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Tuesday 8 May 2012

Yikes Readers, More Free Publicity!

[Update at end of post]

Hardly had the dust settled from the London Mayoral election than the tendency of occasional incumbent Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to open mouth and insert boot was manifested in a foul-up over the attempted appointment of Hammersmith and Fulham councillor Stephen Greenhalgh as Deputy Mayor for policing, as Kit Malthouse is moving to another deputy role.

Crikey, am I that brilliant already? Gosh!

But readers of the Standard know nothing of this continuing cock-up (Political Scrapbook has the details HERE), as the paper increasingly known as the London Daily Bozza has instead charged “City Hall Editor” Pippa Crerar with producing what is in effect a propaganda piece telling readers of all the very wonderful things that their chosen man is going to do in the next four years.

Boris Johnson announces his new team and says: I’ll boost jobs and growth” announces the headline, managing to miss the inconvenient fact that the Mayor does not have the wherewithal to do very much boosting of jobs and growth. Moreover, this kind of thing when coming from Ken Livingstone was instantly run down and rubbished, proof only that he wasn’t all there, poor soul.

Are the lights on here? Is anyone home?

So how is Bozza going to meet his campaign pledge to create 200,000 jobs? Well, he’s going to get tough on “red tape”, which is “out of control”, don’t you know. Go on, tell me more before I get bored and put the kettle on. OK then, he’s going to “lobby the Treasury and Brussels to reduce regulation”. Of course he is, unilaterally, just for London. Don’t make me laugh.

This is utter and complete crap. Name me some of these “out of control” regulations. Define “out of control”. Are they stalking the streets of the capital and stopping folks getting to work, or something? The surreal mood is only reinforced by the discovery that the new Deputy Mayor for business and enterprise is the appalling Maltloaf, whose only “heavy hitting” recently was to stand in for Bozza in a Beeb interview.

His performance there was so bad, it was bad, although Ms Crerar does not trouble her readers with such inconvenient news. Instead, they are told gushingly that there are now seven Deputy Mayors of various kinds, including some in “beefed-up” roles. Why there have to be so many of them is not told, and to no surprise nor is the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) on the case. Not that they’re Tories, of course.

All that Bozza has to do is tell the Standard that it’s the EU’s fault, waffle about Tribunals, chuck in some pidgin French, and Voilà! Propaganda is served. Meanwhile, the saga of Stephen Greenhalgh lurches from foul-up to farce and the Standard is not even in the vicinity. This isn’t just a partisan newspaper. And it’s not just a joke. It’s an embarrassment, and a disgrace to responsible journalism.

But no doubt they’re just carrying out orders, so that’s all right, then.

[UPDATE 9 May 1130 hours: it is dawning on all concerned today that Political Scrapbook was right in its assertion that Greenhalgh could not, as a sitting Councillor, take up the Deputy Mayor for Policing role. This has been taken on board by MayorWatch, and on Twitter by none other than Pippa Crerar of the Standard.

Sadly, there is nothing (yet) on the Standard website about this, which merely confirms that the paper's priorities, under the leadership of Bozza's pal Sarah Sands, are to talk up the Johnson Mayoralty first and bother themselves with such trivia as investigative journalism later. As such, my previous comments stand unaltered]

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