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

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Nov 23 2012, 03:12:00

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:

Kenya:   Al-Shabaab Accused of Bus Attack (news)
The Star
22 November 2014

TWENTY eight people are feared dead after a bus they were traveling in was hijacked by suspected al-Shabaab militia as it climbed the hills of the notorious Omar Jillo area of Mandera East Sub County. [read more]

Liberia:   Ebola Hampers HIV/Aids Care (news)
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
21 November 2014

Ebola has crippled the provision of treatment and care to people living with HIV/AIDS in Liberia, according to health workers and patients. [read more]

Kenya:   Army Destroys Camp Used By Suspected Bus Attackers (news)
Capital FM
22 November 2014

A camp that was being used by attackers who executed 28 Kenyans travelling in bus on Saturday morning in Mandera has been destroyed by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). [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!