Six questions for Boris
Boris Johnson is being interviewed tonight on BBC London News.
Ken's campaign have suggested some key questions the BBC ought to be asking:
1. Ken Livingstone has set the policy that 50% of all new housing in London must be affordable housing. Boris Johnson has announced that he would scrap that policy, which would reduce pressure for affordable new homes and concentrate new housing in luxury and high price development. How does he justify pricing housing out of the hands of ordinary Londoners in this way?
2. Boris Johnson has endorsed a new bus for London designed by Autocar magazine, with an open platform, which Transport for London estimates would cost a minimum of £400 million a year to introduce and run and would therefore require a 50% increase in bus fares - a single fare going up from 90p to £1.35 and a weekly bus pass from £13 to £19.50. If Boris Johnson disputes these figures what is his estimate for the cost of his new bus plans and the fares rises they would involve?
3. How does Boris Johnson justify not bothering to vote on London's most important transport project, Crossrail, in Parliament when it was debated? And why did he make the false claim in the TV debate last week that no progress had been made on Crossrail when Ken Livingstone has secured the £16billion funding for the scheme?
4. Youth murders are one of the most serious issues facing London and we must work with the Met and through the expansion of youth facilities to stop them. But why will Boris Johnson not admit that the murder rate in London has been reduced by 27% in the last five years, that this is a great achievement, and that this is due to the increase in police numbers introduced under Ken Livingstone? Why does he claim it is only motor-car theft that has been going down when the most serious crimes such as murder and rape have been sharply reduced?
5. Boris Johnson opposes the Kyoto agreement on climate change. How can be claim he will be a green Mayor when he supports George Bush in opposing the most important international agreement on climate change?
6. London is the world's most multi-ethnic city. Good community relations are therefore crucial. Boris Johnson has claimed that his reference to black people as "piccaninnies" was only for ironic effect in a newspaper article. But the journalist Martin Ivens confirmed yesterday in the Sunday Times that this is not true: 'Rod Liddle, my colleague, sorrowfully admits to being responsible for the left's damaging charge against Boris – that he is racist. Liddle let slip to an interviewer the story that, bored beyond measure by some po-faced Unicef officials in a truck on the Kenyan-Uganda border, Johnson had called out: "Come on, let's get out and see some piccaninnies'.
(link to article)
How, particularly in such a great multi-ethnic city, can Boris Johnson justify use of racist terms as "piccaninnies" when this was clearly not just in a single article?