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A similar approach for gun crime would be to re-legalise pistol shooting, and allow teenagers to learn to use guns in a controlled environment from good role models.

Of course the vast majority of politicians and journalists would recoil in horror from such an idea. They're paranoically against ordinary citizens owning firearms, even at the cost of innocent lives.

As long as London's Cabinet continues to get people like this, I can't help but feel optimistic for our capital city

Ray Lewis will cast a massive spanner into the perceived and adopted policies of the left, that casts many of our youth into sink schools, where they have no hope and no education and become the cannon fodder of state dependancy.
Boris has made an excellent choice here. I await the vitriol from the left against Mr Lewis, who clearly doesn't match their class warfare agenda.

"Imagine if there were dozens of boxing clubs, rather than the handful surviving today."

It is very important for young lads to have a place where they can compete but at the same time develop a camaraderie with others of a similar age. We seem to have gone backwards in providing sports facilities, in my youth thirty years ago we attended boxing clubs, played in local football and cricket leagues and there was so much going on we often didn't have enough time to fit it all in. Nowadays teenagers are bored out of their minds which isn't good for an age-group that has the energy to be on-the-go all the time.

We only have to listen to the comments of sporting hero's to realise that boxing keeps these young lads on the straight and narrow. We must also do more to promote athletics which has fallen into a sorry state recently, basketball too is an easy sport to set up, so many derelict corners could be tarmaced over and made into basketball/netball courts. Boris and Ray are on the right track in getting these bored kids off the streets.

Boris has made an inspired choice for this vital position. Ray will do an excellent job. Congratulations to them both.

Any reason why this story is not in the London Mayor section?

I think this is inspired and Boris' article in the ES is 100% the right approach. I think people are going to be massively surprised by Boris. I think the hysteria of the Guardianista class is a blessing in disguise as they have successfully lowered expectations of Boris.

Speaking as a Lib Dem, I must say I appreciate this idea. I hope he gets to do some good work. I don't think the volunatry sector can (or, for that matter, wants to) replace the state but it is good.

The public sector should copy some of the attitudes of charities, realise it is there to serve us and it should be empowering the weak to find their own wealth and become self-reliant in the long term. That is what Asquith (and Attlee) wanted, but it doesn't exist now.

I should add that I admire what Duncan Smith has been doing. I also admire the Prince's Trust, which never seems to get any recognition. Excellent people.

Alex Swanson, I agree with you on gun rights. But I don't think that campaign is going anywhere, regrettably. The usual unthinking Mail "readers" will veto any liberalisation of the gun laws.

Sorry, I cut and pasted that from my comment at Iain Dale's Diary and it lost a bit in the editing. By "the weak" I mean those who are temporarily having problems. I quite strongly believe that those who have difficulties, like these troubled youths, can make something of themselves. That is why I am a liberal.

Now, can someone reassure me that I've got this right:

Education policy (albeit "Respec' schools") is back at County -- sorry, my mistake, that should read -- "City" Hall.

The City of Westminster is the flagship of Tory London's housing policy.

So it's back to the 1980s, then?

whilst i support Mr lewis's respect agenda, I cannot support his black's only academy.

His academy should be open to all British kids who are underperforming at school.

I ageree with others here that the appointment of Ray Lewis is inspiring. Excellent!

"Ray's approach has been to take young black males"

If whites are excluded, how about mixed-race youths? Does the one drop theory apply? It seems to me that street crime in London is not specifically a black problem. While there are more black offenders, there are plenty of white ones, and mixed race gangs are common - this isn't the USA. South Asian youth gangs are also common these days. I'm not sure that there should be exclusion on racial grounds. Still, I can see this is probably a good idea, and I wish him well.

An excellent idea. I'd be amazed if this when expanded did NOT include all young rebels, regardless of race.

If there really is a problem with "Deputy Mayor", why not Mayor's Deputy for Youth, the Police, etc.

Alan Douglas

I agree with you on gun rights. But I don't think that campaign is going anywhere, regrettably. The usual unthinking Mail "readers" will veto any liberalisation of the gun laws.

I think there are sometimes issues - like gay rights or the environment - where a small minority can struggle for years to make a case, and it seems as though little if any headway is being made, and then slowly the realisation dawns on everybody who is actually in the right.

In a democracy, you can suppress the truth for a while (and I have a letter from the BBC openly admitting that they don't want to represent the pro-shooting case) but not forever.

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