Something’s got to change! (In London)

Should have been out on the #labourdoorstep tonight with people, but had family things to do. So I watched last night’s London Mayor debate on bbc iplayer.

I can’t believe that Boris stated the Thatcher Government had to abolish the GLC and that Ken’s original Fares Fair was in some period of pre-history. If he want the pensioner vote he’d better get his London history right, but then he’s not a Londoner. The comment/fact that Boris isn’t a man for detail shone through on the transport/police debates. He hasn’t a clue. He’s increased fares and cut the police. He claims that the money isn’t there to meet Ken’s Fare deal; only TfL who work for him say this, every independent expert says that its do-able. I hope so, every time I pass an oyster card reader, I am reminded of what Johnson’s making me pay.

An Oyster Reader, Johnson's Tax Machine
Housing is a late to the table issue. Historically the Mayor’s powers are limited but the next Mayor will take ownership of London’s landbank. This is the opportunity to build more houses. In the canvassing I have done in Deptford, I have almost cried when meeting families trapped in in small council houses, their children sharing bedrooms because there is no family social housing, no affordable private sector rented accommodation. All the candidates said they’d build affordable, and sustainable (in Jenny Jones case), social housing; but until we stop foreign money using the London property market as a safe haven there will remain two pillars of unaffordable prices in both the rental and purchase markets, insufficient housing, and too much money driving up prices. They all need a demand management policy.

Air Quality wasn’t mentioned on the debate programme. If you want to see what’s happening, check out http://www.londonair.org.uk/LondonAir/; why’s it important, because the Mayor takes over responsibility for the fines negotiated by Westminster with the EU, people are dying and he can make a difference. The congestion zone, and public transport fares all make a difference. It’s a bit shit that it wasn’t mentioned on the programme.

Londoners have the second worst air quality in Europe, and the highest public transport fares in the world.

In the words of the song, “Something’s got to change!”

You get three ballot papers, vote Ken for Mayor, vote Labour for your local GLA Councillor, and vote Labour for London.


You know Brian Paddick is quite interesting, some good policies, he obviously knows his stuff on Police and Housing, but at the end of the day he’s a Liberal. Won’t take sides in the real debate between Labour and Tory in London, so just irrelevant!

Jenny Jones, the Green candidate wasn’t given a fair chance on the programme. Some of my Labour party comrades’ll be suspicious that http://www.votematch.org.uk/recommends I vote for her, but that’s what’s marvellous about democracy, I get to choose. (I was curious as to why they said I should, and it came down to their weighting, or my weighting of what I consider to be peripheral issues, but the site is a great toy and helps focus the mind on policy.)

No-one mentioned Johnson’s Council Tax saving over the last four years, just to remind you, here’s Boris Johns-hen.

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