Good morning everyone. Good God …good morning everybody, thank you very much. Please, please take your seats,we’ve got a lot to get through. Good morning everybody in Manchester, it’s agreat joy to be back here. Not so long ago my friends I…we welcome all sorts ofwonderful luminaries to City Hall but not so long ago I welcomed the formerFrench Prime Minister, Monsieur Alain Juppe to my office in City Hall and hecruised in with his sizeable retinue of very distinguished fellows with theirlegion d’honneur floret and all the rest of it and we shook hands and had atête a tête and he told me that he was now the Mayor of Bordeaux. I think hemay have been Mayor of Bordeaux when he was Prime Minister, it’s the kind ofthing they do in France – a very good idea in my view. Joke, joke, joke! Andwhat he said … joke! He said that he had the honour of representing, he had239,517 people in Bordeaux and therefore he had the honour of representing the9th biggest city in France. I got the ball back very firmly over the net,folks, because I said there were 250,000 French men and women in London andtherefore I was the mayor of the 6th biggest French city on earth.

I can’t remember exactly what hesaid then, I think he said something like ‘Tiens!’ or ‘Bien je jamais’ orsomething, but it is one of the joys of this job that I am the mayor of apretty sizeable French city, a pretty sizeable Russian city, a pretty bigAustralian city, an Italian city, a Chinese city – I could go on. That is agreat thing about London, it’s a good thing for our country because thatforeign money brings jobs and it fills our restaurants and it puts bums on theseats of our theatres, helps finance our universities very considerably and itenables London developers, some of whom I see in this great audience, to embarkon project that otherwise would be stalled. Am I right? Yes. And it brings abuzz of excitement to the city which also of course attracts investors and yet wehave to recognise that the sheer global charisma of London is putting pressureon Londoners, with average house prices in our city now six times averageearnings and for the bottom 25% of earners, the house prices in the bottomquarter are nine times their earnings.

The pressure is really growingand it is intensifying thanks to an entirely home grown phenomenon to which Ialluded at the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games which took place lastyear because you may dimly remember that I prophesied that the athletes thatTeam GP and Paralympics GB had so moved the people of this country to suchparoxysms of excitement, I think I said, on the sofas of Britain that they hadnot only inspired a generation but probably helped to create one as well and likeall my predictions and promises as your Mayor or as the Mayor of many of youhere, I have delivered mes amis, in that GLA Economics now say that live birthsin London this year will be 136,942 which is more than in any year since 1966when England won the World Cup – and the Prime Minister was born I think.

I look around this audience –that means the population is growing very fast and it is going to hit ninemillion by 2020, possibly ten million by 2031 and I notice when I point thisout to people that they start to look a bit worn. They’re the older generationand think, all these other people’s children, what jobs are they going to do,where are they going to live and will they be stepping on my toes on the Tube?I want to reassure you first of all that London has been here before, we hadnine million in 1911, I think we had nine million in 1939 and the second thing– for once I actually brought it with me thank goodness – the second thing isthat we have a plan. Here it is, the 2020 Vision, and it will ensure that wecreate a city in which no child is left behind or shut out and everybody has achance to make of their lives what they can.

Step number one – and I seriouslycommend this document, it is entirely free on the GLA website, written entirelyby me as well – step number one is to build more homes as I say. Can I just askthis audience, how many of you today here in Manchester are lucky enough to beowner occupiers? Can I ask for a show of hands, is anybody here an owneroccupier? Look, here we go. Who is an owner occupier? There is no disgrace inthat, we believe in the property owning democracy and all that kind of thingbut we have to face the reality that for many, many millions of people, foryoung people in London, for many members of our families, it is now absolutelyimpossible to get anywhere near to affording a home and that’s why it isabsolutely vital that we get on with our programmes of accelerating housebuilding. We have done about 55,000 – Rick, how many have we done so far? 55,000so far, give or take it will be around 100,000 over two terms.

We’ve put £3.6 billion of publicland to the use of so many of the good developers I see around here, since Maylast year when I was elected by the way, but we need to do more and we need toaccelerate our programme of house building dramatically and I think that it istime that we considered allowing companies to make tax-free loans to theiremployees to help them with the cost of their rent deposit – how about that?Brainy policy, no, put in for the budget considerations. Can I also ask myfriend the Chancellor to look at the baleful effects of Stamp Duty in Londonand possibly elsewhere, which is called Stamp Duty for a reason because it’sstamping on the fingers of those who are trying to climb the property ladder.Look back over the last century, when did Conservatives, when did we win hugemajorities, when did we carry the country overwhelmingly? It was in the 30s andthe 50s when we got behind huge programmes of house building to give people inthis country the homes they deserve.

To make those homes possible ofcourse you have got to get on with putting in the transport links, as I nevertire of telling you and we’ve not only cut delays by 40%, comrades, in Londonsince I was elected, we have expanded the capacity of the Jubilee Line by 25%,the Victoria Line is now running at incredible 34 trains an hour – how many isthat per minute? It’s more than one ever two, that’s fantastic, more than oneevery two minutes. There’s no flies on these guys! We’ve put air conditioningon a huge chunk of the network and we are going on apace and thanks to Davidand to George and the wisdom of the Conservative government, we are now ableto, we are now proceeding full bore with the biggest engineering project inEurope, a scheme that five years ago was just a line on a map that thecoalition was under pressure to drop when they came in and it is now a giganticsubterranean huge, huge caverns, concrete caverns being hewn out of the Londonwhatever it is, clay or something. I should know that. As we speak, as wespeak, beneath the streets of London are six colossal boring machines calledAda and Phyllis and Mary and Elizabeth and Victoria I think, I have got theirnames wrong, I can’t remember their names but they all have female names forsome reason and Phyllis and Ada are coming in from the west and Mary andElizabeth are going from the east, from the Limmo Peninsula and they arechomping remorselessly through the London clay and they are going to meet somewherearound Whitechapel for this ginormous convocation of worms – I don’t know whatthey’ll do but it will absolutely terrific because the rail capacity of Londonwill be increased by 10% and we will have done Cross Rail, I confidentlypredict, as we did the Olympics, on time and on budget. A fantastic example ofwhat this country can do and a calling card that British business is now usingaround the world.

In my view and in the view ofthose who are now working on Cross Rail, what we should do is use those worldclass skills that we’ve been accumulating in London, to get going before wedisband them on the next set of projects. I mean obviously Cross Rail 2, HighSpeed Rail, new power stations, solutions to our aviation capacity problem, sothat we have a logical sequential infrastructure plan for our country and don’tdo what previous governments have done and that is waste billions by stoppingand starting. I think we can do it, I am absolutely confident that we can doit. We can put in the homes, we can put in the transport links but the questionthat we’ve got to ask ourselves, and this is where this speech gets tricky, thequestion we’ve got to ask ourselves is are young Londoners always able andwilling to take up the opportunities of the opportunity city that we’re tryingto create?

Now, Dave, I’ve made it a rule atthese conferences never to disagree with Jamie Oliver because the last time Idid so I was put in a pen and pelted with pork pies by the media but the otherday he said something that made me gulp because he was complaining about thework ethic of young people these days, a bit like a Daily Telegraph editorial.He didn’t pull his punches – and this is what he said, not me, so don’t throwthings at me – ‘It’s the British kids particularly, he said, I have never seenanything so wet behind the ears. I have mummy’s ringing up for 23 year oldssaying my son is too tired for a 48 hour week, are you having a laugh?’ thecelebrity chef told Good Housekeeping. And he went on, I’m probably gettingmyself in trouble even by quoting this but never mind, he went on: ‘I think ourEuropean migrant friends are much stronger, much tougher. If we didn’t haveany, all of our restaurants would close tomorrow. There wouldn’t be any Britsto replace them.’

Now I can see looks of apoplectic… well, no I can’t really. Where’s the apoplexy? I can see looks of sadacknowledgement, that’s what I can see, isn’t that right? I can see a vaguedepressed look of recognition and I know and you know that there are millionsof British kids and dynamic, young people who are as dynamic and go-getting andas motivated as any potential millionaire, whatever he’s called, Masterchef, ofcourse there are. But my question to you is, what if Jamie has a point? What ifhe has half a point or even a quarter of a point? Do you think he does? Half apoint, quarter of a point? He’s on to something. He may have phrased it in aprovocative way but he was saying something that I think resonates, right?Okay, I’m getting through this with difficulty.

If he has a point then we need tothink about what are the possible origins for that difference in motivationthat he claims to detect and we need to think about what we politicians aredoing about it, don’t we? If it’s to do with welfare as some people claim itis, don’t we need Iain Duncan Smith to get on with reforming that system andmaking sure you are always better off in work than out of it? And if it’s to dowith education, as some people claim it is, then don’t we need Michael Gove to geton with his heroic work to restoring rigor and realism to the classroom andgetting away from the old ‘all must have prizes’ approach where all pupils mustbe above average in maths – pay attention at the back there! – which is notpossible. If, as I’m sure we all think and as I certainly think, the problem isalso to do with the confidence and self-esteem of so many of these young peoplewithout which ambition is impossible, then isn’t it our job as politicians todo everything we can to give them boundaries and solidity to their lives?

That’s why I have spent a lot ofmy time as Mayor on projects like the Mayor’s Fund for London and Team Londonand encouraging volunteers to read to kids across our city and mentoringprogrammes which we are expanding and the support of the uniformed groups, theScouts, the Guides, all those kinds of fantastic organisations, bringingsporting facilities to schools that don’t have any, mobile pools we’ve beensending around London, beautiful glorified sheep dips we send round, they loveit. They work brilliantly well and we’re helping to get talented youngmusicians to cross that barrier that they confront when they reach the age ofeleven and have to go through into secondary school and so many of them give uptheir instruments and it’s a real, real tragedy and we are setting up funds tohelp with creation of excellence in our schools and to improve standards allround, to support the work that Michael Gove is doing.

It’s when I look at the hugerange of projects that we’re engaged in now at City Hall together withhundreds, if not thousands of other projects, many of which are supported bypeople in this room, I do think we are making a difference to the lives ofthose young people and we have got loads of them into apprenticeships, about118,000 over the last couple of years, we’re going to get on to 250,000 by 2016and thanks to the police, thanks very largely to their work, we are seeingsignificant falls in crime as Jane was just saying. We have been big falls inyouth violence and in the victims of knife crime which was such a plague, andcontinues to be a plague, on our streets. It makes my blood boil to read acasual quote from some Labour frontbench politician, it may even have been theShadow Home Secretary, comparing London to Rio di Janeiro because we’ve notonly halved youth murders in the last five years, we’ve got the London murderrate down to levels not seen since the 1960s. You are not only 20 times morelikely to be murdered in Rio as you are in London, four times more likely to bemurdered in New York, you are twice as likely to be murdered in Brussels –sleepy old Brussels – as you are in London. Presumably with lobster picks.

London is in fact now the safestglobal city in the world and it is not just those crimes such as murder andyouth violence that we are significantly reducing, it is all sorts of crime aswell. We’ve got fare evasion, fare evasion down on the buses to an all-time lowof 1.1%, whatever 1.1% means, mainly thanks to getting rid of the bendy buses.That I think is the way forward. You’ve got to tackle that complex of problems,crime well frozen, educational underachievement and you’ve got to make surethat kids growing up in London are able to take opportunity that our cityoffers and at the same time we must make sure they don’t dismiss some jobs asquote/unquote ‘menial’, which is a word I sometimes hear, and that they seethem, those jobs that London creates in such abundance, in the same way thatJamie Oliver’s East Europeans see those jobs, as stepping stones, as abeginning to a life in work that can take them anywhere.

Now I’m conscious today that I amspeaking very frankly about this issue, I have probably got myself as usualinto trouble, that’s my job, because I think there is a vast and latent geniusin these young people and if we could harness their talents more effectivelythen they would not only have fulfilling lives but we could drive even fasterthe great flywheel of the London economy that is now the most diverse in Europeand we not only lead the world as the financial centre, artistic centre,cultural centre, we now have, we now have the biggest text sector anywhere inEurope, we have a growing NED city of academic health science institutionsalong the Euston Road and in ten years, in the next ten years it is forecastthat London’s media industry will produce more film and TV content than eitherNew York or Los Angeles. I can scarcely believe that but that’s what I amassured. That is an extraordinary change that is taking place in the Londoneconomy and it is this prodigious, pulsating demand of London that helps todrive the rest of the country.

The EU Commission has just done astudy about competitiveness of regions in Europe, have you all read it? Youshould read it, you’re in it folks. They have discovered, they have determined,the EU Commission – and I dare not dissent – has concluded that Surrey and Westand East Sussex – anybody here from Surrey and West and East Sussex? Well done,well done Surrey and West and East Sussex, you belong to the fifth mostcompetitive region in Europe. They have looked at Berkshire, Buckinghamshireand Oxfordshire – anybody here from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire?Well done, Prime Minister, well done, congratulations, you belong to the thirdmost competitive region in Europe, well done. And why are those regions sofizzing with competitiveness according to the EU Commission? Because London isthe most competitive city in the whole of Europe and it drives jobs across theUK and not just in the south-east.

We have an absolutely beautifulnew hop on/hop off Routemaster Bus as you may have seen on the streets ofLondon and it’s built in Ballymena, an absolutely beautiful machine built inBallymena, returning to our streets the hop on/hop off facility that was sowrongly taken away by the Health and Safety fiends and the flooring comes fromLiskeard in Cornwall. Yesterday I was at a factory in Middleton, GreaterManchester, where they are making the destination blinds with a beautiful 2000year old Chinese silk-screening technique, the destination blinds for our newLondon bus. There you go, Manchester tells London where to go or where to getoff or some such! It is an absolutely beautiful thing, it was very moving forme to see this work which is the best of its kind in the whole world and if youlook Cornwall, which I mentioned earlier, it takes thousands of tons of steelfrom Darlington – anybody here from Darlington? From Middleton? Come on folks,from Oldham? Well there we go. Cranes from Derbyshire…[cheer] There you go!Newcastle? Bridges, bridges from Shropshire, anybody from Shropshire here? Welldone, we love your bridges. Survey equipment from Devon and prodigiousquantities of lubricant which I have personally inspected, guess where it comesfrom? Bournemouth. Bournemouth, isn’t that fantastic. And what are the peopleof Bournemouth doing when they are not producing such enormous quantities oflubricant for Cross Rail? Shall I tell you what they are doing? I’ll tell you.Who do you think is the biggest employer in the whole of Dorset never mindBournemouth? Who is the biggest employer in the whole of Dorset, you know thisone – excluding the NHS which is still pretty big – do you know who it is?Insurance is very close, it’s the right idea, it is J.P. Morgan mes amis. J.P.Morgan. If there wasn’t a strong banking sector in London then there would beno strong banking sector in Edinburgh and there certainly wouldn’t be one inDorset.

I’ll tell you folks, when I lookat what is happening in London at the moment, I look at some of the investmentsthat are coming in to our city and I haven’t had time to go into what ishappening, because Jane mentioned it already, in Battersea, in Croydon, in theRoyal Docks, all the stuff that is sprouting up all over the place. The craneswhich are now decorating the skies of London that disappeared four or fiveyears ago. When I see what’s happening I must say that I share the optimism andthe excitement of George Osborne completely, I thought he gave a brilliantspeech yesterday but I also, I also share his realism, his realism and hisdetermination to remove the remaining barriers to competitiveness in ourcountry and what is the greatest barrier to competitiveness folks, for Londonand indeed for Britain? What is it? Not visas, much worse than visas. What isthe greatest threat we face, come on folks, pay attention. A Labour government,correct.

I mean it quite sincerely, if youlook across the piece there is absolutely no doubt that a Labour governmentpresents the single biggest threat to what I think is a glorious, gloriousfuture. Do we want to go back to all that again? Do we want to put them back onthe bridge when they ran the ship aground? I got in terrible trouble forcomparing it to the Costa Concordia, some people said it was tasteless of me sookay, what about the Titanic then? Is that better? Is that more acceptable?

We don’t want to go back to thehigh tax, high spend approach of Ed Miliband who emanated from the bowels ofthe trade union movement like his party, we want to go forward with a low taxenterprise equality. We don’t want a mansion tax do we? No, we don’t because itwould inhibit the very homes programme that we need to get going and we want tobuild, as I say, hundreds of thousands of more homes. We don’t want to go backnever mind to the age of old Labour, we don’t want to go back to the age ofDiocletian, Emperor Diocletian that is, with some crazed attempt atgovernmental price fixing, which is what Ed Miliband came up with last week, wewant to go forward with a serious programme of new power station building and,for my money, with fracking, why not, absolutely, let’s get going.

We must not go back to the oldfailed Labour idea of a third runway at Heathrow. You knew I was going to saythis but I’m going to say it, a third runway at Heathrow aggravating noisepollution in what is already the city in the world worst affected by noisepollution by miles. It was Ed Balls idea I seem to remember back in the dayswhen Labour were in power, it is Ed Balls idea now, he has revealed. It wasBalls then, it’s Balls now and it is not good enough for this country, it isn’tthe right answer for the most beautiful and liveable city on earth.

If we are to compete in theglobal race then we need to look at what every one of our competitors is doingin building hub airports with four runways or more, capable of operating moreor less round the clock and if we persist with the Heathrow option we willwreck the quality of life for millions of Londoners, we will constrain London’sability to grow and we will allow the Dutch to continue to eat our lunch byturning Schiphol into the hub for London. Thank you.

Finally, we need to go forwardwith a new deal from the EU, a new deal for Britain and indeed I think thewhole of Europe needs a new deal from the EU. Given what’s happening, given thepainful lack of competitivity in the eurozone, we need reform, we need a changeto those treaties, we need a new approach to some of those prescriptions aboutemployment law, some of those supply side regulations, we need a new approachand there is only one statesman in this country, indeed there is only onestatesman in the whole European Union who is capable of delivering that reformand a referendum and that is my friend the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

It’s true, absolutely true. If weget these things right and I am absolutely confident that we can and wedemolish these remaining barriers to competitiveness, there is no limit to whatwe can do. I saw the other day some geezer from the Kremlin said somethingabout this country that was even less polite than what Jamie Oliver had to say.He said that Britain was a small island that no one paid any attention toexcept oligarchs who bought Chelsea. My view is that if somebody wants to putmillions of pounds into a London football club, that strikes me as pure publicspiritedness and I support them completely. I don’t want to risk polonium in mysushi by bandying statistics with the Kremlin about per capital GDP or lifeexpectancy except to say that the UK of course vastly exceeds Russia in both.

The serious point is that thisalleged spokesman underestimates where our country, the UK, is going and whatit can do. If you look at the demographics and the knowledge base and indeedthe manufacturing industries, if you look at what is happening with Tata, inwhich this country excels, then there is every chance in our lifetimes and Imean to live a very, very long time, that the UK – mark what I say – the UKcould be the biggest country in the EU both in population and in output. Thathad you, it’s true. Scary thought. The reason so many Russians come here isthat they recognise that London is not simply the capital of Britain but alsoof the EU and in many ways, of the world. A city with more American banks in itthan there are in New York for heaven’s sake. A 24 hour city in which there are100,000 people working in supplying us all with coffee in the coffee bars ofLondon, how about that? We have more baristas than barristers, there are quitea few barristers as well, and yet with so much green space in London that weproduce two million cucumbers a year from London. Eat your heart out, VladimirPutin. It is partly thanks to our cucumber yields, our staggering cucumberyields, comrades, that London now contributes almost 25% of UK GDP, which ismore than the city has contributed at any time since the Romans founded it.

In the next couple of yearsobviously we need to take all sorts of crucial decisions about how to ensurethe harmonious development of that city and I want those decisions to be takenby Conservatives. The choice at the next election is very simple – it’s betweenthe fool’s gold of Labour gimmicks which we all understand, we’ve all fought beforeand a government that is willing to take tough and sensible decisions, to cutunnecessary spending but to make the key investments in transport andinfrastructure and housing and in our communities that will take this countryforward. I know what I want as Mayor of the greatest city on earth, I think Iknow what you want, am I right? I know that we can do it so let’s go for itover the next two years. Cut that yellow Liberal Democrat albatross from aroundour necks and let it plop into the sea, let it plop into the sea by workingflat out for David Cameron as Prime Minister and an outright Conservativevictory in 2015. Thank you very much, thank you everybody.








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