Lib Dem Self-delusion
As many of you will know, I'm a member of the Liberal Democratic party. That means that I get occasional emails from them. Today's says:
" With your help we can still ensure that Brian Paddick is the next Mayor of London... More people are coming to the same conclusion that we have: Brian Paddick is the only serious candidate for London Mayor and the only candidate deserving of a first preference vote.
" This race is far from over and we can win it with your help. "
Yeah right. Not only does he have no chance of winning, even if he did have a chance I'd not vote for him. Whoever wrote that really is sadly deluded.
Why? Because the only real power the mayor has is over transport. Ken Livingstone has an excellent record in this area, whereas Paddick has spouted a load of rubbish. He has said in the past that he wants women-only carriages on tube trains; that he would fund free wi-fi across London by slashing London Transport's communications budget (you know, the one that they use for informing people about things like tube lines being closed for maintenance, and about bus diversions; and the wi-fi would only be for the inner boroughs but you can bet that people like me in the outer boroughs wouldn't get a discount on our taxes); he has horribly illiberal ideas about increasing use of ANPR (although he rather stupidly wants to link it to "GPS technology" to identify cars entering London); he has delusions of grandeur and thinks that the mayor will have even a tiny bit of influence over building a new rail link to, errm, Scotland.
But worse than all that - he's ex-filth. He spent thirty years in the Metropolitan Police "Service". An organisation that he had to know was riddled with corruption and still is. I don't recall ever reading a single press article about him arresting officers for corruption and for wasting police time. That means that he tacitly approved.
Now, it's true, if you read his manifesto, there's a lot of good stuff in there. But read it sceptically. Make sure you ignore any part of it that promises things that have already been put underway by Mr. Livingstone, and any part of it that's not within the mayor's power. What you'll be left with is a lot of silliness, lots of very vague promises, and maybe just one or two good ideas. Sorry, but one or two good ideas ain't enough to defeat someone with a proven track record.
So, I'm going to vote for Livingstone. Johnson will be my second choice. My votes for the ineffectual members of the ineffectual London Assembly will be for Lib Dem candidates. Voting Lib Dem there can't do any harm. Won't do any good either, of course, apart from to piss the Supreme Leader off.
update: predictably, Paddick came a very distant third