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Don Bojo de la Mancha
Boris Johnson saves woman from street attack

Green filmmaker Franny Armstrong pays tribute to ‘my knight on a shining bicycle’
Boris Johnson cycling in London with a mobile phone, Britain - 05 Oct 2006

Boris Johnson cycling in London. Photograph: Rex Features

Boris Johnson rescued a woman from three “feral kids” who were wielding an iron bar, chasing them away on his bicycle, it emerged tonight.

The mayor of London was cycling through Camden, north London, on Monday night when he answered the cry of Franny Armstrong, a documentary maker and environmental activist who was surrounded by a group of hoodie-clad young girls.

Johnson stopped and chased the girls down the street, calling them “oiks”. Read More

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gazasmoke

The Gaza conflict may have only lasted 22 days but its impact was one that has had far reaching consequences around the world. Not only did it lead to the ground-breaking Goldstone Report, hailed by many as the first real international attempt to hold Israel accountable for its actions in the region, but it also inflamed passionate public emotions and discourse across the globe. A rash of protests, marches, rallies and demonstrations against the Israeli aggression could be found in countries from Spain to America, and London was no exception. Within hours of the first Israeli air strikes against the civilian Gazan population, anti-war groups and other interested parties had arranged what was to be the first of many demonstrations, vigils and protests.

Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Arabs and non-Arabs, took to the streets to voice their horror and united opposition to the Israeli bombardment of the most populated region in the world.

However, many young protesters are now beginning to pay the price for their opposition to that conflict. Yesterday and today, 29th and 30th October 2009, many of those who took part in the London demonstrations were hauled before the West London Magistrates Court in Hammersmith. This included demonstrators who protested in the events on Sunday 28th December and Monday 29th December, both outside the Israeli embassy as well as the 3rd and 10th January.

Those young people, many of whom were attending their first ever demonstration, faced very severe consequences for their roles in that December/January opposition to the Israeli offensive.

As a result of the protests, primarily of the 3rd and 10th January, in the last two days alone 69 people have been charged with criminal offences. The primary charge, which applied to 61 out of the 69 cases were for violent disorder. Of all of the arrests made, judging from the names alone, almost all were young Muslim men.

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£5m Oxford Circus Diagonal Crossing

Inspired by the world famous diagonal Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, also known as the busiest crossing in the world, now Oxford Circus has its own diagonal crossing. Boris raised the meaning of “Oxford Circus” to a whole new level by striking a gong this morning to mark the opening of the diagonal crossing.

The original Shibuya diagonal crossing in Tokyo.

So, they have one diagonal, we have two, and we have Boris striking a gong. London – Tokyo, 1-0. But is it worth 5million pounds of taxpayers money? Meaning, 5million / 60million ~ 8 pence per person? Definitely! I would sure pay 8 pence to see Boris strike a gong again.

Questions for Ken

What advice do you have for young people who want to engage with politics and fight the recession?
Noel Hatch, national chair, Compass Youth

Join a political party so that politicians find it harder to ignore you. Argue with your friends that doing nothing is not an option and get them involved. And cause as much trouble as you can.

Why are you getting married at London Zoo?
James Beveridge

It’s great for the kids and it will be poignant for me. I applied for a job there in 1962 and they turned me down – although they did later have me as vice-president of the Zoological Society.

What three things would you do to improve allotment provision in London?
Becky Hogge

One, set aside space in the Olympic Park; two, ban development on allotment land; and three, introduce a London-wide, cross-borough waiting list.

At what stage did you know that Gordon Brown was going to lose the next election?
Peter Bingle

Curiously enough, I think the Tory domination of the polls makes it theirs to lose. They should be treated as the incumbent and subjected to relentless scrutiny. Tory economic policy is so hardline that it has the potential to unite very large layers of society in opposition. If Cameron wins, we may be in for a period of revolving-door government like the 1960s and 1970s.

For which musicians would you dust down your microphone to make a record with, as you did with Blur in 1995?
Jenny Simmons

This answer is based on the fantasy that I have a decent singing voice, which anyone who has seen me do karaoke knows is far from reality. I would work with Blur again, who are both a great band and really good people. And I’d love to duet with Scott Walker.

Is there anything you think Boris is doing better than you?
Tom Daniels

Yes, falling in the river.