I just watched Part 1 of The Battle for London on ITV, and the 3 main candidates were all saying much the same thing about crime in London. Ken still appears to me as the most convincing, with Simon second and Norris a poor third.
I must say I can't see what all the fuss is about crime. I have never experienced it at first hand, although that may be because I'm 6'2 and 180lbs and there are easier targets. I think the perception is far worse than the reality. And I think the tube and the buses are fantastic. The moaners always seem to get all the publicity and the majority who live and work happily in the capital every day are rarely heard.
Part 2 is next thursday at 7:30 ITV, although the result is a foregone conclusion.
To quote wotsisname, "When you're tired of London, you're tired of life." Aint that the truth.
I think I would personally have been more fastidious in my choice of artwork, but it is a key issue in the credibility of Steve Norris.
All the commentators are saying that it is critical for the challenger to get second place early in the campaign, so I can understand why Hughes' campaign team are coming out fighting.
(Of course if the Hughes campaign was being truly canny, they might have only printed 1000 copies of the so-called "dirty tricks" leaflet and circulated them in press circles, knowing that the media would do all their negative campaigning for them...)
It's interesting that if Hughes had waited until this week he could have just put together a leaflet of knocking copy against Steve Norris based on stories that the Standard have published.
There's this latest one and a further two page spread in tonight's paper on Norris's other business interests which suggest serious conflicts of interest with the role of Mayor.
[Not wearing my 'editor of the London SE1 website' hat for a moment...]
Personally I'm rather disappointed that Simon Hughes is pushing this whole "a vote for Ken is a vote for Blair's war" thing.
I think it's rather beneath Simon - with his proven track record on London issues, whatever you think of him and the Lib Dems - to try to turn the mayoral election into a referendum on Iraq
And it doesn't really help to set the scene for a mature, sensible debate on the issues that the election should be concerned with.
As it is there is precious little interest in and engagement with London-specific politics and issues. The candidates should surely be encouraging a wider debate on these issues rather than carrying out this sort of disingenuous and negative campaigning.
James, I to was taken aback by Simon bringing the Iraq issue into the debate as a reason not to vote for Ken. That was a big mistake. After all Ken was against the war from the start.
As for you being more 'fastidious', this forum is fast but never 'idious.
There was an article on Page 4 of the Standard yesterday under the heading 'Controversy over £1,500 payment from rail chief'.
It seems Richard Bowker authorised paying Steven Norris £1,500 for a two-hour briefing on how to deal with a grilling by MP's on the public accounts committee. Nice money if you can get it.
'As it is there is precious little interest in and engagement with London-specific politics and issues. The candidates should surely be encouraging a wider debate on these issues rather than carrying out this sort of disingenuous and negative campaigning.'
So things like:
The real risk of the congestion charge:
1) becoming the first ever tax that loses money
2) a tax that pushes the West End into recession
The excessive expenditure by the Mayor of LondON (Livingstone) on advertising himself, rather than doing something more useful with our money. Watch how this expenditure has increased in the last few months with impending elections.
Waste of 100m of our money on opposing the proposal to invest billions in the tube system.
At least if Hughes is elected we can look forward to a new MP, so ther's something to cheer about. (I love the familiar way you all refer to him by his Christian name!)
Ken Livingstone won the election to mayor as an independant, but has now rejoined the Labour party and will be running as their candidate. So of course we are now entitled to look at the wider policies of the Labour party when we look at deciding whether to vote for Ken Livingstone again. After all he did not need to become a Labour Party member to run for Mayor again. If the Labour Party gain the Mayor of London then it will be portrayed as a vindication of their policies, which included invading and virtually destroying a defenceless country to remain friendly to the US
Ken as an independant is better for London than Ken as a Labour Party member. The same applies to the other candidates. They should all be forced to leave their parties for the duration of their office, then at least we could debate only on local issues