Jonathan Fryer

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. 

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4 Responses to “Why I’ve Voted for Ken”

  1. RobC said

    Yes I have to agree with that. Often Lib Dems are accused of favouring Labour over the Tories but for me Boris’s display on QT last night was woeful. Waffly, vague and as an audience member said amateurish. The only time I liked the man was on the rare occasions he allowed his wit to flourish but then it’s a mayor we’re voting for, not a comedian. I could see myself voting for certain Tories as a second preference ahead of Ken but Boris ain’t one of them.

  2. Wilfried said

    Being able to compare London and its development over the past 20 years regularly with other European cities, I have to give my first vote to Ken and my second to the less experienced Brian Paddick. I agree with most what you are saying, but I think overall, and in the context of the given constraint of the largest European Metropolis, Ken established a good balance between the local, European, and global needs of probably one of the most diverse, high-cultured urban spaces on this globe.

  3. Caroline said

    Good choice. Speaking as a Lib Dem supporter, the idea of Boris Johnson as London’s Mayor is too much to bear. For good or for evil – and assuming Brian doesn’t win – it’s got to be Ken.

  4. [...] 7. Finally, Jonathan Fryer changed the subject completely with Why I’ve voted for Ken [...]

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