Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘London Mayor’

Launching Brian Paddick

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 5th September, 2011

Brian Paddick’s campaign as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London had its press launch at the Party’s new national HQ in Westminster this morning, with most of the GLA List candidates — headed by Caroline Pidgeon — also present. Media included the BBC, ITN and the Press Association, as well as Spectrum Radio. Simon Hughes MP, deputy leader of the LibDems, introduced Brian, making the point that recent events in London have underlined why having a candidate with hands-on experience of policing is singularly relevant. The current Mayor, Boris Johnson, has proved his inability to oversee London’s policing personally, whereas Brian would relish the task. Inevitably, law and order figured prominently in the Q&A at the launch, but Brian was keen to emphasize the fact that he is not a one-trick pony. He has the expertise of the current GLA members — Dee Doocey, Caroline Pidgeon and Mike Tuffrey — to draw on, and he will now embark on a listening exercise during which he will go round every borough in the city, finding out what is on people’s minds so the public can have an input into the final London LibDem manifesto that will be unveiled in the New Year.

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Boris Just Doesn’t Get Buses

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 29th December, 2009

London Mayor Boris Johnson has blown a giant raspberry at the campaign for one-hour bus tickets, spearheaded by the LibDem GLA transport chair, Caroline Pidgeon — which only goes to show how far out of touch he is with the lives of ordinary Londoners, including those based in the suburbs. Under the scheme, bus passengers would have ben able to change buses within a one hour period without having to buy another ticket. It’s a system that works brilliantly in a number of continental cities and it makes a lot of sense, particularly for young mums with kids or shopping who do not have a single direct bus route to where they need to be. Caroline Pidgeon’s campaign — which I was happy to support publicly when it was launched a few months ago — won the backing of members of all the main political groups within the Greater London Asembly. But the Mayor has still dismised it out of hand. The problem is that the Mayor seems to think — rather like Mrs Thatcher — that anyone who needs to take public transport is somehow one of life’s failures. The reality is that most Londoners do rely on public transport and Boris should be encouraging more people to use it with incentive schemes such as the one hoour bus ticket, rather than perpetuating a system whereby it is sometimes cheaper to take the car (for those who have one).

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Pidgeon Takes Pot-Shots at Boris

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 22nd June, 2009

Caroline Pidgeon 2Holding the Mayor to account is about all that members of the Great London Assembly (GLA) can do, but that role is itself essential in a system in which the anointed one (Boris Johnson for the moment) has a great deal of power and an ability to accrue even more. Assiduous Assembly members can indeed take the Mayor to task if they work at it. And just as Lynne Featherstone (now LibDem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green) got her teeth into Ken Livingstone on transport issues when she was on the GLA, so now Caroline Pidgeon, holding the same brief for the party, is scoring hit after hit on BoJo. In a speech to the lively Lewisham LibDem supper club at a Turkish restaurant in Lewisham Way this evening, Caroline highlighted how the Mayor has been slashing transport infrastructure projects across the capital — such as the cross-river tram and the further extension of the DLR — while demanding that local councils in boroughs badly affected by these cuts still meet targets for affordable house-builds. Presumably he expects the prospective inhabitants to cycle everywhere. Meanwhile he has trumpeted his desire to dispose of bendy buses (at vast cost), even though that will be contractually impossible in the short-term and they are the most practical form of public transport on long, straight routes. Cuts will be the leitmotif of Boris’s second year in office, Caroline warned — maybe a taste of what is to come if people are foolish enough to vote a Conservative government into power with an outright majority at the general election.

Links: www.carolinepidgeon.org and www.lewishamlibdems.org.uk

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Crikey, It’s Boris

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 2nd May, 2008

So the bookies were right: Boris Johnson is London’s new mayor, having beaten Ken Livingstone (after redistribution of second preferences) 1,168,738 to 1,028,966. God helps us! Brian Paddick deserved to do much better than he did, but it was a classic squeeze situation, in a contest promoted by the media as a two-horse race.

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