Political dogma overtakes common sense

Which ever way you look at it, Boris Johnson's decision to let Londoners pay more for the fuel for buses is crazy. It's like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Update : I wrote the last bit late last night, but thought I'd add more now I am rested.

The Tories, like any other political party in power, have never been afraid of taking advantage of countries generosity in the past. Would we turn down cheap oil from Saudi Arabia ? Would Boris Johnson complain about the poor without votes in middle east countries if they offered us a deal ? Of course not.

The point is that this move was political and not practical and it is a shame when politics gets in the way of making the right decision. You might not like Chavez, but let's not forget we give aid to Zimbabwe, we buy oil from dictators and we sell weapons to just about anyone who'll be bribed, so let's not come over all pious over accepting cheaper oil from Venezuela.

It seem the American's have no problem accepting Chavez's oil on the cheap in return for advice, so Boris Johnson's decision seems ludicrous in the extreme.


asquith said...

Showing his true blue colours.

Paul Pinfield said...

Nich, I think there is a deeper moral position which is untenable. Why should we get subsidised oil from a rather dodgy country?

Shouldn't Chavez be attempting to get the best price possible for his people? Shouldn't he also be using the additional money to fund the green schemes that Ken's men were over there to provide?

Too much politics in this contract for my liking. Well done Boris.

Quiet_Man said...

And what of the poor of Venezuela with their "glorious" leader giving away their countries riches cheap?

Anonymous said...

Let Londoners pay more for it. London is a much more affluent part of the world, relatively, than Venezuela, and it is completely rotten to exploit the poor there.

The only justification for it, as far as I can see, was to sate Ken's penchant for being seen to be the great radical [sic], supporting any tinpot leader who could be seen as cocking a snook at capitalism. Now post-election even that reason is gone.

So Boris is going to get some bad opinion polls. Doesn't matter if the decision is the right one.

Tony Sharp said...

I diagree Nich. You are right that we give aid to Zimbabwe and buy oil from Saudi Arabia. But we are not taking something from Zimbabwe on the cheap to the detriment of its citizens and Saudis do appear to benefit from the wealth from oil sales.

It was a political move on the part of Livingstone to sign the deal in the first place. Do you think he would have signed it if the leader was anything other than a Marxist comrade of his?

In any case, the oil is used for public transport. It is of no benefit to Londoners who do not use transport system.

Chavez is raping Venezuela and it would be wrong for us to benefit while a sizable proportion of its population is suppressed by its leadership.

The Burbler said...

Michael Bloomberg has such a deal to help the poor in Bronx. He's hardly a commie.

Paul Pinfield said...

sounds like you are Tory than Boris, Nich. A new direction for the LibDems?

Anonymous said...

How you can compare Venezuela with Saudi Arabia is beyond me. Time to go back to school, methinks (-:

And I am assuming that half price travel for those on income support will end when the deal ends? Under Livingstone, the only people who were subjected the sky-high fares were those who actually worked. Lib Dems, like many on the Left, are wedded to utopian thinking. Time to get a grip on reality and put hard-working people first!

dirtyeuropeansocialist said...

I agree. It seems Boris does not mind Saudi oil, but none of that boo hiss cheap nasty commie oil. Boo hiss no nasty commie oil. Phew well I am sure London's poor will love to have expensive oil. Cheer everyone up that Boris. What clown. I like him but he is a clown.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Justin, You are right that Saqudi Arabia is not on the same scale as Venezuela. At least Chavez has to be elected and is subject to the rule of law, poh, and women have freedoms too.

The only difference is that America supports the Saudi dictatorship whilst it has aided attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan Democracy.

And Tony, as for Venezuela being "raped", for the first time in decades the standard of living is on the rise in Venezuela. Previous Venezuelan regimes have been corrupt and worked hand in glove with foreign oil companies to take oil on the cheap in return for bribes and kick backs. it seems we have no problems with british business doing this dirty work, but we have problems when a government offers us a clear and transparent deal. Very odd.