Monday, 11 January 2010

Conservative Home scrape Boris Johnson's barrel

Conservative Home today lists Boris Johnson's "100 achievements" since he was elected Mayor.

A few are real achievements but most are either deliberately misleading, or point to some new definition of "achievement" that I've yet to come across.

Here's a sample:

1. "Frozen the Council Tax for two years running."

Yes, but he's also raised public transport fares for two years running. This cancels out any council tax savings by many, many times over.

5. "There are 400 more police officers for buses."

63. "Knife crime is down by 30%."

79. "Overall crime on the Tube and DLR is down by 8%. Robbery is down by 29.2%, violent crime is down 2.6% and public disorder offences are down by 4.5%."

Yes but Gun enabled crime has gone up by 67.1%, Homophobic crime is up by 27.6% Rape is up 22%, other sexual offences are up 2.2%, Residential burglary is up by 7.5%, business robbery is up 3.3%, Residential burglary is up 7.5%, and racist crime is up by 6.9%

If they'd kept to a dozen achievements, then they would have been alright, but you can sense that even Harry Phibbs was struggling here:

"27. The Queen's portrait unveiled in City Hall."

Er... great and

"73. Boris Johnson appeared in EastEnders visiting the Queen Vic."

And perhaps most notably of all:

"56. Stood up to Government bullying - notably over their interference in his proposed appointment of Veronica Wadley as Chairman of the London Arts Council."

Yes that's right. Boris trying to reward his biggest supporter with a job (whilst ignoring the Nolan rules and the Freedom of Information Act in the process) is meant to be an "achievement."

Poor Boris. If this is the best his supporters can do, then he's in serious trouble.

-Update- Left Foot Forward have now picked up on this as well.


Anonymous said...

so out of 100, you can only find a problem with 7?

And even then you aren't saying they're incorrect.

I disagree with your first one though as prices haven't gone up so much for actual londoners but for visitors - ie. freedom passed and half price for jobseekers extended and travelcards not increased much.
Compared to how much they would have to have gone up under Ken then, or how people would be paying £25 to drive their family cars in all of london, all to pay for some glorious propaganda or pet scheme/country/lover then I think we (as a city)'re doing well right now.

AdamB said...

"so out of 100, you can only find a problem with 7?"

No. I could have gone on, and indeed have done so in the past. The ones I've chosen are a sample and hardly an insignificant one either. His claims on council tax , police and crime are pretty central ones no?

"I disagree with your first one though as prices haven't gone up so much for actual londoners but for visitors"

As an "actual Londoner" I have to disagree. The price of getting on a bus has increased by a third since Boris came into power. That he's maintained concessions is good and I've welcomed that in the past, but the jobseekers and income support concessions are only percentage discounts. People eligible for them will still see their fares go up by the same proportion as everyone else.

worktimesurfer said...

Hurrah for the portrait of the Queen!

I agree, this is desperate and we are only two years in.

Anonymous said...

Sure, getting on a bus with PAYG now costs a few pence more - but if you used it often you'd have a travelcard and if you didn't then it makes little difference.

So whilst it isn't a great thing fares have gone up, I don't think it's as bad as you and many other kenlovers make out.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

It really is list season isn't?

What a collection of nonsense and I agree, there is some serious manipulation of the meaning of the word achievement.

AdamB said...

"Hurrah for the portrait of the Queen!"

If you haven't yet seen this great achievement of Boris's term yet worktimesurfer, then I suggest taking a trip to see it at City Hall. It's currently got pride of place at the end of a side corridor by the lifts.

AdamB said...

"Sure, getting on a bus with PAYG now costs a few pence more"

Actually hundreds of pounds more if you use it all year round.

"it makes little difference."

So a tenner off your council tax= main achievement of Boris's term

hundreds of pounds more in fares= little difference

"So whilst it isn't a great thing fares have gone up, I don't think it's as bad as you and many other kenlovers make out."

So you've given up playing the ball, and are switching to playing the man instead. Textbook.

Simon K said...

Anon, a 7 day bus pass has gone up by £2.80, a monthly pass by over £10 and an annual pass by over £100. That sounds like quite a lot to me, and the users of these passes are mostly the less well off.

Political Scrapbook said...

In keeping with the general standard of this list I think ConHome have missed a few off:

101: Boris has funny blonde hair
102: He rides a bicycle
103: Erm, he's a a "total legend" etc.

But seriously, great post!

jamesup said...

Some thoughts:

13. Flew to Beijing Olympics, economy class.

- and looked like he didn't have time to change when he got their from the airport.

28. Restoration of drinking fountains on the capital's streets. The one in Trafalgar Square has already been brought back into use.

- one drinking fountain? He promised a revolution.

30. A successful visit to New York (paying his own fare) was held to boost tourism. Huge media coverage in the Big Apple. The ‘Only in London’ tourism campaign has boosted the capital's coffers by £50million.

- I think the exchange rate might have something to do with that rather than the Only In London balls (which was a similarly vapid list)

41. He has been a listening Mayor. There have been far more visits - including to outer London boroughs.

- Certainly far more by cab.

64. Action is being taken to improve air quality. For instance through hybrid buses and by working with the boroughs to tackle air quality hotspots.

- and the LEZ phase which he postponed? or the 4x4 charge?

65. The opening of Imperial Wharf Station.

- you have to be kidding, planning for this station started before the LGA even existed! He used Euston too - does he want credit for building that?

86. There are Northern line improvements with a new control centre and computerised signalling system, scheduled to be delivered in 2012. This will enable trains to run closer together and at higher speeds, cutting journey times by 18 per cent and increasing capacity by 20 per cent.

- That'd be Mr Brown's universaly loathed PPP and the discusting Tubelines you want to thank...

87. To cool tube trains in summer various improvements are being carried out, including restoring ventilation fans and installing mechanical chillers and portable summer fans.

- various other improvements to tube cooling have been cancelled in the latest budget. Fans is all you are going to get (and they started under Ken).

88. On the Docklands Light Railway a total of 55 new carriages have been ordered, expanding trains from two to three cars and giving a 50 per cent capacity increase by June 2010.

- No more to do with BJ than the sun rising in the morning.

92. The Mayor is pushing ahead strongly with Crossrail.

- I'm pushing ahead strongly with it too. Can I have a medal?

AdamB said...

Thanks PS. Maybe we should come up with an alternative list.

Jamesup- I wonder whether ConHome actually drew up this list, or whether it was passed to them by the Mayor's office. Certainly the more you look at it, the more dubious the claims seem.

Jonathan said...

Personally I am very grateful to Boris for "bringing back Christmas" (no. 26). I wasn't aware it had actually gone anywhere, but it's very good of him to bring it back from wherever it was.

jamesup said...

It looks like a work experience's efforts to me, certainly not something that came from anyone with a grasp of the concept of time, or even as I noted on conhome, the meaning of the word 'achievement'.

I think an alternative list is in order: "top 100 things that Boris has claimed credit for that have nothing to do with him"?

The Joy of Boris is watching him extoll the virtues of something like the ELLX while knowing there isn't a snowballs chance in hell that he would have pushed it through himself.

fairdealphil said...

Thanks for best blog of the day Adam.

Well researched, well written, and you've clearly rumbled Boris.

Keep em coming.

AdamB said...

Thanks Phil, that's much appreciated. Thanks for the link as well.

angelneptunestar said...

This is where Boris stands on the surtax on bankers' bonuses and why.

Anonymous said...

What about all those false and misleading claims made by Boris Johnson and his Conservative Adviser's during the Mayoral Election Campaign that Ken Livingston Office and others were corrupt.But after Boris Johnson became Mayor an inquiry found that Ken Livingston and others were innocent. How much damage was done to Ken Livingston by these false claims and how many votes did it cost Ken Livingston? . Later the Expenses Saga exposed what people felt about Greedy Politicians so this leads me to beleive that the Conservatives false claims that Ken Livingston's Office was corrupt pushed him out of office. The Conservatives are very quiet on this issue. I beleive that Boris Johnsons Mayoralty was unfairly won and serious questions should be asked as to whether Boris Johnson Mayoralty is Legal. In some European Countries I understand that there is a charge for Falsely Discreiting a Person or Persons in Public Office for Gain without Evidence.

AdamB said...

I think it's safe to say it's legal.

angelneptunestar said...

Anon, I think it's legal too. Known as a huge Boris supporter, nevertheless, there are many things about Ken I like. He has a dry sense of humour and he is streetwise and clever. I actually voted for him (big revelation) once. I admired him tremendously when he stood as an independent.

However i have to say, and I am only being honest when I say, there is something about Ken that is a bit... dodgy. Just my opinion.

angelneptunestar said...

Also Ken is brilliant dealing with the media, almost as good as Boris. He also loves London. I would a millions times rather Ken than Lord M, Paddick, Archer, (did we ever consider that?). But that dodgy side is there, I swear.

Tom said...

I suspect the first 'anonymous' entry may well be Einy Shah. Some familiar turns of phrase. Of course, there could be two people in London with the same lack of understanding of reality, but I'd rather hope not.

jamesup said...

I wonder if Einy wrote it...

prj45 said...

Anonymous: "or how people would be paying £25 to drive their family cars in all of london"

Yeah, a four litre two seater porche with one bloke in it, a real family car...

Anonymous said...

"However i have to say, and I am only being honest when I say, there is something about Ken that is a bit... dodgy. Just my opinion."

As opposed to Boris J. who gave Conrad Black a character reference?

Livingstone ran a tight, honest administration, whatever the Evening Boris desperately wanted to claim.

- Mellie

angelneptunestar said...

Mellie, Boris just said what was true, that he had received good treatment from Conrad Black when he worked from him. There was no wrong doing on the part of Conrad Black regarding the English newspapers, it was the Canadian operation that was involved in fraudulent dealings.

There is nothing dodgy in saying that someone has treated you well, when they have, and Conrad Black went to jail and is stil there, he is paying for his mistakes.

AdamB said...

Giving a character reference to a suspected (now convicted) fraudster is pretty dodgy whichever way you look at it.

Not to mention convicted fraudsters Ian Clement and Lord Brockett or the completely on the level and in no way dodgy appointments of Ray Lewis and David Ross. (not dodgy at all)

angelneptunestar said...

Adam, Boris doesn't kick people who are down if they have been good to him and that is one of the things I really like about him.

Hey, I have thought of more things I like about Ken. Ken really cares, which is much more than you can say about so many policians. The thing I most admire about Ken is his shrewdness and independent thinking, which is why he would never fit in with the current Labour lot, and it is their loss. Ken is head and shoulders above anyone in the Labour Party, he has tons of talent and at the moment, he is wasted.

Tom said...

"Livingstone ran a tight, honest administration"

He could hardly do otherwise, since he always gets far more critical media attention than any other political figure. Mind you, his habit of telling the Daily Mail to 'go to hell' doesn't inspire the kind of harmonious relationship with the press you need to get down to serious corruption in office.

On the other hand, there's a mountain of evidence that Boris's key weakness is quite appalling judgement of character.

angelneptunestar said...

Ha ha Tom, Boris is a pretty good judge of character talking about Labour in this speech!