Boris offers a tax cut


          Latest polls suggest Boris will win the Mayoralty for a second time, with Ken in second place. This outcome looks more likely, now Boris has pledged to cut the Council Tax every year in his next term, with a total reduction of 10%. Every little helps. Council Taxes in the last decade rushed up, leaving people worried about whether they could still afford to live in their own home past retirement and on a pension.

          The polling also says that Boris is a  more popular in London than the Conservative party. This does not surprise me. Boris has his own following. Many people admire his entertainment value. They think an Olympics with him in charge would be more fun than  under the other candidates. He also knows how to touch the core Conservative vote. He has called for a tougher approach to the EU in general and its regulatory tendencies in particular. He has called for lower general taxes.

          Talk is easy, as many of you point out, if you are not responsible for the matters you are talking about. We now hear that when it comes to his own bit of the public sector, he is prepared to trim spending and get the bills down a bit. If that were repeated across all the Boroughs, it would make a big difference to living standards in London, as the Boroughs are big spenders. He has also taken action over law and order, another Conservative priority, as he understands most people’s wish to feel safer.

              There are no signs in the London polls of any break through by UKIP in this most prominent and newsworthy of all the local elections underway. If Boris wins, it will be his triumph, with his own version of how Conservatives should talk and act.

The candidates in the election are:

Carlos Cortigiana    BNP

Boris Johnson    Conservative

Lawrence Webb       Fresh Choice for London  (UKIP)

Jenny Jones     Green

Siobhan Benita   Independent

Ken Livingstone    Labour

Brian Paddick    Liberal Democrats




  1. Duyfken
    April 20, 2012

    “The polling also says that Boris is a more popular in London than the Conservative party.” Perhaps he is also more popular in London than in the Conservative party. Your dutiful support for Boris is welcome as is the way you give encouragement to UKIP by always finding it necessary to give them a side-swipe!

  2. Martin Cole
    April 20, 2012

    “Talk is easy, as many of you point out, if you are not responsible for the matters you are talking about.” How true, how about this clincher:

    “Talk is easy, as many of you point out, in your comments to this blog prove, if you are not responsible for the matters you are talking about.

    I plead particularly guilty!

  3. Sue
    April 20, 2012

    If Boris wins, it will be because he is Boris and not a Conservative.

  4. lifelogic
    April 20, 2012

    Boris clearly has no opposition, of any calibre anyway, just yesterday’s man Livingstone with his innovative (& perhaps rather hypocritical) tax arrangements.

    Nevertheless one has to wonder why on earth the government thinks the “tax, borrow and waste” an ever increasing state, ever more (and more complex) taxes, more regulation, more EU, more dead hand of government everywhere, more inflation, more attacks on savers and more anti business actions and more mad employment regulations, is the way to go. One also has to wonder why they also say the complete opposite to their actual actions at every turn. It all seems rather “morally repugnant” to me and likely to lose them the next election.

    To be behind in the polls and worse to a Labour led by Unites puppet Ed seems rather a damming indictment of Cameron’s strategy to me.

    It all seems as thought Whitehall has just hired some new actors to read the lines put in front of them.

    1. lifelogic
      April 20, 2012

      They do of course, at election times, always promise a tax cut and usually increased spending too.

      Did Osborne not make promise (I do not think it was cast iron) on giving £1M Inheritance tax thresholds some years ago? Is not keeping such promises perhaps a little morally repugnant? Is it perhaps even obtaining political (and perhaps pecuniary too) advantage by deception?

      1. Lord Blagger
        April 20, 2012


        Boris has pledged to cut the Council Tax every year in his next term, with a total reduction of 10%.

        The cynic in me says that the weasel get out is that it might be in real terms, and that its dependent on government giving him 10%….

        When politicians can’t fulfil the simple promises to publish the debt figures, you know its going all wrong.

      2. Liz Elliot-Pyle
        April 20, 2012

        What no one in the political class seems to realise (not even you, John) is that vast numbers of the electorate have seen through you and your promises. Cast iron, or otherwise. You promise the world at election time when you actually want our votes, but then you renege on your ‘promises’….. every single one. And you start legislating for all sorts of other ‘stuff’ that no one wants, and was NOT in your manifesto.
        We are FED UP. We are not stupid, and we no longer believe a single word any of you say.
        Cameron could promise on his children’s lives to give us a referendum on the EU – but I still wouldnt believe him. I no longer believe a WORD he says (same goes for the Libs and Labour). No, its UKIP for me – just to say ‘a pox on all your houses’ to the lot of you.

        1. libertarian
          April 20, 2012

          Totally agree Liz

        2. lifelogic
          April 21, 2012

          Why do you believe that UKIP would do as they promise – in the unlikely event that they ever got into power?

          1. Bob
            April 21, 2012

            When we know what Lib Lab Con are about, so what do you think ukip could do that would be any worse?

            Bearing in mind their whole raison d’être is UK independence they would have a short term in office if they carried on like the Tories.

    2. lifelogic
      April 20, 2012

      It is good to see shareholders finally taking some action against the many useless directors who are helping themselves to huge sums of shareholders funds while running the companies very badly. It needs to go far, far further and company law needs to give shareholders real control. Company democracy just does not work as indeed UK “democracy” does not work. The directors and MPs are virtually out of shareholder and democratic control and we see the results all around.

      The knots and absurd maze of legal courts and rules (that Teresa May is helplessly juggling with) is a direct parallel with the employment laws that government has chosen to nobble employers with, and with such damaging results for jobs and efficiency and for employers and good employees too.

      1. Bazman
        April 20, 2012

        Which employment laws are employers nobbled with? Specifically. If you cannot name them specifically then do not fantasise any further. Redundancy? It cannot be right for a person who has worked for a company for 30 years to receive no redundancy payments and you know this can be legally less than 10 k.
        Hire and fire at will? We virtually have this by the use of agencies, short term contracts self employment etc. Health and safety? Less on building site? Minimum wage? Six quid an hour? Do tell us your employment laws that are restricting employment as we would love to Know. A legal black economy is not real or ‘sensible’.

        1. lifelogic
          April 21, 2012

          Virtually all – it is a maze of nonsense. Wasting huge amounts of management time and legal costs – just look at say the FSB web site or one of the many employment lawyers to see what a mess it all is and all the legal traps. Enriching lawyers and tribunals and making all others poorer – employers and employees alike.

          1. lifelogic
            April 21, 2012

            Rather like Human rights and so much of the legal industry.

          2. Bazman
            April 21, 2012

            Specifically name one law and how this effect employment. If you can that is.

          3. Bazman
            April 22, 2012

            As you cannot come up with single law that hinders employment. How do you propose to deal with BBC sympathisers that tell employers to ram it?

  5. lojolondon
    April 20, 2012

    I hope now that UKIP are the third biggest party in the country, that they will be allowed on the debates and to present their views as the Lib Dems have until now.

    Always remember, John, UKIP are the Tories who want to be ruled by parliament in London – the proper conservatives. Also remember that if David Cameron had agreed to deliver a referendum on Europe, then the Conservatives would be the ruling party in the UK and we would almost certainly be out of Europe now.

    1. A Different Simon
      April 20, 2012

      There are a lot of people from the left who dislike our countries arrangement with Europe with a passion .

      UKIP is not just for disenchanted Conservatives . They are the true party of the people .

      1. Bazman
        April 20, 2012

        Knobheads like all other fringe parties campaigning on the single issue of Britain being great. Ultimately leading to a race to the bottom with almost all of the population taking the hit except the ones in power and their capos. Right/left/religious fascism. Politics for simpletons and the disenfranchised. Taking some good points and fact and making that the whole truth. Ram it.

        1. A Different Simon
          April 21, 2012

          What is your answer then ?

          Who do you suggest people vote for or should they stay at home ?

          1. Bazman
            April 21, 2012

            Labour, Tory, or LIb Dems.

  6. A.Sedgwick
    April 20, 2012

    You are right that Boris will win votes because he is Boris and not a Conservative, although doing a double act with Dave was a bad move. He comes over as a regular bloke who speaks his mind and is not worried about the consequences or schooled in whip speak.

    As to the Council Tax this arguably is the most unfair tax we have and getting worse as the pension funding element increases with low income pensioners paying directly for the better off in retirement.

    Please keep mentioning UKIP – there is no such thing as bad publicity!

    1. Robert Christopher
      April 20, 2012

      … or George Osborne pledging an additional £10bn towards an IMF war chest. That works wonders as well:

      “Another £10bn of UK taxpayer money has been put at risk of a meltdown in the Eurozone after George Osborne agreed to increase Britain’s contribution to the global bail-out fund.” (Telegraph)

      We have so much spare cash lying around!

      Of course, if Britain needs help, the Eurozone countries will be throwing money at us before we even ask, no doubt. 🙂

      1. norman
        April 20, 2012

        i read in same article

        Unveiling the agreement, the Chancellor said: “Because we’ve taken tough action to rescue our own economy we can be one of the countries that can support the IMF.

        I understand the principle behind citizens arrests but can concerned citizens call for mandatory sectioning in cases of extreme delusion and a complete loss of the concept of reality?

      2. Brian Tomkinson
        April 20, 2012

        It was no real surprise that Osborne and Cameron have agreed to tipup more £billions that we don’t have to their masters in Brussels with the connivence of Christine Legarde (the modern day Mata-Hari) at the IMF.
        Wait for Conservative MPs to rise up in outrage and overturn this further example of this government’s mendacious duplicity…… – just joking!

  7. Stewart Knight
    April 20, 2012

    I’m not in London but can’t help following this.

    The issue for me is not who is running or winning, but why people are willing to vote for Ken Livingstone and it is possible for him to even come a credible second or third. Labour have always traditionally taken their core vote for granted and ran roughshod over their hopes and aspirations, but Livingstone has been show, time and again now and while Mayor previously, to allegedly be (various negative words summing up to unreliable!).

    Why do people even consider voting for him? Is it that London, or some parts, are so partisan they will vote Labour regardless? We all made jokes about in the North they would vote for a monkey with a red rosette, but this is ridiculous and (more or less anyone-ed) would be more desirable than Livingstone but the election is still touted as a close thing?

    This is an issue worth looking at for the future for the Tories.

    1. Stewart Knight
      April 20, 2012

      I did say allegedly….. 🙂

    2. Bob
      April 20, 2012

      I guess Abu Qatada still qualifies for a postal vote, and on the basis of Ken’s pledge to turn London into a beacon for Islam, I think I that’s one more postal vote for Ken.

  8. alan jutson
    April 20, 2012

    Perhaps it is because Boris is not in the House of Commons and thus is not tainted by Cameron, Osbourne and the Conservative Party fiasco’s of recent times, that he has a chance of winning.

    In my view he is certainly the best of the bunch who are up for election in London, by a huge margin.

  9. Brian Tomkinson
    April 20, 2012

    I see you can’t resist trying to belittle UKIP even in this election circus in London. Fortunately I do not live in London as I would find the prospect, as presented by the media, of a choice between Johnson and Livingstone as a sick joke. Who in their right mind if they owned a multi-billion pound business would consider either of them remotely suitable to run it for them?
    If Johnson wins I should think it will be largely down to Livingstone’s hypocrisy over taxation. Why Londeners ever elected Livingstone to any office previously is a sad reflection on them.
    I have never heard Johnson make a coherent political argument about anything. You write: “he is prepared to trim spending and get the bills down a bit.” Why has it taken him 4 years to get around to even talking about it? I read regularly that he is positioning himself to challenge Osborne as successor to Cameron, something he denies. An entertaining buffoon may be what Londeners want to run their city but we need someone much better to run the country.

  10. outsider
    April 20, 2012

    The great thing about the London mayoralty elections is that both main candidates are well known and have records in the office to compare. This is now almost unknown in Westminster. The last main party leaders to fight again after having been voted out of power were Harold Wilson in 1974 and Winston Churchill in 1951, which tells its own tale.

    Many London electors will actually vote positively for someone and someone will positively win. On national polling days, whether Westminster, EU or town hall, the three main parties have all become losers and are likely to remain that way, whichever ends up top of the pile by being least loathed – if only because they have no substantive record in government.

  11. norman
    April 20, 2012

    Don’t worry, if Boris wins CCHQ won’t let it be thought of for very long as Boris’ triumph. With the omnishambles being presided over by Laurel & Hardy garnering bad headlines at an astonishing rate they’ll be quick to try and usurp any credit.

    Imagine if someone like Boris Johnson had been up against Brown in 2010. I know it’s impossible to judge how something could have turned out but to have someone with a little principles at the top could have made a huge difference.

    Maybe post 2015 he’ll throw his hat into the ring or, more likely, the morons with their hands on the levers of power may decide that Cameron’s failure was due to him being perceived as too posh and decide they need carry out another destructive deconamination and rule out anyone who’s been privately educated.

  12. Lord Blagger
    April 20, 2012

    Personally, I can’t bring myself to vote for tax (arrangers-ed) (plural).

    I also can’t vote for someone who thinks spending 28,000 pounds per bicycle on the road is a good idea.

  13. Paul
    April 20, 2012

    The candidates in the London mayoral election are viwed by much of the public as independent from their political party, not forced to tow the party line. This is why Boris is popular and will almost certainly win – he has distanced himself from the useless Conservative party that exists today. How Cameron and Osborne got even enough votes to form a coalition is beyond me. If Labour had actually put up a decent candidate there might be more of a contest. UKIP has taken over the Lib Dems nationally and are really the only party at the moment which are growing in popularity. The Conservatives stand for nothing, Labour is the new protest vote, the Lib Dems are finished and that paves the way for UKIP to make a major breakthrough, which they are on course to do. London for them, however, was never going to be easy, not least because they are always excluded from TV debates and are never given the air time they deserve. There are 7 candidates. If TV stations are going to broadcast a debate then invite them all or don’t hold one at all.

  14. Robert K
    April 20, 2012

    I’d vote for Boris if I lived in London as he has been one of the few leading lights in the Tory party to have had the guts to explain why tax rates are too high and to emphasise how he is going to control spending. If only more of that was going on in central government.

  15. Winston Smith
    April 20, 2012

    London is not fertile territory for UKIP, unlike the Home Counties and places like Wokingham. UKIP is also subject to a media ‘blackout’ in respect of the London elections. The broadcast news have deliberately ignored them and refused to feature their candidate. London’s only newspaper, with 1m+ readership has had regular features on the LD, Green and independent candidates, but zero coverage of UKIP. Indeed, the Standard has strangely had numerous full page articles on the independent candidate and has been hyping her prospects. This can only be a political/media eilte strategy to split the protest/disaffected vote. Don’t underestimate the co-operation between the media elite and the political establishment.

  16. Richard1
    April 20, 2012

    Very heartening, it would be terrible if Mr Livingstone, one of the most pernicious figures in British politics over the last 30 years – with his stirring up of (word left out-ed) resentments etc – would be elected. Boris is a tax-cutter and Livingstone is a (legal user of a company for tax matters-ed).

    It is incredible though how absurd some policies put forward and taken seriously in this election are. The Green Party proposes, inter alia: raising the congestion charge to £15 and £40 for large vehicles, making it complusory for all new homes to have land to grow food on and closing City Airport. How can any sane adult listen to or vote for such nonsense?!

    1. uanime5
      April 21, 2012

      Regarding the Green Party people may vote for them if:

      1) They don’t like what the Government is doing.

      2) They want to annoy the Government as much as possible.

      3) They realise that most MPs live in London when Parliament is in secession.

  17. Caterpillar
    April 20, 2012

    (1) “The polling also says that Boris is a more popular in London than the Conservative party. This does not surprise me. Boris has his own following. ”

    A recognition that candidate and party voting should be separated, a coversion to Mixed Member Proportional representation?

    (2) “how Conservatives should talk and act” … should? There’s the rub.

  18. waramess
    April 20, 2012

    A little disingenious to point to the Mayoral elections as evidence of a lack of support for UKIP.

    I am not an active UKIP supporter so have no bones to pick however, even to the most casual observer this election is about personalities whereas the General Election and the European elections are very seldom about personalities.

    Nobody, but nobody, spotted the shift to George Galloway and away from Labour so there is no reason at all to suspect they will see a massive move to UKIP if and when it happens.

  19. Acorn
    April 20, 2012

    You may have noticed that London, nowadays, has little in common with the rest of our nation state. It has practically become a “city state”; like Singapore. London has more daily contact with New York and Paris than any UK city. Mind you, if Boris declared UDI, like Ken thought about; the rest of the UK would be short about £25 billion in handouts from the London economy. Go for it Boris.

    Where is the power? London is run by the Greater London Authority (the permanent paid civil service for London). They seem to be doing a reasonable job; fortunately, political infighting of the elected politicians at the Burroughs; the London Assembly and the Mayor’s office, don’t get in its way too much. How many management levels do you need to run a city?

    At least London’s management structure is a considerable improvement on the rest of English local government which is a complete mess; to the advantage of Westminster’s micro-management of every minute of our day.

    1. outsider
      April 20, 2012

      Dear Acorn,
      If London unilaterally ( or democratically) declared independence, its citizens should remember that the country they would leave surrounds them and has virtually all the UK’s armed forces. If UK-ex London had any sense, it would demand a great deal more than £25 billion a year from breakaway City. In any case, much if not most of that “largesse” arises from the accumulation of corporate group profit in London, much if not most of that being owned by foreign investors.

  20. Neil Craig
    April 20, 2012

    It is noticeable thaty when the BBC ran a “debate between the condidates” they deliberately decided to include Britain’s 1st, 2nd, 4th & 6th parties but to exclude the 3rd (UKIP) and 5th (BNP). The corruption of the state owned BBC, with a regulator who imposes the same “standards” on ITN can, on its own, almost fully explain why British politics is so constrained.

    However it wo0uld be churlish not to accept that Boris’ [personal charisma has not also played a part in crowding out UKIP

    1. Bob
      April 21, 2012

      I wish Boris would defect to ukip.
      That would finish the Tories good and proper.

      Reply Dream on!Why would Boris, leading the polls for Mayor, defect to a party struggling way behind the leaders?

      1. Bob
        April 21, 2012

        “Why would Boris, leading the polls for Mayor, defect to a party struggling way behind the leaders?”


  21. Lindsay McDougall
    April 20, 2012

    Logic suggests that if Boris does win a handsome victory, the Conservative Party nationally might learn something from him.

  22. forthurst
    April 20, 2012

    “He has called for a tougher approach to the EU in general”

    You are obviously refering to his desire to incorporate Turkey which is not part of Europe into the Union. The incorporation of Turkey would destroy everything that European civilisation has built over hundreds of years.

    Why do people feel more proud of their foreign ancestry than their English? Is it so bad being English? I know that WASPS have been effectively sidelined in the Federal government of the USA but do we have to co-operate in this process here?

    1. Tom William
      April 20, 2012

      Please excuse me contributing this from Roger Helmer MEP (ex Conservative, now UKIP).

      I understand that there was a Commission decision taken during the last two weeks in Brussels that has not been the subject of any vote amongst MEPs and has received very little coverage from the media. This is pretty standard for Brussels, but the result of this decision could have massive effects on the daily lives of Europeans. On March 30th a working group appears to have approved a decision to grant Turkish citizens the same residency and labour rights in Europe as existing EU citizens. This repeals the 1980 Ankara Accord between the EEC and Turkey, replacing it with major changes to the rights of Turkish citizens in the EU and essentially brings Turkey into the EU entirely under the radar.

      Why on earth has this not received any coverage? If I had not seen this blog I might have been none the wiser.

      The report adds that ‘a first package with similar proposals… was adopted by the Council in October 2010’, detailing plans to extend the same rights now being accorded to Turkish citizens to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Croatia, Israel and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Interestingly, while making their decision, the working group concluded “There was no need for external expertise”.

      There’s a big debate on whether Turkey should join the EU, with many pros and cons. But I come down against it on democratic grounds — it would further reduce the limited say we have in making our own laws.

      Making matters worse, the proposed decision would allow Turkish workers and their families access to all the welfare benefits available to EU citizens. The cost would be frightening.

      The conclusion is clear: as long as we remain EU members, we in Britain have no control over our borders or our welfare budgets.”

    2. uanime5
      April 21, 2012

      Given that Turkey controlled large parts of the Balkans when it was the Ottoman Empire and was formerly controlled by the Roman and Byzantine Empires its culture isn’t as alien to European culture as you imply.

      Also Turkey is part of Europe because some of their cities, such as Istanbul are located in Europe. By contrast not part of Cyprus is in Europe but Cyprus allowed to join the EU.

      1. forthurst
        April 22, 2012

        The last time I checked, Eurasia was one land mass, consequenty the line between Europe and Asia is political not geographical.

  23. Normandee
    April 20, 2012

    Couldn’t resist another poke at UKIP could you? maybe they need help ? You are determined that they shall not succeed aren’t you ? you have nothing to offer that would make them redundant other than a lot of hot air and votes in lobbies you know you cannot win. So what do we end up with ? more of the same, and probably losing the next election, but why worry eh ? your seat is safe, and you can search for reasons to say “I told you so”. There was an American recently who referred to us as the “disenfranchised voters of the UK”, how true that is !.

    Reply: I just happen to disagree with their strategy of seeking to stop Conservative Eurosceptics getting elected to “force them to change” when they could be making common cause against federalists. If as looks likely they cannot stop Boris getting elected it is interesting to note.

    1. Normandee
      April 21, 2012

      Then work with them, as I have said before, just a few defections could change the balance. Those that defect would immediately take positions of power in UKIP and can then influence their direction and behaviour. They are a means to an end John, 2 ends in fact, out of Europe, and bringing the conservative party closer to a real conservative party.

  24. Mike Stallard
    April 20, 2012

    Lawrence Who?

  25. Peter Davies
    April 20, 2012

    In reality Boris should win by a canter – he has no real opposition of any calibre. Ken has been in the post of course but in this age of cuts the last thing they need is a tax and spend left wing politician.

    After his term is up if he gets back in no doubt he’ll be eyeing up Mr Cameron’s job

  26. Bob
    April 20, 2012

    When Ken Livingstone was found to be undertaking morally repugnant measures to reduce his tax payments, he said it proved that he was good with money and therefore would be a safe pair of hands with London’s budget.

    Last night I heard him on the Sky event saying that he passed responsibility for his financial affairs to his accountant, otherwise it would end up in a mess.

    I know which version I believe.

  27. Barbara Stevens
    April 20, 2012

    Boris is a British institution, therefore he knows how to state his mind, he’s suited to London politics better than actually in parliament. He will win of that I’m sure, but nothing is laid down in stone. As for UKIP, one can never tell what will happen and it all depends on how the electorate feels on polling day. Another thing is how the present parliament goes about it’s business. Ms May as been in trouble of late, not of her making I believe, but the outcome will reflect on how people react when voting. We want the (undesirables) removed, but it seems we have to keep spending taxpayers money to get what we want, while the French just do it.
    UKIP, would just do it, and any flack or fines would just be ignored. That’s what people cannot accept, where is the will to act. Talk is cheap, it’s action we want to see. So, making remarks almost saying UKIP is not worthy of mention is very foolish indeed. Take Bradford, not predicted, but it happened.
    Boris needs to win the London election to prove the Conservatives are still a viable option, if he loses, Cameron loses also. The nation is not impressed with any in parliament today, and there lies the problem, UKIP have nothing to lose; those in government have. A lot therefore is depending upon Boris. His way of doing things is the old Conservative way, and the way most voters would support; Cameron is in trouble but I don’t expect you Mr R to admit it. Cameron would be better off taking more advice from you, unfortunately he won’t.

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