Friday, 3 October 2008

What Blair's Departure tells us about Boris

The Tory press and blogsphere have been hailing the sacking of Sir Ian Blair yesterday as a masterstroke by London Mayor Boris Johnson and the first real wielding of Conservative power.

I'm less convinced...

Yes, Blair had to go - he had become a liability and his reputation was dragging down the entire Metropolitan Police. However, it seems there will be no replacement Commissioner at this time and none likely until there is a Conservative Government.

In effect, the Mayor now controls both the Police and transport in London.

Some may argue that the stench of Livingstone needed to be cleared out and a new start made but if Livingstone saw no need to take personal control of the Police and tube, then why does Boris Johnson ?

My impression of Boris Johnson is that he is a supremely self-confident man, arguably the most intelligent man in British politics today. However, intelligence isn't everything and I think his own self-belief is so great that he believes that only he personally can sort out London's crime and transport problems.

This is appalling conceit, vanity and arrogance.

My fear is that his own self-belief and belief in his own infallability will not allow him to see things going wrong and that we will all pay the price for his ego and his ego's mistakes.

Time will tell but he has made a poor start to his term as London Mayor in my view and the next few months and years look being an uncomfortable ride. Even David Cameron seems concerned by his antics and it may be that privately Cameron sees a future in which Mayor Boris Johnson is a liability rather than an asset for the Conservative Party.

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