london mayor

    Voting Time Again

    Time to hit the polling booths again. Doesn't seem that long since the last one. But it's a lot easier to decide this time. Brian Paddick's a decent guy, but the Lib Dems have shown they can't be trusted over the last two years.

    Boris hasn’t been quite the disaster we feared four years ago, but he still cares more about the richer members of society than everyone else. Plus, he’s a Tory. But I repeat myself.

    Ken seems kind of past his peak, but he’s still the one for the job. Though I might give Jenny Jones my first vote and Ken my second. I think that’s what I did last time, come to think o it.

    For the Assembly it’s going to be Labour all the way. I’m not impressed with how they’re doing in opposition at Westminster: the Tories are down, but they don’t seem to be kicking. Kick harder, Milliband! But to run London? Obviously it’s got to be the (relatively) good guys.

    What’s surprising and slightly scary is the number of extreme-right parties who have put candidates up. obviously there’s the BNP and UKIP: but who knew the National Front were still around? Then there’s ones with names like England First and Christians Against Marriage Equality. (Those names may not be exact, but I’m on the Tube at the time of writing, so I can’t check; but you get the gist.)

    Anyway, that’s where we are today. Don’t forget to vote if you can, folks.

    Time for writing crosses in booths, folks

    You know what's coming. It's nearly the 1st of May, and that means elections. An all-too-infrequent chance to exercise our fundamental democratic right and duty. Always important, even when you're quite happy with how things are. Somebody else won't be, and you don't want them to change things.

    Of course, that’s not what gets people out to vote: a desire for change is much more likely to bring crowds to the local schools, village halls, and other little nooks and crannies of public space that experience a kind of sovereignty for a day.

    Either way, there’s no better or nobler duty that you can do in a few minutes in a small cubicle with a pencil and a piece of paper.

    And if you live in London, and have a vote, please, please, please get out and use it against Boris Johnson.

    I don’t really care who you vote for (well, the BNP are standing, but I’m sure anyone reading this is much too decent and right-thinking to go there). Though it’s clear that only Ken has a serious chance of keeping the bumbling buffoon out.

    I’m convinced, by the way, that the Tories put him up to it as a joke. The thinking probably went something like, “Nobody’s going to beat Livingstone, so let’s put comedy candidate up, and make a mockery of the whole thing.” Then somehow, thanks largely to the vile rag that is ??The Evening Standard??, and the lack of seriousness with which some people treat politics, Boris climbed up the polls, and now looks like a serious contender for the Mayorship.

    It will be a disaster for London if he gets elected, of course. We can only hope that it will backfire on the Tories: that he fails fast enough that it seriously harms them in the general election.

    Putting your hopes for the country on disaster for your city is no position to be in, though. So I can only reiterate: get out and vote, and stop Boris. Give at least your second vote to Ken. He has his faults, but he’s done a pretty good job of running the city this last eight years.