Tuesday, April 1, 2008

FACTUAL INFO: Boris Johnson didn't chicken out of the Time Out Debate

There is a story going around on a labour home blog , that Boris ran away scared from a mayoral debate on April 2rd , because he is scared of talking to London's voters ,as he doesn't have a message to put across to londoners . Before you hear this story in the media , take it with a pinch of salt , it's simply not true.

It is not helped by Time Out's representation of what happened . They say "We were excited and proud to be able to offer you direct access to all four main candidates on one platform, which would give you an opportunity to quiz them in person on their plans for our city. Disappointingly, Boris Johnson, who had initially confirmed his place at this hustings, has withdrawn from the event and so will NOT be attending. The last line is malicious in it's intent to tar Boris Johnson i thought Time Out as someone who shirks responsibility. I thought Time Out were meant to be a neutral organisation , the last sentence suggests otherwise.

What really happened is partly Time Out's fault , the organisers of the debate. Originally the debate was going to be held on April 3rd , Boris would have been able to attend this ,and indeed intended to be there . At the last minute , Time Out decided to change the day to April 2nd , not giving Boris enough prior notice to be able to make arrangements so he could attend. This is clearly bad managment on the part of the organisers . The organisers try to hide behind the lie that Boris Pulled out , but he didn't. Time Out should apologise for the lie they started , simply to cover there own mismanagement.

Boris was never free on April 2nd as the Labour Home blog says. He was booked that day for a long standing engagement to talk to local newspapers editors.It would be wrong if Boris shirked this responsibility to his long term comittment. Boris isnt superman he cant appear in two places at once.

Labour's message here is intentionally misleading and an example of negative campaigning at it's worst . Labour should stick to outlining there policies for London ,which we have heard surprisingly little of , rather than criticising there opponent Boris Johnson based on a lie.The Left’s united strategy for the London mayoral election seems to only entail trying to discredit Boris in an increasingly shoddy attempt to stop him winning. Is it because they are the one's really running scared ,because people are fed up of there policies which have led to increased crime and increased the cost of living for the average Londoner. Im not just criticising Ken Livingstone here , im criticising Sian Berry the Green Candidate and Brian Paddick the Lib Dem Candidate , all they offer is failed policies and negative campaigning .