Is Boris actually serious about winning the London election?


8:45 am - February 17th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Once Boris started campaigning I thought he’d come out with something eye-catching that would set alight the London Mayor contest. It turns out that the Conservative Mayor has nothing to offer – other than his fantasy Boris Island (which the Tory party aren’t taking seriously).

A few weeks ago he launched his first onslaught. It was a pledge to save Londoners about £3 a year through slightly lower Council tax. No, really.

Yesterday the Evening Standard once again splashed with his daring new proposal.

It was a pledge to cut council tax every year – stretching it to a saving of around £7 in a few years time.

His deputy also said they were looking to cut £150 million in costs, though admitted “some of that money could be spent elsewhere”. Perhaps his failed pet projects?

Oddly, the Evening Standard didn’t point out in the same article that Boris has doubled the number of City Hall officials earning more than £100,000 a year to 28 while raising transport fares.

Boris also pays himself more than Cameron (£143,911 a year vs £142,500 a year) for running a City, in addition to his £250,000 a year for writing a Telegraph column.

All this opens up an opportunity for Ken Livingstone. Boris’ policies don’t generate any enthusiasm with Londoners.

The only area where Ken loses badly is on ‘charisma’. With Boris floundering all over the place, Ken should press his advantages with big ideas for the future. He’s doing a lot to lay the ground-work but needs to find ways (short of slagging other people off) – to generate headlines and grab positive attention.

Boris isn’t serious about London and is out of touch with people’s concerns. Ken has an opportunity to press home that point.

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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 ,London Mayor

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Reader comments


Except for the fact that no-ne really trusts Ken any more, after the repeated porkies he’s told over the years. Fares increased just as much under Ken as they have under Boris, and Ken increased his share of coucil taxes dramatically as well.

Given Ken’s main vote-winner is a pledge to rduce fares is rapidly unravelling, given it relies on money already pledged for infrastructure work, and his past track record, what is his big selling point?

“Except for the fact that no-ne really trusts Ken any more, after the repeated porkies he’s told over the years”

YouGov asked about this, and found that more people trust Ken to fulfil his campaign pledges than trust Boris.

2 good point, but it’s not whether Boris will fulfill his pledges, it’s the lies Livingsotne Has come out with in the past.

Possibly not.
Fortunately Ken seems more serious about losing it.

The bookies’ odds have been stuck at Boris 1.5 (i.e. 66%) Ken 2.5 (40%) for ages.

Its not an election which can be won, just an election which can be lost. The trick is to keep your mouth shut and wait for the opposition to make a dick out of himself.

Ken’s supporters overestimate Londoners’ sense of nostalgia fot the ’80s. He’s the represents people who still think Ben Elton represents the cutting edge of comedy.

Boris’ support is based on the George W Bush principle that it is better to be lead by someone too stupid to get away with something really sneaky.

I suspect Boris couldn’t give a damn. A win means more time with his chums in the City while attempting to impregnate every female in London, a loss means a safe seat in the Commons and the early removal of Cameron.

I have never voted Conservative in my life, but I just can’t stand Ken Livingstone (http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/ken-livingstone-hitler/). Wrong choice on behalf of the Labour Party.


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