We London bloggers know that Boris Johnson spins a good line and it’s often fun to see ‘real’ news outlets swallow the spin – such as the line about St George’s Day celebrations – unquestioned but it’s a bit less amusing when the leader of his own party falls for the hype.
In an article for the Guardian David Cameron claims that Boris has “introduced” a Living Wage in London:
In fact Mayoral support for a London Living Wage predates Boris (as london.gov.uk shows) and is another of the Livingstone-era policies he’s adopted while claiming credit for, a bit like some of the projects he turns up to ‘launch’.
Sad to say, the Conservative record on a living wage in London is not as proud as Mr Cameron likes to make out. In 2007 Brian Coleman, since appointed as Chair of the capital’s Fire Authority by Boris, vocally opposed introducing the LLW for cleaners, branding a proposal to do so as “just ridiculous”.
For balance, because I hadn’t really intended to comment on the general election, it’s fair to point out that since coming to power Boris has shown a pretty progressive face of Conservatism including by continuing his predecessor’s support for the LLW and (after a bit of a wobble) expanding the range of fare discounts for the less well off and other deserving groups. All very good calls and much welcome.
He’s also backed, despite opposition from within Tory ranks at City Hall and elsewhere, calls for an earned amnesty for illegal migrants. Curiously that’s one genuinely progressive policy none of the major parties seem to be supporting during the election campaign.