Friday, 25 June 2010

Wash me; or, London's mayoral race

"Let me take you by the hand,
And lead you through the streets of London."
-- Ralph McTell
God, I hated and still pretty much do hate that song! It was popular when I was a kid, and as a kid I detested mournful songs.

Still, what about those streets of London? They're filthy, aren't they? I've decided to give my vote in London's mayoral election to whichever candidate will promise to give London's pavements one thorough scrub during their term of office.

Yes, I know such a policy pledge could be seen as a candidate attempting to "bribe us with our own money", but I would interpret it more as someone showing some vision.

On the subject of the London mayoral race, with all the fuss around who Labour's candidate will be (I'm not remotely inspired by any of the likely candidates, btw), I got confused about how long it is till the actual election takes place, so I looked it up: you know, it's not until 2012! So why are we getting excited about it now?

Political scientists and commentators discuss whether UK politics is becoming more "presidential". Like the US president, who spends the second half of his four-year term electioneering, the London mayor seem to be less and less about getting things done and more and more about just getting elected. Or, if you're a Labour hopeful, simply getting on the ballot paper.

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