The Thick of It


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Jasper quits, what next for the Evening Standard?

Hopefully now that Lee Jasper has quit after the reporting of his embarrassing flirty emails yeaterday we can focus on policy in the run up to the election.

In the last couple of days there have been some good articles focusing on the issues vexing London at the moment. The Independent on Sunday's Gilligan interview, today's Guardian Livingstone interview, we have to remember that it is Ken versus Boris, not Ken versus Gilligan/Evening Standard.

Gilligan claims he isn't returning a favour to Boris Johnson for employing him at the Spectator after he lost his position at the BBC after the Hutton Enquiry. Dave Hill's "What if Boris wins?" reminded me that Johnson previously offered his support to the thankfully now jailed convicted fraudster Conrad Black.

More importantly for London, Boris has unveiled his transport manifesto. This includes "consulting" (read abolish) on the western part of the Congestion Charge zone and to get a no-strike deal with the tube unions. I can't see that happening and anyway, strikes have hardly been the scourge of the travelling public in London recently. There was no vision, no schemes to get excited about or to reduce carbon emissions.

Perhaps the only thing exicting about what Boris says is how he says it, not what he says. London needs more.

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