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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Johnson's flying white elephant

In Wales we had 'Ieuan Air' (later renamed Labour Air), an expensive air service between Cardiff and Anglesey used mostly by politicians and civil servants, costing the taxpayer around £86 in subsidy for every one of the 65,073 passengers which used the service between May 2007 and April 2013, and introduced despite the Welsh Government's commitment to sustainability and tackling climate change, later immortalised in the rather vague but well-meaning 'Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Boris Johnson is determined to go one further. Not only does he (and the Royal Family) have access to an RAF Voyager, an Airbus A330 jet, re-purposed for use by the UK government in 2015 at a cost if £10 million, but he has now authorised a £900,000 paint job on the aircraft that will rebrand it in the red, white and blue colours of the Union Jack.

In UK expenditure terms this is not a massive amount of money, and yet it rankles because it demonstrates twisted priorities. As Ed Davey tweeted: 'The drug dexamethasone, that can potentially save the lives of people with coronavirus, costs £5 per patient. @BorisJohnson could have bought 180,000 doses of that, but instead he's painting a flag on a plane.'

I suspect that will be the view of many others as well.
Johnson is good at *****ing other people's money up against the wall, isn't he?
Yes .I agree on the drugs bit. It has also been noted that Boeing when painting its near identical plane to the one in question costs £80,000. What is the rest of the money being spent on? Is it a bung to his mates, eg supply 'widgets' cost to US $10 to UK taxpayer £100!? Would not be surprised at all.
Equally it plays to his ego on the World Stage. It remains to be seen whether other World statesmen laugh behind their backs.
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