John Ward – Smoke Signals Special: Boris Johnson, Fire Service Cuts, Ross Kemp & The Sharing Of Bodily Fluids – 22 December 2013

JohnW“When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.” (John Wesley)

There is, as they say, no smoke without fire. Although if you’re London Mayor Boris Johnson, there will be no fire without services. Let’s dig into this one a little more.

Mayor Johnson’s plans to close 10 of London’s fire stations won a High Court battle against the move last Friday, when Mr Justice Fuckwit Fosket rejected the claim of local councils that the Mayor’s money-saving plans did not take into account increased fire risks in inner London. Judge Fudgit drew upon his vast experience of fire-fighting to tell the Court, “I appreciate that the outcome will come as a disappointment to a number of people who had hoped to see the proposed changes to the provision of fire services in their area set aside” but he didn’t give a monkey’s chuff anyway because every last one of Islington, Camden, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham and Greenwich Borough councils were run by horrid Lefties so there.

What Mr Justice Foreskin perhaps didn’t know was that, of the eight fire engines sent to the Apollo Theatre last Thursday night following the ceiling collapse, three are part of BoJo’s carefully measured proposals….referred to in Court last week by forensic fire experts as “reckless and wrong”. Given Mr Johnson’s outstandingly consistent record of being both reckless and wrong about everything from airports and phone-hacking to taxi emissions and the allocation of police time, the conclusion of those who put out fires in London (rather than starting them in the Conservative Party) strikes me as being right on the money. But I must remember to close my cover before striking, because that of course represents a fire risk.

To play David Cameron for just a paragraph here, let’s be clear about this: I know only too well that when Union jobsworths want to defend their over-manning levels, the first flag to which they flock is the safety one: “My members going on strike the day before the Olympics kick off are concerned only with passenger safety” and so forth. Pressure groups are never more amusing than when they want more munneeee, but lack the honesty to say so.

But this is a rather different case. For a start, 94% of Londoners oppose the cuts. And even within his own firefighting body, Johnson has no mandate for this…other than himself: his plans to close10 fire stations, withdrawal 14 fire engines and scrap 552 firefighter jobs were narrowly rejected in a vote by the London fire brigade’s governing body…but the mayor had the final say. One man, one vote and all that.

The thing with your fires see, is that every second counts in terms of getting to the incident before flames and smoke make rescue impossible. So if you make engine and station cuts, you are by definition increasing the risk. I wonder how, for the sake of 28 million quid in savings, the Mayor feels he can justify putting four million of his inner-city subjects sorry taxpayers at risk = for the sake of seven quid a human being. But again, as this probably equates very closely with BoJo’s feelings on such matters of humanity, we shouldn’t be surprised.

One initially surprising thing, however, is the enthusiasm with which former Eastenders soap heavy Ross Kemp argues just how badly wrong the Mayor on this compelling video put out to make the same case as mine about time, resources, fires, and death.

But there is history here involving the eternal triangles of burning passion. For Boris and Ross (it is scurrilously alleged by many in the London know) shared a woman of easy virtue for several years – and, as those from the Machiavelli school say, in at least one case it still rankles enough for the chilled revenge to taste especially delicious.

If you’re living in inner London, stay long in ladders. / link to original article

Comments are closed.