Johnson and his Fantasy Bridges!
Posted on February 11, 2020
In many ways, Boris Johnson’s childlike fascination with bridges is funny. However, when you begin to understand that he couldn’t even oversee the building of a bridge from London, to…erm…London, his latest fantasy project appears even more preposterous.
It could still be regarded as funny if it didn’t cost anything to dream. However, the moment these projects start becoming open to being investigated, the public purse is opened with them.
The Garden Bridge
The Garden Bridge in London resulted in approximately £43 million of public money getting gratuitously flushed down The River Thames. How on earth could that happen, I hear you cry?
Well, I work in the structural, mechanical and electrical sector, so I know a few things about design. On the face of it, they are obvious to anyone whose brain can function at a basic level. You see, Structural and M&E engineers will design you anything you want and make it look great.
The problem with project design engineers (talented as they are) is that, understandably, they want paying if a project goes ahead or not. They are onto a winner whatever happens. The design costs for a bridge across The Thames were around £9.3 million, so imagine what they would be on a 12-20-mile crossing? Estimates have already gone from £15 billon to £20 billion, so stick at least another £10 billion on that.
I am not sure how and why contractors who didn’t build the garden bridge were awarded £21 million without land even being secured, but they were. Don’t ask me how a website costs 160k or how a gala fundraiser costed 417k, but it shows how much folly and jolly was involved.
The failed project even had to pay back the £3500 one gentleman paid for a game of table tennis with Boris Johnson that never happened. Surely Johnson could have just had a knock up with the guy to save a few quid?
I am not saying Johnson benefited financially from this vanity project, but with all that sort of public money flying around, god knows where it ends up? Someone needs to keep an eye on who gets involved at the design and investigation stages of these projects. Especially ones that cost a lot of public money and amount to thin air.
It appears to me that such is Johnson’s vanity, narcissism, or whatever you wish to label it, it appears he is desperate to leave a legacy. Some say that he is obsessed with a huge and glamorous infrastructure project to compete with the Channel Tunnel, overseen by Thatcher’s government.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Prime Minister whose obsession was a legacy of gleaming modern hospitals and a first-class education system? One that went a bit further than leaving the UK floundering in the relegation zone of world literacy and numeracy skills, would be nice.
It would certainly be more fruitful than pissing public money down The Thames or into The Irish Sea. However, Johnson’s mob already get the best education and healthcare, why should anyone else have it?
You can see why he doesn’t care about the Proles. They vote for him regardless.