Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tory Politics - Crossrail, Johnson and Goldsmith

The Labour Party are currently putting themselves through the wringer as the membership contemplates who should lead them to power and compromise  or the high minded-wilderness of a more protracted period of opposition.
London's transport links improve?

Not so far off too though is the Conservative leadership battle, and the Tories unlike Labour it seems  recognise that being in power is the only place they can make a significant influence on society.

For me the intrigue around this Tory  new leader will  soon start to unfold - and  the  leadership battle means  that a number of  influences will impact the Cameron led Government perhaps immobilising it for the second half of the five year term.

Unlike within  the Labour party where old battles are being refought by a bunch of  marginalised time servers one of the London Mayoral candidates for the Tories  is a potentially  attractive Mayor who will lead London with principle.

Zac Goldsmith the charismatic and independent thinking maverick has no desire (stated anyway) to climb the greasy pole through cabinet  but after consulting his constituents he's proceeding to gather supporters for a Mayoral bid - the problem for the party at large is that he has principles and his clearly hammered Green credentials are attached to the mast he's stated  he will not countenance further runway expansion at Heathrow airport as Mayor.
Hayes shows new properties are shooting up near Crossrail stations

Looking back at the history of the Crossrail project is an education in itself with the idea  starting over 70 years ago it has come to near fruition  largely with cross party  as  the bills have progressed through parliament - who can not recognise the significance of Heathrow as a destination on the line?

Crossrail has so far led to  a bubble around property prices within the range of the new service which boasts rapid travel East to West London (and of course back again), would an expanded Heathrow be an electoral asset (particularly for George Osborne) or an albatross for London's remaining Conservative MPs?

Like Goldsmith the current Mayor of London the excruciatingly ambitious Boris Johnson has set himself against Heathrow expansion, firstly with a narcissistic 'Grand' project for an airport in the wilds of Kent and more latterly with an anything but Heathrow vision - Boris is keen to be PM (to put it mildly).

Next year London will have it's new Mayor and by the end of this year the present PM will have made his judgement on what his word is worth (can he do that 180 degree turn?) - interesting times as Cameron tries to manage a Euro referendum while keeping the peace between May, Osborne  and (perhaps) Johnson a figure like Zac Goldsmith as London Mayor is unlikely to make his life easier should he decide that Heathrow will be further expanded .

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