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:

Cameroon:   Anti-Terror Laws Brand Journalists As Terrorists (document)
Committee to Protect Journalists
20 September 2017

In 2014, Cameroon enacted a broad anti-terror law as part of its effort to counter the extremist group Boko Haram, but authorities are using it to arrest and threaten local journalists who report on ... [read more]

Kenya:   Kenyatta Insists Fresh Polls Must Be Held in 60 Days (news)
The Nation
20 September 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday said he expects the fresh election to be held within the 60-day period set out in the Constitution after the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 presidential ... [read more]

Sierra Leone:   Schools Reopen After Mudslide Disaster (news)
Deutsche Welle
19 September 2017

Schools in Sierra Leone have reopened more than a month after a mudslide devastated communities around Freetown. But not all students can return as many schools are still being used as temporary ... [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!