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Pages tagged "Sadiq Khan"

ULEZ: Unfair Legalised Extortion Zone

By Andrew Allison, Chief Executive

Is the imposition of ULEZ in outer London Sadiq Khan's poll tax moment? It is officially called the Ultra Low Emission Zone, but I prefer to call it the Unfair Legalised Extortion Zone*. Despite the majority of people in outer London being opposed to its imposition, today is the day when that imposition has taken place. If you drive a car or van that is not ULEZ compliant, you will have to start paying £12.50 a day for the 'privilege' of driving your vehicle. And, of course, this charge will not only affect those who live in outer London. Those who live near London's boundaries and have to enter the capital, will also have to pay the charge. Those who will be affected are most likely to be poorer people and the elderly - people who need to drive to attend hospital appointments and buy groceries. 

If the air quality in London was appalling, one could understand why Khan felt that he had to take some form of action. But it isn't. And surely if air quality was so bad, he would have banned certain vehicles from driving on London's roads? But he hasn't done that, either. Expanding ULEZ will not save 4,000 lives - researchers converted the data to 'equivalent lives.' In other words, residents in London could lose an average of 2.5 to 2.8 days of life expectancy each year. According to The Times (£), "Many experts have raised concerns that the claim of 4,000 premature deaths is unnecessarily alarmist and misleading."

What this ULEZ expansion will do is damage the economy as people find ways of avoiding the charge. Businesses will suffer and tradespeople will be forced to pass on additional costs which could make them uncompetitive. This at a time when we desperately need growth in the economy. 

The truth is that Khan needs as much cash as he can get due to his mismanagement of Transport for London. He spouts untruths to justify this policy, but the vast majority see this for what it is: a money grab - a legalised extortion zone. 

Any driver will tell you that the freedom to drive is one of the best freedoms there is. Khan is attempting to take this freedom away from those on low incomes - people who may not have reliable bus services and people who can't walk long distances and rely on their cars to lead their everyday lives. 

Could this be his poll tax moment? I sincerely hope so. He may well take a majority of votes in inner London, but outer London is likely to give him the order of the boot. We will find out on 2nd May next year. 


*H/T: Tim Scott

Photo Credit: Matt Brown (CC BY 2.0)

When you protest you must obey the law. Sadiq Khan must step up to the plate

Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has horrified the world. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pinned him down with his knee on his neck, despite Floyd clearly telling him that he could not breathe, cannot be justified, and it is correct that Chauvin and his three former colleagues are prosecuted. But that did not justify the scenes we witnessed in central London yesterday. 

I was genuinely shocked when I saw a picture of the protest in Hyde Park yesterday afternoon. We still have a right to protest; of course we do, but during the current restrictions we have to protest in a way that does not spread COVID-19. This begs the question: why were so many people allowed to congregate breaking social distancing guidelines? 

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It's not the economy, stupid!

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association. 

Peter_Mullen_(2).pngThe heart is always gladdened when someone in authority makes a definite and determined statement. So congratulations are in order for Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, who stated in his election manifesto of 2016:

“I shall challenge gang culture and knife crime head on.”

Well said, Sir! So how’s he doing at the end of his first year in office?

Homicides in London rose by 27.1%. Youth homicides increased by 70%. Serious youth violence is up 19%. Robbery up 33.4%, while home burglaries rose by 18.7%.

That’s a remarkable increase in serious offences of all sorts. But there’s more…

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You mustn't protest against mass murder

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association. 

Rev-Peter-Mullen.pngAs we all know, we have the great blessing of comprehensive freedom of speech in this country – but not if you wish to protest peacefully about mass murder.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has said he favours the banning of pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics. 113 MPs agree with him and they aim to set up “buffer zones” outside the clinics to prevent these protests. Already, two local authorities in England – Ealing and Portsmouth - have voted to ban these vigils by using public space protection orders (PSPO), which allow local authorities to criminalise behaviour not normally considered criminal.

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