Boris Johnson – 2017 Statement on Pakistan Independence Day

Below is the text of the statement made by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, on 14 August 2017.

On behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I wish the people of Pakistan the very best on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of independence. Muhammad Jinnah’s founding vision of a progressive, inclusive Pakistan is still something worth cherishing and celebrating, and Pakistan should be rightly proud of its culture and history over the last 70 years.

The United Kingdom and Pakistan enjoy a close friendship thanks to the links between our people – particularly the 1.2 million British people who are of Pakistani origin. Whether on the cricket field, at Pakistani celebrations in the UK or though our strong education cooperation and support, the links between our two countries keep getting stronger. In 2017, the UK is celebrating these connections with a year-long programme of cultural events, exhibitions and visits.

As we celebrate our shared history together, and look forward to a future with more links, more trade and more cooperation between the UK and Pakistan, I wish the people of Pakistan Jashan e Azaadi Mubarak.

Boris Johnson – 2017 Speech at Lowy Institute

Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, at the Lowy Institute in Sydney on 27 July 2017.

Good evening. It is great to be here in this wonderful Town Hall, alongside my friend and colleague Julie Bishop, and with Stephen Lowy and Michael Fullilove.

When I first came back to Britain after a year in Australia – at the age of 19 – it would be fair to say that I bore a pretty heavy imprint from my time in this country.

My conversation was studded with words like “bonzer, mate” or “you little ripper”, and on the streets of London in broad daylight I insisted on wearing the same “Stubbies” daks – shorts of appalling brevity – that I had worn in the bush until my then girlfriend said that it was her or the stubbies daks.

I am not sure how the contest was resolved. After years in the UK educational system my infatuation with Australian dress, manners, vocabulary and general cast of mind was so intense that I had become a kind of unconscious Les Patterson – a self-appointed and unwanted cultural ambassador.

In so far as my friends were able to understand me, it helped that this was the time when Neighbours and Kylie Minogue were propelling Australian life onto our screens, and when young Australians were beginning to pop up across the planet in a phenomenon that was set to music in 1980 by the band Men At Work.

You will recall that the peregrinations of the man from Down Under – how he met a man from Bombay with not much to say; how he met the man from Brussels 6 foot 4 inches and full of muscles, and he asked him do you speak a my language and he just smiled and gave him a vegemite sandwich – the point being that he was himself Australian.

And from that lyric you deduce that second characteristic of the Australians – not only a fierce sense of identity and independence, but also a truly global country, engaged with the world in a way that is positive and fearless and upbeat.

So keep those two features in your head – strong sense of national political and cultural identity, combined with a truly global outlook – as I ask you to conduct a thought experiment.

I am told that Australia has just joined Eurovision. All I can say as a representative of a country that often seems to score nil points is – good luck with that. But protract that logic.

Imagine that in 1972 Geoffrey Rippon and Ted Heath had been able by some miracle to persuade our friends in Paris that distance was no obstacle. Suppose that by her abundant self-evident influences from Britain, Greece, Italy and elsewhere it had been decided that Australia was really European; a great, glorious syncretic European country and therefore eligible for accession – and suppose the French had said oui, and Australia had been admitted to the Common Market. What would have happened?

Who would have wanted Australia to join the Common Market by the way? Let’s have a little retrospective referendum here…

Well, I think you could argue that there would have been advantages and disadvantages. Australia would certainly have continued to catapult huge quantities of butter and beef to Europe – more than ever, perhaps. But other things would not have been so easy.

I mean no criticism of the model and methods chosen by our EU friends but you wouldn’t be running your own competition law or your public procurement programmes and you wouldn’t be able to tailor your green energy programmes to suit Australia’s needs.

You would find yourselves regularly out-voted in the Council of Ministers on hours of work or the definition of chocolate. You would never have been able to come up with your own immigration policy – the fabled points-based system.

And for the last 44 years you would have had to conform to the Common Agricultural Policy, and we must face the terrible probability that the EU’s ruthless quota and intervention policies – designed to protect existing Mediterranean producers – would have meant that Australia’s now legendary winemakers would never have got beyond the first tentative vintages because the whole lot would have been compulsorily boiled up and turned into bioethanol; and there would be nothing from the Hunter valley on our tables tonight.

And above all an awful lot of your brightest diplomats would be spending their lives trying to stop things from happening, grappling in distant corridors with brilliant graduates of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, instead of actually trying to get things done.

And even if you think I am being paranoid – even if you think it might not have been as bad as all that – I think we can look at Australia today and after 26 years of continuous growth, and with per capita GDP 25 per cent higher than in the UK, I think we can say that it was not absolutely necessary for Australia to join the Common Market.

Indeed, it is safe to say that it was not necessary for Australia to join any bloc or grouping organised on the integrationist principles of the EU.

Australia is not required to send well remunerated parliamentarians to an APEC parliament; and there isn’t a single APEC court of justice or currency, called the abalone, or whatever.

Australia hasn’t been required in the last few decades to sign up to a series of treaties designed to create a single political unit out of a patchwork of 27 countries; and no one claims that such a process is essential for Australia’s economic health and well-being, nor that this prevents Australia being a successful member of international economic organisations or a committed multilateral player.

So when we look at the forward momentum of Australia in the last few decades you can perhaps see why we in Britain are inclined to take with a pinch of salt some of the very slight gloom and negativity that is emanating from some distinguished quarters about the decision of the British people to leave the European Union.

And you can see why we might be moved to reject their notion that little old Britain is just too small, too feeble, too isolated, to cope on its own.

They say the UK is like some poor wriggling crustacean about to be deprived of its shell. I say – don’t come the raw prawn with me.

On the contrary, when we look at what Australia has achieved, we can see grounds for boundless excitement and optimism.

It is true that we may not have all Australia’s sunshine and other natural advantages; but we are the fifth biggest economy on earth, rated number two or perhaps number one for soft power, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the second biggest contributor to NATO, we have the greatest financial capital anywhere in the world, with the biggest creative, culture and media sector anywhere in our hemisphere.

And we are like Australians in that our population is possessed of the most extraordinary wanderlust – one in ten of Britons now alive is estimated to be living outside Britain, a higher proportion than any other rich country.

Not just diplomats and aid workers either – though we certainly make a huge contribution to international activity. If you look at the five worst current humanitarian disasters – in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and North East Nigeria – you will find that the three biggest donors are the US, the UK, and the EU; and that is before you even take account of the sixth or so of the EU aid budget we also pay.

We are hugely proud of that record – but of course we are not just talking of public officials. We are talking about 6 million bankers and journalists and artists and lawyers and athletes and – I kid you not – a policeman from Uxbridge who tours the world testing water slides: 6 million Brits spread out across the world in a great bright throbbing web like a scene from Avatar.

And we have the chance now as we leave the arrangements of the European Union to become even more global, and when I say more global I do not mean for a minute that we will become less European.

The Channel is not about to get wider. Britain is not going to sprout funnels and steam across to the Mid Atlantic. We remain historically, culturally, intellectually, emotionally and architecturally European.

Shakespeare is just as European as Michelangelo or Cervantes or Beethoven. Indeed, when you consider the range of his locations: Denmark, Austria, France, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Croatia, Turkey, to say nothing of Lebanon, Syria and the New World – I think you could argue that he was more European in his interests than any other great artist.

This European-ness is not just words: we show our commitment to Europe by our moral and military willingness to come to the defence of our friends, a commitment that we make unconditionally, irrespective of our EU negotiations.

It is 100 years since British and Australian soldiers stood side by side in the Third Battle of Ypres, in what I still believe it is right to think of as a fight against tyranny.

Today there are 800 British soldiers in Estonia, almost a quarter of the NATO mission in Eastern Europe, there to give reassurance in the face of any potential provocations from the east. We will continue to stick up for the rights of Ukrainians, threatened by Russian aggression and revanchism.

We will work with our friends in the western Balkans, where there is currently a political and geo-strategic arm wrestle taking place; and we will continue to help them to achieve what they see as their Euro-Atlantic destiny.

We will help our Italian partners as they face the challenge of migration from North Africa– cracking down on the vile people traffickers who put their victims to sea in leaky boats.

We will continue to argue for balance and moderation in our European foreign policy; and yes we join our friends in deploring the actions of the Turkish authorities in arresting and imprisoning journalists and human rights activists, including Amnesty International campaigners. We call on Turkey to release them from pre-trial detention, ensure fair and speedy trials, and to find a new way forward.

But we also believe that we must engage with Turkey, and that it would be a great mistake to demonise or to push that extraordinary country away from us. That is not the right way forward, either.

And we believe that this European engagement – military, diplomatic, working together to defeat all those who would do us harm – is in our interests, in our partners’ interests – in our mutual interest.

And that mutual interest is nowhere more blatant than in the negotiations on trade that are about to begin.

I wore this morning a sweater derived from Spanish sheep, reared in New Zealand, whose wool was shorn and shipped to Italy where it was turned into cloth that was shipped to China – imagine that vast triangle – where it was stitched together and then back to New Zealand before being exported to Britain, France, all over the world. Think of that woolly jumper as it bounds over borders and barriers and customs posts with not a bleat of effort or exertion.

That is how trade works today, with standards and supply chains that are increasingly global; and with the help of the excellent negotiators on both sides I have no doubt that we will get a great deal that preserves and even enhances the frictionless movement of goods that is in the interests of both sides of the Channel.

And I am sure that we will get a solution that does nothing to undermine the interests of London’s financial sector, because the real rivals of the City are not in Paris or Frankfurt; they are in Hong Kong and New York and Singapore – and in the end I think everyone understands that London is an asset for the entire continent.

And when we do that deal I believe we will create a solution that has been so long in the making – a strong EU, buttressed and supported by a strong UK, with each side trading freely with the other, and with the UK able to think about new opportunities in the rest of the world.

There is nowhere more exciting to do that than here in the Indo-Pacific; here where there is a third of the global economy, around two-thirds of the global population – here where the growth is.

And that is why we have decided once again that the UK must be more present, more active, more engaged in this region. and in each of the three countries I have visited in the last week – Japan, New Zealand, here in Australia – I have heard people ask for Britain to get more involved.

And we will be here as a partner and friend; aiming at good relations with all the major countries of this region – not choosing between them. Our relationship with China, the engine of global growth, will be crucial now and in the future. As will our deep and long-standing partnerships with Japan and India. And of course those with you in Australia and our friends in New Zealand.

But we need to do more. So I can say tonight that after leaving the EU, we will be seeking to strengthen our own national relationship with ASEAN as an institution.

We want these partnerships because they are a big part of how we uphold the liberal international order, in Asia as elsewhere.

That is why last week I stood shoulder to shoulder with my colleague Fumio Kishida, the Japanese foreign minister, in denouncing the nuclear adventurism of Kim Jong Un. A man who reportedly deals with his enemies by strapping them to the side of a mountain and shelling them with an anti-aircraft gun.

That is why we stand up for the rights of the people of Hong Kong and for the ‘One country, two systems’ principle to be upheld – and I thank Julie Bishop for making that same point when she spoke a couple of nights ago.

In the South China Sea, we urge all parties to respect freedom of navigation and international law, including the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

We are also ready once again to articulate our commitment to international order with money and a military presence.

That is why we last year sent our Typhoons for the first time to train with Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia, as one of the few countries able to deploy air power 7,000 miles from our shores. That is why one of the first missions of our 2 vast new aircraft carriers will be to sail through the Straits of Malacca, the route that currently accommodates a quarter of global trade.

And if you look at these vessels you will see that they are not only longer than the Palace of Westminster but more persuasive than most of the arguments you will hear in the House of Commons.

Not because we have enemies in this region – on the contrary, as I have made clear, we are keen to intensify our friendships – but because we believe in upholding the rule of law.

And that brings me to the final key point I want to make tonight. Winston Churchill identified what he saw as the special genius of the English-speaking peoples.

For my part I think we must be careful to avoid any such conceit or complacency that English-speakers are especially blessed; but it is certainly true that there is a series of interconnected ideas that have been highly successful, and that I certainly believe in.

They are democracy, the rule of law, habeas corpus, an independent judiciary, the absolute freedom to make fun of politicians, and above all the freedom to live your life as you please provided you do not harm the interests of others.

It is because they know that they can fulfil themselves in that way that people of talent are drawn to such beautiful cities as London and Sydney – and it is that very freedom that makes these cities so prosperous and so innovative.

And it is to defend and expand that ideal – of freedom under the law – that Britain and Australia work hand in hand; because we know that ideal is not really the property or copyright of the English-speaking peoples – but something that belongs or can belong to all humanity.

Today with Julie Bishop and our defence colleagues we discussed every issue under the sun. I must tell you that in the course of those talks we have over the last 24 hours had an almost embarrassing failure to disagree.

We are building greater global security together, and now we look forward to intensifying the trading and commercial relationships that greater security makes possible.

We both have great Commonwealth events next year – a great London Summit and I am sure a fantastic Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – and we both believe in the Commonwealth’s capacity to strengthen common values among its members from here, across Asia, into the Pacific.

After we leave the EU I am confident that Australia will be at, or near, the front of the queue for a new Free Trade Agreement with Britain; an agreement that could boost even further what we do together.

After all we already do so much. I have just met British engineers rebuilding Sydney Opera house. And I know only too well the debt of my own city, London, to Frank Lowy – now Sir Frank – a man who kept investing even in the darkest days of the 2008 crash, and who kept building even when pretty well every other crane had been removed.

We trade so much together – you sell us skateboards; we sell you boomerangs. We sell you marmite, you sell us vegemite – and I would not like to speculate on who does better on the deal.

You send us Patricia Hewitt and Lynton Crosby. We send you Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

Never in history has there been such a happy, swollen, distance-obliterating pipeline of people and ideas and goods and services, and as that flow increases in pace and volume let us remember that our success is made possible and guaranteed by the ideals we share. They are not unchallenged. They have their enemies and their detractors.

But they have stood us in good stead and we can be absolutely confident that they will succeed triumphantly in the years ahead. Thank you very much.

Boris Johnson – 2017 Press Conference in Tokyo

Below is the text of the press conference held between Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Fumio Kishida, the Japanese Foreign Secretary, in Tokyo in Japan on 21 July 2017.

Thank you very much, Fumio.

I’m actually absolutely delighted to be back here in Japan and thank you for the warm welcome that you have given us. I went for a run this morning, as I do when I’m in Tokyo, anticlockwise around the Imperial Palace and I want you know I was overtaken by absolutely everybody, of all ages. Well everybody was running much faster than me but my ego can survive this because yesterday I saw a robot, a Japanese robot, that could run faster than me and so I’m full of admiration, I know what an amazing place this is. What an amazing, inventive, dynamic economy Japan is.

But what we’re trying to do here today, Fumio and I, is to build on that relationship and that partnership and I’ve no doubt at all that it is going to get stronger and stronger. I’ve seen some fantastic examples of UK exports to Japan. A Honda Civic, by the way made in Swindon that I drove yesterday. And Japanese investments in the U.K. contrary to some of the gloomy stuff that you might see in some of the media, Japanese investments in the U.K. are at record high since the Brexit vote last year and I have no doubt at all that we are going to build a fantastic relationship with our friends and partners in the EU. We’re leaving the EU but we’re not leaving Europe. And one that allows us to continue to build our commercial and economic relations with Japan.

As you’ve mentioned Fumio, we share the same values and we share the same security threats, we face the same foes including from terrorism and indeed North Korea. And I want to stress that Britain stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Japan in our steadfast determination to stop North Korea’s persistent violations of United Nations resolutions. Two weeks ago we saw the test of an ICBM, unquestionably an ICBM, that landed in the Sea of Japan in what can only be called a reckless provocation. We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang through diplomacy and sanctions and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

The UK has been in the forefront of that effort whether it’s the United Nations Security Council, or with our friends and partners in Europe and again here today in Japan. The threats that confront us are global and so our cooperation between the UK and Japan is now truly global. Britain and Japan work hand in glove in the UN Security Council on issues ranging from Syria to South Sudan. In Africa we’re working together on de-mining projects in Angola and we jointly trained peacekeepers in Senegal. Last year, The Royal Air Force sent typhoon fighters to Japan where they became the first non US Air Force to exercise alongside their Japanese counterparts. And I’m delighted that Britain is going to be using our expertise in hosting London 2012 to help ensure Japan Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are just as successful, as I’m sure indeed that they will be.

Counterterrorism and cybersecurity, our particular focuses of our cooperation both between government and business and as an example of the growing UK Japan cyber cooperation, I welcome the signing yesterday of a strategic partnership between the UK company Darktrace, and NEC Networks and System Integration, Corporation.

Fumio, thank you for welcoming us today and thank you for the friendship and the partnership between us. This is a unique relationship between the U.K. and Japan. We have no other relationship like this. This is a partnership between two democracies, and by the way two constitutional monarchies, two island nations that share a great deal. Not just our belief in free-trade, our belief in democracy, but of course our joint belief in the rules based international order which we uphold.

Thank you very much everybody and thank you Fumio for welcoming us today.

Boris Johnson – 2016 Speech on the UK’s Policy in the Gulf

Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, in Bahrain on 9 December 2016.

It is a great honour to be speaking here at this Manama dialogue in this 200th anniversary year of the friendship between Britain and Bahrain.

I have just come from an audience with His Majesty King Hamad during which we hailed the strength of a friendship that has been unbroken, and that was inaugurated in 1816 by one Captain William Bruce, who rejoiced in the title of British Resident in the Gulf.

In between chasing slavers and harrying pirates he discovered that the milk from the local cows was a cure for smallpox.

As he said: “Of the truth of it I have not the smallest doubt. I have asked some 40 or 50 persons” which strikes me as a pretty solid piece of medical research.

Perhaps lured by this magic milk the British came in growing numbers to the region until 1861 when the UK and Bahrain signed a “treaty of perpetual peace and friendship” and through two world wars assisted by all sorts of formalities of friendship and fealty the relationship progressed until 1968 and then something went wrong. Not here. Not in the Gulf. But in London.

And so, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want us tonight to drag our eyes back from this splendid dinner to a less opulent scene – to Britain in January 1968, a nation in the grip of a freezing winter with debts so bad that we were dependent – as Harold Wilson put it – on the mercy of the gnomes of Zurich (apologies to any gnomes for his political incorrectness).

A Britain where the snow was so deep that kids couldn’t get to school; the Beatles were on the verge of breaking up and the national self-confidence had sunk like mercury in the thermometer and I want to take you into that Cabinet room where two powerful figures were battling over the direction – the whole orientation – of the country.

On the one side there was Roy Jenkins, the urbane Chancellor of the Exchequer, with his frog-like beam who yearned to take Britain into what was then called the European Common Market, even though the UK had already been rejected twice by “nos amis” and in the other corner there was the colourful and brilliant Foreign Secretary George Brown, the man who gave the euphemism “tired and emotional” to the English language.

A man who once went up to a lovely scarlet clad creature at an embassy soiree in Peru and asked for the honour of dancing a waltz and was rebuffed on three grounds. The first was that he was drunk, the second was that this was not a waltz but the Peruvian national anthem and the third was that his interlocutor was the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima.

Those were the two adversaries, Roy Jenkins and George Brown, and the argument went on in the Cabinet for 7 consecutive meetings, breaking sometimes for only a brief meal, lasting a total of 36 hours.

And what was that argument about? It was about Britain’s role in the Gulf, and everywhere East of Suez; and whether the country, my country, could any longer afford it. Roy Jenkins said that British overseas expenditure was already £381 million a year (less than we give today in overseas aid to some countries these days) and he said this spending had to be cut back.

George Brown came back strongly. Yes, Europe was important, he accepted, but so was the rest of the world. And he made the key point that military and political partnerships went hand in hand with trade, and economic growth. On and on went the debate in tones that contemporaries described as “icy”, “bad-tempered”, “furious” until I am afraid Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister, summed up in favour of the defeatists and the retreatists.

George Brown lost; the flag came down; the troops came home, from Borneo, from the Indian Ocean, from Singapore, and yes from the Gulf and we in the UK lost our focus on this part of the world.

And so tonight I want to acknowledge that this policy of disengagement East of Suez was a mistake and in so far as we are now capable, and we are capable of a lot, we want to reverse that policy at least in this sense: that we recognise the strong historical attachment between Britain and the Gulf, and more importantly, we underscore the growing relevance and importance of that relationship in today’s uncertain and volatile world.

We are here at the Manama dialogue – and I am following a stellar series of emissaries including the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister to make a strategic point that was symbolised by the GCC inviting our Prime Minister, Theresa May to be guest of honour at their summit. That any crisis in the Gulf is a crisis for Britain – from day one; that your security is our security and that we recognise the wisdom of those who campaigned for a policy of engagement east of Suez – that your interests military, economic, political – are intertwined with our own. Of course I don’t believe we can run the Union Jack Flag back up on every outpost around the world even if anyone else wanted us to do so – and they don’t – but we are reopening HMS Jufair, a naval support facility here in Bahrain, which His Majesty the King said he remembered from his childhood before our disengagement.

We are renewing military ties with old friends: Britain’s Gulf Defence Staff is being located in Dubai. The Al-Minhad air base in the UAE provides a hub for the RAF. In Oman, the British Army is establishing a Regional Land Training centre – one of only four in the world – and creating a permanent present in the Sultanate.

We cooperate intensively with our friends in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere on counter-terrorism, in sharing military technology, in what is still a highly dangerous geopolitical landscape where the spores of terrorism can be incubated and are incubated not just in the Middle East, but in our own country as well.

And it is absolutely right that we should so share and cooperate because our interests and our problems are shared.

That is why Britain has in total 1,500 military personnel in the region and 7 warships, more than any other Western nation apart from the US. We are spending £3 billion on our military commitments in the Gulf over the next 10 years and that is deepening a partnership that is stronger than with any other group of nations in the world outside NATO.

Together with our allies in the Gulf, we are fighting together to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and we are winning. The RAF is the second biggest contributors to the airborne strike missions after the Americans. And together we have helped dramatically to reduce the footprint of that terrorist organisation.

We are steadily exposing the absurdity of their pretensions to be a caliphate. And of course we all know the immensity of the challenges we face in this region. Helping – when stability is finally restored – Iraq to rebuild and unify that country. And we all know, as the Prime Minister said only a few days ago, that we must be clear-eyed and vigilant about the role of Iran.

And yes, I believe that it was worth spending 12 years to negotiate the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement with Iran. I think it was a genuine achievement of diplomacy that has helped to make the world a safer place. And I think we must build on this foundation and try to develop a better relationship with Tehran. But that can only happen if Iran plays by the same rules, and exercises its influence by diplomacy and by dialogue.

And so when you look at what is happening in Yemen – where the hand of Iran is clearly visible – I of course understand Saudi concerns about security and the paramount importance of Saudi Arabia securing itself from bombardment by the Houthis.

But I must also share my profound concern – which I’m sure is universal in this room – about the present suffering of the people of Yemen and I think we can all agree on this key point: that force alone will not bring about a stable Yemen. And that is why we in London have been working so hard with all our partners to drive that political process forwards and the same point – about the need above all for a political solution – can be made about every other conflict and struggle in this region.

Yes, it may very well be true that after months of barbaric bombing Bashar al-Asad and his Russian and Iranian sponsors are on the point of capturing the last of rebel-held Aleppo – perhaps within a matter of days, we can’t know. But if and when that happens it will assuredly be a victory that turns to ashes, it is but a Pyrrhic victory.

Remember that two thirds of Syria is currently outside Asad’s control, and that he is still besieging 30 other areas containing 571,000 tormented inhabitants. Surely to goodness, there can be no lasting peace in Syria, if that peace is simply re-imposed by a man who has engendered such hatred among millions of his own people.

And that’s why there must be a political solution in which the people of Syria take the lead. Of course we can all work together to try and bring about peace and stability.

But ultimately it must be up to the people of those countries to find the leadership and the solutions from within themselves – to reach out across communities and to build unity with their own new and uplifting national narratives and the best way we can all help, all of us, the whole region is to answer the social and economic challenge to meet the demands of this amazingly young and growing population and what they need is the prospect of an exciting economic future. They need jobs. And it’s here I think there is so much that we can do together.

And I think now is the time for us to recognise the wisdom of those “East of Suez” cabinet members around the table in 1968– to build partnerships and relationships that deliver for all of our constituents whether in the UK or in the Gulf. And now is the time for us in the UK to seize the opportunities of leaving the EU.

And let me stress as I have told so many representatives from the Gulf who have been to see me that though we may be extricating ourselves from the treaties of the European Union we are not leaving Europe. That would be geographically, culturally, physically, intellectually, aesthetically, morally impossible to do. You couldn’t take Britain away from the European continent unless you towed us out into the middle of the Atlantic and tried to shell us, it’s not going to happen.

We are going to be part of Europe we will be part of Europe’s security architecture, we will be there to work for European peace and stability. And by the way, we will still be able to stick up for our friends and partners in the Gulf. But now for the first time since the 1970s we will additionally be able to do new free trade deals and we will be able to build on the extraordinary commercial relationships that already exist between the UK and the Gulf.

You may remember that I used to be Mayor of London. Look at the impact of the Gulf on London. The Shard – which I opened myself, at least twice. The only building in the world that looks as though it is actually erupting through the skin of the planet like the tip of a super-colossal cocktail stick erupting through a gigantic pickled onion. Owned by the Qataris as they own the Olympic village, Harrods, Chelsea Barracks.

The UAE owns the Excel exhibition centre and the Tidal Array, so much of our energy comes from that vital green investment in the Thames estuary. It is thanks to the Gulf that we have such vital pieces of transport infrastructure as the DP World Port. And of course the Emirates cable car, an indispensable mode of transport, thank you very much for that. And do I hear a small murmur of assent there from the audience? It is a little known fact that Kuwait owns City Hall itself. I didn’t know it until today but I’m stunned to find out.

I don’t know whether our Kuwaiti friends want to claim credit for all City Hall’s policies – including the popular cycle superhighways which we are now extending but when you consider that we have 20,000 Gulf students in London and they are very welcome may I say, as are their fees when you think the academic exchanges, the cultural exchanges you can see why London is sometimes called the eighth Emirate. I think I may have made that up myself, but we’re proud of it. And of course we get the ball back over the net in our own modest British way – Brits pay 1.7 million visits to the Gulf every year.

We export colossal and ever growing numbers of Jaguar cars and Land Rovers. Marks and Spencer is here in force. I was told just now we have done a big deal to sell Rolls Royce engines to Gulf Air. And it really is true that for the purposes of some golf bunkers we have managed to export sand to Saudi Arabia. It’s true. And all that adds up to an export market for the UK in the Gulf region worth £20 billion per year, we sell more to the Gulf than any other non-EU export market, second only to the United States.

Almost 50 years since that famous disagreement in the British cabinet, which went the wrong way, I hope that we can conclude this evening that the conversation has ended in a triumphant vindication of George Brown, at least in this sense that Britain is back East of Suez not as the greatest military power on earth, though we certainly pay our share and we certainly have a fantastic capability.

Not as the sole guarantor of peace, although we certainly have a huge role to play. But as a nation that is active in and deeply committed to the region. And I want to stress that this is not just about politics, not just about trade, not just about strategic support. This is about building on and intensifying old friendships. Britain has been part of your story for the last two hundred years, and we will be with you for the centuries to come.

Thank you very much.

Boris Johnson – 2016 Speech on Peacekeeping

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Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, at Lancaster House in London on 8 September 2016.

It is reassuring to be here for such a distinguished audience. And an audience that is engaged in supporting an activity that is after all one of the most important, and of course one of the most idealistic, causes in which humanity can be engaged. I congratulate you all on what you’re doing.

I am going to try and wrap up for us as the host country today by saying how grateful I am to everybody who has spoken so far, to our co-hosts, to our colleagues from the UN, and of course to all those who have pledged to build on today’s important work, including in France in just a few weeks from now.

I know that you have also heard from those who’ve experienced the sharp end of conflict – both serving peacekeepers and our NGO colleagues doing important work in those countries afflicted by conflict. Hearing these voices is a reminder for us that the decisions we make today can have a real impact on the lives of people around the world.

The number of countries and international organisations in this room today shows how vital this subject is.

I think also today’s meeting has been a testament to how seriously the UK takes its role in international affairs, and its support for the UN in particular. The UK has always been steadfast in its commitment to work with our allies in the pursuit of global peace and security.

Our role at the UN is at the very heart of that international commitment. That’s why I was very glad to visit New York in my first week in this job and I’m very glad to be going back there in just a few days’ time with today’s communiqué in my hand to continue to champion the things we’ve agreed today.

Of course the UK’s commitment to peacekeeping does not begin or end with this Ministerial. We believe in peacekeeping and we will work with you to make it better. The UK is already a leading voice on peacekeeping reform in New York.

And New York is obviously not the only place where we are showing our support. As Michael, my colleague, has said earlier today we are putting more UK troops and police officers on the ground through our deployments in South Sudan and Somalia. And you will have heard that we are increasing that commitment by providing a Role 2 hospital in South Sudan. I’m pleased to see all these UK personnel serving alongside counterparts from a number of countries present in this room today.

We have achieved a lot and there have been a lot of exciting new pledges. A communiqué, signed by so many of you – and we hope many more of you will sign up later on – that sets out a blueprint for the future and a commitment to driving forward what we call the 3Ps of peacekeeping. And what are the 3Ps of peacekeeping? Planning. Pledges. Performance. The 3Ps of peacekeeping. And as John Lennon said, let’s give the 3Ps a chance.

Our pledges today will swell the ranks of peacekeepers. But we will not have fulfilled our task until the UN can choose the troops it sends into a conflict not just on the basis of who is available, but on what skills are best suited to the task.

We have set out our ambition to increase the number of women serving in our militaries. But we will not have achieved our task until women are fully represented in every aspect of peacekeeping. Until we see Gender Champions like the UK’s own General Messenger in New York and in every member state. Because I want peacekeeping to benefit from the indispensable skills that women bring to resolving conflict.

We have talked today, I know that Michael Fallon has talked earlier on, about instilling a culture of accountability for performance. Accountability to mission commanders. Accountability to the UN and the Security Council. And above all accountability to the people that missions are sent to serve and to protect. But we will not have achieved our task until we can demonstrate to those people that immediate and transparent action is being taken in instances of poor performance and that there has been a genuine attempt to understand why things went wrong.

To do that we need to make reform and to make the desire to do better part of UN peacekeeping’s DNA. We need to continue under the next Secretary-General the great work being done by Secretary-General Ban and his team.

To do that requires all of us to pull in the same direction – the UN, the Security Council and the troop and police contributing countries. Foreign and Defence Ministries. The different Departments and Agencies of the UN. The people in our capitals and the people around the world.

And we, the Member States, must bring the full weight of our political influence to bear on those who seek to fuel and foment conflict. Those who work against the ideals of peace that the UN stands for. We must support peacekeepers in the field with all of our tools, from sanctions, to embargoes to good old fashioned diplomacy. I can tell you now that the UK will always be a part of that collective effort. A staunch defender of the importance of the UN, of the power of diplomacy and of the future of peacekeeping.

If, in the coming months and years, we can continue to build on what we have agreed today – make the 3Ps a reality; stand alongside our peacekeepers as they protect civilians, help people hold free and fair elections, and deliver humanitarian aid – then we can truly hope to reduce conflict. And maybe one day, we will have less need to call on the brave men and women in blue helmets. But for now, we certainly do need them, so together let’s make sure that we have them in the right numbers, with the right skills, and the right equipment to do the job properly.

Thank you very much.

Boris Johnson – 2016 Statement on Libya

borisjohnson

Below is the text of the statement made by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, at the UN Security Council on 22 July 2016.

Thank you very much Mr President.

This is my first visit to the United Nations as Foreign Secretary and I am delighted that it coincides with the unanimous adoption of a resolution that marks an important step forward for international peace and security.

I recognise that this excellent work goes on day in, day out, and I’m delighted today to be a part of it.

This resolution marks the beginning of the end of the Libyan chemical weapons programme. It grants the legal authorisation necessary for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to remove the chemical precursors of those weapons from Libya so that they can be destroyed in a third country. In doing so, we have reduced the risk of these weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and fanatics.

I would like to thank Council members for their role in making this resolution possible. It’s a sign of the strength of international cooperation on Libya that we were able to come together so quickly to agree it.

Together, we have shown our collective commitment to the people and authorities of Libya, and, ultimately, to all of us who want to live in a world free from chemical weapons. The UK is committed to making this world a reality, including through our permanent seat here in the UN Security Council.

What we have done today is a good example of the role of the UN in tackling the global challenges. It is also an example of the United Kingdom’s continued determination to play a leading role through the UN, together with you, our partners in the Security Council.

Thank you very much.

Boris Johnson – 2012 Conservative Party Conference Speech

borisjohnson

Below is the text of the speech made by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to the 2012 Conservative Party Conference on 9th October 2012.

Thank you first for all you did to make sure that we Conservatives won in London this year and thanks to that intrepid expeditionary force of volunteers from around the country.

The busloads from Herefordshire who crossed deep along the Ho Chi Minh trail into Hackney where they of course found people’s problems aren’t really so very different after all.

You showed that we can overcome a Labour lead and win even in places Ed and co are so cocky as to think they own. And if we can win in the middle of a recession and wipe out a 17 point Labour poll lead then I know that David Cameron will win in 2015.

When the economy has turned round and people are benefiting in jobs and growth from the firm leadership you have shown and the tough decisions you have taken.

And I was pleased to see the other day that you have called me a blond haired mop. A mop. Well if I am a mop then you are a broom. A broom that is cleaning up the mess left by the Labour government and a fantastic job you are doing. I thank you and congratulate you and your colleagues – George Osborne the dustpan, Gove the J cloth etc

Because for the last hundred years it has been the historic function of Conservatives to be the household implements after the Labour binge has got out of control.

And it is thanks to Conservatives here in this hall that I was allowed to bask in the glory – often wholly undeserved, I am afraid, but never mind – of the greatest Olympic and Paralympic Games that have ever been held.

I think anthropologists will look back with awe at the change that took place in our national mood – the sudden switcheroo from the gloom of the previous weeks.

You remember what they were saying? When the buses were on strike and the taxi drivers were blockading the west end. And thousands of the security staff seemed mysteriously to have found better things to do. And the weather men were predicting truly cataclysmic inundations on the night of the opening ceremony. And then sometime in that first week it was as though a giant hormonal valve had been opened in the minds of the people. And the endorphins seemed to flow through the crowds. And down the tube trains like some benign contagion.

Until everyone was suffused with a kind of reddibrek glow of happiness and from then on it was as if nothing could go wrong. And the G4s guys turned up after all. And five million people were showed to their seats without delay. And the volunteers revealed a kindness and a friendliness that we had almost forgotten. And the tube trains ran with metronomic efficiency. The Jubilee line going three miles an hour faster than they did when I was elected. And the sociologists will write learned papers on that sudden feeling that gripped us all. Was it eudaimonia, euphoria, eupepsia or some other Greek word beginning with eu? You name it

Was it relief? It was surprise, wasn’t it? There we were, little old us, the country that made such a Horlicks of the Millennium Dome. Putting on a flawless performance of the most logistically difficult thing you can ask a country to do in peacetime. And some of us were frankly flabbergasted, gobsmacked.

And I want you to hold that thought, remember that feeling of surprise – because, that surprise is revealing of our chronic tendency in this country to underestimate what we can do. And we need now to learn the lessons of the Olympics and Paralympics. The moment when we collectively rediscovered that we are a can-do country. A creative, confident, can-do country.

The Olympics succeeded because we planned for years and we worked together. Public sector and private sector. And we put aside party differences. And yes this is the right moment to say thank you to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Tessa Jowell. And yes, Ken Livingstone. Ken old chum there is no coming back from that one. You have just been clapped at Tory party conference. As well as to Seb Coe and Paul Deighton and Hugh Robertson and David Higgins and John Armitt

But for the success of these Olympics there is one Conservative we need to thank today. One Prime Minister who loves sport and who to this day is championing cricket in inner London. Oh yes. It is thanks to John Major, who put in the Lottery that we have gone from one gold medal in 1996 to the sporting superpower we are today.

And we created the conditions in training and infrastructure that allowed our young people to take on the best of the rest of the world and do better than them. We gave them the stages to perform on. The stadia in which they could show their competitive genius. And that is exactly what we have to do with the economy today.

I am a Conservative. I believe in a low-tax and low-regulation economy and I believe that as far as possible government needs to make life easy. For those who get up at 5 to get their shops or businesses ready – the strivers, the strugglers – whatever the vogue word is for them today. We know who they are, and there are many in this room. The backbone of the UK economy as Napoleon almost said.

Britain is a nation of small and medium-sized enterprises and they make up 75 per cent of the London economy. And it is these businesses that have the capacity to grow. To take on young people, to expand and become world-beaters. And we need to think, every day, what we can do to create the right conditions for them to flourish. And to become more than medium-sized. To become the gold medalists of the global economy

For the last four years my team in City Hall has been working – as you have been working, in Government – to fight the recession and to create the conditions for a dynamic recovery. And yes, we One Nation Conservatives are well aware that in a society where the gap between rich and poor has been growing – as it did under Labour – that we have to look first to the poorest and the neediest and those who cannot easily compete and that is why I am so proud that we have expanded the London Living Wage. Now paid – entirely voluntarily – by about 250 of the swankiest banks, law and accountancy firms in London putting about £60m into the pockets of some of the lowest paid people in London.

We have protected or expanded every travel concession for young people, for people in search of work, for the disabled and we have taken Londoners off the age escalator and restored the 24 hour Freedom Pass. And I apologise to the people of Labour-run Birmingham as I generally and periodically apologise to so many other cities but that is a privilege that older people have only in Tory-run London. And we are delivering it on November 1 as I promised because we have been able so to manage the budget that we have cut £3bn in waste and have not only frozen council tax over the last four years but are now cutting our share by ten per cent.

But when times have been toughand when the city has been afflicted by riots barely one year ago then we need to remember that there is one virtually all-purpose cure for want and squalor and anger and deprivation, better than more benefits, better than police crackdowns and that is a job. The self-esteem, the excitement, the fun, the human interaction and competition that a job can offer. Before you even talk about the money.

London is an amazing creator of new jobs. But they don’t always go to kids who grow up in London and we need to work out why and we need to look at what is happening in our schools. I am a passionate supporter of Michael Gove’s free schools revolution parents, teachers, charities are coming together to create wonderful new places of learning, like Toby Young’s West London Free school in Hammersmith or the East London Science school, led by a formidable physics teacher called Dave Perks who wants all his pupils to learn triple sciences so that they can apply for top universities and the kind of high skill jobs created by the London economy.

And I don’t want a handful of these schools. I want dozens of them, right across the capital. So I can announce today that I am setting up New Schools for London to help find the sites that they need. And we are opening up the GLA’s property portfolio to find the site.

And I want to boost the teaching of the STEM subjects because it is an utter scandal that we are going through a golden age of engineering projects and yet this country is short of about 50,000 engineers and there are parts of London where A level physics or advanced Maths are hardly taught. And with so many school leavers failing to find a job we are seeing a tragic waste of talent 54,000 18-24 year olds on the dole.

And that is why we are driving forward a massive programme of apprenticeships. We have done 76,000, and we are going to do 250,000 over this four year term and businesses won’t invest and shops won’t open unless they are confident that the place is safe. And so we have brought crime down by 12 per cent. And Bernard Hogan Howe has committed to reducing it by a further 20 per cent over the next four years. A further 20 per cent over the next four years. And in the last year the murder rate has fallen yet again to levels not seen since the 1960s. And it is no disrespect to my old friend Mike Bloomberg to say you are four times more likely to be murdered in New York as you are in London

And for business to flourish they need employees who can afford to live within a reasonable commuting time from their place of work and so a job-creating economy needs good housing and good transport. And that is why we are not only building record numbers of affordable homes – 54,000 over the last four years – far more than Ken Livingstone

But we have this week set out a new plan. To help the struggling middle to buy their homes. And if we invest in transport then we can not only drive the creation of thousands of new jobs in London – I am thinking of Battersea or Tottenham or Croydon – but we drive jobs across the country.

I am pleased to inform you, Conference, that since we last spoke I have kept my promise to Londoners and introduced a new generation hop-on hop-off replacement for the Routemaster. They are the cleanest greenest new bus in Europe. They have conductors and unlike the hopeless broken-backed diplodocus of a bendy bus which was made in Germany, they are made in the United Kingdom. Aand that Ballymena factory has just received the biggest single order in its history. 608 of these great big dome-browed scarlet beasts. And unlike the hopeless broken-backed diplodocus of a bendy bus which was made in Germany, they are made in the United Kingdom.

And when we buy new trains we drive jobs in Derby. Conductor rail from Chard. CCTV from Warwick. Railway sleepers from Boston. And if we build that platform for growth – with better education, with safer street, with more housing and better transport infrastructure then the private sector will produce amazing and world-beating results.

Go to tech city and see young Londoners devising apps so that teenagers in America can watch movies on their Xbox. Go to soho and see them doing the special effects for so called Hollywood movies When they eat cake on the champs elysees, they eat cake made in London. When they watch Gangnam style on their TVs in Korea, they watch it on TV aerials made in London. The dutch ride bicycles made in London. The Brazilians use mosquito repellent made in London. Every single chocolate hobnob in the world is made in London. We export everything from badger shaving brushes to ballet shoes. And as I look ahead I am filled with confidence about the capital

We will sort out our aviation capacity problem. We will create new river crossings. We will regenerate East London and we will put in air conditioned and driverless trains. Wven if Bob Crow says his RMT drivers won’t test drive the driverless trains. We will continue to expand cycle hire and plant thousands of trees.

We have the right time zone the right language and we have the right government in Westminster and I will fight to keep it there.

We fought to keep London from lurching back into the grip of a Marxist cabal of taxpayer-funded chateauneuf du pape swilling tax minimisers and bendy bus fetishist.

I will fight to keep this country from lurching back into the grip of the two Eds. Unreformed, unpunished, unrepentant about what they did to the economy and the deficit they racked up.

We need to go forward now from the age of Excess under Labour. Through the age of austerity to a new age of Enterprise in which we do what we did in the Olympics and build a world-beating platform for Britain for British people and businesses to compete and win and we need to do it now under the Conservatives and we will and it begins here.

Boris Johnson – 2012 Speech at City Hall

borisjohnson

Below is the text of the speech made by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, at City Hall in London on 10th May 2012.

Good morning everyone and thanks for coming.

I want to clear up some myths about the recent elections. They were not decided on the basis of who said what  to whom in the lift. It wasn’t a question of tax returns or Cornish pasties or bus advertisements.The reality is that the people of London would not have given me a second term if they had not looked at the record of the GLA over the last four years and decided that it was respectable.

In fact it was more than respectable.

It was excellent.

And so I want to thank the people in this chamber for everything you did:

– crime is down

– homes built

– tube delays improved

– air quality improved

– green spaces created

– bicycles across the city

People were willing to give my administration a second term because they had seen that we kept our promises to London on everything from Oyster cards, to getting rid of the bendies and inventing a beautiful new bus for London.

We had a mandate and we delivered!

Now we have a new mandate and so we must deliver again, therefore I want to repeat my priorities. In fact there is only one:

To do everything we can to create jobs and growth to help Londoners into work in tough times.

Everything else flows from that. We will continue to keep police numbers high because a safe city is not just an end in itself; It is a vital prerequisite for economic confidence and investment.

We will continue to fight for the funding London needs for transport, housing and regeneration because those projects will not only create the platform for future growth and prosperity, they will generate 200,000 jobs now when Londoners need them.

I want us to look at all the steps we can take to make sure Londoners get those jobs.That’s why we have set up the education inquiry and we will be pushing for more of a role in education and that’s why we are rapidly expanding the apprenticeship scheme. We will continue to improve the environment and the quality of life because a city that is clean and green and full of bikes is more likely to attract investment.

In making the case to government for London I will point out that a strong London economy is the key to growth in the country as a whole and it is essential that we frame and focus the vision for the city.

So I am now asking you all to help me produce a 2020 vision for the city, encompassing everything from spatial and transport developments, opportunity areas and river crossings to air quality, cycling and health outcomes. Of course this should include projects that will not only be complete by 2020 but which must be underway.

The need is urgent because the population is growing and we can so easily slip behind, we must not repeat the mistakes of the 50s 60s and 70s. One thing that the Crossrail argument has taught me is that if we can build a consensus around the future, then we are much more likely to make it happen and to help us all see what is happening and what we are doing right and wrong.

We are going to be much more pro-active about statistics. I want this building (City Hall) somewhere to contain a physical resource where we can see – and members of the public can see what is happening on gun crime or affordable home starts or educational outcomes or air quality and we can use that clarity to drive performance.

One thing the last four years has taught me is that four years is a very short time. The elections have slowed us all down so now is the time to put the pedal to the metal. We have 78 days to produce the greatest Olympic and Paralympic Games that have ever been held, but I see no reason why the GLA’s 2020 vision for London should not be ready well before Christmas.

We know what it is – it’s there in the London plan and It’s there in the manifesto, but we need to articulate it and sell it to the treasury and to the rest of the country.

Thanks very much everyone and back to work.

Boris Johnson – 2012 Speech to the London Assembly over the Budget

borisjohnson

Below is the text of the speech made by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, on the draft budget.

Value for money and freezing the precept

Good morning. This administration has been dedicated to delivering value for Londoners’ money, and to leading the city to a strong economic recovery. You must remember that in the last four years we have not only been dealing with the deepest recession for 50 years.We have had to overturn and reform a culture of waste in City Hall.I might mention the £37000 spent on first class tickets to Havana, the £10,000 spent on a subscription to the Morning Star.These were the just the symptoms of a regime that could casually spend £34 m on architects drawings and consultancy for a west London tram that had no chance of happening. A regime that was happy to squander tens if not hundreds of millions on LDA projects, some of which verged on the dodgy.

We have delivered sound finance to London government, with a 25 per cent reduction in managers at TFL, which now has 3500 fewer staff and which will have vacated 23 buildings by March.We have secured £2bn in savings already, and those savings would have been unthinkable under the previous administration. This budget delivers a further £1.5 bn of savings. And it is those savings that have allowed us to concentrate scarcer resources on the priorities of Londoners.

We promised a 24 hour freedom pass – and we delivered it and will protect it.We promised a booze ban on public transport. We delivered it and with the help of hundreds of extra crime fighters we have made the tube network the safest in Europe and brought bus crime down by 30 per cent.I scrapped the vindictive £25 charge on family cars, and I kept my promise and listened to what Londoners really thought of the western extension zone of the C charge. I promised the world’s best cycle hire scheme, and it has been so successful that there are demands for it to be extended to other areas.

We didn’t rage pointlessly at the Train Operating Companies – we persuaded them to take oyster on the overground, with the result that millions of Londoners not only have that convenience but cheaper oyster fares.It is under this administration that the east London line was completed, on time and on budget – and it was this administration that drove forward its second phase, to Clapham junction, to finish London’s first orbital railway. We were the first administration to introduce a roadworks permit scheme, which now has 27 of the 33 boroughs signed up to and the rest shortly to come on board. This is now beginning to control the number of roadworks. They are now down a quarter on the TLRN from their peak. And when we get lane rental the war on roadworks will have a new and formidable weapon.

Transport investment

This budget builds on our success in securing – despite the tightest spending round in generations – funding to deliver in full Crossrail and the Tube upgrades. When we arrived in City Hall we found a creaking public transport system that had suffered from decades of under-investment. It was obvious that the PPP contracts were not delivering upgrades and were wasting hundreds of millions of pounds. It was this administration that ended that madness – and will allow us to ensure that we save Londoners hundreds of millions of pounds, and deliver the upgrades on time and on budget and in a way that suits the needs of the London travelling public.

We know that TFL staff are dealing with antiquated assets – and that when a 1920s signal box goes wrong at Edgware road it can disrupt 250,000 journeys. The hole punch signalling technology at Earl’s Court and the 40 percent of the Tube’s rolling stock past its expected lifespan. If the upgrades didn’t happen these assets would fail more frequently, resulting in a 30 percent reduction in capacity. Londoners will be asking as they make their decision what will be cut by those who call for a £1.2 billion reduction in TfL’s revenue. Perhaps it’s the Bank station congestion relief work, or the upgrades on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines. Or perhaps the sub-surface lines. Or congestion relief works at Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations. Or cutting the Safer Transport Teams and the bus network. Which would it be? I know we will be rehearsing these arguments over and over again and I understand the politics of it. As has my predecessor who has made the same promise in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and yet has never actually delivered on that promise.

Policing and Crime

Turning now to the MPS budget. It is the first priority of the Mayor to keep Londoners safe and I believe in keeping numbers high. That is why I am re-balancing the precept towards the police to maintain those numbers. And of course again I understand the politically motivated but frankly false claims made by some about “police cuts”. There will be around 1,000 more fully warranted police officers on London’s streets at the end of this term than I inherited. That along with more than doubling the number of specials from 2,500 to over 5,000 and single patrolling has meant that there will be one million more visible police patrols at the end of this term than at the beginning. All of this has meant an overall reduction in crime over this Mayoral term of over 10 percent.

Youth violence is down over 15 percent, robberies down almost 17 percent. Remember back in 2007 the numbers of teenage homicides. Just one is one too many but programmes like Operation Blunt 2, which has taken 11,000 knives off the streets and Time for Action has had a genuine effect with the number of violent teenage deaths, with the number halved. This budget builds on the successes of this term and there will be NO police cuts while I am Mayor. We will keep numbers at what I believe to be a safe level, which is around 32,000. Safer Neighbourhood Teams are sacrosanct under me. They will all retain their structure of at least 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs overseen by a sergeant.I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all of those who served on the MPA the past 12 years. And to Kit Malthouse for his excellent chairing of that body and now leading the MOPC through difficult negotiations to deliver this excellent budget for the Met.

LFEPA

LFEPA has had real success over the last 4 years with the fire brigade engaging much more with the community, increasing the number of home fire safety visits by over 80 percent and the incidences of arsons has halved. This budget builds on the success delivering more savings to a total of £48 million during this Mayoral term. This year saw some of the busiest nights in the Fire Brigade’s recent history and I pay tribute to all of London’s firefighters for managing the situation with their usual professionalism and incredible bravery. The London Fire Brigade has been an exemplar of the public sector doing more for less and sensible investment for long-term savings. In this budget we are using £4.469 million in ear-marked reserves to buy-out outdated terms and conditions, which will save £1.362 million every year hereafter. Under this Mayor there will be absolutely no reduction in fire cover and we will continue to make London a safer city.

City Hall (LDA + HCA)

The last year has seen the LDA and the HCA successfully integrated into the GLA. My budget cements that ensuring full delivery of their programmes. I promised that I would deliver 50,000 new affordable homes – the most in any single Mayoral term. And despite the terrible economic conditions of the past few years by May they be. And during the next investment round, over 2011 – 2015, we will deliver a record breaking 55,000 affordable homes, which will not only house London’s workers but will also create 100,000 jobs.

The apprenticeships programme has succeeded well beyond our expectations, surpassing our original targets with 40,000 already underway. The budget gives us the means to deliver our new target of 100,000 by the end of this year. This budget allows us to complete the delivery of £216 million to regenerate the capital coming from my Regeneration and Outer London Funds and the Growing Places Fund. Together, these are helping to give our high streets a real boost. Some traders in Orpington and Bromley have seen a significant increase in footfall and sales following investment from round one of the Outer London Fund. And I know we all look forward to the delivery of round 2, which will see 23 projects across 18 boroughs. This budget allows these investments without any extra borrowing – again showing how this administration’s careful stewardship of the public finances will not burden future generations in debt – in stark contrast to the former Labour government.

Olympics

Last but not least this budget delivers, through the new Mayoral Development Corporation, a true legacy for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, on time and on budget.And this budget delivers the legacy that had been promised. There will be 10,000 new homes – 40 percent of them family sized – and 10,000 permanent jobs in addition to all those already created by Westfield and other regenerated parts of east London. We are carrying forward a £30m programme in grass roots sport – with more to come – to deliver a sporting and health legacy. For young and older Londoners ; and I thank Kate Hoey for everything she is doing on this.

Growing the economy

This is a budget that builds on this administration’s achievements over the last 45 months. It delivers the promises I made four years ago and is a budget to grow London’s economy. London has a fantastic future. We are in the right time zone, speak the right language, and unlike virtually any other city in western Europe we have a young and growing population. But that dynamic and growing city needs investment if it is to compete. We need new river crossings. We need to extend and improve the tube network. We need to continue to improve reliability, and to end the scandal of overcrowding on a scale that would not be tolerated for the carriage of livestock.

We have a choice. We could go for a short-term political swindle that will cut more than a billion from our investments – and which would simply drive fares even higher in the future. Or we can keep going with our programme of driving down crime, investing in transport, and growing the London economy.We can go back to the politics of waste and division and posturing. Or we can get on with the work of improving the lives of Londoners. I want to get on with that work, and I commend this budget to the assembly.

Boris Johnson – 2007 Conservative Party Conference Speech

borisjohnson

Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson at the 2007 Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool on 30th September 2007.

I stand before you proud to be your candidate, proud to be given the chance to represent the greatest city on earth, but what gives me the greatest pride of all is that from day one I have provoked such gibbering squeals of denunciation from King Newt and his allies that I know they are scared and they can see all too clearly that we Conservatives are launching a fightback in London that will recapture the capital for common sense government for the first time in a generation.

And when people ask me are you serious about this I can tell them that I can think of nothing more serious than the security and prosperity of the powerhouse of the British economy and whose booming service industries are the best possible vindication of the revolutions brought in by Conservative governments.

That’s why in the last weeks and months I have been travelling through all 32 boroughs, sometimes in a Routemaster bus, sometimes at the wheel of that bus.

And in the hundreds of miles I travelled, I marvelled at the diversity of this city and I met hundreds of people who offered me all sorts of opinions not all of them fit to be repeated; and of all the conversations I had, there is one that sticks in my mind with a 14 year old young offender in Wandsworth who looked me in the eye and said in the tones of one who knows all there is to know about growing up in 21st century London: “The trouble is these days that adults are scared of kids”.

I have to tell you conference that I felt a certain challenge in his gaze and we both knew that he was saying something that was both sad and true about Britain today, and one of the reasons I want to be Mayor is that I want to help change that feeling on the streets of London.

Believe you me, the Mayor of London does have the power to end the climate of intimidation on too many bus routes and take away free travel from the minority of young people who are abusing their privilege and turning buses into glorified getaway cars and when they are caught we want to give the Community Support Officers real powers to make a difference. Because I have been out with the Safer Neighbourhood teams and I have seen how they do not even have an incentive to detain a shoplifter because that means summoning a Police Constable who then has to spend 4 and a half hours processing the case when he should be out on the beat deterring more serious crimes. And that, conference, is criminal.

Above all I want to work with the people in London who are tackling the most fundamental problem of all the tragedy that these kids are themselves afraid, afraid that THEY will be stabbed, and who see the gang and the gang culture as the only real source in their lives of authority and community and esteem.

That is why I want to support the work of people like Ray Lewis of Eastside Young Leaders Academy and Camila Batmangeligh of Kids Company who in a completely non-ideological way are helping our most disadvantaged young people to see that there is another future and to raise their aspirations and to give them hope because I believe Conservatives win when we enable people to fulfil their aspirations.

As Mayor I want to give hope to the tens of thousands of people in London who do not have a place they can call home. There is so much scope for more imaginative shared ownership schemes and backing David Cameron’s plans to lift the stamp duty threshold for first time buyers and using mayoral power to encourage more social housing and more rented housing; but not in the counter-productive and anti-democratic way of Gordon Brown’s new friend the Labour candidate who seeks to wreck the skyline of London’s boroughs, by going against the wishes of local communities and their leaders.

With rabbit-hutch tower blocks containing some of the smallest rooms in Europe and a blind repetition of the mistakes of the 1960s Conference, let’s stop this ego-fuelled civil war in London and let’s build homes that will still be loved and valued and conserved in 100 years time so that future generations will look back on our generation with admiration and respect for our foresight, and not blame us for the ghettoes of tomorrow.

I want to give hope to all those who feel they have lost the basic right to get to work on time by building Crossrail now, getting the Underground repaired and improved, bringing an end to the jack-knifing, traffic-blocking, self-combusting, cyclist-crushing bendy buses, and yes, I want a greener London; a London where more trees are being planted than are being cut down and I want us all to have the confidence to cycle.

My friends, people say the mayor has no power. They say he is just a figurehead. Well I say nonsense. They have not studied the enormous budgets he wields. Ken Livingstone and Gordon Brown have got to realise that they can’t keep taxing and bullying and delivering so little in return.

It’s time to build on the record of Conservative councils across London who have found savings and shown there is another way.

They have kept council tax low while they have created safer, cleaner and greener streets. If they can do it, so can I, and over the next few months, that will mean a policy lockdown and crunching the numbers so that when the election begins in 2008 we will have a winning manifesto that is based on Conservative principles of freedom and democracy and taxpayer value.

On May 1st join me in winning back London not for you and me but because our nation’s capital deserves more.