So, its Ken again…
London will face a 2012 election for Mayor between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, who overwhelmingly won the race for candidate against Oona King today.
I will go on record in saying that I don’t believe that this was the right choice, but, now its made, we have to work hard to get Ken elected, and for success in the GLA elections as well.
In my view, it wasn’t a case of differing so much on policy, more that by fielding Ken we would be presenting the same old face, when a newer accomplished candidate was on offer. there is also the suspicion that Ken will use his position to ride roughshod over differing views within the London Party.
Both candidates were strongly against the Coalition cutbacks, and we can only hope that they can work together to defend services in the Capital. Ken and Labour need to concentrate on outer rather than inner London, as the public perception us that we simply do not give a damn about anything past Zone 3. This is what hurt us last time, but these areas will also be hit by the cuts from this coalition. If we head into double-dip, then we are all in the same boat, unless your boat is moored in Barnes.
The media will as usual be ranged against us, but the Lib Dem Vote may be squeezed both ways – lets see.
What is clear is that simply relying on a little “Ken magic” will not work in 2012, and that we have to work very hard for every vote. This will not simply be an ersatz referendum on the coalition, it will be the decision of Londoners for Londoners as to how they want London run. Ken and the rest of us need to take notice of our failings in the past and work hard to correct them. We cannot rely on two factors that helped Ken to two victories – the unpopularity of the Tories and him not being Tony Blairs’ choice – both conditions were finite, and are now irrelevant. Unless we can show both a clean pair of hands and a willingness to serve, then we may very well be defeated once again – by the biggest political joke in recent times.
Anyway, thats by-the-by now, and I look forward to bashing Boris…