Lies, lies, and more lies (Boris must go)
On a slightly more sinister note today, a new video from a supporter all about the frankly barefaced lying Boris has done on a range of issues. Everyone who thinks he's an amusing harmless kind of Mayor needs to see this...
The specific pledges and broken promises the video highlights are (with references):
1. Boris's promise not to cut police numbers during his mayoralty.
To be fair to Boris, he did inherit a 2008/9 budget which contained a significant rise in police officer numbers but in subsequent years, with his own hands on the purse strings, these have in fact dropped by thousands since 2010 and will conitinue to do so. See the full fact check on this issue here:
2. His promise in 2008 to cut crime.
This is the one lie that's most serious in consequence and most tricky to unpick. Those who remember Boris's 2008 campaign will recall that knife crime in particular was a focus for Boris's dog-whistling campaign against young people. So, what's happened to knife crime? The video uses the Ken campaign figure of a 13.6% rise but, as Adam Bienkov points out here, that's not quite a fair figure and the real stats (though the police don't record 'knife crime' as such) would show more like a 6% rise.
But what about other crimes? As this report from late last year from the Guardian's Dave Hill shows, while a trend for falling overall crime levels has largely continued under Boris (with a blip for the riots) there's been a recent and worrying increase in several of the categories you'd most expect Boris to have tackled after his campaign pledge, including robberies and serious youth violence.
And Boris is described as 'a serial offender when it comes to peddling dubious figures about crime' by a subsequent article, after our slippery Mayor was rebuked by the Statistics Authority for making press claims using unchecked statistics.
3. His pledge not to increase the Congestion Charge.
In fact, he put it up from £8 to £10 in 2009 (contemporary Daily Mail outrage here) with a £1 discount for auto-pay subscribers. So, with Boris even lying to motorists, what's next?
4. A promise to ensure 50,000 affordable homes went up.
Boris's housing manifesto promised to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2011 and this is a number that Boris's team do claim he has now delivered, albeit a whole year late. But, again, we have a lag effect, which Labour supporters are keen to point out - see the Labour Housing Group blog here for a roundup of their position.
The lag effect of policies that involve getting houses built is of course huge and the number of affordable homes were rising in 2008 thanks to a planning policy that required a percentage of affordable homes in new developments. So Boris did inherit a rising tally and more plans for more affordable homes than ever before
However, he has abolished these targets, and a housing slump means developers want to wring every last profit-making home out of their land, so things have slowed down. As the video shows, the latest figures available - for affordable homes started between April and September last year - are a paltry 56 dwellings. Dave Hill (again, what with the entire rest of the mainstream media giving Boris the easiest ride on earth) is on the ball here when he points out the difference between Boris's team's claim of 'delivering' affordable homes and 'starting' them, and the latter has indeed suffered under Boris: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/davehillblog/2012/apr/11/ken-livingstone-housing-policies-2012?INTCMP=SRCH
5. Boris's claim that his array of vanity projects would not mean increases in fares
This claim was made to the BBC's Riz Lateef in the 2008 clip. But as every commuter knows, fares are way up - with a single oyster bus fare a staggering 50% more than in 2008, and a weekly bus pass up 47%. More stats about fare rises and vanity spending, and a link to TfL's full 2012 fares listing on our blog here: http://www.sackboris2012.com/fares/010112-fares.html
Fascinating stuff. I wonder how much research went into this rubbish.
It is amazing to see support for a campaign that accuses Boris Johnson of not fullfilling pottential in 5 areas. I'd like to compare that to the quantity of promises made by Tony Blair or Ken Livingstone whom we know acheived 52% of his manifesto across a full 8 years in office, whilst being one of the most profligate politicians on the planet; spending enormous sums of tax payers money on unsubstantiated and un-costed gimmicks, personal travel and 'advisors' in high office.
One wonders how a man that increased council tax by 152% a man whom increased over 800 bus and rail fares by up to 43% despite campaigning that he would do quite the contrary (deja vu), a man who subsidised his travel and personal socialist ambitions with tax payers money, a man who encouraged people to turn on each other, a man who by his own logic is a 'Rich bastard who should not be allowed to vote', a man who campaigns a 'fare deal' that all experts including TFL say he could not acheive without bankrupting London Transport, could possible have support in London.
Evidently a short term opportunistic pledge to win an election is all that is required to convince some people that a man in it for himself is somehow in it for them. Is it simply ideology that drives people to vote for Livingstone? How can this man be perceived as anything other than a hypocrite who puts short term electoral ambition ahead of what is right for London in the long term? A man who's focus is to encourage a culture of short-termism. Would you take £10 now or £100 later? How disappointing.
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