It’s the London Election at last. All the lies, slander and garbage printed by the disgusting and disreputable Evening Standard can now get shoved to one side and the candidate who really is prepared to do what is needed the most in London can win. That candidate isn’t Boris Johnson. Even if you discount the racist and homophobic comments and articles in his past, it’s been conclusively proven that his platform is a lie. When pushed his transport budget is an outright lie. When pushed his sudden Damascene conversion to supporting diversity is a lie.
In my mind, Paddick’s priority of reforming the governance and operating culture of the Metropolitan Police is the single biggest issue for London. Crime isn’t getting better, whatever the statistics show. The Met isn’t getting any less racist or homophobic – the stats on the former show increasingly racist outcomes, the latter problem is known even by their Commissioner, who is at the least borderline corrupt for attempting to inhibit the investigation into the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes. Paddick insists his priority is to chair the Metropolitan Police Authority himself and thereby overpower Sir Ian Blair when he lapses into ‘old Met’ behaviour. Ken Livingstone, despite his many strengths and achievements, isn’t offering any change for the Met at all – merely to add more to their number. The days of them operating as a quasi-autonomous militia really have to stop, and Paddick has stated his intention many times in hustings I’ve attended to modernise and reform the way they operate.
Given that Paddick’s gay himself, it’s hard to imagine him not supporting the diversity which makes up London, the promotion of which has been one of Livingstone’s finest achievements.
Of course he hasn’t a chance of winning, but this is where proportional representation gets fun. Vote Ken for your second choice. There’s no way of letting Boris Johnson through in that way, don’t worry. When the first votes are tallied, all but the top two candidates are simply knocked out and their second votes are reallocated. Paddick 1 Livingstone 2 allows you to vote what’s right and get the right overall outcome too.
Don’t let the Tories screw this city up yet again. Ken’s done a lot in the last 8 years to fix the problems they caused, and he’s done extremely well. Environmentalism, poverty reduction, buses, an initial improvement in police numbers, innovations in housing, and support for London’s multitude of ethnic and subcultures – all of these have made London better after the hatchet job inflicted on London from the mid-80s. Does Ken have the answers to take it from here? Not enough of them I’d argue, but this was the Mayor who brought the Olympics to London not for the sport, but to tap into the vast regeneration funds to make this place better. He needs to continue what he started.
Isn’t PR fun, being able to support two candidates at the same time? And I’m going to vote Green till it hurts for the London Assembly. They can and have done wonders already at local level.