The Stop Boris blog is a better place to look for up-to-the-minute commentary on Boris’s policies and, indeed, on any other news as it breaks. Here are some links to examples of blog posts about Boris’s policies (and what’s wrong with them!):
- Boris’s bus black hole (his vast underestimation of the cost of replacing bendy buses and reintroducing conductors, demonstrated by Channel 4’s FactCheck)
- Negotiating with the RMT (Boris’s fantasy that he will get the union that likes to vote Yes to striking to agree never to strike again!)
- Poorly thought-out recycling policy (encouraging more waste and energy use)
- Negligible tree-planting pledge (his pledge is only for 2% as many trees as a campaign launched by the current Mayor has already planted!)
- Bendy buses are no more dangerous than other buses (another good bit of work from Channel 4’s FactCheck)
Other articles about Boris’s policies can be found in the Policies category on the blog.
The information below was on this page when StopBoris.org launched in mid-March. At the time of writing this (end of March), it all still stands as true, but there may be updates on these topics to be found on the blog.
We’ve been busy reading up on Boris’s policies to inform our attacks, and so far, this is proving highly tedious and rather difficult.
The reason for this is that so much of Boris’s policy documentation appears to have been modeled on his hair: it’s light, it’s messy, and it’s all over the place, and you get the distinct impression that he really can’t seem to get a proper grasp of any of it.
Essentially he seems to have set out to use as many words as possible, over as many pages as possible, to say as little as possible about what he would do in any detail.
This supports one of our key arguments: he doesn’t have the dedication or attention to detail needed to become Mayor. This job requires you quickly to get up to speed on the minutiae of hundreds of issues affecting millions of Londoners.
Nevertheless, in conjunction with the broader internet, we can offer you some illustrations of what’s wrong with what little policy he has in a few areas for now. As he adds more detail – or, as seems likely, more waffle – to his manifesto, we’ll update this section as much as we can.
The Conservatives have tried to claim Boris’s transport manifesto shows he’s a serious candidate with profound ideas. Still, independent calculations show that, for a start, he has underestimated the cost of bringing back Routemasters and conductors by around £100 million!
And that’s not all he’s got wrong so far.
For a more detailed critique of many aspects of his transport manifesto, read this independent analysis by Blairwatch.co.uk, which surmises that “the evidence so far demonstrates that he can’t be trusted with the job, full stop.”
To his great shame, Boris has bought fully into the media agenda on crime.
The media spends much of its time telling us in great detail – some speculative – about horrific crimes. It bombards us with descriptions of the terrible things that have happened to some people, day in, day out.
To an extent, that is its job. And one point that gets lost amid the reporting is that it reports the news, and things are only news when they are relatively unusual. We don’t hear, for instance, about the thousands of deaths on British roads every year because they happen daily.
Something that has changed over the years is more news coverage now than ever. 24-hour news channels, internet news, complimentary newspapers, and so on mean that we are never short of places to hear about crime. If you go back to old newspapers, there is just as much crime in those, but the impression is that there is more crime around now than ever before.
The problem comes when the crime figures are released. These have shown crime in Britain as a whole and London, falling, year after year, for something approaching a decade in the UK and a few years less in London. This doesn’t fit with the media narrative – and after all, the latest shocking crime details sell newspapers – so what can the newspapers do?
The answer is that they rubbish the statistics and turn to talk about people’s “fear of crime” instead of actual crime levels. Fear of crime, they explain, is at its highest ever. They take to the streets and ask passersby how they feel about crime levels and whether they are scared of it. Many say they think crime is on the rise, and they are scared to walk the streets at night, and so on. So they can report that fear of crime is up, so the statistics must be wrong.
But the fear of crime is up because people are being bombarded by the media reporting crime more than ever before. So people are left with the impression, through the drip-drip-drip of media coverage, that crime levels are up and fed ever more gory details of murders and assaults that help our fear of crime grow more specific spine-chilling.
Here’s where Boris has come in.
Rather than encouraging people to enjoy London at all times of the day and reiterating that they are safer than they think, Boris has pooh-poohed any evidence of a falling crime and fear of crime running wildly ahead of actual crime.
Instead, he has said, when confronted with the statistics, things like, “Ah, but if you ask real Londoners what they think, they think crime is worse than ever and are scared to walk the streets…”
As a Londoner, I find this whole situation horrible. I love London. I love living here; I love going out here, and I love exploring this wonderful city. Boris is trying to take away from that – he is bashing the town I love to feed a damaging fear of crime.
He’s bashing Londoners, too – if the crime is high here, it follows that more of us must be criminals.
Please don’t vote for someone who attacks the reputation of the city he seeks to govern. Vote to stop Boris.