A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tory Split on C-Charge

Former Hackney Councillor Andrew Boff has proclaimed that the Tory Mayoral selection is a "referendum on the Congestion Charge".

Boff is calling for it to be scrapped whilst according to him "Henley MP Boris Johnson wants it to continue in some form."

More here: http://andrewboff.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38&Itemid=1

Ken is saying:

"‘Andrew Boff is, of course, right that if - as is expected - Boris Johnson is selected as Tory candidate for Mayor, this will represent the overturn of the Tory Party’s seven year policy of opposition to congestion charging in London, a clear indication of the policy incompetence of the party.

‘But it will also be a total reversal of policy for Boris Johnson himself. Boris Johnson previously wrote of the “dark days of the New Labour tyranny, when the maniac Ken Livingstone is charging you an extra £1,200 for the privilege of using the Queen’s highway”(Life in the Fast Lane p185).

‘The likely reversal by the Tory Party of its seven year opposition to the congestion charge will show the incompetence of not only that Party but of all its candidates regarding the key policy issues in London.’"


Blogger Hughes Views said...

I think some of the Tories want to extend the charge to supermarkets don't they?

2:25 pm, September 13, 2007

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

Tory split? Most amusing. Dear chap, there has to be an agreed policy first, which won't happen until there is a selected candidate. You really haven't got the hang of this primary thing have you?

4:28 pm, September 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely the idea of the open selection is to have candidates with varying views?

RE Kens comments, if we count all the overturns of Labour policy in the last 10 years what does that say about Labour? Policy Incompetence?

4:48 pm, September 13, 2007

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4:53 pm, September 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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So come on guys...open your hearts...unite mankind!

5:30 pm, September 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Horgan wrote: 'Dear chap, there has to be an agreed policy first, which won't happen until there is a selected candidate.'

there has been an agreed policy for seven years - the Tories opposed the introduction of the congestion charge and their mayoral candidate last time, Steve Norris, promised to scrap it. Since then the Tories have remained implacably opposed to it. Johnson's advisers are almost certainly telling him he would be finished with green-minded voters in London if he calls for it to be scrapped and so he is setting out a clear policy difference.

As this discussion on Conservativehome shows, the debate is a real one:

The problem for the Tories is that they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

If they say they will keep the charge then they are admitting a terrible error of judgement since Livingstone first started the work to introduce the scheme.

If they say they will abolish it they will show they are not serious about keeping down traffic levels in the centre of the city - which have a big impact on the rest of London because of the number of bus routes that go through the centre.

And if they propose to water it down they will look weak.

But Johnson will have to explain how something that he once thought was a 'tyranny' is now OK.

6:12 pm, September 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any policy issues where Ken has changed his mind, or disagreed with the Labour party. If his argument is that you shouid not change policy, then frankly he is losing the plot - he had better sort out a better strategy soon or bonking Boris will end up buggering up the city.

8:33 pm, September 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Anonymous said...
Are there any policy issues where Ken has changed his mind, or disagreed with the Labour party. If his argument is that you shouid not change policy, then frankly he is losing the plot - he had better sort out a better strategy soon or bonking Boris will end up buggering up the city.'

Johnson has not got the odd policy here and there wrong. He has been wrong on the big issues. On the biggest issue facing the planet - climate change - he opposed the Kyoto Treaty.

He presumably has changed his position on Section 28 but he nonetheless supported it.

In terms of London, he has been wrong on the congestion charge. He is wrong to advocate the bus contracting system that operates outside London instead of the one in London that has led to an expansion of the bus service.

He says he's in favour of Crossrail but didn't bother to vote on it in the house of commons. He says he supports the Freedom Pass but didn't vote on it during the recent parliamentary debate, when the Tories put amendments to remove the mayor of London's guarantee.

Anyone who saw his TV interviews on BBC and ITV London when he launched his campaign will have seen a person clearly not able to deal with the big issues - he was unable to answer even the simple question of whether he would give up his parliamentary seat.

Johnson embodies the Tory party's record towards London - right wing incompetence.

11:45 pm, September 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to depict Boris as some sort of right winger is not going to wash with the electorate (he mkight bebut they like him) In order for Ken to beat Johnson, he will have to set out a strategy for why people should vote for him not this negative campaigning and spin - that has very limited use at the best of times, but with a populist and popular candidate such as Boris, it makes ken look a little bit nasty and vindictive - so forget rubbishing Boris, and start telling us about how great London is under Ken.

1:25 pm, September 14, 2007

Blogger Tom said...

Boris was fun yesterday. Got our lot in stonebridge to give him a leaflet and take a picture.

2:29 pm, September 14, 2007


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