The witless bumbling of Boris Johnson, the part-time London Mayor, is well known to the people of London Road and the riot victims who were promised much by the Bullingdon Club Old Etonian, but who have received little.
But as the good people of Uxbridge prepare to have Johnson parachuted in as their future Tory MP they should be aware, if they are not already, that Boris Johnson is an out-and-out liar.
It is more than three years ago that we reported how Mayor Johnson, by then gearing up his re-election campaign, appeared for a party political photo stunt in Croydon.
Once he had managed to find Croydon (after originally getting off a train at East Dulwich), our Zone 1 Mayor hopped on the tram to New Addington, accompanied by Britain’s most overpaid councillor, Tory Assembly Member Steve O’Connell, and a taxpayer-funded photographer from Croydon Council (yes, the previous administration at the Town Hall would do anything to help their Conservative party chums, including mis-directing public money for political purposes).
For this 2011 excursion to outer London, Johnson announced that he would, now, after all, find the money and give the approval to build the Tramlink extension to Crystal Palace. He helpfully posed beside a new tram with the destination board clearly showing Johnson’s intention.
Standing alongside the Tory Mayor, O’Connell, who is also a councillor for Kenley ward in Croydon, said, “I am delighted Boris has approved the extension. He has made the announcement and it is now up to people to get on with it.” O’Connell couldn’t be clearer than that, could he?
Yet within weeks, Transport for London published its detailed four-year transport plan for the capital. It contained not a word about, nor a penny for any tram extension to Crystal Palace. Johnson and O’Connell must have been mistaken. Or they were lying.
This was not the first time this had happened. In 2008, before his election as Mayor of London, Johnson had promised to deliver the tram extension. He quickly reneged on his word once in office. The tram extension, and other fully costed transport schemes that had been proposed by previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, Johnson said, “amounted to billions of pounds worth of schemes that London could simply never afford”. This from the man who has brought the costly Roastmaster bus and the under-used Dangleway to the capital…
Most recently, Johnson has been carving up chunks of a public park in Crystal Palace, after a cosy chat with a Chinese billionaire in the VIP seats at the London Olympics. The £500million scheme has put the Crystal Palace tram extension back on Johnson’s agenda.
Johnson has again guaranteed to build the tram extension – using public cash “that London could simply never afford”, as he said previously, in order to benefit a private development being built by one of his new rich mates.
But there’s a snag.
When Mayor Livingstone promised to build the tram extension, he had TfL do the hard yards, and put aside money from the budget to build it. That, though, is too much like real work for our current, part-time Mayor of London.
According to a written question put to the Mayor by Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross, “TfL have told me that ‘We have carried out initial feasibility work on the extension to Crystal Palace, but this is in the very early stages. The scheme is currently unfunded so further work also needs to be undertaken to identify potential funding opportunities’.”
As Shawcross added, “How can you guarantee a scheme when you have not done a feasibility study and it is unfunded?”
The part-time Mayor of London and full-time careerist politician has yet to provide an answer to that question. Or maybe Boris Johnson has just been caught out in yet another lie.
Coming to Croydon
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- David Lean Cinema: The Wind Rises, Aug 14
- Mind-Loosing Workshop, Aug 16
- David Lean Cinema: The Love Punch, Aug 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- David Lean Cinema: Stop The Pounding Heart, Aug 21
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- David Lean Cinema: Frank, Aug 28
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org