Oh dear. Only a few days after he waxed lyrical about America’s new dawn, Boris has managed to annoy the Yanks once again. He recently caused a ruckus by stating (in his usual, subtle style) that the US Ambassador to the UK, Robin Tuttle, should be given an ASBO as a result of what BoJo seems to think amounts to fare-dodging the congestion charges for the last three years.
While that represents a healthy chunk of lost revenue (as any Londoner who doesn’t have the Geneva Convention on their side will tell you), Tuttle legally doesn’t have to pay; thanks to what basically comes down to diplomatic immunity, foreign officials don’t have to pay taxes in their country of residence. However, while both Boris and his predecessor Ken Livingstone criticised Tuttle for his distinct reluctance to pony up the dough, Red Ken insisted the toll was, in fact, a tax (a claim that Boris disagrees with). The US Embassy latched onto this, and proclaimed that Tuttle didn’t have to pay. As a result, we’re left with the current hiccup in Anglo-American relations: a great (and vaguely familiar) way of closing out the Bush years.
So what do you think? Should Boris let it drop, in order to maintain positive relations with our neighbours across the pond? Or should he push for Tuttle to regain his ‘dignity’, and join the masses of Londoners who pay the fees on a daily basis? Let us know in the comments.