Thursday, 24 April 2008

Mayor of London

Blah, blah, blah. Nobody outside London cares tuppence. This is in no sense a national story. Has Ken Livinstone had an impact on national politics in the last eight years? The outcome of this election will affect absolutely nothing except itself.

Still, don't bet against Brown doing to the London Mayorality what Thatcher did to the GLC if Boris Johnson wins.

10 comments:

  1. You do go on, don't you?

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  2. Well, in the words of Harold Wilson...

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  3. actually, its a local race, with potentially national implications. Perhaps that's why it is being covered..... I'm sure you have a far more conspiratorial take on this...

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  4. Actually, it's a local race with no national implications whatever. How many national implications has Ken Livingstone had over the past eight years? Get over yourselves! Britain is not just you, you know.

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  5. Liam Gooderhall24 April 2008 at 22:56

    Exactly. Having been to London today, some 7 days before the 'big day', only the Evening Standard seems to care a big deal about the whole sorry affair anyway. I was at least expecting to see hundreds of 'Vote Ken' or 'Back Boris' posters, but hardly a thing to be seen. This mayoral election hardly appears to even have local implications, let alone national ones!

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  6. The fact that Livingstone, Johnson and Paddick are permitted go be the candidates proves that it's a non-job.

    Anyway, walk around London as most people think of it and you will see a very large number of people with no vote in this election, since they either live in the Home Counties or are just visiting. The London electorate is basically working-class and two thirds non-white. So, for good or ill, Livingstone is home and dry.

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  7. David, that's just nonsense. When did you last visit London? The London electorate includes the suburban boroughs, which are overwhelmingly white and middle class. And even in inner London, there are plenty of Tory voters. Livingstone may still win, but Johnson has an excellent chance.

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  8. "Has Ken Livinstone had an impact on national politics in the last eight years?"

    1) Introducing congestion charging (for good or ill), and strongly influencing the national debate around whether this is a good idea.

    2) Playing a key role in winning the 2012 Olympic bid (for good or ill, a big thing for the country as a whole).

    Obviously, he's affected London more than anywhere else. But in general, he's had more impact on national politics than any other local politician. And, in any case, London's quite important, nationally - it has 10-15% of the population. I know you don't live in it, but I don't live in lots of places that get on the news, and you don't hear me complaining.

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  9. It is not about the specifics of the people in the race, you plonker. The national implications are do with the dynamics of party politics. If the revamped tories can win in a multicultural city like London - this perhaps suggests they are winning in their battle to reach constituencies they were unable to before.

    The loss of the mayor for the Labour Party, would be psychologically damaging.

    If you bother to read the papers, it is in this context, that the race is important. The race is symbolically important for both parties.

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  10. "The race is symbolically important for both parties."

    Only because they, and the media, think that London is the world.

    "The loss of the mayor for the Labour Party, would be psychologically damaging."

    Only in London.

    "If the revamped tories can win in a multicultural city like London - this perhaps suggests they are winning in their battle to reach constituencies they were unable to before."

    There's nowhere else in Britain like London. There's nowhere else on earth except New York. Being able to win Mayor of London (using a different electoral system from that employed either for Westminster or for local councils) proves absolutely nothing.

    And since this election presumably uses the local government electoral register, being able to win a city with a very high population of people who can be on that but not on the parliamentary register really is meaningless for parliamentary purposes.

    "I don't live in lots of places that get on the news"

    Where? In Britain, I mean.

    "Livingstone may still win, but Johnson has an excellent chance."

    Johnson himself can't deny that he can only win with BNP second preferences. He can make a show of not wanting them (yeah, right), but he cannot deny that he can only win with them.

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