Green Party Mayoral candidate Siân Berry has accused Tory rival Boris Johnson of “ill thought out and alarmingly hard-right” policies after he unveiled ‘the start’ of his strategy for tackling the gang violence in London earlier today.
Ms Berry said Johnson’s proposals lacked detail and said there was “an implication that he will increase the targeting of young black Londoners.”
In a strongly worded attack on Mr Johnson’s proposals Ms Berry said:
“Johnson doesn’t appear to have applied much thought at all before making this announcement. He claims that he will increase police patrols, but, apart from the empty Tory rhetoric of ‘cutting bureaucracy,’ offers no suggestion of how he will do it. He talks about ‘designing out crime’ in the London plan, but he doesn’t show a real understanding of the concept of a liveable city. And he makes the bizarre assertion that, if he becomes Mayor himself, he will ‘hold the Mayor to account’.”
“And behind the Johnson confusion there is, as usual, an alarming hard-right undercurrent. In promising to ‘drive out political correctness’ from policing knife crime he can mean only one thing: under Mayor Boris, every young black or asian man in London can expect to be routinely stopped and searched.”
“He makes nice noises on youth service funding, but it’s a naive voter who trusts a rightwinger like Johnson to spend money on the poor. He also falls into New Labour trap of seizing on one or two solutions – in this case mentoring and sport – and promoting them to the exclusion of all others. As Mayor, I’ll establish a dedicated fund to support voluntary organisations; one which will mean more money for mentoring, but also for youth engagement, respite care, sport and the arts, and all the other invaluable services that London’s volunteers provide.”
“Importantly, I’ll also let the decisions on which services are needed be made by the young people themselves. Unlike Johnson, I will not demand young Londoners’ respect without showing them respect in return. I will recognise that the real victims of knife crime are young, working-class Londoners, not the Henley-on-Thames boating set that clearly have Johnson’s ear. Working with and for young Londoners, not demonising them or patronising them – that’s how I’ll beat violence in London.”