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Boris Johnson webchat, TODAY, Mon 16 Apr, 11.30am-12.30pm

(205 Posts)
Betelguese Thu 19-Apr-12 22:27:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Erm... I think he's gone... And you might be a bit late with your rant question... By about 2 days...

SPSS Wed 18-Apr-12 01:13:23

A lot has been debated and agreed about the need to encourage and promote cycling amongst Londoners. There has been broad agreement that more Londoners should be encouraged to take up cycling for commuting, for pleasure riding, and for health and fitness – in addition to the environmental benefits of substituting motorized transportation for pedal power.

It has been particularly argued that young people should be introduced to, and supported in, taking up cycling from early childhood so that cycling becomes integral to their lifestyles as future adult Londoners.

Indeed, so many of London’s numerous and beautiful parks offer such fantastic opportunities for introducing to children the pleasures of cycling, and for helping them learn to ride safely and confidently in a minimal-hazard environment.

And yet, ironically, parents who would like their little children to learn to ride in a safe environment as in a London park are unable to take their children and their children’s bicycles on London’s buses and tubes to reach most of these otherwise-suitable parks.

Having just purchased bicycles for my two children, aged 5 and 8, so we may, as a family, go cycling in the various parks and trails in London on the approaching summer weekends, I realize now that even on weekends, bicycles are generally not allowed on the tube network, except on a handful of inconvenient segments that anyway do not let one reach all the parks; certainly the tube station near our home does not allow boarding with bicycles (unless foldable), so we cannot even get on the network from home with our children and their two-wheelers.

This prohibition is definitely some remnant, unfounded rule - there is no reason why a family with little children as mine must have to ride on the vehicular streets of London in order to get to a park where they want to ride their bicycles in safety.

Arguments are always made where there is no motivation to make a difference, and safety is a versatile, catch-phrase argument to use.

Yes, safety of passengers is a genuine concern, and I can assure you no one wants safety compromised. But it cannot be argued that safety is compromised in other underground networks around the world where bicycle carriage is permitted (such as in San Francisco area in California). Nevertheless, safety is a far greater and more legitimate a concern in crowded (such as weekday) transit than on weekends, when most carriages are empty, and families want to take children’s cycles to parks.

Furthermore, some double buggies, cellos, and suitcases that passengers travel with on the tube (to or from Heathrow, for example) even on weekdays should be as much a concern for safety as bicycles. Why is there no restriction on any of those? Some children's bikes are much smaller than some of these large suitcases and cello cases people travel with on the tube!!

Let's think this through: what happens if there is an emergency situation and there is a need to evacuate? Bikes, just as suitcases, will need to be left behind - no matter whether the access is by lift or escalator.

Considering all of this, can you then, use your office, if elected, to bring about changes to the Conditions of Carriage that will serve as reasonable solutions toward furthering bicycle usage in London? For instance:

•Bicycles could be permitted only on weekends during certain ultra-non-peak hours (say before 9am, and between 4pm and 7pm)
•Bicycles could be permitted only in the last and the first carriage of the train, which are boarded from the far end of the platforms
•Bicycles could be permitted only at those tube stations that have an operating lift that the bicycles may be transported on
•Bicycles could only be permitted on the tube when travelling as a family, not as adults unaccompanied by children
•Buses could be fitted with bike racks as have been done in other cities with success (see pictures on the internet, from Seattle, USA, etc)

With these changes in rules, London will become much more cycle friendly to families, and we will be encouraging the internalization of a cycling culture in the next generations.

With these changes, my five year old, wishing to get across town to a park (where she'd want to ride her bike) would not need to ride her bike on the vehicular city roads all the way to the park because the safety of our roads is far from ideal for a child so young and inexperienced to ride on.

Please use your office to change the Conditions of Carriage to something more sensible and furthering of the good cause of family activities and cycle ridership.

Thank you in anticipation of a change for the better.

Shakey1500 Tue 17-Apr-12 12:15:40

Fabulous web chat grin

I like him. And I particularly liked how he responded to the Zombie and biscuit questions!

horsiegirl Mon 16-Apr-12 23:22:38

good luck Boris! London needs a well educated Mayor with a good brain and a cheerful disposition. I think London runs better with you at the helm and will be devastated if corrupt Red Ken gets in. xx

Betelguese Mon 16-Apr-12 21:21:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 16-Apr-12 20:50:34

<admires Boris's masterful handling of the Biscuit Question>

I don't like him. But that was impressive.

I do quite love Bozza. He's definitely the most shaggable Tory smile

SuePurblyBusinesslike Mon 16-Apr-12 17:54:47

Arf at remembered you from the last time Stratts. You mean that time your face was pressed up against the window of his cab, all adoring eyes and flat squished nose?

Has anybody ever actually said Jammy Dodger btw?

heliumballoon Mon 16-Apr-12 15:34:43

And he didn't answer my question about female representation in his top team and the Conservative London Assembly members. Probably because the answer is that representation is woefully low, I imagine.
<hides biscuit barrel>

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 15:30:16

He can have as many chocolate digestives as his heart desires as far as I'm concerned. He answered both of my Highly Important questions.

grin

Mind you, he probably remembered me from last time we met.

<channels her Inner Brick>

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 14:22:01

He is not charming.
He did not answer my question in Latin.
I only asked if he thought the country was too London-centric at the expense of the other 80% of the UK population.
That wasn't so hard.
Don't give him any biscuits.

Betelguese Mon 16-Apr-12 14:16:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deepfriedcupcake Mon 16-Apr-12 14:09:44

smile

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 13:52:07

Superb specimen. grin

Naice OFRS too.

Nearlypopped Mon 16-Apr-12 13:47:58

Classic photo - love it!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Apr-12 13:33:02

  Boris with his OFRS in tow.

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 13:05:26

<strums Mr BoJongles, wistfully>

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 13:01:46

I was really hoping he wld be v late, so we could all moan perimenopausally about whether we'd lost our bojo.

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:52:48

I like both, I prefer to think of it as being non-discriminatory. grin

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 12:51:05

He didn't actually answer the plain or milk quezza tho [eagle-eye-swivel]. He bouffed his way around it, as per.

Calamityboo Mon 16-Apr-12 12:44:36

sad too late

Calamityboo Mon 16-Apr-12 12:43:48

Hi Boris, I do not live in London, but do like to visit it from time to time, I can't pretend to understand the issues that you have down there in that London, as the little town I live in has only got 3 roads, and 2 of them go to the same place grin. Do you think that smaller cities and towns could benefit from an elected Mayor? What do you bring to to the role that a local council leader could not do? We do have a mayor, but it is more of a charitable role.

crazynanna Mon 16-Apr-12 12:42:25

We did actually give you an easy ride Boris,to be honest.

Probably because so many on here fancy you rotten although that is not my view I'm a Johny Depp girl myself

gazzalw Mon 16-Apr-12 12:42:21

Thanks for answering our question, Boris!

Good luck on 3rd May too!

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:40:39

Thank you Boris, and thank you very much for answering my inane questions, as well as the serious ones.

<mwah>

crazynanna Mon 16-Apr-12 12:40:15

Re the biscuit answer...Boris just sounds to me like a man that wants it all! wink

DottyDot Mon 16-Apr-12 12:39:52

ooh Boris you smooth talker you.... smile

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:38:57

I will let you all in on a conversation i had this morning
I was in No 10 making the case for more funding for London and received some high-level advice that Mumsnet was the toughest assignment a politician could face

I want you to know i have much enjoyed it and hope that if I prevail on May 3 you may think it worth inviting me back

ps thanks for the tip about the hairbrush.

noseynoonoo Mon 16-Apr-12 12:36:07

Brilliant biscuit answer - Gordon Brown take note!

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:36:01

<pushes for that elusive kiss>

oxred81 Mon 16-Apr-12 12:34:27

ps, people here would be v excited about your biscuit comments. I shall pass them on.

oxred81 Mon 16-Apr-12 12:33:59

Hi Boris
I read your guest blog post where you mention steps you’ve taken to ensure ‘our children can play outside’. On top of planting street trees, and restoring green spaces – would you commit to protecting those green spaces too? The QEII Fields Challenge gives councils the opportunity to protect parks & pitches forever but sadly it hasn’t had as much take up in London as elsewhere. Would you take it up as a mayoral pledge?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:33:54

SarahStratton

Plain or milk chocolate?

I am sorry that we haven't yet given you enough detail on the biscuit question

The important point about a chocolate digestive is that it combines the temptation of the chocolate with the nourishment of the wholemeal biscuit pabulum stuff

Each biscuit delivers on that promise, time after time, until you get to the bottom of the packet

It is about consistency and reliability

It does what it says on the packet

That is the essence of my commitment to London

I will keep my promises - just as I have been able to keep them over the last four years, and i hope i can count on your support

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:32:51

Didn't get a kiss sad

<practices Sadface for Daily Mail shoot>

SophieNeveau Mon 16-Apr-12 12:32:00

Boris, tip, put a mirror and hairbrush in your of rucksack!

cakewench Mon 16-Apr-12 12:31:46

oh goodness, I can't even wink at the man properly. Here's another try: wink

grin

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:31:28

Thanks, you can be on Team Stratters, Boris grin

crazynanna Mon 16-Apr-12 12:30:57

"Substantial" is still alarming,though.

cakewench Mon 16-Apr-12 12:30:53

At the Beijing Olympic closing ceremony, you kept shoving your hands in your pockets. Please don't do that at this one.

Don't worry about the hair. Just think "hands, not in pockets. cakewench told me so."

I don't live in London but I think the ladies who do have raised some good and proper points with you today. Please excuse my silly one. ;)

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:28:58

SarahStratton

Hullo Boris, I think you are gorgeous. A kiss would be lovely grin

My question is: What preparations have you made for a Zombie Apocalypse, and what do you have in your OFRS?

Thank you x

Dear Sarah Stratton and all who have asked about the Zombie Apocalypse

All I can say that we are making every effort to ensure that the Zombie Apocalypse does not happen, and certainly not during the Olympic and Paralympic Games

I am told by the security services that the risk of the Zombie Apocalypse and indeed all other disasters has been downgraded from severe to substantial

But we are never complacent.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Apr-12 12:28:54

poppyseeds99

Hi Boris,

Thanks for answering my question. You mentioned your manifesto; where can I find it and what's the key part of your 9 point plan?

www.backboris2012.com/manifesto

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:28:14

Plain or milk chocolate?

MrsMicawber Mon 16-Apr-12 12:27:55

Boris,

What will you be doing to improve social mobility in London?

poppyseeds99 Mon 16-Apr-12 12:27:49

Hi Boris,

Thanks for answering my question. You mentioned your manifesto; where can I find it and what's the key part of your 9 point plan?

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 12:27:34

Ach, if that's the case, it might have been better to front it out, instead of deleting your manifesto. That rather makes it look as though you were trying to cover your tracks and hope we didn't notice, shifty-like ;)

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:26:45

TheBlackShiksa

As the number of young black unemployed men hits 50% in the UK, what as mayor will you be doing to help get more black men into work? Figures have also shown that women are going to hit hardest by the recession, and black women more so, as I black person I find it difficult to even contemplate voting for a Tory mayor, why should I vote for you?

Because I have a plan to create 200,000 jobs over the next four years that will benefit all Londoners. It rests on maintaining investment in transport, housing, local high streets and the Olympic legacy. The best way through tough times is jobs and growth.

I will also create 100,000 apprenticeships that will be open to all, enabling young Londoners to get into work.

But we all recognize that black boys in particular are at risk from being left behind. That’s why I have a specific plan to help them. My mentoring scheme for black boys aged 11-16 will match the most difficult cases with adult mentors who will help them with their school work and lead away them from catastrophic choices and into jobs.

SuzyDoo Mon 16-Apr-12 12:26:19

But 20mph across London would make the most difference - not helmets!

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:25:17

debsdrew

Why does the word "childcare" not appear in your manifesto?

We have not yet finished the manifesto! One of the good things in the economy chapter was a commitment to help mothers back into work by setting up a new £25m fund for part-time jobs

We reckon we can help create 20,000 part time jobs in the GLA group alone

I am also going to champion part-time jobs with London's private sector - on the lines of the Living Wage campaign

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:25:09

jonnybristol

what's your favourite biscuit Boris?

Chocolate Digestive

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 12:22:31

ARE YOU GOING TO TELL US YOUR FAVOURITE BISCUIT?

Come on. This is important stuff.

Kara87 Mon 16-Apr-12 12:22:14

what are you going to do to maintain links with other main cities in the UK- Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Leeds, which can bring London investment and vice versa. As the nations largest city we also have a responsibility to help other cities prosper too. So, if I vote for you, how will your office be not only good for London but good for the UK??

SophieNeveau Mon 16-Apr-12 12:22:13

We live in London and it is a fourteen year old with the zip card. You don't provide free transport as you state, sorry Boris!

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:20:22

MissAnneThrope

Hmm, re rape crisis centres - your original, but now deleted manifesto promised £744K per year to fund them. In fact, they're only getting £466K a year - when are you going to give them the missing 280K per year that they so desperately need?

Thanks MissAnneThrope

I accept that people wanted more cash, but we are in very tough times and obviously i would rather make sure that we have the coverage

Obviously I will now be making sure that we continue to fund the centres and I would argue that I will be in much the best position to get the cash we need from government

SophieNeveau Mon 16-Apr-12 12:20:17

Transport is not free for under 18 in london Boris, the zip card takes money off!

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:18:14

thinneratforty

Is there anything you could do to extend the R11 bus route to the Princess Royal University Hospital? It currently stops at Green St Green and is the only bus that could potentially go between Queen Mary's Sidcup Hospital to the Princess Royal - would be really useful for relatives visiting patients who are no longer treated at QMS but who live in Bexley.

I will ask my transport officials to look at this, as I know many Londoners rely on these types of local bus services. As ever, it’s a question of whether we have the budget to extend these types of service – but despite the tough financial conditions we have managed to maintain local bus services in the outer Boroughs so I hope we can do something with the R11. We certainly couldn’t if the transport budget were cut, which is what some people are advocating in this election.

FannyFifer Mon 16-Apr-12 12:17:44

In Scotland a lot of charities & organisations have been refused lottery funding as it is being diverted to London due to the Olympics.
The Olympics does not benefit the rest of the UK despite what some may say so do you think it's fair other countries in the UK are suffering as a result?

Certainly when Glasgow hosts the commonwealth games I doubt very much that charities in London will suffer.

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:17:06

Norfolkmumma

What is your view re the changes to Child Benefit?

Alas I am not the chancellor

As London is special case i must tell you that i made the case repeatedly to the government that they should lift the threshold for withdrawal

The best thing I can do is keep free travel for children under 18 in full time education

and keep council tax low

and fight for funding for London

ehlittleone Mon 16-Apr-12 12:16:46

Thanks Boris I like the sound of what you are doing. My nephews live in Camden. And the latest incident was reported to the Police with descriptions but don't hold out much hope of them being found.

On a positive note, I was burgled last year. I cannot praise the Police response enough. They arrived within 10 minute of my call the aftercare was brilliant and they even found my car that was nicked. (Probably says something about the state of my car.)

I think you are doing a good job and really hope Ken doesn't get back in.

Poulay Mon 16-Apr-12 12:15:39

BoffinMum, there are not many children cycling on the congested, HGV-ridden roads of London.

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 12:15:33

"If elected, I will use the position I have to persuade employers to show more flexibility and match women with the right skills with part-time job shares, creating more jobs for women who find it difficult to combine work with looking after a child."

Really - how? This kind of thing can't really be sorted between chaps, over Hurlingham G&Ts, can it Boris?

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 12:14:29

Poulay last time I read the literature on this it suggested they were vital for children, who are more likely to fly over the handlebars in an accident, and who have softer skulls, and less important for adults, who are more likely to break an arm or a leg in an accident.

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:13:16

scottishmummy

Boris did you and Ken really square up to each other in that lift?resulting in the debacle about declaring individual tax

Dear Scottishmummy

This incident has been slightly exaggerated.

I am afraid the former mayor persisted in telling what i will politely call and untruth (after i had taken the trouble to correct him privately) and it was necessary to be more direct...

This election is about trust

and to a degree that some of my officials find amazing i have kept my 2008 manifesto commitments to London

and i will do so again!

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:13:13

gazzalw

Hi Boris!

Have noticed that whilst Borough Education Departments are having to rapidly step up to the mark regarding schooling the ongoing baby-boom (of 2002/3 onwards), there seems to be a certain reticence to address the fact that these children are rapidly approaching secondary schooling (think the oldest of the cohort are now in Year 4). What are you planning to ensure that there will be enough quality secondary schooling to meet demand in the coming years? The emphasis here is on schools that parents will want to send their children to, not ones that have spare places but are not up-to-standard!

Many thanks

Although the Mayor has no direct say over education, I feel very strongly about our school standards. It’s simply not good enough that literacy and numeracy are still so poor.

In the short term, I can make a nuisance of myself and get a better deal out of the Government. Last year, I persuaded the Government to invest an extra £260m for primary and secondary school places and just last week I secured an additional £300m for more primary school places.

But London still faces a big shortfall in school places and you’re absolutely right – the focus cannot just be on trying to cram as many in as possible regardless of quality. That’s why I’ve set up an education enquiry in London, to make a proper assessment of what’s needed. We will then take our findings and use them to make the case to Government. I’ve also sponsored Mayoral academies. The two in Enfield recently increased the number of pupils getting five or more good GCSEs including English and Maths. If elected, I will make GLA owned land available to those wanting to start Free Schools, so parents have greater say and better choice.

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:11:46

I could do that, Bups and I could hold a hand each.

Poulay Mon 16-Apr-12 12:11:45

Dear Boris, have you actually reviewed the studies on cycling with a helmet?

There is no consensus on whether they improve safety at all and they certainly have behavioural disadvantages in terms of both cyclists AND motorists compensating for their perceived protection by cycling and driving more dangerously.

A helmet is NOT a substitute for safe cycling and safe roads, and it's very irresponsible to tell people to just put a helmet on and it will magically protect them from the tipper trucks and killer HGVs.

thereistheball Mon 16-Apr-12 12:11:40

Boris - how did you choose the middle name Lettice for your daughter?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:11:24

crazynanna

How do you feel about the Leader of your Party's Housing Benefit reforms' and how they will in reality make many families leave London,uprooting their children from school,losing their jobs and so on? I live,like you,in Islington,and quite frankly it is quite alarming on how many of my daughter's school friends are leaving the school and the borough due to the changes'.

When they were proposed, I was very worried about their impact in London and the upheaval on families with deep roots in their areas. The principle of making work pay better than benefits is something I agree with, but I argued that London was an exceptional case because of the high cost of housing. I persuaded the Government to give us more time for existing claimants (an extra 9 months) and more money for boroughs to help households either move or, in some circumstances, stay where they are or within their area. I hope this will make the changes more bearable for the families affected.

SuzyDoo Mon 16-Apr-12 12:11:13

Hi Boris!
I want my kids to be safe cycling to school - when are you going to commit to 20mph on TFL controlled roads? In Holland half of all kids cycle to school - we could have the same and reduce the shocking rate of 1 in 5 obese kids in London.

SophieNeveau Mon 16-Apr-12 12:11:01

Boris, your hair always looks clean. HTH.

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 12:10:54

Leave him alone, Stratton.

<leads Sarah away>

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 12:10:47

Boris, a word to the wise, do take your hands out of your pockets at the Olympics, won't you, not like the launch at Beijing? Or we will have to send one of the more stern Mnetters to tell you off most severely.

lemondancy Mon 16-Apr-12 12:10:38

Boris, what will you do to make good quality childcare more affordable for Londoners? My partner and I are in the adoption process, want to adopt a sibling group (of little Londonders), and despite having good jobs probably can't afford to taken on more than two children because of the cost of care!

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:10:26

Please don't, we've met and I like your hair just the way it is grin

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 12:09:41

<He's definitely like Oopsy-Daisy. They go to the same hairdresser, I am convinced of that. His hair puffs up when he gets excited, just like hers.> grin

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:08:54

To all those who have asked embarrassing questions about my hair:-

i apologise for any scruffiness and am grateful to an assortment of hairdressers/barbers for their efforts

if spared by the electoral reaper i promise to be as tidy as i can possibly be for the Olympics

Kara87 Mon 16-Apr-12 12:08:33

Also, what are you going to do to maintain links with other main cities in the UK- Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Leeds, which can bring London investment and vice versa. As the nations largest city we also have a responsibility to help other cities prosper too. So, if I vote for you, how will your office be not only good for London but good for the UK??

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:08:33

painterlyswoosh

Boris - cycling. What are you going to do to make sure that fewer cyclists die in London on bikes this year? And to make cycling safer and easier?

Any particular plans for the Kings cross junction that is incredibly dangerous and has already claimed lives?

I am a cyclist first and foremost. I do it every day, so I am acutely aware of what needs to be done. We’re reviewing those difficult junctions (I will ask my transport officials to consider King’s Cross) and we’ve got the budget to make the improvements. We’re working with companies who use large lorries to fit bigger mirrors so they can see cyclists in time. All of our bus drivers are thoroughly trained to watch out for cyclists.

I think we all have a responsibility to improve cycle safety. The most effective thing cyclists can do to be safe is wear a helmet, be visible, be patient and respectful. Let’s be honest – we’ve all lapsed on these things from time to time. But the recent tragedies remind us that it’s the most important thing we can do to stay safe.

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:08:29

Hero <squeak>

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 12:08:04

Hmm, re rape crisis centres - your original, but now deleted manifesto promised £744K per year to fund them. In fact, they're only getting £466K a year - when are you going to give them the missing 280K per year that they so desperately need?

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 12:07:14

OH YEAH

Boris, remember when you chased those hoodlums off on your bike, who were about to attack that lady in Camden?

<fans Sarah's face>

SophieNeveau Mon 16-Apr-12 12:07:09

Boris, <swoons> Show us your playfull side

<I have a vote going spare>

Tell us about the messy hair thing you have going on. Your hair facinates me. I did ask earlier if your Mum tells you off if she see's you in the press with messy hair?

seenbutnotheard Mon 16-Apr-12 12:06:53

Hi Boris

Is there any chance of you considering reintroducing zone 2:6 travel cards, weekend travel cards and family travel cards?

The price of getting into London with my family really puts me off making the trip.

Thanks

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:06:52

poppyseeds99

Hi Boris,
I'm definitely considering voting for you after reading your Mumsnet blog but I'm troubled by your reputation of elitism and nepotism, ie belonging to an 'old boys' club'.

What can you say to reassure me that you're a modern Londoner who realises that many of those in the Capital are struggling on a salary which you might consider 'chicken feed'?

Dear Poppyseed

after four years of doing this job i have no doubt that Londoners frankly dont give a monkey's about your background. All they want to know is that you love the city and that you have the right ideas to take London forward. I think my 9 point plan for London is about as forward looking and progressive an agenda as you could devise

ehlittleone Mon 16-Apr-12 12:06:37

On the subject of the Olympics, I live in Bexley too. I have heard that the roads in Greenwich are going to be shut for the whole period to allow VIPs to use them. This is going to cause mayhem on the surrounding areas for people in and out of work to London. Most people I speak to are going to be under house arrest and my brother is going to stay with my Mum for 2 weeks as he can't get his usual bus to work. Is this fair for, I presume, a few hundred people a day to have this privilege?

Poulay Mon 16-Apr-12 12:06:16

Am I going to get in trouble for riding my bicycle in the Zil Lanes during the Olympics?

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:06:13

He hasn't kissed me, we're both one the naughty list Bups and he obviously hasn't seen our profile pics

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:06:02

OneOfMyTurnsComingOn

Boris, why aren't you PM?

Because being Mayor is the most important job I’ll ever do. This election comes at a critical time for London, and the decisions we make will determine whether this city thrives or declines. I have built half a bridge, and I can see the other side and what needs to be done. Being Mayor is such an honour, why would a politician want any other job?

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 12:04:20

I didn't really think he was a latecomer. Please don't put me on the Naughty List. blush

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:03:43

ehlittleone

Boris

My 10 year old nephew was mugged 2 weeks ago and my 14 year old nephew has been mugged twice, all times coming home from school and by teenagers. They are Londoners. It breaks my heart and scares the life out of me that they have got to live life like this.

Please do something to stop these people running our streets and help make our children safe.

I am so sorry to hear that and would be grateful if you could give us details of the whereabouts so we can take it up w the local police. Of course I can tell you that robbery is down but appreciate that is no earthly consolation. What we need is not just more police out there - and I guarantee the funding to deliver that.

We also need more diversionary activities - and that is why we are doing to much to support activities for young people, through Team London, and through the uniformed youth groups such as the cadets and others.

But frankly we also need some of these kids to face a more serious deterrent. That is why we launched the 10000-officer anti-gang strategy last month, and in my new crime manifesto we are setting up a sentencing unit for London, to make sure that the punishment fits the crime.

SarahStratton Mon 16-Apr-12 12:03:38

Oooh <squeak> hello Boris!

LilyBolero Mon 16-Apr-12 12:03:31

Boris, you recently published your tax return. Do you think all MPs should do the same, and given that one very popular way of minimising tax is to transfer income into your husband/wife's name, should a spouse's tax return also be published?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:03:11

MissBeehivingUnderTheMistletoe

Oh Boris, you do make me larf grin

Onto more serious matters, I think that David Cameron bears a striking resemblance to Iggle Piggle, which of ITNG characters do you think you are most like and why?

PS <mwah>

Alas I haven’t had the time yet to watch …but I will watch out for Iggle Piggle and see if you are right

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 12:01:54

WelshCerys

Like you, I love London. You've got some remarkable achievements under your belt, like the bikes and tightening up of anti-social behaviour on the tube.

But too many Londoners, including kids, live in unsafe, unsuitable homes - I'm thinking particularly of the tower blocks, some of which disgrace our communities.

No child should grow up in a noisy, dangerous place with next to no outdoor play space. (It's not good for their parents either). Is this something that you could focus lots of attention on if you get back?

Yes. I think one of the biggest mistakes previous generations made was to sacrifice quality for quantity in social housing. It is unacceptable that in the 21st century thousands of Londoners are forced to live in sub-standard homes. That’s why I successfully lobbied the Government to invest £821m to bring council homes in 14 boroughs up to scratch.

Some of the capital’s poorest council tenants, currently living in some of the worst housing conditions in the country, will now see their homes brought up to the national Decent Homes standard. I expect that to make a big difference.

I have also introduced tougher space and quality standards for new social housing. It means that developers will be required to make accommodation bigger, provide more family sized homes and access to green space. If elected, I will continue to insist on these standards being met.

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 12:01:03

Boris, another one, in English this time. Any thoughts on the middle class flight from the capital that has taken place over the last two decades, and any plans on attracting this socio-demographic group back in order to reduce social polarisation in the capital?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:58:51

LineRunner

Dear Boris, Have you any idea what it is like to be a lone parent at the moment, working as I do full-time, but skint and vilified nevertheless? (My ExH pays under £35 a week per child out of his very decent salary.) How do you actually think I manage? Because I don't. My children could be as bright as yours; but let's face it, they'll never be as likely to succeed, will they? p.s. I have a PhD.

I do understand how tough things are and I do sympathise very much. The best thing I can do is to use all my influence to ease the burdens on Londoners – freezing the council tax, expanding the London Living Wage (which has been taken up by far more firms under this Mayoralty than during the previous 8 years) and fighting for the funds from government that will generate jobs and growth. I want every child in this city to have an equal chance of succeeding, and it is an utter scandal that one in four 11 year olds is still illiterate. In the next four years we want to turn that round – and we are beginning with the seven poorest boroughs in London.

You mrntion your PhD. If elected, I will use the position I have to persuade employers to show more flexibility and match women with the right skills with part-time job shares, creating more jobs for women who find it difficult to combine work with looking after a child.

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:58:41

Lily253

As a Londoner I was stunned when you were so slow to respond to the riots last summer. What measures have been taken to prevent the same situation - both in terms of the riots and your response - never happen again?

Yes Lily253 and all who have asked...In an ideal world i would not have been stuck on a family caravan holiday 300 miles from the nearest airport. But as soon as I was back we got the situation under control in a way that was exemplary and a credit to British policing ...and I didn't sit around blaming the cuts. I visited every area that had been affected several times and we got 1 the high street fund for immediate help 2 specific funds for Croydon and Tottenham and 3 general funds for regeneration

I dont believe the riots will happen again because (a) the criminal justice system has responded in a pretty robust way and (b) because we have all been given a huge wake up call to deal with the underlying causes

ehlittleone Mon 16-Apr-12 11:56:43

Boris

My 10 year old nephew was mugged 2 weeks ago and my 14 year old nephew has been mugged twice, all times coming home from school and by teenagers. They are Londoners. It breaks my heart and scares the life out of me that they have got to live life like this.

Please do something to stop these people running our streets and help make our children safe.

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:56:42

chibi

thank you for not allowing homophobic adverts on london buses, and doing it reflexively and unselfconsciously as if there couldn't possibly be any other action

*my question*: as the gap between have and havenot increases, and the working poor are increasingly priced out of living in the capital, what measures are you taking to ensure that london does not ultimately become the city of the ultrarich served by the ultrapoor who must commute great distances to do so?

What sets London apart from other mega-cities of the world is that we do not accept a wide gap between rich and poor as the price of progress. Sadly, it would be blinkered to think that it doesnt exist of course it does. Sadly, it would be blinkered to think that it doesn't exist - of course it does.
So I have worked to expand the number of companies who pay the London Living Wage - the 'real' wage at which you need to afford to live in this city. More than 100 London employers have now signed up to pay their staff at least £8.30 per hour - there were 27 when I was elected. This includes nearly all major banks, law firms and the GLA itself - benefitting over 3,000 people.

I have also maintained half price travel on the buses for those seeking work, and if elected I will introduce a 30% travel discount for those in apprenticeships.

But the biggest thing I can do is to grow London's economy so ordinary Londoners have better access to better paid jobs. We can only do this by investing. Some argue that we should cut back investment, but I think that would be disastrous for the city. Through the investments in transport, housing and local high streets, City Hall can create 200,000 jobs directly. By upgrading our transport system and making the city a more pleasant place to live, we can attract major international companies who bring with them shed loads of jobs.

Finally, the only way we can make our transport system cheaper to use is to make it cheaper to run ? that requires doing things like replacing signal boxes that are, in some cases, over 50 years old and looking seriously at driverless (but not unstaffed) trains.

Kara87 Mon 16-Apr-12 11:56:29

Boris, there seems to have been a lot of mudslinging in the debates so far.

I'd like to hear what you think of other candidates' policies (not just Ken's).

Also could you tell me why you can't cut fares? The prices of london transport are at tourist prices, and is holding lower paid workers to ransom. What can you do to help us?

Also, what will you do to encourage employers to pay a london living wage?

MerlinFromCamelot Mon 16-Apr-12 11:55:15

We live in the Bexley and have been paying extra council tax for the olympics. Unfortunately as a Bexley resident who is involved in the day to day running of a local swimmingclub we have not benefited from the Olympics at all. Why is not more being done to support young people in sport. It does not necessary has to be funding. Things such as being allowed to have a training session in the Olympic pool for example, before the games would not cost the earth and could raise the profile of small clubs which in turn attracts publicity etc...

LittleTyga Mon 16-Apr-12 11:54:59

Good Morning Boris,

Frank Field has raised an issue regarding allocation of Social Housing. What are your thoughts? And where are the beautiful new homes you promised were going to be built? I live near Paddington Basin - why are the council refusing to build any Social Housing on that site? Do we need any more (Rubbish) Luxury Apartments sitting empty when families are squeezed in all around?

I'm fed up with listening about all the rubbish about Social Housing - are we not yet agreed that the City needs rich and poor working and living together. Please don't let London become the playground to the rich!

jtomasm Mon 16-Apr-12 11:53:41

And an addition, Boris, why should LGBT londoners vote for you/how would we feel represented by you when you once are claimed to have said "if gay marriage was OK - and I was uncertain on the issue - then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog."?

Shortcakeandspice Mon 16-Apr-12 11:53:19

Hi Boris.

The domestic violence charity Refuge will very likely have to close this summer as its funding was slashed. Conversely, domestic violence goes up during bad economic times. So, what's your strategy for saving Refuge, and for funding services for survivors of domestic violence?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:51:44

Isaidhangonamin

Is there an urban myth about London that gets you riled?

Mine is that all Londoners are unfriendly. It just isn't true and I think the people's army of broomsweepers after last years riots shows what we're made of.

Yes i saidhangonamin

I tell you what gets my goat...It's the suggestion that delays on the tube are getting worse when we all know (because TFL tells me) that delays have been cut by 40 per cent in the last four years and we can cut them by a further 30 per cent in the next four years. But the best way to do this is to modernise, to automate, and to put in the new track and signalling that Londoners need - and that means not cutting vital investment now

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:51:38

ohmeohmy

How can the billions being spent on the olympics be justified given the appalling state of the economy and how much ordinary people are suffering under this coalitions draconian policies?

It’s a big investment, but we expect a return for that. We’re not just building sports venues, we’re building homes, schools and businesses in a part of London long neglected. In the construction alone, 10,000 jobs will be provided. 11,000 new homes will be created.

We too often forget that east London used to be the powerhouse of the London economy. When the docks went, so did many of the jobs. Canary Wharf provided part of the solution, and now the Olympic development that will be there after the Games will provide the other part.

On my watch, the Olympics has not been a blank cheque. We’ve brought the Olympic facilities in on time and under budget. If elected, I will make sure that every penny spent on the legacy will be published online, so Londoners can see where the money is being spent and hold me to account.

MissAnneThrope Mon 16-Apr-12 11:51:11

Ah, you md a schoolgirl error in specifying marriage, McFluffster. Bigamy's orf, even for the mayor. Should have lowered yr sights to 'have yr secret love-child &c'?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:49:53

wheeler

Boris - about violence against women in London.

Your administration introduced the under reported and excellent 'The Way Forward' london-wide strategy on ending violence against women. I want to know:

1. What will you do to further improve the initial police response to reports of rape, domestic violence, and all forms of violence against women. It's this 1st response that really matters but too often it's still poor and women end up not seeing a report thru to prosecution..

2. Your manifesto mentions specific action on FGM and honour based violence. Really good. Will you match ken's commitment to tackle sexual harassment in public places in London?

3. There has been criticism of your youth mentoring scheme for failing to take girls' needs into account. Are you committed to ensuring all serious youth violence work includes girls' needs from scratch?

4. Finally, your deputy kit malthouse spoke at a women's hustings last week (EVAW Coalition) and when asked about prostitution gave a strong answer on its inherently abusive nature and some measures mayor-gla can take. But he also said national debate is needed to look at law. Do you agree?

Thanks.

1. The police have been sent a very clear message from our violence against women strategy – the first time London has had one. Now that City Hall has been given powers to set police priorities through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC), we can do more to change attitudes. That’s not to criticize the police, I’ve been very impressed with the new Commissioner’s attitude to crimes against women. Part of the recent rise in rape statistics is that victims feel more confident in coming forward, and I don’t mind taking the political flak for that if it means a greater likelihood of justice being done. It’s why I funded three new Rape Crisis Centres (and will continue to fund them if elected), so that victims are supported all the way from the initial reporting to giving evidence in court. I know the police find it incredibly frustrating when a case fails because the victim doesn’t want to testify – we can increase prosecutions if we can support victims through that trauma.

On domestic violence, we found that alcohol plays a huge part in many cases. That’s why I successfully lobbied the Government to introduce a compulsory sobriety trial. It means violent drunks are forced to wear a special bracelet that measures the level of alcohol in their blood. If they drink, they are ordered to return to prison. International experience shows it works to bring down re-offending rates, and if elected I will expand the scheme.

2. I felt it was really important to make specific mention of female genital mutilation and so called ‘honour’ crimes (which could not be further from the meaning of the word) in my manifesto. These crimes have remained hidden under the surface for too long, and as Mayor I wanted to make a stand. They are barbaric and have no place in our city. Yes, I believe all candidates should share a determination to tackle sexual harassment in public places. That’s why I put 697 more police on public transport and banned drinking the tube. It’s why I will continue to argue against any attempt to cut the transport budget, because funding a greater uniformed presence on the system (especially at night) is vital in protecting women from sexual harassment and other crime.

3. The mentoring scheme has been criticized, but I make no apology for attempting to deal with this difficult problem. When I got in, there was no mechanism for dealing with those kids who were making catastrophic choices and getting involved with gangs and knives. We must never forget there was a time when we were seeing a teenager die on our streets virtually every week. The work we’ve done has helped cut that number by half. But one is too many, which is why you need to do more than just have more police. You need to intervene in those lives as early as you can to prevent them taking the wrong turn.

It’s true that the mentoring scheme is aimed at black boys – as that is where the biggest problems are. But I’m happy to think about how we can include girls too. And I agree that we need to take into account girls’ needs when we come up with policy to tackle youth violence. Not least because girls get drawn into gangs too, and they are often at great risk of becoming victims of sexual violence in what are very macho and misogynistic environments.

jtomasm Mon 16-Apr-12 11:49:46

Boris,

Considering the fact that (reported) homophobic crime has risen in London at alarming rates over the past several years, why do you seem to have made no recorded promises to LGBT londoners in your manifesto so far and, as mayor, what would you do to ensure the diversity of our city and communities is preserved and help LGBT people be and feel safe?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:48:56

justice4all

BORIS why are you not in favour of realistic transport fares for londoners? And why does london the most expensive travel cost in the world and who is profiting at our expense?

Thanks justice4all

We are coping with decades of underinvestment in our transport network and I will not make promises that I cannot keep. The best way forward for London now is to maintain the investment programme that will enable us to modernise our networks, take out cost and then hold down fares in a way that is honest and sustainable.

I would point out that my opponent has repeatedly promised to cut or freeze fares and then flagrantly broken that promise once he is in office. With two and a bit weeks to go in this election, he has yet to come clean with Londoners: where is the money coming from to pay for his latest promise?

You can bet your life on this: my programme has a better chance of holding fares down in the medium term than his short term and unfunded commitments.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Apr-12 11:48:47

BupcakesandCunting

Oooh, he's a latecomer...

No he wasn't late - we just got a bit carried away chatting... my fault really.

Lily253 Mon 16-Apr-12 11:48:14

As a Londoner I was stunned when you were so slow to respond to the riots last summer. What measures have been taken to prevent the same situation - both in terms of the riots and your response - never happen again?

vincenta Mon 16-Apr-12 11:48:02

Hi Boris!
When I was little girl I was dreaming about meeting my prince and about our wedding day and happy ever after!
Nowadays ,marriage isn't so important and it looks like it is much better to be Alon parent. what do you think about it? Why it is so? Why married couples with middle incomes live worst than single mums?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:44:32

McFluffster

I love you Boris. Would you be willing to turn your back on your party so that we could marry?

Very kind of you but I am married!

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:44:23

zany

Hi Boris,

Figures published on the MET website state that in the last 12 months in London we had more than a 100 murders, more than 3,000 rapes, more than 30,000 robberies etc. Given the proposed cuts to the MET force, the already stretched judicial and prison services; how are you going to effectively tackle crime in London and bring these numbers down within these contraints?

Thanks Zany

This has been a tough time for the London economy but i am very proud that crime is down across the board by more than 10 per cent. Robbery is down by 16 per cent against the previous four year period and murder (a very difficult figure to fudge) is down by a quarter. Bus crime is down by more than a third, and I remember how much of an issue that was in the 2008 campaign. My job has been to get the funding from government to keep police numbers high, and we will have more than a thousand extra officers at the end of this four year term than there were at the beginning -- plus we are now putting 2000 more in the safer neighbourhood teams. My no 1 priority is to keep making London safer and one of the safest big cities on earth...and I can guarantee that we will keep police numbers high and keep police out on the street where we want to see them

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:42:58

TheBlackShiksa

Hi Boris, what do you think about your main rival Ken Livingstone's comments about London's Jewish community? Do you feel he was sincere in his apology or do you think he is a divisive force in London. What will you do as Mayor and what have you done to ensure London's different faith communities and groups rub together nicely?

London is the most diverse city on earth. We have more than 300 languages spoken on our streets. There are more than 150 nationalities, and it is hardly surprising that we hear the echoes of global intercommunal tensions and disputes. But it is emphatically NOT the job of the Mayor to play up those tensions, or to play one group off against another. The Mayor is there to serve all Londoners - and to celebrate a spirit of unity in diversity. The great thing about Eid or Diwali or St Patrick's day, or whatever festivity we are supporting, is that you will find Trafalgar Square full of people from all sorts of backgrounds who are just there for the fun or the craic or whatever. And the best way to promote harmony is to improve the lives of all Londoners - investing in the transport network, cutting crime, building more affordable housing, creating the platform for sustained growth in employment.

Isaidhangonamin Mon 16-Apr-12 11:42:50

Is there an urban myth about London that gets you riled?

Mine is that all Londoners are unfriendly. It just isn't true and I think the people's army of broomsweepers after last years riots shows what we're made of.

justice4all Mon 16-Apr-12 11:40:46

BORIS why are you not in favour of realistic transport fares for londoners? And why does london the most expensive travel cost in the world and who is profiting at our expense?

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:40:33

ConferencePear

I haven't heard any of the candidates even mention London's role as this country's capital city. How does Boris see that role developing? At the moment London seems more remote to me than it has ever done in my life.

I see London playing a pivotal role in leading the country out of recession. We have a huge responsibility to create the jobs and growth that will benefit the whole country. But in order to do that it is critical we keep investing. Some argue for an approach that cuts back investment, but I think that would be a disaster for our city. How can we accommodate new jobs if we can’t physically squeeze more people into the tube, or if we don’t build more homes? How can we attract international companies, who bring shed loads of jobs with them, if quality of life is poor? These are the challenges that London faces, and if elected, I will meet them head on by maintaining investment, getting a better deal from the Government and arguing for London to keep more of the money it raises.

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:39:46

heliumballoon

Also this is a comment rather than a question. Just to observe that by replacing bendy buses with routemasters, it effectively halved the space on the bus for buggies. Which means I can regularly no longer get on the number 29 bus with my children. I know it's a small thing compared with employment, childcare, infrastructure, policing etc but it annoys me a lot!
<from the woman trying to hold her two month old in her teeth while folding a buggy with one hand and using the other to stop her pre-schooler legging it>

I am very sorry to hear this and I will get on to TFL immediately...All drivers are told to be as buggy-friendly as possible and we will see what we can do to sort out the space problem. One thing I won't do is bring back the bendy, which not only blocked the traffic and was a menace to cyclists - it was also a fare evader's paradise. We lost £7.4 m a year through dodging on the bendies alone...

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 11:38:37

Oooh, he's a latecomer...

If you were to take over as leader of the conservatives and then PM who would you get to replace George Osborne as chancellor? Just hypothetically...

IDunnoHowAnyoneDoesIt Mon 16-Apr-12 11:37:19

HELLO BORIS

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:36:39

strangerwithmyface

Are you a feminist Boris?

Yes

MrsMicawber Mon 16-Apr-12 11:35:58

sorry Justine that was a unfortunate xpost

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 11:35:56

Hi everyone this is Boris Johnson here looking forward to taking part... I should say that everyone says this is the single most difficult thing I will do in this campaign and that I have been advised to pull out!

MrsMicawber Mon 16-Apr-12 11:35:15

<drumroll fades>

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Apr-12 11:34:33

Delighted to say that Boris is in the Towers and will be getting going in a minute.

eggsandham Mon 16-Apr-12 11:34:06

Hi Boris. Thanks for coming on here. I think you've been a pretty good Mayor of London over the last 4 years and loved your column in the Telegraph a few weeks back explaining how your approach to the new Routemaster bus epitomised your general approach to cutting waste.

My question is this: given that you have shown yourself to be highly capable of governing at the highest level now, when are you going to launch your bid to take over from David Cameron? Although I liked him at first, he's proven to be nothing more than a lightweight when it comes to being Prime Minister. The recent Budget cock-ups on everything from pensioners to pasties to charity tax underline this. We need a conviction politician to lead this country and I reckon you'd fancy a shot at it - so come on Boris, tell us what your plan is?

MrsMicawber Mon 16-Apr-12 11:32:28

<drumroll>

heliumballoon Mon 16-Apr-12 11:25:58

Also this is a comment rather than a question. Just to observe that by replacing bendy buses with routemasters, it effectively halved the space on the bus for buggies. Which means I can regularly no longer get on the number 29 bus with my children. I know it's a small thing compared with employment, childcare, infrastructure, policing etc but it annoys me a lot!
<from the woman trying to hold her two month old in her teeth while folding a buggy with one hand and using the other to stop her pre-schooler legging it>

LilyBolero Mon 16-Apr-12 11:17:58

Can I sneak one more in please that I thought of as I hit 'Post Message' - ignore if you like!

Bristol is holding a referendum on having an elected mayor. In your opinion, how would Bristol benefit from this, and are there some negatives to be aware of, as we decide how to vote?

LilyBolero Mon 16-Apr-12 11:16:09

My question is this;

As a member of the 'haves' in society, do you think it's fair that the 'have nots' or the 'have less' are the people who are being hammered to sort out the deficit? Whilst the people on the highest salaries have had their tax cut from 50% to 45%, because 50% is 'too much', people on 50-60k are being taxed at a marginal rate of 72% because of the child benefit cuts (we lose £720 out of every £1000 above 50k, and keep only £280). People on low incomes are losing thousands of pounds in WTC, because of the changes in the rules about number of hours worked, which is madness in a time of high and rising unemployment.

If you were in the Government would you be embarrassed by the string of cock-ups demonstrating their incompetence, stupidity and prioritising the rich?
* HorseGate
* Child Benefit (Still grossly unfair, despite the revision)
* Granny Tax
* Pasty Tax
* Fuel debacle
* Charities mess - slashing money from charities, rather than clamping down on offshore banking, transfer to spouses, trust funds, paying in dividends - hey, lets take the money from the charities instead.

etc
etc

The government is a shambles. (Sorry I know that's kind of 2 questions - i) is it fair to hammer the poor and help the rich, and ii) would you be embarrassed to be in the government?, but hope that's ok).

jonnybristol Mon 16-Apr-12 11:13:31

what's your favourite biscuit Boris?

BabsJansen Mon 16-Apr-12 11:09:51

What advice do you have for those who will be commuting in London during the Olympics? Taking the time off work is not an option.

sharonstoned Mon 16-Apr-12 11:09:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MrsMicawber Mon 16-Apr-12 11:02:18

Hi Boris,

How can you justify the Olympic tube upgrades being shouldered by the working poor in fare hikes?

I have to a) commute with my child to school by tube and bus as he didn't receive a place at a local school and then b) take a second bus to my NMW paying job. On my way home when time is not of the essence I walk to the tube station saving one bus fare.

Saying the tubes needed to be upgraded anyway doesn't wash - it wouldn't have had to be done so quickly, and if working people were going to pay for it, the NMW should have been raised to reflect it.

CurlyRooth Mon 16-Apr-12 11:01:40

Simple question: Why have you taken away our South London Rail line?

kandinskysgirl Mon 16-Apr-12 10:55:21

Justine I'd love to have a webchat with all the candidates but understand it is a bit London-centric.

Luciferlondon Mon 16-Apr-12 10:49:59

Why have you not said anything about gender equality in your manifesto - do you not think that it's important?

JaneySmith Mon 16-Apr-12 10:41:22

I'm not the only mum on here who worries about money, in fact it's probably my biggest worry right now. It's not just rising food and fuel prices though, it's the huge costs of childcare - it's criminal that if I go back to work all I earn will go on childcare, so what's the point?

My question: Why did you abolish the Chilcare Affordability Programme?

LindsayWagner Mon 16-Apr-12 10:37:24

And, if I can have one more quickie - how can it be possible for you to earn £250K (more than 10 times the national wage) from the Telegraph AND your generous, publicly-funded £143,911 mayor's salary?

One of your employers is getting a bum deal - which is it, me, or the Torygraph?

oxred81 Mon 16-Apr-12 10:35:40

Hi Boris
I read your guest blog post where you mention steps you’ve taken to ensure ‘our children can play outside’. On top of planting street trees, and restoring green spaces – would you commit to protecting those green spaces too? The QEII Fields Challenge (www.qe2fields.com/default.aspx) gives councils the opportunity to protect parks & pitches forever but sadly it hasn’t had as much take up in London as elsewhere. Would you take it up as a mayoral pledge?
thanks for your time.

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 10:33:20

BorisJohnson

TEST TEST

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Apr-12 10:31:02

dinkystinkyandveryverybored

MNHQ - are we getting all the candidates on for webchats? If we're having Boris and Ken, its only fair to the others to be offerred the opportunity to come on.

Boris - London Riots: what would you have done differently in retrospect? As the gulf between the haves and have nots is only set to widen, I'm not alone in suspecting more discontent and potential riot situations so how would you as Mayor address this?

Hi, at the moment we're only planning to have Ken and Boris but have blogs coming from Brian Paddick (Libdems), Siobhan Benita (Independent) and Jenny Jones (Green) and hopefully Lawrence Webb (Ukip). So that's all the candidates except the BNP one.

If there were demand for more webchats, I'm sure they'd be happy to come on, we haven't asked as yet because we've taken the view that it's a London election so a bit marginal, but let us know if you'd like us to do otherwise.

LindsayWagner Mon 16-Apr-12 10:22:29

Hello Boris

You've been a vocal critic of Labour's spending record, and yet your own while in office has been .. well, let's tot it up.

5 new Routemasters = £7.8m. The hubristic Greenwich cable car = £60m - originally trumpeted as costing the taxpayer nada, now likely to be be bailed out by us because - surprise - costs have ballooned and private funding has scarpered.

Another pet project, the Outer London Fund = £40m. All borrowed, despite the fact that the Assembly said “the business case for borrowing £40 million for the Outer London Fund has not yet been made.”

In total you have borrowed, or plan to borrow, £110 million pounds - using up the GLA's entire borrowing capacity and costing we Londoners £10m in interest and loan repayments per year, for an unspecified period.

Any explanation for the gaping chasm between 'say' and 'do' here?

kandinskysgirl Mon 16-Apr-12 10:20:54

Boris-The Olympics....

I am actually a huge supporter of The Olympics (although extremely disappointed that I didn't get allocated any tickets) however I really think the Tube is not able to cope with such an influx of visitors.

On Tuesday I had to go to work and all three lines I use were suspended. I only had a four hour shift so my workplace advised me that there was no point me coming in as I would be an hour late. This meant my Oyster was charged a huge amount for me going up and down the tube line trying to find an alternative route and I missed out on money I was depending on as I only get paid hourly when I am physically doing my job. And this was without the Olympics!!! (I have contacted TFL but no reply as yet).

My DP is going to work from home but I work at a major heritage site in a customer facing role so there is no way that I can do this. I think people who live in London will face these problems and for me I really cannot afford to lose money because I physically cannot get into my place of work.

What would you suggest/provisions are in place for Londoners travelling during the Olympics?

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 10:20:24

(Apologies to Miss Howard and Mrs Pinsent)

BorisJohnson Mon 16-Apr-12 10:19:39

TEST TEST

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 10:18:44

Sorry, that perhaps should have read patria, it's a long time since I did OL Latin. wink

BoffinMum Mon 16-Apr-12 10:18:00

Patriae nimis cogitat de Londinium et non satis ceteris eius populus?

debsdrew Mon 16-Apr-12 10:07:59

Why does the word "childcare" not appear in your manifesto?

Preethi55 Mon 16-Apr-12 09:40:34

Hi Boris,

I've seen that you've attended hustings relating to gay rights, disability rights and black rights. The Fawcett Society is holding a hustings with the LSE in a couple of weeks and it is billed as the Women's hustings. All of the other candidates are attending, however, you're not. Please can you explain why you are not attending considering how important women voters will be in this election and given that all of the other candidates are?

heliumballoon Mon 16-Apr-12 08:31:07

Boris, you have a popular image as a bit of a philanderer who doesn't take women or women's issues seriously. Is it true you axed the role of Women's Adviser on taking power? And can you tell us about the women on your management team? What women have you recruited to top posts and what percentage do they form of your senior management team? Can you tell us as well about how many Conservative Assembly members are women, and what contribution they are making to your policies? Thank you.

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 05:05:46

Ahhh pants. Forgot to revert to my polite username to ask that question so I expect I will get roundly ignored. blush

BupcakesandCunting Mon 16-Apr-12 05:03:15

Hello Boris,

I think you are probably the only Tory I'd voluntarily be mates with. You seem like an alright old stick.

I had a lengthy chat about you with a black cab driver when I was in the capital last year. He said that he thought that you'd surprised a lot of ordinary Londoners and that you do really care about London. You also seem popular with a lot of (not all, I hasten to add, before I am robustly corrected) non-Conservative voters. Why do you think that you seem to appeal when your colleagues have such a terrible public image?

LaVitaBellissima Sun 15-Apr-12 22:50:46

Where do you get your hair cut?

Norfolkmumma Sun 15-Apr-12 22:20:23

What is your view re the changes to Child Benefit?

scottishmummy Sun 15-Apr-12 22:19:26

Boris did you and Ken really square up to each other in that lift?resulting in the debacle about declaring individual tax

cinnamonnut Sun 15-Apr-12 22:09:27

Hi Boris! smile

What do you make of the whole tax avoidance saga with Ken Livingstone?

icannotfly Sun 15-Apr-12 21:55:53

Hi B! What is your favorite part of London? Please don't tell me that you've got whole town in your heart...I'm asking where you like to relax with your family the most? We won't be stalking you, promise!

SuzyDoo Sun 15-Apr-12 21:36:11

I want my kids to be safe cycling to school - when are you going to commit to 20mph on TFL controlled roads? In Holland half of all kids cycle to school - we could have the same and reduce the shocking rate of 1 in 5 obese kids in London.

deepfriedcupcake Sun 15-Apr-12 21:36:09

As the favorite biscuit got in at question 5.... Have you ever felt the need to release your inner hippy?

scottishmummy Sun 15-Apr-12 20:59:19

hi Boris, what plans do you have to kick start and maintain regeneration in poorer areas?

moochymoo Sun 15-Apr-12 20:53:25

Hi Boris,

Same question as Crumblemum

TIA

Crumblemum Sun 15-Apr-12 20:21:10

What can you do to help part time workers with commuting costs? I work three days a week - so can't benefit from a weekly travel card - instead I have to pay a daily three zone pass which is only marginally (but still importantly) cheaper.

Would be a great sign to business (and good for us worker bees) if you and TFL could get together and make transport cheaper for part time workers (and perhaps flexible workers - ie cheaper prior to rush hour/ getting home for school run).

Thanks

SarahStratton Sun 15-Apr-12 16:35:20

Am I allowed another question? Can I propose to Boris?

Boris will you marry me? grin

TheBlackShiksa Sun 15-Apr-12 09:53:22

Hi Boris, what do you think about your main rival Ken Livingstone's comments about London's Jewish community? Do you feel he was sincere in his apology or do you think he is a divisive force in London. What will you do as Mayor and what have you done to ensure London's different faith communities and groups rub together nicely?

McFluffster Sun 15-Apr-12 01:08:49

I love you Boris. Would you be willing to turn your back on your party so that we could marry?

peanutpie Sun 15-Apr-12 00:12:39

I live so far up North that I really have no interest in this.

wheeler Sat 14-Apr-12 22:04:08

Boris - about violence against women in London.

Your administration introduced the under reported and excellent 'The Way Forward' london-wide strategy on ending violence against women. I want to know:

1. What will you do to further improve the initial police response to reports of rape, domestic violence, and all forms of violence against women. It's this 1st response that really matters but too often it's still poor and women end up not seeing a report thru to prosecution..

2. Your manifesto mentions specific action on FGM and honour based violence. Really good. Will you match ken's commitment to tackle sexual harassment in public places in London?

3. There has been criticism of your youth mentoring scheme for failing to take girls' needs into account. Are you committed to ensuring all serious youth violence work includes girls' needs from scratch?

4. Finally, your deputy kit malthouse spoke at a women's hustings last week (EVAW Coalition) and when asked about prostitution gave a strong answer on its inherently abusive nature and some measures mayor-gla can take. But he also said national debate is needed to look at law. Do you agree?

Thanks.

MNHQ - you havent answered my earlier question. I get that lots of people are treating the Mayor's race as a 2 horse race between Boris and Ken - exactly because they have the most spend behind them and the most publicity. But honestly, it would make so much more sense to have all 7 candidates on, not just the two most publicised.

ConferencePear Sat 14-Apr-12 20:10:37

I haven't heard any of the candidates even mention London's role as this country's capital city. How does Boris see that role developing? At the moment London seems more remote to me than it has ever done in my life.

LineRunner Sat 14-Apr-12 19:44:28

Dear Boris, Have you any idea what it is like to be a lone parent at the moment, working as I do full-time, but skint and vilified nevertheless? (My ExH pays under £35 a week per child out of his very decent salary.) How do you actually think I manage? Because I don't. My children could be as bright as yours; but let's face it, they'll never be as likely to succeed, will they? p.s. I have a PhD.

crazynanna Sat 14-Apr-12 19:34:43

How do you feel about the Leader of your Party's Housing Benefit reforms' and how they will in reality make many families leave London,uprooting their children from school,losing their jobs and so on? I live,like you,in Islington,and quite frankly it is quite alarming on how many of my daughter's school friends are leaving the school and the borough due to the changes'.

AnxiousPanxious Sat 14-Apr-12 14:54:52

Ken is also going to be on? <faints with anticipation>

AnxiousPanxious Sat 14-Apr-12 14:54:01

OMG is this a real thing that is really going to happen, in the real world? grin
<sets alarms, reminders etc to watch BoJo get a pasting from MNers>

Boris, who is your hairdresser?

SophieNeveau Sat 14-Apr-12 10:02:44

Does your Mum tell you off, when she see's you on TV with messy hair?

Soutty Sat 14-Apr-12 08:19:34

No questions, just want to say Go Boris!

glorylove Sat 14-Apr-12 04:17:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LineRunner Fri 13-Apr-12 22:55:26

MNHQ Someone just made the point on Newsnight there are 7 mayoral candidates.

thinneratforty Fri 13-Apr-12 22:25:52

Is there anything you could do to extend the R11 bus route to the Princess Royal University Hospital? It currently stops at Green St Green and is the only bus that could potentially go between Queen Mary's Sidcup Hospital to the Princess Royal - would be really useful for relatives visiting patients who are no longer treated at QMS but who live in Bexley.

WelshCerys Fri 13-Apr-12 20:24:47

Like you, I love London. You've got some remarkable achievements under your belt, like the bikes and tightening up of anti-social behaviour on the tube.

But too many Londoners, including kids, live in unsafe, unsuitable homes - I'm thinking particularly of the tower blocks, some of which disgrace our communities.

No child should grow up in a noisy, dangerous place with next to no outdoor play space. (It's not good for their parents either). Is this something that you could focus lots of attention on if you get back?

ohmeohmy Fri 13-Apr-12 19:53:07

How can the billions being spent on the olympics be justified given the appalling state of the economy and how much ordinary people are suffering under this coalitions draconian policies?

Oh Boris, you do make me larf grin

Onto more serious matters, I think that David Cameron bears a striking resemblance to Iggle Piggle, which of ITNG characters do you think you are most like and why?

PS <mwah>

zany Fri 13-Apr-12 18:35:35

Hi Boris,

Figures published on the MET website state that in the last 12 months in London we had more than a 100 murders, more than 3,000 rapes, more than 30,000 robberies etc. Given the proposed cuts to the MET force, the already stretched judicial and prison services; how are you going to effectively tackle crime in London and bring these numbers down within these contraints?

LineRunner Fri 13-Apr-12 18:35:24

MNHQ What about Brian Paddick and the other candidate(s)? Will they be asked on, too?

Betelguese Fri 13-Apr-12 18:22:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumofjust1 Fri 13-Apr-12 18:00:55

I Love old Boris! grin

poppyseeds99 Fri 13-Apr-12 17:31:50

Hi Boris,
I'm definitely considering voting for you after reading your Mumsnet blog but I'm troubled by your reputation of elitism and nepotism, ie belonging to an 'old boys' club'.

What can you say to reassure me that you're a modern Londoner who realises that many of those in the Capital are struggling on a salary which you might consider 'chicken feed'?

Boris, why aren't you PM?

strangerwithmyface Fri 13-Apr-12 17:17:58

Are you a feminist Boris?

painterlyswoosh Fri 13-Apr-12 17:12:43

Boris - cycling. What are you going to do to make sure that fewer cyclists die in London on bikes this year? And to make cycling safer and easier?

Any particular plans for the Kings cross junction that is incredibly dangerous and has already claimed lives?

TheBlackShiksa Fri 13-Apr-12 17:02:22

As the number of young black unemployed men hits 50% in the UK, what as mayor will you be doing to help get more black men into work? Figures have also shown that women are going to hit hardest by the recession, and black women more so, as I black person I find it difficult to even contemplate voting for a Tory mayor, why should I vote for you?

Boris! you are a legend..that is all grin

What's your favourite biscuit then, Boris? grin

chibi Fri 13-Apr-12 14:53:56

BoJo is clever but he may not know that OFRS= oh fuck rucksack, for when you panic and fleeeee the apocalypse etc

SarahStratton Fri 13-Apr-12 14:44:14

Hullo Boris, I think you are gorgeous. A kiss would be lovely grin

My question is: What preparations have you made for a Zombie Apocalypse, and what do you have in your OFRS?

Thank you x

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 13-Apr-12 14:22:21

Hello. Yes, Ken Livingstone will also be doing a webchat - we'll announce the date and time shortly.

MNHQ - are we getting all the candidates on for webchats? If we're having Boris and Ken, its only fair to the others to be offerred the opportunity to come on.

Boris - London Riots: what would you have done differently in retrospect? As the gulf between the haves and have nots is only set to widen, I'm not alone in suspecting more discontent and potential riot situations so how would you as Mayor address this?

gazzalw Fri 13-Apr-12 14:18:38

Hi Boris!

Have noticed that whilst Borough Education Departments are having to rapidly step up to the mark regarding schooling the ongoing baby-boom (of 2002/3 onwards), there seems to be a certain reticence to address the fact that these children are rapidly approaching secondary schooling (think the oldest of the cohort are now in Year 4). What are you planning to ensure that there will be enough quality secondary schooling to meet demand in the coming years? The emphasis here is on schools that parents will want to send their children to, not ones that have spare places but are not up-to-standard!

Many thanks

heliumballoon Fri 13-Apr-12 12:24:15

MNHQ, are there also plans to have Ken on? Would be useful to compare answers.
<goes off to try to think of a good question for Boris>

chibi Fri 13-Apr-12 11:48:09

thank you for not allowing homophobic adverts on london buses, and doing it reflexively and unselfconsciously as if there couldn't possibly be any other action

*my question*: as the gap between have and havenot increases, and the working poor are increasingly priced out of living in the capital, what measures are you taking to ensure that london does not ultimately become the city of the ultrarich served by the ultrapoor who must commute great distances to do so?

FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-Apr-12 11:18:37

In the run up to the London Mayoral elections in May, we're very pleased to announce that Boris Johnson will be joining us for a webchat on Monday 16th April from 11.30am to 12.30pm. In May 2008, Boris was elected the first Conservative Mayor of London. He was the MP for Henley-on-Thames from 2001 to 2007, and held the posts of Vice Chairman, Shadow Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister of Higher Education.

Do please join us for the webchat. Boris is keen to hear your views and to answer your questions. As ever, if you can't make it, please post up your advance questions here.
Thanks, MNHQ

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