back to article Boris Johnson floats idea of 'London visa' to attract tech talent

London's tousle-haired ultra-blond mayor, Boris Johnson, has called for the creation of a special "London visa" to tempt the world's tech and fashion superstars to the capital. The London Mayor's office has submitted an application to be given an allocation of 100 of the "exceptional talent" visas that the Home Office hands …

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  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    So if I live in Barnsley

    And want to visit London - do I need a visa ?

    1. Kay Burley ate my hamster
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: So if I live in Barnsley

      I see a new use for this! :)

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: So if I live in Barnsley

      No, but there will be a passport check when you cross the M25 on the way home to make sure you are not one of the people with a London only visa.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So if I live in Barnsley

      No. You need a car transponder for the entry tax.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: So if I live in Barnsley

        yorkshireman? Who'd pay for you to leave Yorkshire though? Being married to a Yorkshire lass im conviced they should have passport checks at the border of Yorkshire anyway.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: So if I live in Barnsley

          > they should have passport checks at the border of Yorkshire anyway.

          In or out ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kit Malthouse

    Nasty piece of work...

  3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Alert

    I sense...

    ...the invisible hand of Lord BONG! somewhere in the background.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean I can ship over my fave Cam girl?

    Currently she can't get a visa, but she is incredibly talented, and I think that London would fit right up her alley.

    Heck, plenty of things do.....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100 people you say!? This will make all the difference IN THE WORRRRLD

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      In China, this is a lounding ellol

  6. Buzzword

    The only rational way to allocate visas

    The only rational way to allocate visas is as follows:

    1) Decide how many visas we want to issue in a year (let's say 120,000)

    2) Auction them off to the highest bidders (at 10,000 a month)

    No more so-called "competent bodies" arranging visas for their best mate from down under. No more haphazard point systems, or lists of "high demand" occupations. Most importantly of all, let's put an end to companies claiming that they can't possibly compete if they have to pay their employees a reasonable wage.

    It doesn't matter whether you're hiring a Bangladeshi chef or an Indian programmer or a Ukrainian scientist: if they aren't going to earn enough to make the cost of the visa worthwhile, then you don't get to bring them in.

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: The only rational way to allocate visas

      As long as we still have enough Bangladeshi chefs. I could not sanction any scheme which reduced curry availability.

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: The only rational way to allocate visas

        But let's not bring in more telephone sanitisers, hairdressers, and advertising account executives...

        1. Shrimpling

          Re: The only rational way to allocate visas

          Its probably best to keep a few telephone sanitisers on hand just in case... you wouldn't want to die from an unclean telephone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only rational way to allocate visas

      I like this plan. The Canadians use it for emigrants to Vancouver from China!

  7. Shagbag

    Silicon Roundabout Bollocks

    Despite attracting the creme-de-la-creme of developer talent, there's still enough crap developers in London that we don't need more foreign imports.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silicon Roundabout Bollocks

      Having worked with companies across the UK, the most clueless and lazy have been companies in London, which is why I'm always staggered when people in the South East try to claim they're so brilliant (rather than doing well because of massive subsidies for housing benefits, bank bailouts, Olympics, Crossrail etc).

      The most productive software teams I've worked for have been in rural Oxfordshire.

      1. phil dude
        Headmaster

        Re: Silicon Roundabout Bollocks

        yes, well there is a *slightly* higher Smart Person quotient...so long as it's not 8th week in Trinity....

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Silicon Roundabout Bollocks

          @phil dude so long as it's not 8th week in Trinity

          I was at Trinity, and I don't recall getting stupider in 8th week. Drunker, maybe.

          You're not from Balliol are you?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Silicon Roundabout Bollocks

        "The most productive software teams I've worked for have been in rural Oxfordshire."

        Mmm. Could that be Torex or iSoft?

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Silicon Roundabout Bollocks

      Worst phrase in the help desk lexicon? Can you call so-and-so at our London office.

      I think it's like the 'theory of Blondes'; All Blonde idiots stay blonde, some no-blonde idiots join them. Relatively few home grown self-deluding over-achievers (and god knows there are enough of them) can get a job outside London but many are attracted in from other areas.

  8. Robert Ramsay

    Tories don't like foreigners staying here too long anyway. I presume these 'visas' will come with an electronic tag?

  9. Rol Silver badge

    London 1st

    I assume the 100 visas will come out of the national quota and therefore the rest of the country will again be suffering to keep London in the manner it has become accustomed.

    Top marks to Boris for pushing his manor to the front again, but please, direct some energy at the areas of the UK that are still in the throws of the 80's recession, rather than stoking the epicentre of UK inflation.

    Not that I live in Birmingham, or have any connection to it, but it sure as hell is more accessible to the rest of the UK and so more suitable for all the national centres of excellence that seem to cluster around London,

    you know, the ones our taxes pay for, but you'll rarely in your lifetime get to see.

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Re: Silicon roundabout bollocks...

    Does the Silicon Roundabout really attract the creme-de-la-creme? I'm not sure you'll find it does. Lots of Googly/Twitter hipster "Yes I am really a CTO" twats with social meedia-itis maybe - all doing the same sort of thing but without a profit/business plan (with a few exceptions albeit).

    On the other hand we have Cambridge being named in the top 10 of global Unis. Presumably this, and others such as Portsmouth, Manchester, Edinburgh etc is where the real future talent and innovation is coming from in science, engineering and bio-tech; but the top grads from those and such like are being swept up by the top commercial names in University sponsorship/partnership agreements - and presumably anyone else worth their salt is picking up whatever they can to pay the debts.

    London - meh!

  11. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    Oh great...

    ... so there's going to be even more Londonization, concentrating people and jobs in the capital whilst the rest of the country is treated as somehow second class or second rate.

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: Oh great...

      The only trickle down effect that emanates from London's growth, is UK inflation and tourists that have got on the wrong train.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only 100?

    So all Britain has is 1000 seats for genius every year. Sounds like something Dad's Army would have conceived! Utter bilge...we need talent.

  13. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Yeah, encourage people to immigrate to the most over-populated highest cost-of living, most housing-shortage area of the entire country.

  14. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    My HK-Chinese nephew applied for and was accepted for a job in the scottish borders. The requirements were for an english/cantonese bilingual chef with experience of UK and Hong Kong dishes. The employers couldn't get a local, so it fitted the rules for overseas recruitment, and my nephew fitted perfectly and got the job.

    He went back to HK to sort out some admin, came back with his employer's documents and work visa, but was immediately put back on the 'plane to HK. Oh well, sod them. He's now an aerospace engineer and is sitting his FAA exams in LA next week. The restaurant in the borders, tho', has gone bust.

  15. Arachnoid

    Im surprised London doesn't charge an entry fee

    To keep the rest of us Brits out ...........OH they do!

    Its called the congestion charge,mind they need to make up a new name for that as it clearly doesn't fit the purpose for which it was introduced.Hmmm it now sounds like something a Government department would think up.

  16. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I have a better idea

    The should require anyone from London to have a visa to get out.

  17. Stu J

    Three words

    Fuck. Off. Boris.

  18. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    It's ok for Londoners to elect a Comedy mayor, but now he wants to be PM???

    Right now it's just the rest of the UK laughing at Londoners. If he gets to be PM it'll be the rest of the world laughing at the UK.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Outsource the Mayor

    How about a visa for someone better to come over and do Johnson's Mayor job far cheaper.

  20. Tony Green

    The logic of this...

    ... is that there will have to be controls to stop people leaving London without the proper paperwork.

    And if that keeps a few million Cockney Wankers from infesting the rest of the country, I'd vote for it!

    1. BongoJoe
      Mushroom

      Re: The logic of this...

      Too late. They've infested St. James' Park already.

  21. tristian o'brien

    wasn't Milton Keynes designed for this sort of thing? after all it has Bletchley Park based there.

  22. doorknobus

    >London's tousle-haired ultra-blond mayor, Boris Johnson, has called for the creation of a

    >special "London visa" to tempt the world's tech and fashion superstars to the capital

    When did getting good grades in rote-memorising chunks of dead-language stuff provide good credentials for saying anything about technology?

    Entertaining bored folks, 'twixt desk-time and pub-time, maybe. But anything beyond Big-Brother-esque amusement? From politico-whorelings? No.

    1. Irongut

      "When did getting good grades in rote-memorising chunks of dead-language stuff provide good credentials for saying anything about technology?"

      I'm guessing you've never heard of Stephen Fry?

    2. aawelj
      Headmaster

      Er, he was talking about visas - not technology. And the word visa is derived from one of those dead languages..... and if I had the brains to do a Classics degree at Oxford, I'd have jumped at the chance. If only it was just rote-learning and all the other stuff about actually speaking and applying the language didn't come into it....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsource who?

    Perhaps he needs more plumbers for London if too many poles have gone home?

    But knowledge workers of any kind? Come off it, we can work from anywhere. I haven't had a UK employer since sometime in the 1990s, but fortunately my current (and previous) Silicon Valley employers treat me a lot better than any Brit company I've encountered.

    The super-rich don't need special visas. The rest just line the pockets of London's slumlords until they escape.

  24. gbru2606

    Hah-what London really needs is a 'Leaving Fee'. Can we rename everywhere else as "Not London" so we know where to put the border crossings. Then we're sorted.

    While Boris is at this though any chance that 'Not London' could seek compensation from London for so artfully masterminding private equity takeovers that have so successfully dodged the annual tax collection needed to maintain and develop our education, health and infrastructure?

    ta.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do the SNP pay Boris?

    Boris as usual is doing a wondrous job for the pro independence SNP.

    Maybe the rest of Britain are better off without the divorced from UK reality Boris London too.

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