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.
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? …
This is a preview of the April edition of spiked plus, our exclusive ‘magazine within a magazine’ for readers who make invaluable contributions to spiked‘s fundraising drive. To read the rest of the article, sign in, or sign up, to spiked plus here.
To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.