Ken’s ad should have looked like this

6:02 am - April 17th 2008

by Sunny Hundal    

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Who said the London Mayor election was boring? I’ve seen more material YouTube material than I can post every day. Anyway. Some Ken supporter has made this video, which I think is actually quite good, even if Ken wouldn’t run it himself.

Hopi Sen, who it was sent to, says:

It’s excellent, though as I’ve said to him, I have one caveat, I think that directly contrasting Ken’s undoubted leadership during the London bombings with Boris Johnsons flummery and jokery is something that a political campaign shouldn’t do because it seems to be “using” the bombs to attack Boris Johnson.

But I agree with Tory Troll when he says:

The video may be a bit mawkish for my taste but it tells a story that needs to be told.

Because sometimes there are things that need to be said. And for whatever reason, there are times when politicians themselves cannot say them. And with only two weeks left before the election, I think that this is definitely one of those times.

via Stop Boris

What do you think?


Also, Boris Johnson was rumbled on BBC London on Tuesday. Here’s the transcript.

Riz Lateef
Tim Donovan
Boris Johnson
Andrew Neil

RL: Boris Johnson’s bus plans have been a sticking point throughout his mayoral campaign. He promised to replace bendy busses with a new fleet of Routemasters, but for weeks he has failed to put an exact price on it. Now the Conservative candidate has revealed more details of the possible costs but not in the way he intended. Caught on the hop while campaigning, he put the figure at £100 million. But in a BBC debate to be shown tonight, he failed to give this new figure. Our political editor Tim Donovan reports.

TD: His campaign bus is an old Routemaster, and he’s promised to bring it back in a new form. But the pledge looks in danger of reversing over him. Campaigning in Edgware, he was filmed on a mobile phone being asked by a Labour supporter how much his fleet of new busses would cost.

BJ: Well [inaudible] 500 new Routemasters would cost about £100 million.

TD: Moments later anxious aides were asking him what he’d just said to the woman.

BJ: What I said, I was asked, they said what are the costs of the new busses, and I said it would be about £100 million which is about, you know is 500 times 25. But I’ve already said…they will now go away and say the cost of the, that I’m going to spend £100 million on new busses.

TD: It is the first time he’s used the £100 million figure. It shows he thinks 500 new Routemasters will be needed to replace the current 330 bendy busses. That he knows would mean extra conductors and extra drivers, costing much more than the £8 million figure he’s given so far. At a BBC London debate to be screened tonight, he was asked about that figure.

BJ: No I… I stick by our figure of £8 million

[Audience laughs]

BJ: …as the cost of…

AN: You stick by £8 million?

BJ: …as the cost of conductors on 350, roughly 350…

AN: But there are three shifts for each Routemaster?

BJ: Would you let me finish? As the cost of conductors on roughly 350 new generation Routemasters. It is true that if you have three conductors and you have three shifts then it goes up.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Debates ,Mayor election ,Westminster

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Reader comments

I think it’s depressingly FPTP two-horse-race obsessive, again.

I also detest negative campaigning. They could have done the “Ken is great” stuff without the attack on Boris, which completely undermines the whole “we stand together” message.

Surely that’s mostly because Brian has failed to make much of an impact with voters…?

Does any really think Brian had much of a chance though? I mean the guy is trying real hard to make headlines and headway but the only show in town is Bojo vs The Newt King…

Thing is this could have been even more powerful if it had shown Boris in action as a “politician” fluffing his already ridiculous lines, interrupting and throwing toys. Or as Lib Dem Jennie said just doing Ken and asking the same questions.

Depressing to see Andy Mayer on LDV debating the second choice dilemma for Bry’s supporters. Making a case for Johnson creating turmoil and making it easier for Lib Dems to win other seats.

So more pollution, more road deaths, less greening, very likely more crime, all on the basis of some gamble on which mayor would be best for the Lib Dems rather than for the people of London. Pathetic.

I hope Lib Dem supporters roll their sleeves up and forget Bry and just vote Ken as first preference. If they become complicit in a Johnson victory this will acrtually be good for Labour in the North. But I’m prepared to let that pass for London’s sake.

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