In my view Londoners were spoiled for choice in this election. Livingston knew his job, was open to criticism and also to ideas. He was a brave mayor. Boris was offering a new approach and as he said, truthfully, not about to undo the best of Livingston but keen to make some changes.

For a terrible moment some days before I though the elaborate voting mechanism might land London with Paddick but no, we have got a clear winner in B. Johnson. Nice to have a fellow who speaks his mind so we know what's in it. He is clearly a man who has his eyes and ears functioning and tries to absorb reality and deal with what he finds, rather than project some inner nightmare of his own on the rest of us.

I have only two suggestions for Boris for the moment: sell the bendy buses to some town or purpose where they are suitable - for London they are a disaster - and give every car owner 2 or 3 fixed cheaper congestion charge days in a week, separating the known frequent users in half with alternate days . That will really reduce congestion and help everybody including traders. The system does not have to be perfect, the bugs can be ironed out over time. It has been thought through and it will work.

Boris and his team will naturally have their work cut out avoiding elephant traps set up by all those who were happy with Livingstone and had found ways to make a living in Livingstonia, who now find themselves looking for other solutions at a time of great uncertainty. Boris has said he is going to make dealing with crime in London a priority. It will be interesting to see which category of crime he focuses on first.

JULY 4th 2008
The answer to my last question above was Violent Street Crime.
The man Boris chose to head up the move to deal with htis is Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis. But a pattern is emerging as I suspected. Boris's team comes under fire whenever there is a possibility of digging up anything less than crystal clear and shiny.  Ray Lewis is the latest target. Lewis calls it nit-picking but that is what much of politics these days is about, so suspicious are the public and the media that the smallest nit is really a cancerous crab of corruption. It does appear that Lewis has been very casual about his status, and I can see why. He has spent a life more engaged with the real coal-face of reality, taking his status for granted. If there has actually been misconduct this needs to be established.

AUGUST 8th 2008
Boris has scrapped the plan to pedestrianise Parliament Square - it would have to have been scrapped anyway as it made no sense at all. He has also scrapped the plan for a range of hydrogen powered vehicles to supply transport within the City. He has done this on the advice of Transport for London scientists who say the technology is not up to it yet. This is probably the correct decision. While it is necessary for pioneers and developers to work hand in hand with an initial customer in order to justify the investment required it is probably not the moment for London Transport to use its budget in this way. There are other pressing priorities as the 2012 Olympics approach. The Green Lobby will moan but he has probably taken the right decision.

OCTOBER 3rd 2008
It has been clear for some time that Boris wanted to have a new Commissioner of Police, but getting Sir Iain Blair to resign without discussing this with the Home Secretary is a very big breach of regulations and, if we can be said to have a constitution, of that itself. Boris is a classic example of one whose bravery is difficult to evaluate on occasions. Brave he is, but is this just due to a failure of sensibility? Well, it is done now, as the man has resigned. I think the Commissioner did an amazing job over the years. Some say he was as unaware as I am now suggesting Boris is. Perhaps the truth is the world needs both such men to have their exits and their entrances as history and nature requires of them. There will be consequences. There are local, London responsibilities for the Met, but also National responsibilities. The Mayor of London has no business making changes that affect national matters to that extent without conferring with the government (or even the Queen!)

OCTOBER 24th 2008
There have been complaints in the House of Lords about Mayor Boris' decision to scrap the pedestrianisation of Parliament Square, a plan of the former mayor Ken Livingston (see August 8th above). Tough. The Lords supported the establishment of the post of Mayor and must live with his decisions. In any case, the claim that 'the traffic is unwelcoming for visitors' wold be an absurd reason for causing gridlock throughout the West End.

NOVEMBER 5th 2008
The following initiative is remarkable. It would be interesting to know who formulated it. "Architects of the scheme" covers their identity in the report below. It should do more than provide food. It should spread the knowledge of food and vegetable growth amongst a generation who may have tended to ignore it in the urban environment. The quality of the advice given will be critical.

Londoners urged to grow own food

Londoners are being encouraged grow their own food as part of a new campaign by the mayor of London.

Boris Johnson's Capital Growth scheme will give financial and practical help to groups to grow their own produce.

Organisations like councils, schools, hospitals, housing estates and parks are expected to open up their land for the initiative.

The campaign aims to transform 2,012 pieces of land in the city suitable for growing food by 2012.

Residents in Blenheim Gardens in Brixton, south London, are among the first group to pledge their support for the move.

The estate will see food being grown on flat roofs and balconies and on communal land.

Bonnie Hewson, who lives on the estate said: "Residents on my estate are very excited about Capital Growth.

"Everyone from children to older people will be growing more of their own fresh food."

Architects of the scheme said boosting the amount of locally grown food made economic sense at a time of rising food prices.

It also had a range of health and environmental benefits, such as improving access to nutritious food in urban areas and helping to increase flood protection, said London's mayor Boris Johnson.

"It will help to make London a greener, more pleasant place to live whilst providing healthy and affordable food," he said.

The London Development Agency is funding the pilot scheme at a cost of £87,000 until March 2009.

NOVEMBER 24th 2000
Mayor outlines key culture plans

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has outlined plans to enhance Londoners' experience of arts and culture in the city over the next three years.

In his paper he includes plans for a major celebration of London's people, past, present and future, which is set to take place next June.

Other plans involve a drive to improve music education for young people.

Mr Johnson said Londoners must capitalise on opportunities offered by the 2012 Olympic Games.

The plans include jazz performances in the outer boroughs using funding received by the London Jazz Festival, and a London Film Day working with Film London.

'Cultural legacy'

Mr Johnson's paper, called "Cultural Metropolis - The Mayor's Priorities for Culture 2009-2012", said the Games should be used as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a high-quality cultural legacy.

It said that could be achieved through projects such as the art commissions which are expected to be integrated into the Olympic Park.

Mr Johnson said: "I want to maintain the capital's status as one of the great world cities for culture and creativity."

He added: "I want to see better access and provision for people in the outer boroughs, where it can be very patchy.

"And we must capitalise on the opportunities offered by the 2012 Games to create a cultural legacy for all Londoners."

NOVEMBER 28th 2008
Boris has decided o scap the western extension of the Congestion Charging zone. Although I was very dubious about this extension, this is not the way to achieve what he wants. In some ways the system works, it just needs a massive tweak to give users 3 cheap days a week at half price, half of them on Mon, Wed and Frid, the others Tue, Thurs and Sat. Of course this will be a very rough allocation but that couldn't matter less. The default situation for anyone who has not settled down with a vehicle registered with the system will be as now: no cheap days. Those who want cheap days will make the effort. I have heard all the possible reasons why not and they are all trivial.