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Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 16:36 GMT
'My plan for London'
The three contenders in Labour's bitterly fought mayoral selection contest - Frank Dobson, Ken Livingstone and Glenda Jackson - have got on their soapboxes for BBC News Online. Below each sets out why he or she should be the one to win the top job.
Ballot papers have been sent out and members have until 16 February to cast their votes. The winner will go forward as the Labour candidate to the London mayoral election which takes place on 4 May.
The return of democratic government will re-invigorate the political life of the capital. As a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years, I have spent my adult life working for London and its public services.
The Greater London Council Labour administration from 1981 to 1986 pioneered popular public transport policies designed to get people out of their cars and onto the buses and tube. These brief few years were the only time in living memory that the capital's transport improved, a major factor contributing to my current lead in the opinion polls.
Once Labour has selected a candidate, we will turn our attention to working together to defeat our opponents in the London elections. Both Glenda Jackson and Frank Dobson would make fine Labour mayors and - if selected - I hope to involve both Glenda and Frank in the work of the Greater London Authority.
Transport is the most obvious problem of the capital's public services because it blights the lives of every inhabitant - adding to the costs of business and shortening leisure hours.
But it is not unique. There is a city-wide shortage of affordable housing. We have more museums, art galleries, and cinemas than any other city in Britain, but many Londoners cannot afford to take advantage of them.
As mayor I will co-ordinate a city-wide strategy for improving economic growth and tackling poverty.
The recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry now give us a chance to end the divisions between some of London's communities and the police. I will seize this chance to modernise the Met so that it can get on with the job of making London a safer place for us all to live.
The Mayor must be a voice for all Londoners. I believe that I already have the popular support necessary for a really good Labour victory in May. The London elections will be our last major electoral test before the General Election. Let's make sure Labour wins it.
I believe that a society should be judged by how it empowers its disadvantaged. We are collectively responsible for the kind of society we live in.
A society rich in social justice is one that prospers economically. If we have the chance to improve society then we should seize the opportunity. This is the basis of my socialism, my membership of the Labour Party and will be the basis of my policies for London.
Equality will be my guiding theme. Increased equality of opportunity across class, race and gender will be the objectives. My priority will be to help those in most need. This means tackling homelessness so that by the end of the first term of the Mayor no Londoner is forced to sleep rough.
It means taking a lead on the Metropolitan Police Authority to tackle the institutional racism that damages the Met.
It means using the Greater London Authority as a beacon of good practice where the glass ceilings on opportunity that bar women and minorities are broken and the gains from new initiatives that promote family-friendly working are realised.
I have spent my adult life in London, campaigning for Labour's values. Over the last 40 years progress has been made.
As a woman I have experienced the shift from second class citizen to greater equality. But we still have a long way to go.
I want to see a city that is as famous for its social values as it currently is for its history and culture.
In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher said "there is no such thing as society". We know that she was wrong. In London we will show her and her followers just how wrong they were. There is such a thing as society and a great society makes for a greater city.
This is a serious campaign for a serious job. I ask you to judge me on my policies and my vision for London. The time for playing at politics is over. This election is not a referendum on the Labour Party, it is about who will deliver for the capital.
The central pillar of my vision for London is an attack on poverty and the appalling inequalities in our city. As mayor I will root out every cause of disadvantage, every obstacle to social justice.
As mayor I will have one litmus test: do the policies I put forward work for London?
Will they improve living conditions in Tower Hamlets, will they create better, more positive opportunities for the people of Newham, will they make Londoners feel safe and Londoners feel proud of their home?
London is my home too. But I don't want to live in a city of contrasts where the chances of dying before you reach 75 are twice as high if you live in Lambeth and Southwark than if you live in Kingston-upon-Thames or Bromley. Or where infant mortality in Hackney is twice that of the rest of England and Wales.
It is time to end the brutal contrasts between rich and poor in our city. The casinos of wealth in the West End alongside the lottery of poverty in the East End must become a thing of the past. We should not tolerate it and I will not.
As a first step my five point plan for London is:
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