more scaremongering. The Tory school of falsification seems to on full throttle in order to whip up reaction.
At least they can claim that their lies are generic, rather than the speciifc ones that Barbrook comes out with.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I thought that poster was a mock-up.

Good grief.

AdamB said...

No it's the real deal alright. Brought to you by the same man who came up with Michael Howard's "are you thinking what we're thinking?" campaign.

Harold said...

Ah, yes. Michael Howard.
Now there was a man you could trust just by looking at his sincere expression.

Mr. Stop Boris (momentarily out of retirement) said...

Don't forget, the Back Boris campaign didn't just resort to disgraceful scaremongering like that leaflet: they were also quite happy to tell outright lies to passers-by in their efforts to get their man elected.

Anonymous said...

Of course that tactic means that they can claim responsibility for any fall in the crime statistics now.

AdamB said...

They get themselves in a twist trying to detatch themselves from the crimes that go up however. At last night's People's Question Time Boris tried to tell the audience that the big rise in gun crime this year was down to people pretending to have a gun. However true it may be, it wasn't terribly convincing.

Anonymous said...

I didn't find Boris convincing at all at the Brixton PQT. This was the first time that I have seen him speaking, and I was surprised at how poor he is at it. There was a tendency to rattle off talking points with little engagement: one sequence of talking points near the start that included "air-conditioned tube trains" was said in such a mechanical manner that it seemed lke even Boris wasn't convinced. Another list of talking points that included "cycle superhighway" was said in a way that half-suggested that it was a joke. The AMs spoke more convincingly than Boris.


AdamB said...

I listened to it online but it definitely wasn't one of his better performances. His jokes all fell flat for some reason. Very interesting that 66% of the audience were against scrapoint the Western extension as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that people want jokes at such an event. I sensed some exasperation in the audience at the attempts at joking.

I don't think that it is surprising that an inner south London audience is in favour of extensions to congestion charging. I noticed that in the leaflet on the Mayor's Transport Strategy (given out on the way out of the PQT) it is said that "the Mayor is minded to remove the Western Extension of the Central London Congestion Charging Zone": the claim that he is going to remove it, and there only remains a bit of bureaucracy to make it happen, seem to have disappeared. It is also said that the last consultation was an informal one.


AdamB said...

Well you say that, but I've been to similar events with him where he's really won over the crowd. It just didn't seem to work this time. As Roger Evans wrote about it "The honeymoon is over"


(Non political) people I speak to all say a similar thing, which is that they quite like him as a character, but they just don't know what he's done for the last 18 months. Maybe there is a frustration amongst the public there.