Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary is a great British politician. He has an intellect that is extremely high. There is little doubt that he will make a great Foreign Secretary. He is a straight forward person who can get things done, but he does need to have more people around him that can do the hard work if required.
The media have turned on its head and now say that Boris Johnson lacks the skills necessary for the job of mayor of London. Yet in previous speeches and interviews he has spoken about the need for more city planning and the need for more green space. If he was put into cabinet alongside Sadiq Khan as his deputy mayor for housing then surely he could do a great deal. London is a booming city with a huge amount of development happening.
However, with what we have seen with the lack of space, it could take a massive amount of time and money to create enough new homes. We all know that the current planning system is totally broken. The planning process is totally bloody slow and there are so many rules that nobody knows what they are. One of the main problems is that there is no real strategy in place. So we have got a situation where every mayor since Johnson has come to power has failed to produce a proper strategy or even a vision for the future.
There is one obvious reason why we have not had any properly functioning city mayor anywhere in the world for many years. No one has ever been able to form a team of leaders that have common political beliefs or ideas. No one trusts them or they cannot be trusted. That is why we have never had a true leader.
Boris Johnson is different though. He has clearly set himself out as someone that can be trusted and someone that people can work with. Johnson has also clearly stated that he would not try to turn the mayor’s party into a left wing party. He wants to form a center ground party of moderate socialervatives. It is quite ironic really that people who want to limit the welfare state and increase public expenditure are the same people who will lead the charge against welfare.
Johnson has no doubt talked about the need for fiscal responsibility. He wants to see budgets based on how much you earn versus how much you spend. He wants to see that there is some way to balance the books. But will he be able to do this? Not quite evidently.
He may be able to buy off more votes especially if his party does exceptionally well. But this is a gamble as to whether people will actually elect him or not. Unless a surge of support for the party happens, they will simply put in their second term mayor anyway. They may lose more seats than winning them.
Will people reelect him? I doubt it as they dislike his personality. His charisma however is undeniable. And he has the numbers. It is clear that the party wants his services but they will have to work with the man.
Johnson’s main agenda is London hosting the Olympic Games in 2021. He has already made it clear that he wants to make sure the city gets it. His main campaign promise is that London will become the most popular city in the world to visit. That means huge infrastructure improvements. His transport policies would include a huge increase in cycling and walking.
But will he be able to deliver these policies? His personal charisma seems to be missing, not to mention people’s fear about being seen on the top of a lorry. We all know what happened with the London Olympics and the lack of safety measures, but London is one of the safest cities in the world and they should be able to welcome the tourists.
No one knows what lies ahead in the future. Parties come and go. But one thing is certain. The mayor of London will have to make sure that he delivers on his promises. Otherwise, people will doubt his capacity.