Boris Johnson is the new Mayor for London. Are you kidding me Londoners, you really voted for this guy to be Mayor of one of the best cities in the World. Forgive me American cousins, I don’t mean to pry into your business, but I feel like us Londoners have done this week what you guys did when you voted for George Bush to be prez.
Say what you want about Ken Livingston, but he has pedigree when it comes to doing things for London and Londoners. Boris doesn’t. I believe he’s just been handed one of the most important jobs in the country, and my impression of him is that he only does stuff to help himself.
I voted for Ken in this election, even though I think he needed to step down. For me the alternatives didn’t stack up. The Liberal democrat candidate doesn’t in my opinion have enough experience to run this city, and neither does Boris. Ken was in charge back in the good old GLC days.
When the GLC was crushed by Margaret Thatcher back in the 80’s, Ken was given a hard time, but grass roots Londoners loved him and what he did, because the GLC made available funds and services that we needed. In the past few years, I have felt that Ken and his team have to a degree waged war on drivers by increasing the congestion charge, extending the zone and creating difficulty conditions whereby you’ve had a hard time if you want to drive your car into the center. However on the flip side, he has increased the number of buses on the road and it is actually easier to get into central London using public transport.
My problem is that after eight years in office, anyone can become susceptible to the corrupting power that the position holds. I am not saying the Ken has become corrupt, but we see time and time again, that holding office for long periods of time, our leaders become out of touch with what is happening on the ground. The current Labour government is feeling the repercussions of that now, the previous Tory government got a bitch slap in 1997 after 18 years in power when they were tossed out by the people in an election that handed a momentous landslide victory for the opposition.
It was time for a change Ken. It’s a pity that you couldn’t have found a replacement that held similar conviction and love for London and Londoners as you did. Perhaps if you did, we’d be looking forward to having a Mayor that was going to carry on the good work that you have done.
I hope I am wrong and Boris Johnson turns out to be a good Mayor for London. I won’t be holding my breath, but I will be relieved if this turns out to be so.