Boris and Franny


Franny Armstrong: saved from 'oiks' by Boris Johnson


UPDATED: THE spidey-sense said: This has got to be a PR stunt. Could this really have happened? Boris Johnson passes a potential mugging in Camden Town, leaps off his bike and saves the day. But it turns out it’s all true.

The would-be victim of the attack in Georgiana Street on Monday night was Franny Armstrong, founder of the 10:10 campaign to convince institutions to seriously cut carbon emissions by next year and the maker of The Age Of Stupid, a scary climate change film which has jolted many people who have seen it into action.

Open about the fact she’d rather Livingstone had beaten Boris in the mayoral elections last year, why would she want to give Boris a boost in the papers with an engineered set piece? She has already found far better ways to get 10:10 noticed.

The only confusion I have from the reports of the incident is the suggestion that Franny was attacked by three girls with an iron bar. Not the case, Franny told CNJ reporter Dan Carrier, whose report you can find here. He reports that she had told him the assailants were boys. In the Sunday Times today, Franny is back on the original line that this was three girls with an iron bar as big as a broom handle. Forgive her fogginess, she says Dan was just one of 70 journalists to call her.

When people here of teenagers mugging people in Canden Town backstreets, they assume those involved are boys. In their hooded tops. With their scowls and bad language.  They’re the ones causing all the trouble. Well, not all the time. A few weeks ago now, I was on a bus not too far from Georgiana Street and four or five girls brought it to a standstill. I was downstairs but you could hear from the elephant thuds from the top deck that  something was wrong.

Next came angry wails. Verbal abuse. A bit of spitting. The girls thundered down the stairs, broke open the middle doors and scurried away down an alleyway. Before anyone could say ‘kids today, eh?’, a man with blood trickling from a wound near his eyebrow followed them down and asked the bus driver to stop.

The police were called and we were all told to get off and get the bus behind. In a flash, the 253 had become a crime scene and the blame was pointed at the girls. In their hooded tops. With their scowls and bad language.

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