Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Prince and the Poor Parper

Boris Johnson, London's Mayor, loves to parp up with a jolly turn of phrase. It's possibly all part of his self-styled 'cool buffoon' image. For instance, BoJo apparently says he plans to 'wage a holy war on 'holey' roads'. Translated, he's tooting that he's keen to publicly flay and curse utility companies who constantly dig up the city's streets. 
Another hoot came from Bozza when he welcomed the green light being given to Crossrail, London's east-west rail link that involves much tunnelling under central London. "When in a hole, keep digging," hurrahed BoZo.
Well, apparently, Boris has dug himself into a bit of hole by indulging in clandestine meetings at Clarence House and by exchanging letters with Prince Charles, our future King in waiting...(and very long the Prince has been waiting too). 
Pippa Crerar, City Hall Editor for the London Evening Standard, or Evening Stranded as Londoners tag it, cites "City Hall aides" and "sources at City Hall" as saying Boris and Charlie had "exchanged views over London issues including planning". The story originated from blogging journalist Adam Bienkov.
Crerar's eyebrow-raising front page lead story questions whether the Prince influenced Boris over controversial plans for the Chelsea Barracks housing project. "Sources at City Hall were not clear whether the Prince explicitly lobbied the Mayor over the Chelsea project," writes Crerar.
The project's Qatari backers dropped the development last June after Charles criticised their plan's appearance. The Stranded says Londoners aren't likely to find out if our unelected Prince's letters and meetings with our elected Mayor influenced the democratic planning process because "the Mayor's office turned down a Freedom of Information Act request to release them" (their letters that is, not Boris and Charlie themselves). 
It's a hoot of a story about our beloved Mayor that might toot for a bit longer. 
As Boris himself said when work on Crossrail began, "the shovels have tasted earth".

Paul Coleman, London, January 2010

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