Sunday, June 1, 2008

One impressive first month for the Mayor

Our new Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been in power for a month. And already, in these 31 days, he has:
■ Cancelled the controversial cheap fuel deal with the Venezuelans that his predecessor Ken Livingstone had arranged. On the campaign trail, Johnson had derided that arrangement as "completely Caracas," and said he would put an end to it. He's proven to be as good as his word.
Slashed knife crime (forgive the pun) by a significant margin by ordering the installation of airport-style weapon scanners at subway stations across London. Stop-and-search tactics by police have intensified as well, and more police officers have been posted on buses with troublesome routes. Boris promised a safer city and he seems to be well on his way to securing that promise.
■ Put an end to drinking on public transportation, including all buses, trains and subways. The Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern said that "taking a firm approach to public drinking in this way sends a strong message that public drunkenness is socially unacceptable," and I agree on both points: That it is taking a firm approach to tackling alcohol-fuelled anti-social behavior and that public drinking is totally unacceptable. You can't drink openly on public transportation anywhere in the U.S., and I have been amazed these past eight years to see people catching buses or trains while openly swigging beer. I'm very glad that Boris has put a swift end to that nonsense.
■ By planting a tree himself recently on a London street, he has personally launched his initiative to have 10,000 new trees planted across London. That's still 30,000 short of the 40,000 trees butchered by brainless councils across London over the years, due to "health and safety" concerns. But Johnson is putting his foot down over what Richard Morrison in this excellent column rightly calls murder. No proud tree should have to be felled because some local government blockheads think it could hurt someone by dropping a branch on them, or because Tesco wants to build yet another one of its supermarkets in its space.
Tangent: Morrison is right. Corporate greed is ruining the environment. I cannot for the life of me imagine the sort of diseased brain one would have to be possessed of in order to look at a pretty field, hemmed in by nice woods, and think, "you know, this isn't making any profit, we could develop here!" I have no love nor time for these morons, I wish they would leave nature the f*** alone.
Anyway, Boris Johnson has proven so far to be the mayor he convinced us he would be. He is acting on the concerns and issues that got him elected.
The only thing that really remains for Boris is this: To keep up the excellent work, and to never let this momentum slip.

No comments: