Recently in London Category

Clown meat: tastes funny

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lolbozsign.jpgHere's a great bit of London analysis, covering the effect (the cliche is "corrosive") that the Standard's election campaign had on the mayoral election, and the dubious level of public understanding that the Standard certainly aggravated.

In particular, the circle jerk goes as follows.

Andrew Gilligan was "resigned" from the Beeb over the David Kelly affair, and rehabilitated by Johnson at the Spectator. He then moved to the Evening Standard, where he led an unapologetic campaign to "get Ken unelected". The Standard is part of the Daily Mail family, as is the dire London Lite. The decision on which free rag gets given to Londoners on the tube is coming up, and will be taken by.. Mayor Johnson.

So the whole thing is best understood as a battle by a propagandist and rabidly right-wing rag to protect its control over its audience. Boris may or may not be Cameron's loyal puppet, but he's definitely Associated's puppet. Think about it. "Dave" may or may not be Prime Minister when LOLBoz is up for re-election in 2012, but the Evening Standard will be there for sure, ready to re-elect him or destroy him as circulation demands.

borisbus.jpgBoris, Boris, Boris. You do have a silver lining.

All my pals who live in London (that's actual London, not these angry suburbs we hear about) are mentally packing their bags to come back to Scotland. I'm looking forward to seeing a bit more of them.

Londoners shouldn't worry, though.

I'm sure David Cameron's got a remote control device around some sensitive parts of Boris, and given him strict instructions to do nothing at all so as not to scare the rest of the country. It's the whole of England that needs to worry, I reckon.

But Salmond's offer to cooperate is a mistake, I think. It makes the Nats look like they're pleased to see the Tories come back down south (which of course they are), but it's such a cynical position. A simple private phone call would have been enough, advising Boris to keep out of Scotland if he knows what's good for him.

Oh, and we didn't pick up any more seats on the Assembly, despite being just 2.9% behind the Liberals. Bah. I can't even be pleased that their dire campaign, failing to make a recommendation on the final round, cost them two seats (although the three missing members are still listed on the London Assembly Liberal website), because one of those seats went to the BNP's homoerotic film director. Who will vote as a Tory, effectively, in a futile effort to neutralise his own hatefulness. London, London, I feel your pain.

paddick.jpgOthers have speculated that Paddick's policies, especially those on trashing the planet, aren't consistent with the rest of the Liberals' platform. However, he proved he's One Of Them on the PM programme today.

When asked how he voted with his second preference he refused, saying "It'd be ridiculous for me to have come down on one side or the other because I'd have lost half my votes". So no principled position on what's best for London, then..

Oh, and there's a rumour the Greens have beaten the Liberals on the GLA list, according to one of our candidates Aled Fisher. That would be magic.

Straw in the wind

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smith.jpgIn amongst all the other voting in London, there was a byelection in Highgate, and it's (I believe) the first indication of polling strength in the city. Result: a Green gain, and by some margin.

The next key thing is going to be those Assembly seats. I think our English colleagues will win one more, up to three, with just a squeaker of a chance of a fourth. Boris is, I fear, going to win pretty clearly, which will make Green scrutiny absolutely vital.
yalta.jpgJoe Stalin (pictured telling dirty jokes at Yalta) is rumoured to have said "it's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes", although it's unlikely to be true given his attitude to actual voting. Nowadays, of course, it's not people who count the votes, it's machines.

This is even harder to fix when it goes wrong, as Florida found out when it had trouble with hanging chads, and as we discovered when electronic counting went astray in May last. I'm sure you're all well up on the Diebold story too.

Could London be next? The Reg has evidence that it might be.
boris4.JPGBrian Paddick, who I used to have a lot of respect for until he came out as a Liberal Democrat, has blundered so hard. Today he's described Ken Livingstone as a "nasty little man", and Boris Johnson as "harmless".

Now Ken has said some deeply unpleasant things (the problems, the defence), and some of his friends are reactionary Muslims, but that's still way over the top given his positive contribution on so many issues. He has to be a solid second choice after Siân.

But Paddick is completely wrong about Boris. He is a bigot disguised as a muppet, and definitely not harmless. I give you one substantial Boris quote to illustrate.

"The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more... Consider Uganda, pearl of Africa, as an example of the British record. ... the British planted coffee and cotton and tobacco, and they were broadly right... If left to their own devices, the natives would rely on nothing but the instant carbohydrate gratification of the plantain. You never saw a place so abounding in bananas: great green barrel-sized bunches, off to be turned into matooke. Though this dish (basically fried banana) was greatly relished by Idi Amin, the colonists correctly saw that the export market was limited... The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the understanding that this time they will not be asked to feel guilty." (2002, Spectator, Wikiquote has many others)

What London Greens are up to

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Sweet broadcast, people. I'm not a great person to test these things on, but I reckon this will have a good chance of both keeping people's attention (thus avoiding too much of the dreaded PPB switch-off) and persuading a few more to vote Green.

Kez for the win

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berrybuses.jpgKez Dugdale, Scottish Labour's top blogger, has backed the Siân 1 Ken 2 option in London. It's the logical opposite to the BNP 1 Boris 2 campaign. Kez, I salute your vision, your common sense, and your tactical nous. I look forward to a similar move in 2011. Her blog's also got some great grabs from the English & Welsh Greens' forthcoming vote Siân broadcast.

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the London category.

Local government is the previous category.

Media is the next category.

May 2008: Monthly Archives