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London's Mayor

(14/5/1999)

I don't live in London these days, but if I did, I would vote for Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London. Is he the best person for the job?... I don't know. Then why Ken? Because it would irritate Margaret Thatcher.

In case you don't know the background, Margaret Thatcher, as Prime Minister, dismantled (1985?) the democratically elected Greater London Council because she didn't like the fact that it was dominated by left-wing politicians - she (and her right-wing government) especially disliked the leader of the GLC, Ken Livingstone. Since then, London (Britain's capital city - world financial centre - historic, artistic centre - population approximately 9 million - you may have heard of the place...) has not had a governing body! The dissolution of the GLC for party political reasons was one of the most shameful acts of the Conservative regime because it was anti-democratic. It was an attack on the political will of Londoners. We can't go back and re-form the GLC, but if Londoners elected Ken Livingstone as Mayor, it would be powerfully symbolic - a belated act of defiance. London is a great city, and great cities need to have some pride.

I must also say that I like Ken Livingstone. He appears to say what he thinks - which is unusual for a politician. I think he would make a good mayor.



Copyright 1999 Paul Mackilligin