Many hues of Boris

[Re: After calls for Boris Johnson to stand for the Tory leadership, could it happen before 2015?, yesterday]

The Olympics has provided Boris with an opportunity to allow his exuberant personality to be let rip. There are even more stages to be centre of than normal, which suits the mayor’s longer-term ambitions to advance in British politics. As mayor of the city in which the Olympics are being held, he has every right to be seen extolling London’s virtues. But he knows that people all over Britain will see him, extending his political reach. Conservatives of every hue respond to him: rural, suburban and city – which is a rare attribute.

Tony Travers, director of the Greater London Group at LSE.


Taxing transactions

[Re: France’s Tobin Tax will make a little but damage a lot, yesterday]

France has obviously decided that it no longer wants a financial services industry of any sort. That’s fine for London, as its professionals will likely migrate here. But as Sam Bowman says, there’s little pleasure in crowing at the strange death of our neighbour’s capitalist economy.

Heidi Faulkner

Why no mention of perhaps the oldest financial transaction tax in the world – the UK’s stamp duty. It’s been running since 1694, is levied at 0.5 per cent, and raises £3bn a year. Why do opponents only ever mention the failed Swedish example?

Jon Slater



Despite ghost town worries, Canary Wharf hotels and shops are buzzing. Is the East End taking a well-earned place in the spotlight?

Gold medals are like London buses. You wait for ages, and then several arrive in just over 24 hours.

This is coordinated inertia by the world’s leading central banks: no move by the Fed, Bank of England or the ECB.

Kofi Annan has gone as UN Syria envoy. He never had a chance. So many countries have been arming one side or the other.