Last summer in the aftermath of the riots a series of very beautiful events happened throughout London. #riotcleanup saw communities affected by the riots connect using social media to take to the streets and clean up their area. Ever the opportunist, Mayor Boris Johnson spotted a chance to combine two of his favourite things; big business and an attention grabbing PR stunt.
Enter the Proctor and Gamble's Capital Clean Up in partnership with the Mayor of London. What is this you ask? Well, P&G have had their 'cool hunters' hard at work and discovered, clean art known as reverse graffiti. Yes, that is the same reverse graffiti we at Climate Rush have been using to raise awareness of our clean air campaigns over the past year.
Boris and P&G have arranged a number of different activities for Londoners to participate in whilst helping to plug various P&G cleaning products. In addition to taking to the streets to clean in corporate advertising messages, the public can also download the Ariel Love Clean London App. This app will enable Londoners to report grime and environmental crimes, unfortunately for Londoners if Boris Johnson remains in power after May's election they will find a Mayor who clearly has little time for green initiatives despite much PR bravado.
The fact that Boris is attempting to use tactics used by activists to highlight his ineptitude in tackling London's air quality to promote Olympics sponsors and portray himself as a Mayor of the people cleaning the streets of London stinks of arrogance. Throughout his Mayoralty Boris has resisted calls from politicians such as Jenny Jones asking him to seriously address the London's air quality. Just last month air quality monitoring stations in London recorded record levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide particles.
Since coming to power Boris has scrapped the western congestion zone, and continues to push his vanity project of an airport in the Thames. And despite claims for being a cycling friendly Mayor, cycling is as dangerous as it ever was. Following the publication of Boris Johnson's transport manifesto sustainability transport charity Sustrans accused Boris Johnson of being "intent on bringing the capital to a standstill".
Stealing 'cool' is one thing but showing blatant disregard for the environment is another. Last November a report released by the International Energy Agency warned that at this rate we risk increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere beyond the maximum safe level of 450 parts per million by 2017. They warned if we were to overstep this mark, irreversible climate change would be a certainty.
With Boris Johnson as Mayor of London, I believe we would be gambling with the environmental wellbeing for future generations. The time for comedy interviews and PR stunt has ended, let's elect a Mayor ready to listen to people not big business.