Monday, May 19, 2008

Is Team Blonde Buffoon dialling back expectations on the return of the Routemaster?

The Mayor's plans for a new generation Routemaster may not happen, his new transport boss admitted today. Kulveer Ranger, Boris Johnson's director of transport policy, said that a design competition would be launched - but if no bid was good enough they would look again at the pledge.

This will be good news, the last thing we need is the huge unnecessary expense of replacing a fleet of perfectly adequate buses with much less accessible designs in the name of conservative (rather than Conservative) nostalgia. However, seeing as he insisted on making such a big point of this policy during this campaign that we can have some justifiable giggles that New Conservatism has overtaken New Labour for breaking campaign promises once in power.

Though hopefully it's impossible to mistake me for a supporter of the Blair/Brown party I have been feeling lately how I assume Tories felt in those last few months before May the 1st 1997. Baring some massive disaster that gives him the chance to look commanding and reassuring Gordon Brown now looks like a dead Prime Minister walking, certainly all the friends of Blair lining up to put the boot in aren't helping.

I'm of the generation that grew up knowing no different than a Conservative government and the likelihood of that returning strikes more cold dread into my heart than the liberty-cancelling, ID Card supporting Labour party. At the moment David Cameron doesn't quite have that air of Blair in 1996 of just waiting to assume the Premiership that everyone knew would soon be his but it can't be much longer in coming. The tragedy for the country is that Boris becoming mayor proves that no-one who voted for him were concerned with his policies, I've yet to speak to or here from anyone that voted for what he said he would do, they either voted Ken out or because they thought the mayorship could be run by a part-time gameshow host. The lesson Cameron is free to draw for this is that he doesn't need to make pretences of creeping leftwards, he's likely to be voted in if the Conservative party manifesto was 'compulsory euthanasia of all Conservative party members and Daily Mail readers' and the prospect of Oliver Letwin getting gay with Michael Gove televised nightly. It'll also mean that they'll have a manifesto promise to scrap ID Cards then keep them when they get in, much as the Labour Party felt that a Freedom of Information act was a necessity right up until the point they had the power to bring it in.

Some of my friends hope that Prime Minister 'Dave' will inspire a fresh wave of activism, such as those against Clause 28. I'm less hopeful, though I take comfort in the fact it'll better to have my face ground into the dirt by the boot of a Conservative that calls themselves a Conservative rather than a Tory that calls themself Labour.

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