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August 11, 2008

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Tom

What struck me in that article is the contradiction between the job of Mayor and Boris' view of the job of Mayor. The job is basically running London's transport plus some other bits like an overview of planning. Boris seems to want to run the police (which he doesn't have the powers for, merely a small amount of influence), give the planning to the boroughs, shove the transport part onto someone else, all while cutting costs to demonstrate value for money.

Now, I'm quite happy for him to have different priorities, but at some point they have to align with the powers he's actually got, and he doesn't really have enough power over the police to make them his main focus. For example, he wants to please the South East London motorist by reintroducing tidal flow on the Blackwall Tunnel, but this isn't his decision, the Met police the Tunnel and if they refuse to operate tidal flow because they consider it unsafe (which they do) then Boris can go whistle. He's led a lot of people to think he's got different powers to the ones he has, probably by his habit of agreeing with everyone, and eventually people are going to be disappointed.

As for contradictions, the biggest one so far is the motorist/cyclist argument, where sooner or later you have to choose which one you prefer. In the Parliament Square case, the motorist has won hands down.

Interesting TfL press release just out, too...

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/media/newscentre/9035.aspx

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