Ken vs Boris, inequality, internet freedom 


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Hero and Zero

Tim Black is unimpressed by the blubbing challenger to Boris, but finds Doug Stanhope’s abrasive free spirit refreshing.

Essay preview

Unlike the Enlightenment warriors for equality, today’s campaigners simply dislike both the super-rich and ‘trailer trash’.



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Ken vs Boris? What a letdown for London

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?

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