London hopes for harmony

Boris Johnson, London’s eminently quotable mayor, has unleashed his next major transport project – a cable car system across the River Thames, to be ready by next summer, just in time for the London Olympics.

Mayor Johnson, who once dubbed the private partners involved in the ill-fated refurbishment of the London tube as “looters”, has managed to convince Emirates, the Dubai airline, to contribute £36 million (€41 million; $57 million) for the project, more than half of its £60 million bill, via a 10-year sponsorship deal.

The scheme, originally budgeted at £25 million, has already more than doubled in size. To date, Mayor Johnson is getting Transport for London, with a little help from the European Union, to help fund the shortfall.

If Emirates ever gets tapped by the mayor for a few extra quid, though, we advise caution in response. The last budget dispute over the tube PPP ended with the private sector on the receiving end of a steady stream of colourful language.