Cllr JP Floru is a councillor for the City of Westminster, an author, and a former Parliamentary Candidate for Bermondsey & Old Southwark
Originality, please ! Pollsters often have no clue what they need to ask the polled. They may have little idea of what ACTUALLY would inspire voters. They ask us to rank priorities from their pre masticated list. They may not themselves live in London, or may have different expectations from your average punter. The lack of imagination and repetitious nature of polls is often baffling.
So here is my (non-exhaustive) list of Hidden Desires of Londoners:
1 Get rid of traffic jams
How many hours a week do you spend in traffic jams? How sick of it are you? Bizarrely, this is an issue which is completely ignored in London politics.
Cycle super highways and traffic calming and bus lanes all add to traffic jams. When there are more people one should ration roads. Stop giving privileges to the mayor-of-the-day’s Personal Preferred Mode of Transport: as a cyclist, I believe all roads should be open to all.
Get rid of the bus lanes; most of the time they are either empty while next to it is a jammed lane, or the bus uses two lanes anyway. Getting rid of bus lanes would be as popular as getting rid of the bendy buses was.
2 Decrease the noise, don’t ration flying
Flying is aspirational, which is what the Conservative Party stands for. Instead of blocking airport expansion, focus on decreasing noise levels. Private enterprise can build silent planes.
3 Right to Buy a Tube Extension
End the endless political lobbying for state funds. Areas which want tube or train extensions could set up committees which propose to build them – and pay for it. A new tube station means a massive increase in property values – why should those who don’t enjoy that have to pay for it? There would be more projects and more happy Londoners if we did it this way.
4 Allow higher buildings if public parks are added
If commuting for hours is unreasonable, then the only way is up. Build higher, and compensate with public parks or sky gardens. In the right places, of course – above railway stations, for example.
5 Treat us as equal individuals instead of privileged groups
Stop pandering to groups. Each individual in a group votes differently for his own unique set of reason. Giving privileges to groups creates hostility from the others.
Stop giving privilege to people because they are married, have children, are purple, are straight or gay, go to church, do sport, live together, etc. All Londoners are unique individuals. Our choices or born-with characteristics are our own – it has nothing to do with the meddlesome politicians. Say so.
6 Government should stay out of our private lives
The Mayor of London should be a beacon of tolerance and stand up for individual freedom – not just because it is ideologically the right thing to do, but also for practical reasons: it is the only way in which we can keep the peace in an increasingly diverse city.
7 Build, build, build – for all, not just the very rich and the very poor
Imposing social housing means that private housing costs even more – as the private flats pay for the social ones. That means that Central London has become the playground of the very rich and the privileged poor who receive central London housing at taxpayer’s expense. The social housing quote effectively condemns the middle classes into endless commuting to far away burbs. Houses for all please.
8 Self-help, not patrician paternalism
Can our patricians please stop apologising for being who they are, and instead allow us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps instead?
This is 2016, not 1956. Let’s leave Downton Abbey to ITV.