Now Boris Johnson MP has finally thrown his hat in the ring to contest the next London mayoral election, we want your suggestions for the social policies he would be likely to pursue.
Please bear in mind that this is the man who once told Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson not to discount the possibility that behind the veneer of blithering idiot, he could be, in fact, a blithering idiot.
A hugely popular figure for his TV buffoonery and refusal to take himself too seriously, Johnson really does want to be seen as a serious politician – but his proposals for London are as yet unknown.
We do know he loves cycling, launching his campaign to become the next Tory candidate from his saddle outside City Hall.
And he’s not a fan of Ken’s buses, remarking: “And why should we cyclists be scraped to a paste by these blasted socialistic bendy-buses, so out of scale with the London streets that they block the traffic like beached whales?”
www.theyworkforyou.com gives a little more insight into his politics saying he voted strongly against introducing student top-up fees and the fox hunting ban; moderately against introducing a smoking ban, ID cards, and anti-terrorism laws; a mixture for and against equal gay rights; and strongly for the Iraq war.
Alongside duties to encourage economic, transport and environmental progress, the Mayor has a responsibility to promote social development.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s tenure in office – which he wants to extend to a third term – has been characterised by the congestion charge and the Olympics.
But, he also has a wide-ranging social programme which has included a review of opportunities for disabled students; a strategy for refugee integration; and initiatives around affordable housing and homelessness. He’s also proved to be a big supporter of cultural festival.
Ken has already branded Johnson as “seriously damaging for London” and criticised his failure to vote to defend the Freedom Pass for free travel for older people.
About 50 people have applied to be Tory candidate. The party will now draw up a shortlist, with Londoners then able to vote to select who is the Tory candidate in September. He has resigned as shadow minister for higher education, but he is to remain MP for Henley.
So, e-mail your ideas on what the popular Boris would be likely to do for social development in London to firstname.lastname@example.org by 24 July.
We’ll run the best suggestions in Community Care – and forward them to the man himself.
Boris’s history of putting his foot in it:
• October 2004: Boris, while editor of The Spectator, is forced to apologise for an editorial which criticised the city of Liverpool over grief expressed for Ken Bigley – the British contractor killed in Iraq.
• November 2004, Boris is sacked from the Tory frontbench team for failing to tell the truth about claims he had had an affair.
• September 2006, Boris enraged Papua New Guinea’s high commissioner by likening the party politics of both the Tories and Labour to “Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing” in a national newspaper column.
• April 2007, Boris annoyed Portsmouth councillors by calling the city “one of the most depressed towns in southern England, a place that is arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs”, in an article in a men’s magazine.