Thursday, 27 June 2019

I Presume?

There have only ever been five elections for Mayor of London, and Ken Livingstone has come either first or second at four of them. He did not contest the fifth. When Boris Johnson claims to have beaten Labour, then he has in fact only ever beaten Livingstone, a man, it is true, who had himself beaten the formidable first term Blair Labour Party to become Mayor in 2000.

So it would be great fun to see Livingstone contest Uxbridge and South Ruislip at the next General Election. That would, however be a mistake, since this is no place for vote-splitting. In 2010, John Randall's majority there was 11,216. In 2015, Johnson's was a comparable 10,695. But in 2017, he had halved it to 5,034.

By contrast, in 2001, Virginia Bottomley held South West Surrey by a mere 861 votes. In 2005, Jeremy Hunt got that up to 5,711. In 2017, his majority was an eye-watering 21,590. Hunt is certainly going to keep his seat. Johnson could perfectly easily be deprived of his.

A month from now, the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home Secretary, and the Foreign Secretary will respectively be Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, and Jeremy Hunt. Or else they will be Jeremy Hunt, Philip Hammond, Sajid Javid, and Alan Duncan. In either event, what on earth do the chest-beating Back Boris buffoons think that they will have achieved? 

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. A new party will be registered before the House of Commons rises for the summer recess, even if I have to pay for it myself, ongoing lawfare or no ongoing lawfare.

And I will stand for Parliament here at North West Durham even if I can raise only the deposit, which I could do by going pretty overdrawn, although that was not how I was brought up. I would still prefer to raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign, but I am no longer making my candidacy conditional on having done so. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

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