Why I’ve Voted for Ken
Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 25th April, 2008
For several years now, I’ve had a permanent postal vote, as that enables me to spend election day more usefully rather than traipsing to my local polling station. So I have already voted in the London Mayoral and GLA elections. In the former, an odd system is used, where voters get first and second preferences (why not go the whole hog and introduce STV?). My first preference went to Brian Paddick, of course, and after much agonising, I decided my second preference had to go to Ken Livingstone.
I scoured the list of the ten other candidates to see if there was anyone I could feel enthusiastic about, but there wasn’t. Sian Berry of the Greens ruled herself out by calling for the closure of City Airport (which has helped regeneration in East London where I live, and taken some of the pressure off Heathrow). Several of the others have unspeakable political views. So it was a straight choice between Ken and Boris Johnson. I understand why some people are so browned off by the current Mayor that they argue ‘anyone but Ken!’. And I think it is bad that he (or any other incumbent) was not limited to two terms. But the thought of Boris in charge at City Hall makes me choke. Ken has done some stupid things and there are sides to his character which I find off-putting. But he has also done some good things for London. Would Boris? I remain to be convinced. Anyway, Boris got ‘nul points’ from me.