As well as sharp and on the ball with his replies, Boris Johnson was exceptionally amusing today at Mayor’s Question Time. It’s good to know that morale is high. The Diamond Jubilee and the Water Pageant were a huge success and Boris and the GLA can feel justifiably proud.
JENNY JONES, GREEN ISSUES AND AIR TEXTS.
In a tough and brutal election, Jenny Jones came third. I know that our Mayor has given full credit to Jenny for what was an amazing achievement. Jenny beat Brian Paddick, UKIP, the independent candidate Siobhan Benita and the BNP. A lot of posing and empty rhetoric from some, meant that Jenny came third because of her experience and her genuine concern about Green issues. Some of the lesser known candidates were like mannequins, but Jenny’s inner conviction shone through. Boris is in favour of Air Texts and Jenny agrees they are a great idea but need more publicity. She suggests ads. on buses. ( I’ll gladly help both Boris and Jenny by promoting them on twitter. ) Our Mayor has promised to make a big leap forward in Green issues, including cycling, going Dutch, and improving air pollution.
THERE’S A NEW YOB IN TOWN
John Biggs was very quiet and polite today. Unfortunately, Labour’s Andrew Dismore (see pic.) has taken over where Biggs left off. Even more unfortunately, he is now my Assembly member, heaven help me, having defeated Brian Coleman. Mr. Dismore set the 21st century record for a filibuster in the House of Commons by talking for 197 minutes during the debate of the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Protection of Property) Bill, a Private Members Bill which would have enshrined greater protection for householders who confront home invaders, citing that it amounted to “vigilante law”. How could his audience stand it?
Mr. Disnmore shouts and heckles a lot, and is continually abusive. “We are not in the House of Commons now” said Boris aloofly. “Everyone behaves nicely here.” Fat chance! Mr. Dismore hasn’t exactly got the tone of the place, he is heavily threatening and aggressive, so the automatic reaction is to deaf everything he says. The impression is that he doesn’t care about the actual issue, only points scoring. I was absolutely shocked at his deeply unpleasant tone and foul language.
NEW LABOUR MEMBER FIONA TWYCROSS
Inititally, new member Fiona Twycross made a favourable impression. She quietly and politely asked about a most important issue, mental health in London. Boris very courteously told her the amount of the budget allocated to this, and promised she would have access to any information she needed. Suddenly Ms. Twycross snapped at the Mayor “I can see you intend to do nothing!” She undermined the good impression she had made by being churlish and rude. Once again, the need to score points off the Mayor overrode her desire to make progress with the issue through co-operation. The only conclusion is she didn’t really care about the issue.
Boris Johnson won a second term because he had something to say. Like his policies or loathe them, you could never doubt his inner conviction or deny his sincerity. Jenny Jones came third for the same reasons. Ken Livingstone used to have something to say, but no longer, so he lost because he descended to trouble making and points scoring.
Those members of the London Assembly who fall into the same trap will get nowhere with the causes they are fighting for. Their only hope is to work together with the Mayor. History should show them it won’t get them anywhere with the voters either.