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  • It's been planned for a long time. The Tories knew Johnson wasn't going to stand for Mayor of London again in 2016 and that the next Mayor would be Labour. So what did they do? They wound down government grants for London--starting in 2015, entirely coincidentally just before the Mayoral election.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/201­5/nov/25/spending-review-transport-deepe­st-budget-cut

    Note the nonsense from Osborne in trying to dress up long-announced funding as somehow offsetting the cuts. He had also cut £1bn from the Crossrail budget when the ConDems came in, contributing to the problems with that project.

    So, TfL is meant to be self-sufficient and to cover a large part of its expenditure from fares. First Crossrail is delayed; I'm no friend of that project, but it's perfectly reasonable for the Mayor to factor the fares income from it into his forecast. Now we have a pandemic during which fares income is greatly reduced and public transport in general severely disrupted, exposing the folly of withdrawing all subsidy from London's public transport.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lo­ndon-34923879

    Instead of acknowledging this mistake, Shapps (over Hammersmith Bridge), and Johnson and Jenrick go on the attack, as obviously that always makes you look stronger in politics, even though it's entirely the fault of national governments over the last ten years that it's come to this.

    Good on Mayors Burnham and Khan (et al., including plenty of cross-party support in Manchester) for hitting back, but the country really needs stronger regional government so that the interests of other regions can be addressed better. I mean, London is obviously at the level of a region, and the Mayor of London effectively a regional governor, but as the GLA has so few powers, there's not all that much political weight to the post (being a Blairite set-up originally, the Mayor is also almost unaccountable, as shown during the Johnson years, which I think hurts the standing of the Mayor; I think all Mayors of London so far, including Johnson, have called for more powers).

    Anyway, as you say, blatant lying going on.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/s­adiq-khan-accuses-boris-johnson-lying-pa­rliament-transport-for-london-bailout-a4­572450.html

  • I don’t agree that more regional power/federalism is the way to go, it creates massive inequality between regions. We already have that with London and the north east and devolution in Scotland and Wales.

  • Why would it create more inequality in England itself?

    There are often historical reasons for economic inequality and the £ bit is hard to figure out.

    The UK countries though don't control their own budget but get £ allocated from Westminster, have too few seats to drive policy and with Brexit got ignored.

  • it creates massive inequality between regions.

    Disagree. Inequality between regions occurs for entirely different reasons. Federalism creates local power/admin/economic bases which at least raise the base level in each region and guarantee that a certain amount of money circulates in the local economy, with a faster and shorter feedback loop and a proportionally greater impact of the individual's vote/actions. It doesn't prevent inequality if central government is incompetent or indifferent, but the kind of centralism we have gives much more scope for inequality and pretty much guarantees it won't be fixed.

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