Saturday, 2 January 2010

Dispatches from Planet Andrew Gilligan

The Telegraph's Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone blogger has taken one of his occasional looks at modern London politics.

And what do you know? Everything is rosy, fares are going down, and saying otherwise is stupid and "all lies."

It's all a bit sad really, because buried amongst the spin is an acknowledgement of exactly what I was arguing at the New Statesman over Christmas:

Andrew Gilligan at the Telegraph: "The real foolishness of all this is that there’s actually an excellent, and true, case to be made against today’s fare changes. With their single fare rising by 20 per cent, there’s no question that bus travellers are being hammered, even though they are the group least able to pay. Bus passengers tend to be poorer, more inner-city and more Labour-voting while more prosperous, more suburban, more Tory-voting rail users are protected."

Of course most readers will have ceremonially garrotted themselves before reaching that bit, but at least he includes it.

It's just a shame that when Ken put up bus fares to £1 (and then later reduced them to 90p) Gilligan described the rises as "monstrous" and "extortionate."

But when Boris raises them to £1.20 in the middle of a recession, Andrew has a slightly different spin on things:

"SO there I was, all set to write an angry piece about Boris Johnson’s “massive fare rises.” (The fare changes happen tomorrow, by the way). But then I thought: you know, I’d better check the new fares, hadn’t I?"

So he checks the new National Rail fares instead (which Boris doesn't control) and what do you know, he gets the figures he wants.

  • Read Andrew's dodgy dossiers in full here and here.
  • Then read me make exactly the points Gilligan says Boris's "stupid" opponents haven't made here
  • Then read the response from Gilligan's latest target here.


Chris said...

If he carries on like this he will be getting a knighthood from Prime Minister David Cameron next year!

AdamB said...

King Boris surely?

Anonymous said...

Gilligan really is an arsehole of the first degree

Anonymous said...

We can now see that The Conservative Party and followers will be " King of Spin " ! It would not surprise me in the slightest if Boris Johnson himself could have a hand in this spin. They will be saying that we do not need Police on the street next in order to justify cut backs!

angelneptunestar said...

It must be ghastly having to make these decisions, with the Olympics to pay for.

For you, for the New Year, my horoscope of Boris Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Back to Earth whilst rotating gently around the Sun ( maybe with to much spin for many ! ),we come back to reality. Over the years I have meet many Weirdos that have been let down by Horoscopes and how they are interpreted. Happy New year and lets hope that it is a sane one with much needed Transparency.

barry rochford said...

'there’s no question that bus travellers are being hammered, even though they are the group least able to pay'.
Presumably Gilligan means that for the poor to be hammered, they'd need not only a 20% fare rise, but presumablky mass evictions, wage cuts and basic food prices to go through the roof.

Anonymous said...

Barry - Boris Johnson will probably hammer us for Council Tax next year if The Conservatives get in . His so called freeze at the moment is only to help with getting Cameron into Office. These people dont do anyone any favours unless there is something in it for them ,even if they have to wait for a while!