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Friday, 7 April, 2000, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Do London's candidates make the grade?
To date, the campaign has been dominated by Labour's internal row over its choice of candidate and, previous to that, the Conservative Party's own debacle following the resignation of its candidate Lord Archer.
But now all the candidates say that they will be able to concentrate on the politics and policy and give Londoners a chance to debate the issues.
What do you think? Are you impressed by the candidates who are standing to run the capital? Are they made of the right stuff needed to run a great city - or are they washed-up has-beens and over-ambitous egos?
Tell us your views. Do the candidates make the grade?
Colin Chambers, England
To view the contest as a 'normal' job application as Nick suggests is interesting. How many candidates in a job interview would the HR director take seriously if they spent the whole time insulting their opponents by repeating little soundbites. I'll be voting for Susan Kramer - she's the only candidate with a serious track record of fixing dilapidated tube systems.
I suggest that this media overkill ceases and spares the majority of the UK this constant navel gazing by London based organisations.
Steve, Brit in USA
It's interesting. These elections for a democratically elected mayor and assembly for Greater London have been described as being about democracy and political choice. However the media, and the BBC in particular, has used it's position again in a British election to marginalise the 'fringe' parties without giving them equal media coverage. The British National Party has again been the victim of political/electoral censorship. Where is the coverage for BNP mayoral candidate Michael Newland? Or the GLA election? It seems that policies are only granted publicity if they are acceptable to the 'politically correct' establishment.
If we get, Ken, London gets no money. Tony won't allow it. Let's face it, we're not going to get the Lib-Dem candidate. That leaves the colourful Norris, who can work with Blair, without being a labour party hack. I know which way I'm voting.
He's no longer Red Ken, he's Green Ken! - And he gets my vote. Public transport is the big issue for Londoners, and Ken and the Greens are the only people with any real policies. What's the alternative? Tory Norris - we saw what his party did for Londoners - less than nothing for nearly 18 years! And New Labour seem intent on following the same failed Tory policies. A Green London assembly with Ken Livingstone as mayor could really start to sort out the traffic problems & provide decent train and bus services.
As for Adrian's and Jack Davies racist homophobic criteria for selecting their candidate, what about London's significant gay and ethnic population? I guess its ok if the candidate supports privilege for the same old white middle class males as always but London's strength is its sheer diversity and multi-culturism. Livingstone is the candidate that best reflects this.
Neil Aquino, Texas, USA
I am traditionally a Labour voter. However, I feel let down by the main political parties and their offer of candidates. I recommend that people have a look at some of the other candidates, less publicised and visit their websites.
I support Ken in his bid to become Major of London. I am not happy with Labour's selection process, which ultimately results in a Tony Blair style "devolution", i.e. no devolution of power at all.
Daniel Owen, London, UK
It would be interesting to view the mayoral position as a normal job vacancy. Given freedom to apply do you think any 90's politician would win against any characteristic experienced market sector applicants? Independence and accountability HAVE to be incorporated to make the position a success.
I was going to vote for Ken, but I'm starting to remember what the GLC was like. The only candidate worth voting for is Norris.
After the rather farcical selection processes, the mind-bending voting system and the lack of clout the mayor will have, I think all non-Londoners can be rather pleased that they won't have a mayor.
Rich Dailey, England
I consider that the election for London mayor is going splendidly. The Conservative Party has the best candidate with which to boost their electoral chances at the next general election - Ken Livingstone. I support Ken all the way, along with newt keeping and resurrection of the GLC. Good luck Ken, you have my vote.
I think that the role of the mayor will grow in importance as he/she exercises their role. Londoners should be able to have faith in their mayor to do the best for London - that is why I'll be voting for Susan Kramer
Ken's financial disclosures show just how shallow a candidate he is. He seems to be more concerned about his own ego than what Londoner's really want, and his alliance with the hard left is particularly worrying. If he is to be voted in are we to expect fiddling of his budget and dubious links with terrorist organisations?
As a Londoner, I am interested in who should become Mayor. Originally, I was going to vote for Ken Livingstone because Tony Blair ordered the rigging of the Labour party ballot.
Now Ken is talking about legalising gay marriages and promising yet more money to help our growing 'ethnic' communities. So, come 4th May, I will be voting for Stephen Norris, more in protest than anything else.
The job appears to be that of figurehead, and rather a sinecure. That being so, it should go not to a Politician but to Prince Andrew.
To John from London: Just because the Tories do not have a black MP does not mean that the party is racist, and I will not vote for any politician who 'plays the race card' just to get votes off minorities!
I'm not impressed with any of the
candidates. Maybe now I can see
why Margaret Thatcher abolished the
GLC. Maybe she should run for
If Livingstone is
elected, we should all
see the message in
that. It will be that
the voters reject
the domination of the
Mayoral election by
They will be telling
us that devolving
the administration of
London, if it means
anything at all,
is a local and not
a national party
And if you listen
Wales and Northern
Ireland are saying
the same thing.
It's all just another example of the Americanisation of the English way of life. A presidential mayor has no place in the English parliamentary system. Leave it to the French and the Yanks: they've learnt to live with the resulting chaos.
The fact that Livingstone is the favourite shows what a farce he is. If Ken gets in, it will be "soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime"
If Ken or Frank become mayor the best thing Blair con do is ,to save tax payers money and wind the whole new GLC up!!
The mayor will be the focal point in the whole set up but has anyone looked really closely at some of the individuals putting themselves forward for the GLA? - that worries me more as they'll have a significant hand in the running of it all. Worrying indeed.
I'm pleased to see Liberal Democrat candidate Susan Kramer fighting such a strong campaign. She didn't have any selection wrangles or scandals to get her cheap publicity. The transport issue is vitally important and she's the one with the answers.
The only way to judge a candidate, is from the safety of hindsight.
Could Livingstone Use hindsight to his advantage from his GLC days? I hope so.
I only hope that the position of Mayor will noticeably change things in London, as I'm still waiting
to see any change from when Blair's Labour were elected.
Mike Fay, UK (not London)
I think the selection is a total farce. Here's my rundown of the main candidates:
How about an independent, business-friendly candidate who has practical, workable ideas and isn't into appeasing anarchists.
Vote for Nellie the Elephant!
Not only have the media made this election a world-wide laughing stock, they have excluded other candidates, such as the Green Party candidate Darren Johnson, from nearly all their articles.
How about some less biased reporting, showing all candidates in the same light?
More waste, more political lackies,
more expenses, the gravy train just
gained weight and for what? So Londoners
can have more of a say - rubbish - just
Labour divide and rule combined with
a pathetic and blind adherence to the pitiful
theory that more representation means better
representation. Most Londoners are busy earning
their salaries and enhancing their prosperity and that
of their country - these waffling politicians are only
the ones who feel the need to impede our progress and
enforce their own meaningless ideals and values upon us.
The liberal candidate can be discounted straight away. She may have overseas banking experience but this hardly qualifies her for Mayor.
The Conservative candidate is big on transport but little else. He is dogged by his party's image (hostility to removal of clause 28 and not a single black MP).
The Labour candidate was chosen by only a minority of party members but is content to bumble on.
This leaves Ken as the only credible Mayor. The number one priorities for Londoners are transport for whites and unemployment for blacks. Ken has the experience to tackle these and his policies on transport alone are designed to put more staff on the tubes and buses.
They're not up to much. But neither
is the job. I'm voting for Malcolm.
I'm glad my family moved away from London - given the choice available, I think I'd sooner vote for Dick Whittington's cat than any of those self-serving, two-faced individuals.
They are going to concentrate on the issues and policies?
That will be a first.
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