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June 20, 2008

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Tory Troll

One thing that was noticeable at MQT and which hasn't really been commented on yet is how much of a 'land grab' was going on between those who want more power for the boroughs and those who want to retain the centralised control of the Ken years. There were lots of questions from the tory members along the lines of 'is this a matter that you would consider leaving to the local authority' etc. There was also a lot of talk about cutting costs through reducing central powers.

Now if this is the way that London government is going to go then it will leave less and less for Boris (or whoever actually does his job for him) to do. And if that is the case, then there is no reason to expect that the kind of posturing that you mention above will go away. In fact there is every reason to expect that we will see more and more of it.

And with the big game coming up in the form of the general election, London will almost certainly be used as a marketing tool for the Conservatives. This is what all the positioning over the Olympics has been about. There has been an attempt to portray it as an example of Labour overspend and mismanagement and to portray Boris as the peoples champion coming in to get it under control.

The problem with this is as was shown yesterday, that it will only work if the figurehead has a clue what he is talking about, and unfortunately for the Tories he doesn't.

Whether or not he can turn that around will depend on whether he can be bothered to put in the work and to what extent he will be willing to follow the orders from CCHQ. However, my suspicion is that the focus will be more on managing Boris and the media than it will be on managing the capital. Hence the momentum to 'delegate' more power to the boroughs.

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