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Mayoral Manifesto Muppetry from Paddick
10.03.08 by Buffalo Bill

On May 1st, 2008, Londoners elect the Mayor, and Members of the London Assembly. To vote in the elections you must be at least 18 years old on May 1, and be an British, EU or Commonwealth citizen, unlike national elections. You must also have registered to vote. You can find out a lot more about voting and registering at the London Elects web-site.

Why should I bother to vote?
A lot of you reading this probably think that voting is a waste of time. Fair enough, I am not going to trot out the ‘people died to get you the vote, it’s your responsibility’ etc arguments, but I will say this: if you complain on a regular basis about the state of the roads, the buses, the police or the number of cars, lorries, whatever in London, then this is your chance to influence that. The Mayor of London does not have a lot of power over many things, but transport is one of the areas where s/he has control of budgets and policy. So either vote on 1 May or shut the f*** up for the next 4 years.

Before we get in to any kind of analysis, I need to make a declaration. I was an active member of the Green Party for some years, and have never voted for anybody else.

This third election for Mayor is turning out to be a lot closer, and a lot nastier, than the previous 2. Ken strolled the first election in 2000, and although Steve Norris got closer in 2004, it wasn’t nearly as tight as this year’s contest is likely to be. Which makes it more important that as many people as possible get out and vote.

Only 2 candidates appear to have a chance of winning, Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson. Brian Paddick, former cop, who is the Liberal Democrat candidate is a distant third, with Sian Berry, Green Party, the best of the rest.

I want to come back to the two leaders at a later date. I am seriously trying to give Boris the benefit of the doubt, which is difficult, because even though I am no friend of the Labour Party, I would rather cut my knob off than vote Tory. But I do want to have a look at Boris’ transport policies, and see, as he claims, whether they really are more sensible than Ken’s. I will also explain why Sian is the candidate with the best transport policies, and why a vote for the Green Party is NOT a wasted vote. This is a scandalous claim, made often by Labour Party canvassers, and is an insult to democracy. And I want to examine Ken’s record on transport as well. All the stuff that the Standard is printing about misconduct, Lee Jasper, Ken’s counter-claims of racism, etc etc, isn’t really something that I feel qualified to cover here.

Paddick – a menace to messengers
Today I want to bring your attention to one of Brian Paddick’s manifesto commitments. He has a section in it entitled ‘Safer Cycling’, which is great, we all want cycling in London to be safer, don’t we?

Item number 1? ‘License all cycle couriers.’ Yes, this is Mr Paddick’s number 1 policy for making cycling in London safer.

Bong! ‘Serious about London’? ‘SERIOUS’? You f***ing joker. And if that’s not going to get you lot to register and vote, then I don’t know what is.

  1. Bill, Paddick needs a cycling rep for TFL.Seize it!Also I dont agree that cycle-couriers should be licenced but I do think they should be kept on a leash.Cnuts!

    — overdrive    11 March 2008, 11:28    #
  2. Bill, there is no option in British elections to tick a box marked ‘none of the above’; the ‘positive abstention’ option. So if I don’t think any of the candidates is up to the job then not voting isn’t just apathy it is as principled a stand as any that you advocate and, if it’s alright with you, I won’t shut the f*** up just yet.

    — will    15 March 2008, 21:39    #
  3. Campaign for just such an inclusion on the ballot. You could stand for election on the ‘none of the above’ ticket.

    On the other hand, you could confine your political activity to leaving comments in reply to bloggers.

    — Bill    16 March 2008, 11:13    #
  4. but won’t we be able to smoke as much weed as we like once brian ‘stoner’ paddick gets in? who cares if messengers will have to licensed… man ;-)

    — sleepy    16 March 2008, 16:38    #
  5. bit tetchy, not to say condescending, Bill. And you avoided discussing the point too.

    — will    17 March 2008, 17:02    #
  6. Condescending, moi? Mais non!

    I was being serious about standing on a ‘none of the above’ ticket’, actually.

    In actual fact, the none of the above party is banned from UK ballots. See here for more info.

    — Bill    17 March 2008, 18:36    #
  7. Licensed has to be a prelude to insurance as well?
    Who’s going to pick up that bill eh?

    Once they’ve licensed all the messengers they’ll go after the rest of us.

    — Alex Ball    18 March 2008, 10:02    #
  8. Licensing means insurance, definitely. I am not taking Paddick’s manifesto too seriously, although I have written to him asking him exactly what he means.

    — Bill    18 March 2008, 10:30    #
  Textile help

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