No-one, especially those living in the capital, will have missed the upcoming Olympic Games – and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The latter is certainly not lost on London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson as he produces a whole cloud of weapons grade guff in his more than adequately remunerated Maily Telegraph column today.
Jubilee? Patriotism, chaps! Get the proles in line, what?!?
For his latest £5,000 payday, Bozza has gone on ad infinitum – and arguably ad nauseam – about the glories of the planned pageant on the River Thames, where an array of variously sized craft will be “all drawn up in a parping bunting-strewn Dunkirk – except considerably more jolly, obviously”. Well, indeed: it just would not do to have a flight of Stukas interrupt proceedings.
But there is some reason in this piece, isn’t there? Well, up to a point. Bozza wants to remind his readers that, to borrow from a populist Tory of the old school, they’ve never had it so good. “The crowds on the banks this Sunday will have the best teeth of any generation of Britons” he enthuses. Yes, Johnny Foreigner will never prevail against the brilliant sheen of polish and implants.
DLR: not "proceeding without a driver"
And he eventually gets to the point. Having softened up the audience, Bozza must have thought he’d get the whoppers past them, but then, here on Zelo Street we know the Johnson schtick of old. “And then there is the last great field of endeavour for which we venerate the Victorians – engineering, and transport infrastructure. Again and again we are taking them on and beating them”. We are? Pray tell.
“In the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth we are seeing an extraordinary surge of new stations”. Ho yus. And how many new stations have opened in this “60th year of Queen Elizabeth”? That would be none. But, as the man said, there’s more: “new river crossings”. The cable car? That would be river crossing singular. And it hasn’t opened for business yet.
Tube: not "proceeding without a driver" either
And here’s a nice sleight of hand: “new air-conditioned Tube lines”. Very good Bozza, but as any fule kno there are no new Tube lines – not until Crossrail comes on stream, anyway – although the new trains for the Sub-Surface Lines (SSLs), all of which date from Victorian Times, have air conditioning. Tube trains and air con is a non starter, as is the next Bozza whopper.
Yes, you guessed it: “trains that proceed without the need of a driver”. There will be no Tube trains without a Train Operator in the front cab this year, next year or the year after that. And the DLR will still need its Train Captains. So is that it? Just the usual fibs and exaggerations? More or less, except for the inevitable sign-off: yet another plea for Boris Island (tm) to be built more or less straight away.
After all, it’s a snip at forty billion notes. Chicken feed, or what? Yikes readers!