Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Poll’s Apart (2)

Yesterday a YouGov poll in the Evening Standard (highlighted again in today’s Guardian) placed London Mayor candidate Boris Johnson 12 points ahead of sitting incumbent Ken Livingstone. Brian Paddick trailed in third. Embroiled in scandal after scandal, Ken has obviously passed his sell buy date and looks set to be taken of the shelf.

Why, hundreds of miles away in South Tyneside, should we be concerned about what happens in the metropolis of London, clearly an area which has no concerns about what goes on in our own Town Hall? Two reasons. Firstly, London sets the trend. The first city to introduce congestion charges predominately as a money making exercise, other cities and Boroughs are queuing up to milk the cash cow and impose their own schemes. The second – the Olympic Games 2012. With an influx of 100,000 construction workers expected over the next 3 months, and with billions of pounds sloshing around the city in building costs, consultancy fees and advertising revenue, the potential for corruption, mis-spending and white elephant projects has hit 10 out of 10 on the “problem” scales. In six years we may be not just looking at one “Dome” situation in London, but several, and it won’t be just London who will be expected to pay the cost – we all will.

So who is the right mind man to lead the capital forward? Sadly, none of those standing have so far shown that they have the capabilities to meet these challenges.

However, at least when Boris slips up, he’ll do it with flourish and aplomb!

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