What will London gain from Boris Johnson's trip to India?

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Nov 23 2012, 08:12:00

The London mayor's upcoming trade-promoting visit will be worthwhile if resulting economic growth benefits Londoners as a whole. But will it?

Mayor Johnson is off to India this weekend to tell its brain boxes and business chiefs what a marvellous place London is to live and invest in. When asked for details about the excursion - the airfares, the hotels, the company the mayor will keep - his media minders presented it as an exercise in lissom frugality compared with the shocking bulk and outrageous cost of a trade trip to the same nation led by Ken Livingstone five years ago. But the really telling fact is that it's happening at all.

At a KPMG-hosted hustings during the 2008 mayoral election campaign, the then candidate Johnson roundly denounced such grandiose excesses, only for one of the dignitaries of London commerce who'd accompanied "Red Ken" to the sub-continent to tell him from the floor what an excellent initiative it had been. The horrid lefty, it appeared, was in this respect keener than the free market-loving Conservative on greasing global capitalism's wheels, but then Livingstone always was a more variegated political beast than Ken-hate cranks want you to think.

For the record, the current mayor will be travelling with his chief of staff Sir Edward Lister, his communications chief Will Walden, four Greater London Authority staffers and representatives of Transport for London, London and Partners and Film London. The mayoral party will number 12 in all, and the cost will be a discounts-minded 20 grand. The Mayor is flying business class but, I'm assured, that's because the business big cheeses who will be going with him - and paying their own way - were never going to sit anywhere other than in the posh seats, and taxpayer value will not be guaranteed unless Good Old Boris is sipping mid-air champagne with them. The members of this industry "delegation" have not yet been ...

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Africa:   Mass Protests and Mobilization Swept Continent - Amnesty Annual Report (news)
Amnesty International
22 February 2017

Mass protests, movements, and mobilization – often articulated and organized through social media – swept the continent in 2016. Protesters and human rights defenders repeatedly found ... [read more]

South Africa:   Court Orders Govt to Withdraw ICC Decision (news)
News24Wire
22 February 2017

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that government's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) was unconstitutional and invalid. Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo said ... [read more]

Gambia:   Police Arrest Jammeh's Intelligence Chief, Deputy (news)
Premium Times
22 February 2017

The Police have arrested Gambia's former head of the national intelligence agency and his deputy, part of President Adama Barrow's attempts to re-establish democracy in the small West African nation, ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!