There was a refreshingly different approach to Mayor’s Question Time this month with the usual slanging matches replaced by a consensual, reasoned approach which saw the Mayor and Assembly Members coming together to speak up for Londoners – especially those affected by the potential sale of their homes by the Crown Estate.
Now, I’m normally a fairly traditional kind of a guy but there are some traditions best not adhered to and devoting 3 hours to endless insults and barbed comments at taxpayer expense is one of them.
The welcome changes – let’s see how long all sides can keep them up – seem to be the result of behind the scenes talks between Boris and Assembly Chair Dee Doocey.
Not for the first time the combined ranks of AMs and staff threatened to outnumber the members of public who’d come to watch their regional Government carry out one of its most important functions – today we managed a grand total of 56 people in the public gallery including City Hall passholders.
It’s a great pity that the capacity crowds of Boris’s first months in office have been depleted to such paltry numbers.
Under both Ken and Boris some frankly embarrassing conduct on the part of people who should know better, combined with City Hall’s apparently unshakable habit of speaking in a language impenetrable to most members of the public, has acted like a super-charged repellent and driven the crowds away.
We may have to wait for the next election to bring in a fresh wave of large crowds but hopefully in the meantime the new way of doing things will continue and take root so that it, rather than petty name calling and point scoring, becomes the norm.