Saturday, May 03, 2008

Boris takes London as UK moves to ‘No Overall Control’

Cranmer is praising in the pulpit and dancing in the aisles at the news that Boris Johnson has become Mayor of London, and the Conservative Party has triumphed in local elections the length and breadth of the land. Ken Livingstone is definitely gone, and Gordon Brown is now certainly going. It is the culmination of months of fervent prayer and intercession, and Cranmer is humbled that the Lord has answered his prayers.

Winning the London mayoral contest is the delectable icing on the luscious cake of this historic day in Conservative Party fortunes. Labour have been humiliated into third place – their worst result in local elections since Harold Wilson was prime minister - and their share of the vote was worse even than that achieved by Michael Foot. The Conservative Party’s vote was 20 percentage points ahead of the Labour vote, and that augurs well for the next general election.

But Cranmer would like to point out that Boris Johnson now wields more executive power than any other Conservative in Britain.

He has promised Londoners he will phase out bendy buses, ban alcohol on the Tube and set up a Mayor's Fund. His winning manifesto pledges include:

TRANSPORT
* Wants the unions to sign up to a no-strike deal in return for binding arbitration. Will expand air conditioning and manage the infrastructure better.
* Will phase out bendy buses and replace them with a fleet of hybrid Routemasters that he now estimates will cost up to £100 million.
* Wants to fine utility companies that dig up the roads, “reform” the congestion charge, re-phase traffic lights and bring in monthly billing.

CRIME
* Will chair the Metropolitan Police Authority and “tear up red tape”, as well as holding the MPA to account
* Would make the transport network safer with 440 extra Police Community Support Officers and 50 extra British Transport Police paid for by slashing advertising budgets
* “Payback London” scheme requiring antisocial under- 18s to earn back their right to free travel when passes are confiscated
* Ban alcohol on the Tube by amending the conditions of carriage to help reduce anti-social behaviour and cut the 40 per cent of crime that is alcohol-related.
* Mayor's Fund would use the private sector to pay for schemes including fighting youth crime, bring in handheld scanners and neighbourhood crime maps.

ENVIRONMENT
* Would protect the green belt and invest £6 million in making open spaces cleaner and safer.
* Would work to help cut London's carbon emissions by 60 per cent from their 1990 levels by 2025.
* Opposes third Heathrow runway. Has suggested a new airport in the Thames Estuary instead.

HOUSING
* Will drop the Mayor's current target of 50 per cent of all new homes in London to be affordable and build 50,000 more new homes instead.
* Would release GLA-owned land and £130 million from the Regional Housing Pot to launch a new First Steps Housing Scheme.
* Invest £60 million from the Regional Housing Pot to renovate the capital's 84,205 empty properties.

CITY HALL
* He has promised not to stand for more than two terms as Mayor and to lobby for a change in legislation.
* Would publish the biographies, responsibilities and contact details of mayoral advisers online so public can see their role and get in touch.
* To make the London Development Agency grants process much more transparent by publishing details of all funding over £1,000.

20 Comments:

Anonymous USpace said...

Bloody good news! Praise the Lord! Thank God! There is hope for Londonistan. What will Red Ken do next?

:)

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
elect a communist

someone who will work full-time
to destroy your country

.
haltterrorism.com

lulu.com/uspace
.

3 May 2008 at 03:31  
Anonymous Phew said...

Dear Father in Heaven, I don't know why you have decided to start answering my prayers, but I am most humbly grateful and will try to show my gratitude and try much harder from now on to live according to thy will. Amen.

3 May 2008 at 08:26  
Anonymous Angry Penguin said...

Congratulations and blessings on this answered prayer.

I hope the rest of the political cleanup works quickly and effectively for you.

PS: I'd really love one of those "Back Boris" umbrellas. Anyone willing to send one to Australia? :)

3 May 2008 at 08:52  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your prayers have been answered? Are you all mad? Don't thank God. Thank the Londoners who voted for him. Or better yet, congratulate Boris on a well-run campaign. Boris won the election. God didn't.

Are we saying that God simply decided to back Ken the last time, and this time he changed his mind?

It will be interesting. I look forward to seeing whether this man who is ridiculous in many ways, and immoral in others, can make London a better place. I have hope.

3 May 2008 at 09:28  
Anonymous Angry Penguin said...

Dear Snuffy,

You said Your prayers have been answered? Are you all mad? Don't thank God..

Just because I (or the venerable reconstitution of Cranmer's ashes) might thank God for an election should cause you no offence.

Did you vote for Boris? Perhaps we could thank you as well (or not). You haven't given us ground for either. I didn't vote for Boris due to extreme distance and not being on British electoral rolls.

The Bible is full of stories where God allowed wicked people to prosper in the short term. Ken Livingstone's political career is probably not much worse than most and quite a bit better than some. Nevertheless, it's at an impasse now and some have prayed for Boris to be given a go. Given this result why shouldn't they thank the one they prayed to?

As for Boris himself, most of us are immoral (if we care to admit it) and all of us are at least a little riduculous. Perhaps you think yourself an exception.

I have hope.

Me too, yet I am perplexed as to what it is that you have hope in. Perhaps you'd care to enlighten us. :)

3 May 2008 at 10:08  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Ms Snuffy,

That is precisely what His Grace is saying.

You seem to have little grasp of the Christian theology of statecraft. It is indeed the Lord who decides the governments of nations; it is he who raises them up or removes them. And it is a Christian's duty to pray for all in authority, whether one agrees with them or not.

3 May 2008 at 10:15  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Boris is no different from the rest, he wont change anything. Commie Jihad supporting Ken was only ever venal and incidental.

3 May 2008 at 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst I agree with the celebratory air and the distinct light at the end of the tunnel of socialist oppression in this land, I would point out that this result has everything to do with people feeling the thinness of their wallets and zero to do with prayer.

3 May 2008 at 12:52  
Blogger Ben Stevenson said...

Anonymous: "this result has everything to do with people feeling the thinness of their wallets and zero to do with prayer"

This suggests that you either don't believe in God, or don't realise how God controls history. God brings about his plan through various means - including people going out to vote, or even people doing evil. For example when Jesus died, God used the wicked actions of those who killed him, to bring about his plan:

"Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen." -- Acts 4:27-28 (NIV)

The Bible teaches that God is in control of all things, particularly who comes to power:

"the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes" -- Daniel 4:25

If God wants a ruler to be democratically elected, it is not beyond his power to get people to vote for him.

3 May 2008 at 15:03  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace
You're right. I had no idea! So God changed his mind? Or God thinks that now is the right time for a Conservative Mayor? And you are grateful that God agrees with you now? So you disagreed with God before?

Sorry, I'm confused. I don't understand your position.

Angry Penguin
I am not offended, just perplexed. I gave Boris my second vote. Paddick got my first. I definitely do not put myself in the same category as Boris in the moral arena. He is a philanderer and a liar. And for all of you pro-life people on this blog, he aborted his own child! But that only seems to matter to all of you when you're discussing people who aren't Conservatives.

What is this line of defence which says 'We are all like this'? Boris used this himself to defend his behaviour. It is deplorable thinking. We are by no means the same. Are you the same as the murderers and rapists in prison? Of course not. We make choices. We should take responsibility for our actions and not shirk that responsibility by saying that everyone is the same. Jesus taught us differently! And Jesus, quite frankly, would be disappointed by Boris' behaviour, in particular his refusal to take responsibility for it and admit wrongdoing!

Boris is something new, something fresh. I have hope in that. A man who believe in the Routemasters gives me hope as he has a sense of tradition. Ken rid me of hope. My hope has been restored.

3 May 2008 at 19:13  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace
You're right. I had no idea! So God changed his mind? Or God thinks that now is the right time for a Conservative Mayor? And you are grateful that God agrees with you now? So you disagreed with God before?

Sorry, I'm confused. I don't understand your position.

Angry Penguin
I am not offended, just perplexed. I gave Boris my second vote. Paddick got my first. I definitely do not put myself in the same category as Boris in the moral arena. He is a philanderer and a liar. And for all of you pro-life people on this blog, he aborted his own child! But that only seems to matter to all of you when you're discussing people who aren't Conservatives.

What is this line of defence which says 'We are all like this'? Boris used this himself to defend his behaviour. It is deplorable thinking. We are by no means the same. Are you the same as the murderers and rapists in prison? Of course not. We make choices. We should take responsibility for our actions and not shirk that responsibility by saying that everyone is the same. Jesus taught us differently! And Jesus, quite frankly, would be disappointed by Boris' behaviour, in particular his refusal to take responsibility for it and admit wrongdoing!

Boris is something new, something fresh. I have hope in that. A man who believe in the Routemasters gives me hope as he has a sense of tradition. Ken rid me of hope. My hope has been restored.

3 May 2008 at 19:13  
Blogger Ben Stevenson said...

Snuffleupagus: "So God changed his mind? Or God thinks that now is the right time for a Conservative Mayor?"

In Christian theology there are two ways of understanding God's will.

Firstly, there is what God allows to happen. God is in control of all of human history, including Ken Livinstone, and now Boris Johnson, being London Mayor.

Secondly, there is God's "moral will". God does not want people to murder, or to steal - and indeed his commands people not to do these things.

It is obvious that God allows things to happen that are against his moral will. The reasons why he does this are sometimes hard to understand, but I trust that God is infinitely wise knows what he is doing in allowing certain things to happen.

Saying this means that the fact that something happens, and has therefore been allowed to happen by God, does not mean that what happens is morally good.


If I lived in London I would have voted Christian Choice first preference, and Boris second preference. This is in affect a vote for Boris, since Alan Craig was never going to come in the top two.

I don't believe Boris is an ideal candidate - and his view on abortion is something I strongly oppose. But I believe Boris was the best option of those who had a realistic chance of being elected.

3 May 2008 at 19:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This suggests that you either don't believe in God, or don't realise how God controls history. God brings about his plan through various means"

Obviously it was his day off when the Holocaust occured, or an extended holiday when Stalin was busy wiping out twenty million Russians, to give but two examples...

3 May 2008 at 20:46  
Anonymous m'lud said...

Is God the ultimate neurotic control freak then?
(Whats the point of his existing in such a hellish eternity?)
But if he isnt that, then hes not God at all, since that would mean certain phenomena then exist outside his omnipotence.
(And thats an absurdity.)
Such are the inconsistencies incurred when you impose some anthropocentric notion of a cosmic being.

3 May 2008 at 20:48  
Blogger Ben Stevenson said...

Anonymous,
No, I don't believe that God was not having a day off during the holocaust. As I said before, God allows things to happen that are against his moral will, including both murder, and mass murder. These are wicked things, and God will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

When I said God is in control of all of human history I did not forget how much pain, suffering, and death, there is in the world.

Please read this article on why God allows suffering.

3 May 2008 at 21:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please read this article on why God allows suffering."

No thanks, I listened to enough bible bashing bullshit in my younger days.

3 May 2008 at 22:13  
Blogger Harry Hook said...

"A prayer is as good as a bayonet on a day like this."

3 May 2008 at 22:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to burst your Grace's ballon but there is a lot of contradictory commitments here which don't seem to add up?
Anyway, for now it's blue sky for everyone and it would be churlish not to say well done.

3 May 2008 at 22:47  
Anonymous Angry Penguin said...

Snuffy,

Would email you but no direct contact on your site.

I suspect I more agree with you than disagree. In particular I think your asking for public repentance from politicians for their misdeeds is a fair call and should be taken up with any political party of which you are a member.

But if I were to write "I definitely do not put myself in the same category as Boris in the moral arena." about anybody I'd stumble on the words of Romans 2:1-16.

Whilst I may not particularly like putting myself in the same category with lots of people, this is a fairly narrow distinction given that Jesus died for me too.

AP

4 May 2008 at 07:18  
Blogger John Trenchard said...

Your Grace,

This is the most eye catching policy for us bloggers...

"To make the London Development Agency grants process much more transparent by publishing details of all funding over £1,000"

i hope he stays true to his word.

6 May 2008 at 14:01  

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