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Malcolm McLaren
"There needs to be a genuine candidate"
 real 28k

Thursday, 16 December, 1999, 09:23 GMT
Punk godfather joins mayor race

the sex pistols McLaren unleashed the Sex Pistols on the world in the 70s

The man who brought the world the Sex Pistols punk band has revealed his ambition to become mayor of London.

Punk godfather Malcolm McLaren plans to join race as an independent candidate with a manifesto including legalised brothels and selling alcohol in libraries.

London Mayor
London-born Mr McLaren wants to rid the city of its "cappuccino bar culture", replace it with coffee shops selling cannabis and revive the punk spirit.

He told the BBC the aggressive pop explosion in the 1970s had permanently altered the UK's capital - and claimed the credit.

"My effect on London was to create the best and most profound statement of useful protest that has existed since the end of the last war, something that media labelled punk rock," he said.

"I think it inspired a generation. I don't think today you would have as many artists living in London if it had not been for punk rock."

Brothels opposite Parliament

Mr McLaren's policies for London mayor include a new lottery sold by the homeless, with all profits going to housing.

johnny rotten Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten during the band's reunion tour in 1996
He promises full-time adult education courses for 1 a year on "anything from belly dancing to the bassoon" and a tram system for the capital.

Legalised brothels opposite the Houses of Parliament is his idea to rid politics of sleaze, while he pledges to introduce bars in libraries.

"That's a small, minor point, but I think it's nice to be able to drink a Guinness while reading a book in a library," he said.

Mr McLaren's candidature will be funded and managed by Alan McGee, the record company boss behind the rise of Oasis and a former supporter of New Labour.

Writing in the New Statesman, he claims London has become drab since the punk heyday.

"I have never seen so many restaurants, coffee shops, so many places to go to buy things, yet London has never seemed so dull.

"The cappuccino bar culture that Tony Blair raves about looks set to dominate the whole of central London's lifestyle."

Exile in Paris

Mr McLaren emerged from art school in the 1960s to set up a fashion store specialising in rubber and leather fetish gear with fashion doyenne Vivienne Westwood.

He then went on to manage the infamous Sex Pistols, famous for shaking up the pop scene at the time.

The entry of Mr McLaren into the mayoral race would provide the contest with one of its first independent candidates beyond the major political parties.

His colourful life once saw him exiled to Paris because of fraud allegations against him in London arising from the Sex Pistols.

He was arrested on the Queen's Silver Jubilee after sailing down the Thames on a boat with the band.

He has more recently set about a career in film and television from his London home, including writing ancient Greek-style music for an TV movie of Homer's Odyssey.

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See also:
16 Dec 99 |  UK
Never mind the politics ...
16 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Mayor race turns to punk
16 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Tories whittle down mayor shortlist
28 Sep 98 |  Entertainment
Shooting the Sex Pistols

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