Transport for London (TfL) under the guidance of Boris Johnson has signed a deal with Emirates airline, where the Dubai-owned Emirates airline provided £36m towards the £63m cost of the London cable car, which connects North Greenwich with the ExCel center.
Not a problem there you might think? Well, yes there is. Boris either didn’t have his eye on the ball (detail’s not his strong point I guess) or he just didn’t care about our allies or the future of the Mayoral Appointment. Nonetheless a problem there is.
Effectively the deal means that the Mayor of London and anybody working for TfL cannot criticize the Emirati government or Royal Family in connection with his Thames cable car. He’s gagged himself for £36m from a government described as “… a medieval dictatorship…” by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone. A bit strong that description but not a regime I find appealing personally.
DLRL [Docklands Light Railway] shall not, and shall procure that none of TfL, each member of the TfL Group [including Johnson who chairs TfL], the Air Line Contractor… and their respective directors, senior staff and official spokespeople acting in the course of his or her employment shall make any statement in connection with the subject matter of this contract that is disparaging or defamatory of the Sponsor, any member of the Emirates Group, or any person forming any part of the Government of Dubai and/or the Federal Government of the United Arab Emirates or any member of any of the Royal Families of the United Arab Emirates.
The contract agreement would also be defaulted if TfL agrees to sell a “material part” of the cable car to a “conflicting person”.
A Conflicting Person:
(i) any Competitor; or (ii) any person who is a national of, or who is registered, incorporated, established or whose principal place of business is in a country with which the United Arab Emirates does not at the date of this Contract or at any relevant point during the Term maintain diplomatic relations;”
Which means Israel.
Yes that’s right, Israel, our ally, our canary in the mine when it comes to Mid-East threats. Why, oh why, oh why would we want to destroy such an important relationship? It beggars belief, honestly!
The biggest threat to the UK/London? Iran. Iran with their nuclear weapon ambitions, and who do you think is keeping an eye on things for the West? Not the UAE I’m willing to bet. No, Israel.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I know the Brits didn’t make a very good job just after WWII of looking after the new nation, in fact they made a real hash of the whole thing. And yes I know all about the Irgun and the Stern Gang, but really its 2013 now and the Israelis do a very decent job of looking out for us. Keeping us informed.
So should we be worried? Yes, very. On a recent visit to London (for fun) I can honestly say from experience that (i) London is not in recession & (ii) London is run by wealthy (very) Arabs and Eastern Europeans. Which might explain why people such as BJ favors such things as the TfL Cable Car deal.
Boris Johnson should have walked away from the deal. I learnt a long time ago that some business is bad business! In the long run it will cost you more than you want to pay, not necessarily in money terms but it will cost.