Tim Black is unimpressed by the blubbing challenger to Boris, but finds Doug Stanhope’s abrasive free spirit refreshing.
Unlike the Enlightenment warriors for equality, today’s campaigners simply dislike both the super-rich and ‘trailer trash’.
Anyone who doubts that there has been an historic homogenisation of politics in recent years, a stripping-out of difference and debate from the political realm, should take a long look at the London mayoral election. Here is a contest which really ought to be exciting, or at least interesting. It is, after all, a battle to run one of the most dynamic cities in the world. And the two main contenders – floppy-haired Boris Johnson and stiff Ken Livingstone – have a certain amount of charisma and cojones in comparison with your average cardboard cutout of a politician.
And yet despite all that, despite the spectacular stage and the promising participants, the mayoral contest is utterly bereft of thrills. It is a clash-free, ideas-lacking, principle-lite political void, the sort of electoral contest you would normally expect to see in a small provincial town rather than London. What’s going on?
Welcome to the April issue of spiked plus, a must-have monthly add-on to spiked. Every month, regular donors will receive this magazine within a magazine, featuring essays, columns, readers' interviews with spiked writers and more. It’s our monthly thank-you to those who contribute to spiked's fund drive, a way of bringing closer together the producers and supporters of spiked. If you'd like to read spiked plus, you can start donating regularly here.
Welcome to the April 2012 edition of spiked plus, an exclusive package of content produced especially for regular donors to spiked. If you'd like to read spiked plus, and don't already support spiked, donate at least £5 per month or £50 per year here. We'll then send you a link to create your own password (this may take up to 24 hours).