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Friday 19 September 2014

Boris Says I Want Some More

Now that the wheels have been set in motion – however slowly – towards Scotland ultimately getting more power for its Parliament, calls for the same kind of thing to happen across England are bound to follow. This appears sensible enough: the problem comes when people realise just who might be getting their hands on more powers, given their track record to date.
Which areas would get more powers? Very probably these would accrue to regions of England, and to London, in the first case. And the latter example has one very keen fan: step forward London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who has now declared his intention to go back to being an MP, remain Mayor, and thereby have his cake and eat it.

Boris Johnson today signalled a major push for London to seize greater power over its own future in the wake of Scotland’s independence referendum. The Mayor said the capital now had an opportunity to win sweeping new tax powers as the UK worked out a devolution settlement for the English regionstold an obedient Standard today. See – new powers are A Very Good Thing.

Bozza added “I am very pleased that the Prime Minister has identified one of the best and most elegant solutions – greater fiscal devolution for the great cities of England, London included. Together with the core cities of England – Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield – we have drawn up detailed proposals on how this would work”.

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, a regional strategy does not do things that way: Liverpool and Manchester would be part of a North West region. Bozza should stick to London, and while he’s at it, consider that there might be considerable disquiet over handing over more powers to someone like him who has proved so adept at spraying public money up the nearest wall.

What is worse, he has already committed yet another act of blatant hypocrisy: as has been noted north of the border, Bozza “said that there is ‘no reason’ for Scotland to have more powers – and said instead that tax-raising powers should be granted to major cities in England”. So not only is he advocating a system that may not work outside London, he’s saying it shouldn’t apply to Scotland.

Bozza’s solution over more powers for Scotland appears to be “don’t give them more powers, but give them to Myself Personally Now”, or, put another way, a clear sign that he is not fit to lead a national party like the Tories. With Bozza at the helm, the chance of regaining seats outside England would start low and finish even lower. He wants more for himself and the rest can go hang.

Some Tory MPs think he is their saviour. He’s not even a very naughty boy.

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