Monday, 5 May 2008

Crikey - Our New Mayor !!

Well, what can I say - he personified the image of a public school twit; a modern-day Bertie Wooster; he was always a bumbling chap, who made good entertainment - especially during his TV appearances on "Have I Got News for You"; he never combed his hair and I don't think his clothes ever saw an iron; just how many gaffes can someone make ?! (Prince Philip must be worrying about his position !)

So when he put forward his candidacy for London Mayor last July, everybody just laughed. We laughed, the then Mayor Ken Livingston laughed, even his own party laughed.
But today, sitting in his plush new office at City Hall, who's laughing now ??

I have to admit that I did not vote for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, but I am thinking that maybe his tenure won't be such a disaster. Afterall, he may not have the greatest attention to detail, he may trip over his feet while walking onto the stage, he's full of politically incorrect faux pas, but he has the charisma and influence to surround himself with a team of experts to advise him appropriately and do the work. Boris might even do something positive for the London cyclist - afterall, he is one himself.

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Just check out the article below that Boris Johnson wrote about cycling, in a local newspaper a couple of years ago :

"In the course of about seven years of cycling in London, during which I have come off three times, I like to think I have formed a pretty accurate assessment of the hazards on the road. There are Ken Livingstone's odious, inhuman, socialistic 18-metre Frankfurter buses blindly pasting the cyclist against the kerb. There are the motorcyclists who jump the lights and mow you down. There are the humps, almost always installed by Lib Dems, as much a nuisance to cyclists as anyone else. But the greatest menace, much more lethal than the motorcar, is the catatonically oblivious pedestrian, in particular the foreign tourist who thinks the traffic is coming the other way.

As I write these words my mouth is dry through codeine, my ribs ache and every so often a horse-head nebula of pain explodes in my elbow, because yesterday I was going at a responsible speed towards a traffic light which was irrefutably green when a band of tourists launched themselves across the road in crocodile formation and even though I shouted Ho, and even though they scattered like pigeons there was one big, burly fellow (he turned out, on impact, to be French) who stood rooted to the spot with an expression of mild curiosity, and it was only when I had weaved successfully to his left that he decided to jump into my path like a cougar, so that I went for a terrific burton, winding up for a couple of hours in Guy's & St Thomas's (marvellous, marvellous) and with my beautiful £700 bike all bent out of shape.

As I lay on the Tarmac listening to the babble of French, I thought about the density of that tourist, I mean the physical density. That's the thing about people: they're bigger than you think and that's why I urge a new concordat between the cyclist and the pedestrian.

When Cameron's Conservatives come to power it will be a golden age for cyclists and an Elysium of cycle lanes, bike racks, and sharia law for bike thieves. And I hope that cycling in London will become almost Chinese in its ubiquity. Cameron's Conservatives will go further. We will offer no new restrictions on cyclists and certainly no ban on talking on a mobile whilst cycling, but we offer this deal to pedestrians: we'll stay off your pavements if you jolly well watch where you're going."
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Hoorah - so the cyclist's lot will be improved in London now. We can throw tomatoes at the evil pedestrian and cut off the hands of bike thieves, up and down the boroughs ! And after that we can sit down and have tea and scones while temporarily burying our xenophobia to will on the foreign cyclists as they career round the London streets for another Tour de France stage !

And of course Boris, if we are not happy with your work we will gladly carry out your recent request to "Boot you out with gusto !"
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