Well, the londonelects.org.uk booklet arrived in the post today, and I must say it’s a ripping good read.
From knowing nothing about her, I actually find that Siobhan Benita’s wish-list (or ‘manifesto’, as they like to call it) is surprisingly robust. And I think Brian Paddick’s double-page spread has hands-down the best layout and typography, plus the nattiest soundbite – ‘You break it. You fix it’ – just a shame they’ve done him up like a banker in a Specsavers advert.
Very little about the Johnson offering is tempting and some of it is unforgivably vague; what on earth is the point of saying that £221 million will be invested in high streets and supporting small business? I hate to say it, Boris, but I think you would have been well advised to try and write some ‘SMART’ objectives – you know, SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE. You wouldn’t want anyone to think you’re avoiding being held to account, would you?
The most exciting pledge is Livingstone’s promise to resign if he doesn’t cut fares by 7% (and bus fares by 11%) on or by 7 October. Column inches are guaranteed. Coup de theatre?
Anyway, the remarkable thing was that I could select something from every manifesto, including the BNP’s, and genuinely say ‘That is something I could support’. So, for the edification of the masses, here is my fantasy mayoral manifesto drawn from the seven on offer:
- Build a better NHS
- Award a Fair Pay Mark to companies who reduce pay inequality among their employees
- Introduce a one-hour bus ticket
- Introduce discounts for ‘early-bird’ travellers
- Generate clean energy from food waste
- Restore 300 acres of green space and plant 20,000 street trees
- Give local people a say over what work criminals should be doing in their communities
- Appoint a Young Mayor for London and create a new youth assembly
- Introduce a London EMA to help young people stay in education
- Offer space in underused public buildings to charities and other organisations
- Stop spending public money on public sculpture
Roll on the 3rd May, eh?