Boris Johnson tells David Cameron to ‘stop pussyfooting around’ and fix the economy

Calling on his rival to be more "ambitious" on the economy, the Mayor said in an interview with the London Evening Standard: “The Government needs to stop pussyfooting around.

"The way to get business really motoring in the UK is to cut taxes, cut regulation, create the infrastructure and get behind it. That’s what you should do.

"There’s a real opportunity to capitalise on the Olympics. [To] look at London as the motor that can drive growth.

“This is the time to be ambitious about London and what it can do for Britain. One of the ways of doing that would be to commit to further infrastructure — Crossrail 2, more river crossings, a massive house building programme for the city.”

Last month, the Government delayed the publication of a consultation into the future of Britain's airports, amid reports that Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary, was opposed to the building of a third runway at Heathrow, the option thought to be favoured by Mr Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor.

Mr Johnson, who wants to see a new airport built in the Thames to help relieve London's overstretched terminals, described the delay as "totally mad".

Claiming that Mr Osborne is "actually very much up for big ideas like this," and that Miss Greening "gets" the idea for a new four-runway airport, dubbed "Boris Island,", he said the Prime Minister had yet to be convinced, blaming the "institutional inertia of the Government."

"Heathrow is fundamentally not the place" for further expansion," Mr Johnson added. “I think there’s a bit of institutional capture. But it’s a totally blind alley.

“The attempt to try and long-grass it for three years into the other side of the election is just not realistic. Totally mad and it won’t work.”

The Mayor disclosed that Mr Cameron had grabbed him in a bear hug while they posed for photographs during the Games – leading Mr Johnson to grasp the opportunity to hiss in the Prime Minister's ear: "airport."

And he called on the Government to take advantage of the Olympics to cement London's place in the world.

He said: “I think that what the Olympics has done is to confirm in a lot of people’s minds around the world that London is the capital of the planet. What I think the Government should do is make a very powerful statement of ambition for London.”

The poll of 547 Labour supporters by the website LabourList found that 51 per cent agreed with the statement that "Boris would be harder to beat than Cameron," with 22 per cent disagreeing and a further 22 per cent saying it would make no difference.

5 thoughts on “Boris Johnson tells David Cameron to ‘stop pussyfooting around’ and fix the economy”

  1. In Boris we have something more than Blair clone, which Cameron seems to be.
    Either David starts to inject himself into politics or he should make way for someone outside the Bilderberg idea of what the world should be.
    Time for fresh thinking – London and Boris did it…come on David, how does Britain and Cameron are doing it, sound?

  2. I tend to agree with the sentiment that Boris would be harder to beat than Cameron. Whereas I could never tire of beating Cameron (although my advanced years might need me to call in some reinforcements), I feel that Boris is just plain silly, and although it could be argued that a damned good kicking might do some good (not a belief I share), I would prefer to have him put out to pasture somewhere where there was little danger of his doing harm to himself or others.

  3. we must not try and borrow our way out of debt to make a Lomdon that is “safe for Bankers” Affordable low density housing, affordable by ordinary working folk is indeed needed but there is so little land available unless we put housing on Boris Island or Heathrow when its no longer needed.

  4. I agree that the coalition should stop pussy-footing around and address the question of growth and the deficit. However, the “spend and be dammed” approach must end otherwise the message of last week’s anniversary of the start of the current credit crunch is forgotten and the message in recent figures that the economy is still contracting lost.

    The public know that the Government debt is increasing faster than expected so Government cannot borrow even more. We also know that the deficit is still there and that no meaningful steps having been taken to reduce it – the amount spent by Government is greater now than at the time of the General Election and such deficit reduction that there is has been achieved though higher taxation. It is high taxation that is killing the country and over time this should be reduced to circa 33% of GDP.

    Face it, times are hard because the country and individuals have lived beyond their means and incurred too much debt. Robust action is needed and this requires reigning back expectation and current expenditure. However, growth is still required but from the foregoing it is obvious that this cannot be derived from highly indebted households, indeed many retail and service based enterprises may well need to contract until such time as tax cuts permit the hard-pressed worker to retain more of their earnings.

    I would suggest that the answer is that Government drastically cuts its current expenditure on remuneration (salaries and staff pension contributions) and on benefits (pension payments, unemployment and sickness pay, maternity/paternity payments, etc) over the next six months and immediately channels the money released into infrastructure projects like national broadband, effective rail system, roads, water grid, etc. Some may be longer term projects but many should be able to commence within months. This would help soften the blow to benefit reductions, give a stimulus to employment and encourage those without jobs to seek out gainful employment, and provide the counter to the inevitable scream from the public sector unions that should be ignored.

    Alongside the above regulations that inhibit employment or growth should be suspended for five years or scrapped. In this category would fall many planning restrictions, workers rights, equality laws, et al. The National Minimum Wage should either be reduced or frozen at the current level for five years with the sweetener that tax and National Insurance payments would have a £15,000 threshold by 2017, thus allowing the increasing level of the threshold to take up the inflationary strain. A further stimulus could be arranged by reducing VAT to 5% on personal services and services provided direct to the home but with the proviso that all contractors provide receipts (a useful tax audit trail) and to ensure the customers have the full protection of consumer laws.

    I would not view this as a plan B but the continuing evolvement of the original plan to mitigate the financial mess in which this country is embroiled. At least make a start now by freezing Government expenditure so the number of pounds spent in 2012/2013 does not exceed the pounds spent in 2011/2012 (preferably 2009/2010).

  5. I have a tedious accquaintance who continually says, “..it’ll get worse before it gets better.” Since this government seems to specialise in telling us about what cannot be done, I guess it’s going to get worse before it gets worse.

    Which means Boris is in a very strong position. I think it was LBJ who observed that it was better to have opponents in one’s party ‘inside the tent pissing out rather than outside the tent pissing in’. Trust David Cameron to allow the latter to happen!

    But Boris can have fun – not the king across the water, but the king around the corner…

Comments are closed.