If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Boris Johnson’s campaign team should be feeling pretty flattered this week. Hours after they launched their “Better off with Boris” campaign slogan, Ken’s people hastily rushed out a rather cobbled-together-looking campaign slogan of – er – “Better off with Ken.”
And today, as Team Boris announced a 32-borough “battle bus” tour, Ken proclaimed that he too would be taking a “Fare Deal Express” of his own to that mysterious Terra Incognita, outer London. He has, to be fair, been taking more notice of the outer boroughs in this campaign. He’s making up for lost time – as a London Assembly answer revealed, in the first two and a half years of his second term as mayor Ken did not make a single official visit to ten London boroughs. Over the same period he managed to squeeze in official visits to Cuba, California, New York, Greece, Russia, Singapore, Italy, Paris and Cannes (twice.)
Alas, Ken clearly doesn’t have an actual bus yet. It is, of course, harder to cobble together one of those at short notice than to knock up a campaign logo on your computer. That hasn’t stopped him publishing what he describes as a “photo of” the Fair Deal Express (see above) this morning. Unfortunately, not-very-close examination reveals that Ken’s skilled web craftsmen have simply taken a pic of a regular London bus from Wikipedia and crudely Photoshopped their logo on the front and sides. Tell-tale signs, lads, for future reference: the whited-out numberplate and the driver in the hi-viz vest!
This blog has lovingly chronicled the fraudulence of the Fare Deal promise – even if it becomes the first fares promise that Ken has ever kept, it will actually save the “average Londoner” £150 over four years, rather than the £1000 that Ken claims. But when even the battle bus is a fake you know that things are getting serious.