Thursday, March 06, 2008

Boris Bilks Busker?

Just been sent an interesting, allegedly first hand story about Boris Johnson, Tory candidate for London Mayor, while he was in Croydon recently making a public appearance.

During a “walkabout” he posed with a local singer/songwriter and street “busker” Claire Toomey for a photo opportunity. As he stood with Claire, who was singing a new song, she had written called "Found”, he started “smiling wildly” and waving a £20 note as if he was about to give her the money in appreciation of her musical talents.

What a generous guy?

However, once the accompanying photographers had finished taking pics, he immediately put the £20 note back into his wallet, thanked Claire, then walked off quickly to have his picture taken with the next mug. Claire was not amused.

Mean git more like it?


Anonymous said...

The true story is that Boris gave Claire some change. Check your facts! I am sure Claire does not like being used as a political tool for certain bloggers concerned that the future mayor of London may be a Tory.

aredbridgeblue said...

Ok, lets have a robust mayoral election. Let's not start it with invented untruths. The story is fiction.

(John - Will your committment to democracy allow you to publish this post?)

Anonymous said...

This is rubbish, he did give her some money.. who cares how much?

This is an abomidable attempt by the Ken for Mayor machine to spray mud on Boris.

Boris is the only man who can lead london out of the mess Ken left us with.

Anonymous said...

do you really think that this would have been sent to you when no pictures nor even any reference has been supplied either to a paper or a big blog? christ. i am constantly astounded by the arrogance of you lot. and PUT THE STORY to boris. otherwise it's libel.

Anonymous said...

John Grey, how desperate are the anti-Boris brigade now! I actually DO have a first hand source and what happened was, Boris did meet the said lady, gave her a smile and some change and then moved on. He didn't have £20 on him.

This is in line with the way Boris's speeches are being wildly misquoted, attributing a meaning to him that is directly opposite to what he is actually saying.

There is one upside to the above.... at least the detractors have something intelligent to read, MUST make a change.

Anonymous said...

This blog is shite!

Anonymous said...

Slander Boris at your peril mate! He has a huge army of loyal supporters who are watching and will answer when facts are misrepresented.

It is such a shame. There are so many interesting things to talk about regarding the issues, and London is such a beaufiful city.

Boris's traffic policy is proving very popular with cab drivers, who are thrilled that someone is thinking of them, because they feel their job is being made so hard for them. I have chatted to loads of them and they are behind Boris to a man!

John Gray said...

Hi Boswell

“Ok, lets have a robust mayoral election.......”

Apologies for the delay in responding I was out much of yesterday.

As much as I am reluctant to cite Guy Fawkes blog as a reference, it would appear that the story is not an “invention”.

There is a dispute about some of the facts. My source is however, adamant that it is true! It shows Boris Character in a new and yet another negative light.

I am more than willing to publish stuff - I have only ever refused a couple of posts for racist, deliberate libel or particularly foul mouthed rantings

John Gray said...

Hi Anons
I think you should now calm down and take deep, deep breaths. The story is true, I think it is important if he didn’t give her any money or used the £20 for publicity purposes (especially considering the amounts of money he earns!).

I am more than willing to discuss this matter further with Boris but fortunately he is not part of my social or political circle!

John Gray said...

Hi angelneptunestar

“John Grey, how desperate are.......”

Considering the really widespread nonsense and horrible stuff that has been written about Ken, I think that Boris has got off amazingly lightly!

If you are referring to the Guido post then this makes it clear that the singer got no money from Boris. His “unnamed” photographer claims some change was given.

“Slander Boris at your peril mate!....”

As fond as all Londoner are of our Taxi drivers, I don’t think that I would necessarily seek political advice from them. Saying that, I know two UNISON stewards who are part time Black Cab drivers, and both strong Labour supporters. They tell me they only spout right wing rubbish to posh looking or business customers in order to get a better tip!

The beef most cabbies have with Ken is over the anti-pollution measures that they have had to comply with (costing about £2k per cab) and now they have to have a Cab MOT twice a year rather than once. I know this costs money but I live and work in London and we have got to cut pollution.
I think that actually cab drivers are being a short sighted since Ken has got more people out of their cars and into all forms of public transport. Including Cabs of course. Once he gets the Chelsea Tractors brigade out of London they will all use and pay for Cabs.

It should be “Win, win” for cabbies and the vast majority of Londoners?

Anonymous said...

Boris still wants to steal our childrens bus passes

and not allowed the disabled on buses (new routemasters)

But when he was smashing up restuarants in Oxford he never thought he could get to smash up London

thank god he will never have a chance

Anonymous said...

John I am not very happy with your comments about black cab drivers, because your remarks did not sound very democratic to me. The vote of any black cab driver is as good or better than any man's in London, and cabbies are shrewd and independent people, so to me, it is very significant they are all so strongly in favour of Boris. I have to take loads of cabs and never ever have I found one driver who votes for Ken.

Another interesting point - in Camden, all the cabbies are upset at the heavy handed use of bailiffs by Camden Council. That is why they are so grateful for Boris's intention to make it illegal to fine cabbies for stopping at cash points - they are regularly clobbered and it is just not fair.

John Gray said...

Hi Angleneptunestar

I take back anything that could imply any form of a slur on this fine body of Londoners. Many of course are good trade unionists who will be voting for Ken & a Labour Assembly. Check out

Anonymous said...

John dear I checked out the website but what is actually happening is, the cabbies are giving lip service to the Union, but really, they are all voting for Boris!! That is what I have been told, and I am so sorry.

John now that you have talked to me, why don't you consider voting for Boris? You sound such a reasonable guy, you ought to think about it!

Anonymous said...

John may I ask you something? We both know what a huge amount of funding the London Mayor is repsonsible for. Surely if there are concerns that large sums are being wasted, it should be possible to ask the London Mayor what the score is? This is PUBLIC MONEY, huge sums to ordinary people like you and me.

The thing that I find extremely worrying is that Ken does not think that people have the right to ask the questions, because if they do, he is calling them names I hate to even type. Do you agree with this Jon? No-one is saying at this stage that Ken has misappropriated ANYTHING. No-one has said that about Jasper Lee either. It just seems that since this is public money, if there are concerns, people should be able to ask about it without being attacked themselves. What do you think about this and I really value your opinion.

John Gray said...

Hi Anglenepturestar

You asked me to consider voting for Boris – OK, considered – nope – still voting for Ken and Labour. You know it makes sense.

I am glad you accept that Ken and Jasper have not misappropriated anything. The real problem I think is that certain Tory supporters have made a deliberative decision to try and attack Ken by attacking his advisors on the basis of the colour of their skin not by what Ken has done. For purely electoral advantage.

I understand that the “Evening Boris” knew for a long time that Jasper had been stupid regarding his relationship with a female director of an organisation supported by the GLA. However, because they wanted to try and prove some sort of financial fraud they didn’t act on it. This proves to me that they are not interested in any thing genuinely newsworthy rather they just wanted to bash Ken

Anonymous said...

John, what you write is bang out of order.

I did not say I accepted that there was no wrongdoing by Ken or Jasper Lee. At this stage, we just don't know.

I note that you do not reply to the most important question of all - why is Ken reluctant to answer questions about the wastage of public money? When you are in a position of responsibility, people need to know that everything is above board. The reports in the Standard raise many serious concerns and Ken's reaction is even more worrying.

For example, it doesn't exactly set my mind at rest when he notes that the amounts of money there are concerns about are small amounts conpared to the total budget.

They may be small compared to the total budget, but they are huge sums to ordinary people, of hundreds of thousands of pounds, and it is THEIR MONEY.

Secondly to say that the questions are motivated by racism is downright dishonest. It is also ludicrous.

These days, Ken seems to accuse anyone who criticises him of being a racist and by doing so, he is making himself a laughing stock.

The joke is that Ken is going to have everyone who campaigns for him and fails, shot.

For racism obviously.

Anonymous said...

Hey John...discuss the politics notth person...its the advice you give in your blog elsewhere..why don't you practice what you preach for a change!

John Gray said...

Hi angleneptune star

The Evening Boris is running a deliberately racist campaign in my view. Ken is not perfect and does deserve some stick like all of us, but the campaign against him and his staff is just bang out of order

(Don’t get the joke? its been a long week)

Anonymous said...

Hi John. It is good you say Ken is not perfect. Nobody is and I include myself in that. I am following the reports in the Standard and there do seem to be genuinely serious concerns. All they are saying is when public money is involved, we have the right to ask the questions. I am also very worried that the person running the inquiry on Lee Jasper is the head of his department and therefore not impartial. THESE THINGS DO WORRY THE PUBLIC. No way do I agree with you that the Standard is in any way racist, all they are saying is "questions need to be answered". I should like to thank you for allowing me to air my views on your website. Mayorwatch would not let me log a post and I do not think that is democratic, SO THANK YOU JOHN. This is a democracy and it is important we are free to say what we want in an unabusive way.

John Gray said...

Many thanks for your contributions anglenepturestar!

(Crikey, my commentators are thanking me! I must be slipping! Most Tories are too polite – I’ll have to go back to having a go at Galloway and diss-respect)

Anonymous said...

George Galloway! His credibility evaporated when he was filmed with his head in Rula Lenska's lap, imitating a cat! UNBELIEVABLE!

He thought he was so media smart but Big Brother was the undoing of him. He was taking it all so so seriously, accusing Chantelle and Preston of "sitting in their gentleman's club" when they were just dressed up to play a game!

How confused is Ungorgeous George! He thinks Jodie Marsh is wicked and evil and Saddam Hussein was a nice guy!!!

Anonymous said...

John you said Crikey!!

Are you SURE you ae not one of us......... LOLOLOL

John Gray said...

Whoops - slip of the tongue.... old bean!