Boris or Ken? Ken or Boris?

There must be more choices than Boris or Ken. Right?

Recognising the window of opportunity I have to voice my opinion in this so-called democracy, I decide to look into the candidates for the London Mayoral Elections which are taking place tomorrow.

If you can’t face trawling through the options yourself, here’s my little summary:

Siobhan Benita, an independent candidate who will ‘fight for Londoners not a political party’, seemed like a good option. Except for the fact that she’s building her campaign around education which – according to the council website at least – isn’t really within the Mayor’s remit. Which seems a bit of an odd way to go and makes me wonder if she hasn’t slightly taken her eyes off the ball before she’s even caught it.

Then there’s Carlos Cortiglia who, bizarrely enough, represents the BNP. I suppose he had to deal with the fact that his name and party may not instantly appear to be a natural pair, so he tackles that issue head on by arguing that his Italian descent makes him the most ‘cosmopolitan’ of the bunch. He says that he wants to ‘preserve the traditions, freedoms and identity of a country that has been so good to him and his family’, before ploughing on about British jobs for British workers etc. etc. etc. My blood pressure shoots up and I go back to my options.

Oooh. And what have we here? Lawrence Webb, ‘a Fresh Choice for London’. Optimistically, I click through to discover that a fresh choice for London is UKIP by a different name. I glance over his campaign of ‘No’ to ‘open-door immigration’ and his prioritisation of ‘long-term Londoners’ and start to feel like this city is going crazy.

Brian Paddick, Lib Dem, has just produced a new leaflet especially for those who – like me – who are hoping for something more than the Ken/Boris dichotomy. ‘There is a clear lack of enthusiasm for both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone’, his leaflet states, ‘and there is a great opportunity for a credible progressive candidate to break through.’ The problem is that’s what happened at the last General Election and look where our enthusiasm for a ‘credible progressive candidate’ got us then. Frankly, no one agrees with Nick anymore.

Boris. Seriously?

Ken. Oh, Ken. I really, really don’t get why Labour did that. Anyone?

And finally Jenny Jones, Green Party, who promises a Green London which will be ‘a model for the world in addressing climate change, a city more equal, healthy and affordable for everyone’. While that may sound a bit utopian, at least one of the candidates is talking about about equity and sustainability in a way that makes sense.

Your call. Your vote.

If I wasn’t so busy preparing for exams, I’d probably start a revolution.


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