Mayoral Metaphor Mayhem

By london_euan Last edited 160 months ago
Mayoral Metaphor Mayhem

marmite.jpgToday’s Guardian (no online equivalent, sorry) reported on a recent Mori poll undertaken for the Greater London Authority, that reinforces what we as Londoners apparently already knew, everything is going just swell, London is now officially ace, and it's all down to Ken Livingstone, the greatest Mayor since Dick Whittington.

Actually the article dwells a little more on statistics and graphs, not of actual improvements to facets of London life, but more on how people don't worry about them as much. For example, Londoners used to think that litter was a tub-thumping 38% rated issue, whereas now it’s more of a shoulder shrugging 22% kind of issue. Other stats include a 40% satisfaction rating for Ken, and 40% were satisfied with policing in their neighbourhoods while 33% were not.

The reason why these satisfaction rates are important is that they could play an important part in swaying marginal London constituencies Labours direcion, which is a fairly quick transition from being the scourge of a party to being its saviour.

General London apathy aside, what else the nice folks at Mori tell us is that Kens a Marmite kind of Mayor.

"Ken is like Marmite because people have very strong views about him one way or another" says Ben Page, Mori surveys director.

So he's not like an actual thing, he's like a marketing tagline for an actual thing.

Last Updated 17 January 2005

Voice 1

On the issue of Ken, have you heard he's invited Fidel Castro to London?

Fidel Castro could come to London soon. Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of Greater London, is planning to celebrate the Cuban revolution by inviting Castro here as part of the 50th anniversary of Castro's return to Cuba next year. Castro had returned to begin the long guerrilla war that led to the 1959 revolution.


Actually, the Guardian piece can be found at,,1391789,00.html

It doesn't have the fancy graphs, which is a shame, but on the upside it doesn't have a photo of Ken either.


I love Kens photos though, it's like a normal photo put into photoshop and then had the smug filter applied.


I heart Ken, I really do. But they're right about the Marmite thing - a lot of people hate him. Even if they can't justify it when you press them about why. Which I do.


Ken is amazing. I love the way that he seems to annoy all the usual suspects. Yes he could be a more swarmy, slick, and attractive persona. Yes he could be doing a better job. Hang on, I didn't mean that last point. It is so easy to criticise, but I think what we appreciate in Ken is someone who is working at his job, taking it seriously and trying to make a difference. In fact Ken has made a difference.

So in fact he's like Castro in some ways. Not a very huggy and loveable guy. Not ideal. But someone who has rolled his sleaves up and made a difference to the vast majority of ordinary people.

I think most of us realise there isn't an "ideal mayor", and are therefore satisfied with someone who tries very hard, and has done positive stuff. I shudder to think of what things would have been like without Ken (or Castro).


Its a shame that like Marmite I have no particulary strong feelings for Ken.. However being able to eat Marmite on toast makes it more useful to me... Marmite for London Mayor!!!!