Thursday 7 January 2010

Gather your Gorms - It's time to bash Boris

Dave Hill at the Guardian criticises Labour for it's gormless Boris Bashing. Quite rightly Dave says that Labours ridiculous policy of trying to turn people off Boris by calling him a toff or a racist is completely counter productive. Here at the Barnet Eye, we like to think we've got a cupboard full of gorms. We are quite happy to bash Boris, but we limit our Boris bashing to bashing him for breaking his promises and not living up to his expectations.

Boris promised to be a "mayor for the suburbs". He said Ken had neglected areas such as Barnet and he didn't understand the needs of the people who live here. So how has our Barnet friendly Mayor worked out? For a Mayor who claims to be in touch with the suburbs, he clearly doesn't understand that his core constituency are commuters. What has Boris done for the commuters of Barnet? What has he had to say about the First Capital Connect Thameslink fiasco? Given how Boris ejected Sir Ian Blair from the Met Police Commisioners job even though it wasn't within his remit, I wonder why he has done nothing. Had Boris thundered " I will do everything in my power to sack this useless company" when the "emergency timetable" was implemented, I'm sure that the minds of FCC would have focussed rather sharply.

As to the tube service. How many Barnet Commuters were affected by TFL's lacklustre attitude to running a service in the snow. We always get the mantra that it's not economically viable to prepare for bad weather, but according to figures bandied about on the radio and TV, yesterdays disruption to London cost billions. How hard can it be to keep tube lines running when bad weather has long been forecast?

I predicted that the downfall of Boris would be due to his lack of attention to detail and his lack of management experience. It seems to me that this is proving to be the case. Time after time his poor judgement on senior appointments has shown him to be unsuitable for the top job. The Veronica Wadley affair is only the latest in a series of awful judgements by the Mayor.

Another example is some of the bizarre decisions by TFL, of which Boris is the Boss. Abolishing the River Thames from the Tube Map was one. Closer to home in Mill Hill, the decision to reroute the 186 bus away from the Watford Way between Mill Hill Circus and Aerodrome Road is another prime example of lack of attention to detail. This has inconvenienced many local pensioners who used to use the bus to go shopping at Brent Cross. It has also significantly increased the journey time for people North of Mill Hill Circus. Originally a new bus was promised to serve Grahame Park, but a bit of Boris penny pinching put paid to this.

So has Boris been a better Mayor for Barnet than Ken? Not if you use Thameslink. Not if you use the Northern Line, not if you use the 186 Bus in Mill Hill, not if you have to buy a ticket to travel on buses and tubes. The abolition of the Western congestion charge zone will have miniscule positive effects for the voters of Barnet as few people here enter the area regularly. They will however have to pick up the cost of it's removal, in fare and tax increases.

Like many Londoners, I don't care what school Boris went to. All I want from my Mayor is attention to detail and a good job done. Boris has done neither.

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