The Edmondson Blog

Boris or Ken

I've been thinking about who I would vote for in the London elections, if I could (I'm registered to vote in Knockholt, outside Greater London). I'm an admirer of Boris Johnson, though I'm not convinced, yet, he is the right man to understand and tackle London's challenges. Also, you can't doubt the success Ken has had over the last 8 years.

Having worked at TfL, I know first hand how Ken has championed transport in London, always previously the forgotten child. Love him or loathe him, he has made a difference: The central congestion charge zone, his hand in the Olympics, pushing forward CrossRail, the various cultural initiatives and regeneration, including the Thames Gateway. His unique brand of maverick politics has enabled him to cut through the bullshit and get things done.

My problem is there's a stench of corruption around him and I'm unimpressed, now he's being held to account, that he's rolling out some pretty dubious defence. I despise his immediate grab for the race card over Lee Jasper, riding roughshod over public opinion in extending the Congestion Charge, his dismissal of the London Assembly when they try to hold him to account (calling them "sanctimonious hypocrites"), and his courting of some unsavoury characters. This is not the sort of man who should be running one of the greatest cities in the world.

I think the election will come down to those who recognise what has been delivered over Ken's last two terms, against those who now believe more strongly, like I do, that the office of Mayor of London has become stained. The only person who can unseat Ken is Boris. I would vote for Boris, more for the change rather than for the man himself. I urge you to do the same.

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