You could be forgiven for not giving a fig about how the candidates for the London mayoral elections in 2008 are shaping up. Londonist, however, does. On the left, the Greens were first off the block in March with the selection of anti-4x4 campaigner Sian Berry, followed by Respect (remember them?) in April with Lindsey German, who stood last time on behalf of Team Galloway. For the far right, the British National Party have selected Barking councillor and past homoerotic 'art film' director Richard Barnbrook, in May, followed by Oi! fan and TV pundit Garry Bushell for the English Democrats in July.
Declared independents include Big Issue founder John Bird and Right Said Fred's Richard Fairbrass. It goes without saying that Ken Livingstone will be pinning a red Labour rosette to his chest next May and we all know about the Tories and their current 'contest', for which we assume Boris Johnson will emerge some time next month from the room he's holed himself up in and tied one arm behind his back.
OK, so that bloke out of Right Said Fred up against Garry Bushell while Ken Livingstone, Lindsey German and Boris Johnson debate the hell out of the whether or not to allow fundamentalist clerics to appear daily in City Hall. It sounds more like a current affairs show producer's wet dream than an electoral contest. But something's missing, surely?
The Lib Dems. The party who make an art out of coming third have not yet selected a candidate, having tried to do so but failed (something about a lack of 'big-hitters' applying apparently). As noted, the buffoon's buffoon Lembit Opik (the Ulster-born Estonian, former Newcastle councillor and Welsh MP) having spotted a meteor-sized gap in the market for another self-styled maverick to stand, responded to the egging on by some in the media and put a finger in the wind, only for Ming the voteless to dash his hopes by giving him the thumbs down. Daily Cheeky Girls concerts in Trafalgar Square will not be happening in our lifetime.
For which we can breathe a palpable sigh of relief that the party will probably be putting forward someone of a 'maverick' tendency (rather than the last two worthy but dull candidates) as none other than the Daily Mail reports with alarm that 'cannabis cop' Brian Paddick is seeking the mayoralty on their behalf. Londonist's notional file on Paddick notes that the former borough commander of Lambeth once told the Urban75 website that "the concept of anarchy has always appealed to me". Ken, Boris and Paddick, this truly is the stuff of current affairs producer's wet dreams.