Ken vs Boris? What a letdown for London

When even a mayoral contest in a city as great as this lacks zeal and ideas, you know traditional politics is in a bad way.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Politics

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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Topics Politics


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