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Entries in Boris Johnson (2)

Sunday
Jun012008

No more beers on the tube

As someone who has done slightly odd things on the tube in the past - I launched an album, played a gig and shot a video on it - I'm sad to see Boris' alcohol ban on the Underground come into force.

It's a typically hypocritical conservative idea. The Tories go on ad nauseum about 'creating a smaller state' and encouraging 'freedom', yet whenever they get their hands on power they have no hesitation in using the state to interfere - in the worst possible way - in people's lives. Rather than use the state to provide useful things that increase people's freedom (like the freedom not to be sick that a a decent public health system provides) they use it to take personal freedoms away - in this case, the freedom to have a beer on the tube.

This ban is not just hypocritical, it's downright daft, because it's probably going to cause more problems than it solves. It's meant to curb anti-social behaviour, but, assuming there's no loutish behaviour involved, there is nothing particularly anti-social about having a drink on a train; that's why train companies routinely sell alcohol on their trains.

From now on, if somebody has a can of beer on the tube, somebody else is now going to have to take it away from that person. And I personally think that taking a can of beer off some one who is intent on drinking it is going to generate a lot more anti-social behaviour than would have occurred had you just let that person get on with it. Particularly if that person is drunk. Or has violent tendancies. Or has violent tendancies when drunk.

The other issue is that people who might have started their night with a beer on the tube may well drink before they get on it - on the way to the station or in a pub. So from now on drinkers may actually be more pissed before they get on a tube - which is actually more dangerous: think of all those drunk people using those big escalators.

All in all the ban smacks of puritanism. It's ill-thought through and is already causing anti-social behaviour...the 'swansong' party for drinking on the tube last night led to four assaults on staff and 17 arrests.

Typical Tory thinking. Or lack of it. And the way things are going, we're going to get a lot more of that kind of rubbish in two years time...

Thursday
May012008

Live in London? Read this for the good of your health!

Dear All,

Some politics at lunchtime for you...

If you live in London, no doubt you're aware that today is the day that we're all voting in the Mayoral Election.

I don't want to come over all Bono, but it'd be great if you could join with me in doing your best to stop Boris getting elected.

That basically means giving Ken Livingstone either your first or second preference vote today. Ken may have his foibles, but they pale in comparison compared to what Boris would bring to London: he has a history of rascism, corruption and ineptitude - not to mention extreme right-wing opinions.

For years Boris has written a Daily Telegraph column and otherwise communicated his views and opinions, which include:

  • fanatical support for the Iraq war
  • fanatical support for George W Bush (he campaigned for him to win the US elections in both 2000 and 2004)
  • opposition to the Kyoto protocol on climate change (which every single developed country in the world apart from Bush's USA has now signed up to)
  • opposition to the minimum wage- support for rail privatisation (the cause of the current chaos and high fares)
  • opposition to the congestion charge
  • opposition to paternity leave
  • the belief that South Africa under Nelson Mandela represented “the majority tyranny of black rule”
  • such vocal and sustained criticism of the inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence murder case that Stephen's non-partisan mother has said he is “definitely not the right person” to be Mayor.
Given all the above, I can only see our quality of life in London being damaged were he to get elected. Boris may be funny, but the prospect of him having so much influence over our lives (in areas of transport, crime, security and much more) is no joke.

So please get out there and do whatever you can to stop Boris. You can start by copying and pasting this message and sending it to friends, but above all, get out and vote for Ken.

Many thanks and please excuse the politics! I'll start talking rock and roll again soon...

Best, Chris Singleton