Mayoral Update: When All That Glistens Is Not Green

By Hazel Last edited 123 months ago
Mayoral Update: When All That Glistens Is Not Green

There was so much crazy action in the mayoral campaign last week that Londonist was left gasping to keep up. The most entertaining bit was when Boris Johnson launched his environment manifesto with a photo opportunity on Hampstead Heath. BBC London viewers and others were treated to the splendid sight of The Blond hacking his way through a patch of north London undergrowth – perhaps specially provided for the occasion, who knows? – wearing that mildly self-satirising expression we all know and some love, but which he probably needs to keep off his face between now and 1st May.

Are his green policies any good? Ken Livingstone, of course, says they’re a small potatoes compared with his much bolder plans to save not just the capital but the rest of the planet too. Significantly, Ken has got stuck into Brian Paddick too on this issue, aided and abetted by his allies the Greens. Why? Because Ken needs Liberal Democrat supporters’ votes: if not as their first preference for mayor then as their second. Polling evidence so far suggests that more of those voters who like Paddick best of all prefer Johnson to Livingstone as their second preference.

Livingstone needs to turn that around. That’s why he’s been pointing out that Paddick is opposed to his Low Emissions Zone and his proposed £25 Congestion Charge-plus on gas-guzzlers, suggesting that he’s not as green as Lib Dems usually are and, actually, not a true Lib Dem at all. Sian Berry, the Green candidate for mayor, has been saying the same. Ken’s hope is that by wooing Greens and Lib Dems he’ll construct a coalition big and broad enough to beat Boris. Will it work? There are risks, not least that Lib Dems voters are stubborn and can be contrary.

Londonist hopes you’re keeping up with all this...

By Dave Hill

Read more from Dave over at the Guardian, and on his mayoral blog.

Last Updated 29 March 2008


Love him or hate him Mr. Livingstone of mayoral candidates is ‘independent’ of the main political parties even if Labour appears to endorse him. This makes him a most definite choice for Mayor of London where he can continue to cock-a-snook at party political interests with his famed reference; always; to the people of London’s concerns which government ignominiously ignores.
Anyone can see that the Conservatives; desperate for a credible mayoral candidate; are impelled to foist onto a blasé London public a Conservative ne’er-do-well, a bumble-worded out-of-town toff who’s retainers having constantly to rush to comb down his unruly topknot, will note that no relevant CV makes B. Johnson fit to be Mayor of London even with nicely raked hair. If Boris is ‘so cool’ why hasn’t David Cameron got him into the opposition cabinet? ‘David, it’s over to you’. On second thoughts ‘don’t bovver’. – Yes, he’s likeable (Boris that is) so are Paddington Bear and The Wombles of Wimbledon. I suggest these cuddly toys have more relevance to mayoral candidature than tousled haired Home Counties Boris Johnson. –
Stay in your home county constituency Henley-on-Thames where I’m sure you will continue to be applauded by fellow Hooray-Henry’s and Henrietta’s for your dexterous punt manoeuvres on balmy Oxfordshire’s River Thames. By the way Boris; is it true your poling skill once had you hanging on to a slowly sinking punt-pole in the middle of the Henley Thames as you watched your boat full of shrieking, hyperventilating rudderless Annabelle’s and Henrietta’s glide away leaving you stranded mid-river where you were last heard by the first of the evening’s towpath trollers expleting “B_ _ _ _r Me! No Totty Tonight – I’ll pong like an Oxfordshire Toad?