Boris was mobbed as he made a trip to riot-free Peckham, (video here) to talk to residents, hold babies, shake hands and absorb the feelings of the people of Peckham, good or bad. Many were delighted to see him, pumped his hand, and hugged him as he schmoozed his way along the High Street.
Others had to let off steam, as Boris made his impeturbable way through the populace. Boris made the point regarding cries for jobs that to smash up the local community of small shops and businesses is not the way to enhance the wealth and stability of the area. He hopes that there will be a softening of the government’s attitude to police cuts.
One of Boris’s mentors from the Ray Lewis mentoring scheme, Lindsay Johns, has decribed how his mentees received messages in street slang on their mobiles on the nights of the riots, asking them to join the looting. None of them accepted, proving mentoring does work.
One of Boris’s outstanding assets as a politician, apart from his empathy, is his hugely positive optimism. Life is tough, our economy is wrecked and has to be put right. That cannot be done without suffering, whoever is in power. Wherever the fault lies, none of us will achieve anything by being negative, and just complaining, without grabbing the opportunities offered. That is why it would be good if as many people as possible joined Team London.
In the end, the crowd got so huge, Boris had to jump into a police van to get home. Everybody wanted to see him, and the Mayor was not deaf to the advice he received. One lad said it was disgusting how many betting shops were allowed to open in the High Street. Boris agreed with that, and said those sort of decisions should be postponed until a review of the problems of the area has been finalised. Keep up the good work, Boris.