Hello, Boris-watchers. My name is (strictly speaking, not) Mr. Stop Boris. You may know me from such web sites as StopBoris.org, such blogs as the Stop Boris blog, and such lyrical outings as MYR of LDN. Rarely in the history of the blogosphere has one man dedicated so much time to so many closely related failures ;)

Anyway, I’m a bit busy with some personal business for a few weeks at the moment, but I look forward to dedicating some time to some serious Boris-watching from mid-June, and in the mean time I’ll try and stop by from time to time with some small bits and pieces, of which this is the first.

[Between BorisWatch.co.uk being broken for a few hours last night and my computer breaking down this morning, this has taken rather longer to post than intended. If there are any time references in this post, please bear in mind I wrote it last night!]

Paul Waugh of the Evening Standard (still using a blog called “2008 Mayoral race”, incidentally: perhaps I could have carried on blogging under a “Stop Boris” banner after all!) today reports on Boris “five jobs” Johnson (who seems to have gained a job since the URL of that post was first created).

The key new announcement here is that Boris will resume his (previously) £250,000-a-year ‘job’ writing a weekly column for the Telegraph newspaper. Quite how ‘new Boris’, with his suddenly discovered Muslim heritage, his respect for Islam and his reined-in political correctness-challenging, will go down with Telegraph readers more used to his previous, often controversial, sometimes offensive columns, remains to be seen.

But as Paul Waugh points out, combined with today’s other announcement that he’ll follow in Ken’s footsteps as chair of Transport for London, Boris will now be doing five jobs at once.

  1. Mayor. This full-time, high-profile, extremely powerful position brings in £137,000 a year, which most of us would be pretty happy with.
  2. Chair of Transport for London. No extra money for this, and it’s sensible since he’s legally responsible for TfL’s fares. No complaints here.
  3. Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, from September. The last holder of this post, Len Duvall, devoted three days a week to the job, so demanding and important a role was it. Since Boris is so keen to cut back on all crime (except his own*), one can only assume he will be keen to devote at least as much time to it as Len. He obviously won’t want to give them a target and leave them to get on with it, since he refused to give any hint of a target for cutting crime during his election campaign.
  4. MP for Henley. Now the extra money starts rolling in. At a bare minimum, he must be pocketing the standard MP’s salary of £61,820. On top of this, in 06/07 he claimed £134,306 in expenses, according to a PDF on the UK Parliament web site. (Yes, I realise more than half of this is staffing costs, but staff costs don’t appear to be escaping his scrutiny at the GLA.) And of course, this is another full-time job, between attending Parliament and communicating with constituents, which he intends to fit around his duties in his other four jobs in some mysterious way.
  5. Telegraph columnist. Certainly not a full-time job, but a job nonetheless, and one which used to bring in around £250,000 per year. His new salary has not been disclosed as yet, but he’s already trying to limit the damage by offering to scatter a few notes in the direction of the paupers, according to Paul Waugh’s blog – £25,000 for journalism bursaries and £25,000 for the teaching of Classics (perhaps to ensure that the capital’s schoolchildren can understand his references in Mayoral pronouncements to Hyrcanian tigers and the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot).

By my reckoning, he’ll have an income, including his MP’s expenses and the donations under no. 5 above (which are hardly set in stone), of nearly £600,000, and somehow expects to be able to fit in the work of almost three full-time jobs in total.

Either he’s developed giraffe-level stamina, or he intends to neglect some or all of the jobs he’s being handsomely rewarded for supposedly doing.

* That subject was going to be the topic of my first post here, but The Tory Troll has beaten me to it and done it with far greater style and humour than I would have managed, so everyone’s a winner.

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