Sunday, May 6, 2012

Boris Wins London Mayor (Just) but what next for national elected Mayors and our democracy in general?

So all the Boris press had him down as going to grind Ken Livingstone's nose into the dirt as Boris strode off into the ever after? Well despite the Boris apparatchiks at the Evening Standard turning the free paper into some kind of daily vote "Boriski" tome to be shoved down as many throats as is possible and the rest of the Tory supporting press hailing him as if he was some kind of Messiah, that did not happen. Boris Johnson isn't the "Messiah" he is a grubby lying Tory politician who is good at telling jokes and making people laugh, whether the people (especially the Labour supporters) who helped him to this victory of sorts will be laughing in a few months time remains very much to be seen.

One parallel with Cameron stands out though, when the Tories were in opposition they had virtually the entire British press personally attacking his rival, spreading innuendo and blatant untrue absurdities about Gordon Brown and Labour and this went on for approximately  from the time of the election that never was right up until polling day, they had a global recession which bizarrely they managed to blame Gordon Brown for, in a nutshell they had everything going for them and still they did not win the election.

Boris Johnson's campaign fought in much the same way, except to win, Johnson had to pretend he wasn't a Tory and he had to disassociate himself from David Cameron. he had to pretend he was more "left" than Ken Livingstone!  Ken became evil incarnate in the press and he was done over on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day in online reports from the national press. Although it has to be said he did not exactly help himself on occasions!
The final outcome was that despite the terrible personal attacks and daily press drubbings inflicted upon Ken and Boris Johnson's foul mouthed rants and threats of physical aggression towards Ken Livingstone,  Boris Johnson could only just manage to squeak home, the smirk gradually being wiped from his face during the day when even technology tried to conspire against Johnson being named Mayor of London. Rather like what happened in the 2010 general election, when despite having everything going for him, Cameron could still not lead his party to outright victory and the Conservative party having not won an election for over 20 years needed the help of the Liberal Democrats to get into Downing Street and when it came down to it, Boris Johnson got back into power needing the help of Labour supporters votes. Indeed he made the quip that he got there despite the rain and despite David Cameron. Johnson had to denounce the Tories and Cameron in order to get elected, quite how Cameron can leach onto Johnson in the hope that some of Johnson's tarnished glory rubs off on him is totally pathetic.

To see Cameron and Johnson chalking this up as a victory for democracy and telling people the voters have given the Tories and Johnson a mandate is patently absurd, and blatantly hypocritical too! Both men have attacked the unions insisting the rules should be changed in favour of a response of over 50% union membership must respond before a strike can be called, yet Cameron and Johnson are proclaiming a mandate on what turns out in the end to be just 19% of the vote.

During the mayoral contest Ken and his campaign team wanted to talk and debate the issues concerning Londoners, fares, housing, social cleansing, the victimisation of disabled people, transport, policing etc, Boris Johnson wanted to talk about anything but the issues concerning Londoners. Boris Johnson in his first term was able to secure extra funding from Osborne for London, this funding will not be so readily available in his second term, Osborne now sees Johnson as a threat to his very own desires to oust Cameron and become Tory leader, so Johnson will be very much on his own over the next four years and I estimate both Johnson and his mayoralty will crumble into dust before peoples very eyes.

The truth about this whole mayoral contest was the Tory leaning press turned it into a personality contest and Johnson was happy to comply, in fact when he was asked about specific issues, the mayor became nasty and aggressive using foul language. despite Johnson's ability to tell jokes and make people laugh, Johnson has really has precious little to show for his 4 years as mayor.

We have the London Olympics coming up and as a direct result of Tory cuts, our borders are a joke and now people with drugs and guns are able to slip into the country undetected, God alone knows who has managed to get in here as a result of heinously overstretched border control staff. At the moment there are queues of up to 3 hours to enter this country, that means that disabled people, families with small children, genuine tourists and visitors to this country are waiting in queues of 3 hours and this is about to get a whole lot worse as the numbers increase over the summer and in the run up to the Olympic games. Johnson and the government are aware of this but have done nothing, the time for action is now, but zero has been decided. the only thing that seems to have happened is that one person has lost his tenancy because he complained that soldiers with surface to air missiles will be camped out on his rooftop during the games - just farcical.

With this spectacle going on in London over the past few months is it any wonder that most other cities who were asked if they wanted an elected mayor decided they didn't? Is it any wonder along with Cameron's lies and deliberate misleading that people have decided that one elected mayor/person will wield far too much power, to say nothing of the cost to individual Cities?

Take the example of he Liberal Democrats who actually lost seats in the 2010 election who are now lording it over the majority of voters, ignoring their concerns from tuition fees to the NHS and the damage being done to politics in general in this country as a result of this Tory led coalition government is enormous. The Liberal Democrats knew perfectly well that the overwhelming majority of the British people did not want them to back the Tories Health and Social Care Reforms Bill, but they flagrantly and totally disregarded what we wanted and went ahead and helped the Tories pass the bill that will in the end destroy the NHS, resulting in its full scale privatisation. The only people to benefit from this will be friends of the Tory party aka private health companies, private health insurance providers who donate millions to Conservative party coffers and will benefit from taking millions of pounds of taxpayers funding OUT of the NHS for profits for their own shareholders. This is so damaging to our democracy and political system, yet it is being completely played down by Tory and Lib Dem politicians, they are not listening to us and the message that was sent to them last Thursday, they have totally and utterly ignored and discounted as doing "tough things in tough times" and "mid term blues"! It is this kind of taking the electorate for granted that alienates people from politics, they think why should we vote when politicians totally ignore what we want and the messages we are sending to them via the ballot box?

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has been shown to be an habitual liar, he has reneged on virtually every single promise he made the electorate before he assumed power. What damage has Cameron done to our political system when he stood before NHS workers and promised them and the country that there would be "no more top down reorganisation of the NHS", and while he stood there pledging his word to the people he actually knew he and his party were going to inflict the biggest top-down reorganisation of the NHS in its entire history. Once again the lies of politicians like cameron are harming our democracy and our political system at a time when the electorate still haven't forgotten about MPs expenses. Not mentioning Cameron's recent scandals of  "£250,000 cash for access and cash for policy", his now political interference in the Leveson Inquiry and his close involvement with Rebekah Wade/Brooks, Andy Coulson and Rupert and James Murdoch and the corrupt political workings of the Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt over the Murdoch's BSkyB bid. The Tory corrupt bandwagon just rolls on and on and it is damaging politics and damaging democracy in this country.

If the Labour opposition want to consolidate their lead, they do not only need decent policies but they must carry on listening to the people and what we are trying to say. They need to ram home that there was and still is an alternative to the Cameron, Osborne and Clegg brand of austerity that is so harming this country and our people, destroying their health, welfare, peace of minds, jobs, businesses, homes, education etc. The must tell the people that Ed Balls has been proven right on the economy and George Osborne drastically wrong.
Labour must find a way of exposing Cameron, Osborne and Clegg and their Tory ideologies and their bonkers claim that small government works by giving tax breaks for mega rich people while forcing pensioners to pay for those tax breaks  and while forcing the poor, the ordinary, the disabled, the unemployed and vulnerable to pay for the sins of the Tory bankers, Tory hedge funders, Tory venture capitalists etc, (many of these companies and individuals donate millions of pounds to the Tory party). We do not want a privatised NHS, privatised education, a politicised police force and a very small welfare state and zero social housing, but Tory ideology is forcing this upon us, labour must expose this and show the people that labour is on their side and will speak up for them, when no one else seems to be doing so.

Remember too a small welfare state is OK until it is you or your family and friends that needs it's protection, too late then to discover how this Tory led government have ruined it. many people who fell for the Cameron divide and rule tactics are now discovering that he meant them too and that his bonkers policies would harm their families too, that when he spoke of cutting benefits, he meant he was going to cut their working families tax credits, docking them money at a time when they desperately needed it to survive and care for their families. it is this that has started to play and be seen in the recent local elections and this is going to get worse as 80% of the cuts to ordinary people have not even started to bite yet. Labour must stand up for the ordinary person e being so badly affected by Tory dogma and ideology!

My guess is the way that the panicking Cameron will deal with recent events will be a sudden lurch to the right, so expect things to get a whole lot worse as he panders to right wing Tories who vent on the poor and vulnerable like some kind of newly invented "blood sport"!

The big question is will the Liberal Democrats go on offering their services as human shields, or will the grow a pair and walk away from this hideous confused, feckless, incompetent Tory government (which they helped create), thus signalling the end of this profoundly undemocratic government?

I say this, even in the unlikely event of the Liberal Democrats walking away from this government, outside events may take over and this government may yet be forced to call a general election. There is total warfare within the Tory party with right wingers now bearing down heavily on Cameron, there is war between the Lib Dems and the Tories, there are so many splits it is now impossible to see how they can limp on to 2015. If the Tories get rid of Cameron they will be forced to call a general election, especially as they accused Gordon brown of being an unelected PM.

If the Tories decide to ignore what is happening within the country and this obvious show of no confidence in our government, our democracy and our political system and rough it out until 2015 even with a new leader, it may not only be the Liberal Democrats who will be wiped out in 2015!

1 comment:

Nicky said...

Well said.