Boris Johnson is to demand more rigorous controls of the £9.3 billion London Olympics budget amid fresh signs that the project is heading for financial difficulties due to the global credit crisis.
I\’ve called, not entirely jokingly for us to call Paris and ask if it\’s too late for them to take this over.
Very much more seriously for the sake of Boris\’ career I wouldn\’t start by saying that I\’m going to take responsibility, that I\’m going to make it work. Rather, I\’d get a decent team of forensic accountants in now to show how the financing of this project has been entirely buggered right from the start. I\’d reveal all the lies, the obfuscations, the idiot assumptions and I\’d get it all on paper right now.
Show up Jowell and the rest for the, at best, gullible fools, at worst mendacious ones, they have been.
Then, only then, would I say that we\’ll start from here, prepare a real budget and then I\’ll take responsibility.
There is, of course, huge political value in showing them up: but the real value comes in the longer term: for those budgest still seem woefully understated. Get the corrections in now, while the previous administration can be blamed.
And most importantly, in the role of Mayor, by clearing the decks now, by showing that x billions more will be required, and showing that the absence of this from the current budget wassn\’t his fault, he can then insist that London rate payers don\’t have to pick up the extra bill.
Yes, I know that screws the rest of us, who will have to, but he\’s Mayor of London remember?