Sinking of ‘Boris Island’ upsets Boris Johnson

September 4, 2014

Boris Island Nightmare

by Paul Hinks

Charismatic leader Boris Johnson, current Mayor of London, vented his anger and frustration at the announcement that plans for an island airport [Boris Island] in the Thames Estuary have been rejected

Boris has been a strong advocate of the ambitious proposal to build a new £100bn London airport in the River Thames Estuary – a proposal effectively dismissed by Sir Howard Davies who has headed-up a commission set up by the government to consider ways of expanding airport capacity:

“We are not persuaded that a very large airport in the Thames estuary is the right answer to London’s and the UK’s connectivity needs. “While we recognise the need for a hub airport, we believe this should be a part of an effective system of competing airports to meet the needs of a widely spread and diverse market like London’s. There are serious doubts about the delivery and operation of a very large hub airport in the estuary. he economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount”

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, saw an opportunity for a political handbagging: “This back-of-a-fag-packet scheme was designed less for the country’s economic future and more for the omnishambles mayor’s political ambitions.”

Limitations of charisma?

While Boris may have charisma in abundance – not everybody is completely mesmerized and following his lead. The Daily Mail reported that the Airline industry backed the announcement by Sir Howard Davies:

“Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives, said: ‘Airlines were never convinced that the Thames Estuary was either affordable or a convenient location for the majority of their customers.’Since airlines and their passengers will ultimately have to pay for the development costs of the selected expansion site then the business case must stack up in order for the UK to remain globally competitive. ‘We call upon Boris to support the important work of the Airports Commission and ensure that the right decisions are made about Heathrow and Gatwick.”

Cameron’s dilemma

The latest setback from Sir Howard Davies highlights how Johnson’s approach can leave him isolated:

“The Mayor ran this scheme up a flagpole in a very public way and very, very few people have saluted. So he has his point of view, but it is not widely shared.”

If David Cameron win the next general election, and Mr Johnson is successful in running as MP for Uxbridge, Boris has already indicated he will not accept the decision by the government’s airport commission, and instead will keep battling for it and will oppose the expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick as “unachievable” This may be seen as a great example of Boris’ tenacity and determination. Or an example of how Boris can create his own problems. The Telegraph offered another perspective:

Mr Johnson added his name to the list of prospective Tory candidates for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015, just 48 hours before the deadline closed. However, the constituency in west London contains thousands of voters who work at Heathrow who would fiercely oppose Mr Johnson’s candidacy.

Mr Johnson believes Heathrow should be turned into a “tech city” so that the capital’s main airport can be moved out of the city and on to a floating island in the estuary. Local Conservatives, however, were delighted with Mr Johnson’s application.

Ray Puddifoot, the leader of Hillingdon Borough Council, told the Telegraph: “He rang me to say he has put his application in – ‘whacked it in’ were his exact words. He said he has affinity to the place and is looking look forward to the process.
“I think he would make an excellent MP. He is a major asset to the party nationally, he will have to prove he is an asset in the constituency.”

Future ‘Leaders We Deserve’ posts

As we move closer towards the next General Election we can expect to see and hear more of Boris and his opinions,LWD We will be updating this post, so subscribers should monitor future changes

Cameron Campaigns Through the Night: What Does that Tell Us?

May 5, 2010

David Cameron plans to spend the last night of campainging working through the night. What does that tell us about the leadership election?

According to the BBC:

David Cameron is campaigning through the night from Scotland to Bristol, chasing votes in the final hours before the UK goes to the polls. “We are going at it all night and all day.. all the way to polling day,” he has said. “That is the way we are going to win the election.” BBC correspondent Chris Buckler, on board the Tory leader’s battlebus overnight, said Mr Cameron was largely going without sleep, only snatching brief rests in the back of the bus between stops.

I can stay up all night, I’m a big boy now

The Leaders of the UK’s competing parties have been captured by an old-fashioned notion of how successful leaders behave. The rhetoric of team players has been silenced by the actions of ‘look at me I can stay up all night, I’m a big boy now’ .

David Cameron for reasons known to himself and his advisors decided to campaign all through the night as the election campaign draws to a close. If the conservatives win, maybe we will see even more mind-numbing displays of macho-leadership in the future.

The campaign has been identified as evidence of a move toward ‘American style’ electioneering. By that is meant a more personality-dominated style of electioneering. Leadership style is believed to be important. Cynical voices suggest that style is all important, and that the Prime Minister has such an unfortunate public speaking style that he is unfit for that high office.

A former Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, warned of a future in which ordinary people should beware of being poor, or being in ill-health, or needing basic social services. Paraphrasing this, the rules for our political leaders today include:

Do not be old (Ming Campbell, Vince Cable)
Do not be uncomfortable under the scrutiny of cameras (Gordon Brown)
Do not be unattractive of appearance (leave you to fill in this one. If he had still been around, perhaps the gifted Robin Cook)
Do not be unconventional in appearance (Kenneth Clark)
Do not be too serious (Gordon Brown)
Do not rely on rational argument or supplying lists of statistics (Gordon Brown again).
Do not appear tired but show you are the man to lead the Country by staying up all night on the eve of the election. (David Cameron).

Overdosed on news

I am still interested in the result. Of course I am. The possibilities from a hung Parliament are fascinating to consider. But I’ve overdosed on the news coverage which, after a promising start, has become style-obsessed. And if, as seems likely, first results are too close to predict the overall result, I’m for a good night’s sleep.

Unfair to Cameron?

Maybe he is being swept along by events and feels he has no choice. But at some earlier time, when plans were being put in place, did no-one suggest an alternative to an all-night slugfest?


Tired Teddy from