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London Salmon

I wholeheartedly agree, especially with the need for a vision. Ken is very beatable, but it needs a positive, forward looking candidate who can provide a positive alternative vision for London based on doing something, and not just scrapping/cutting things. I also cannot believe that no-one is this party wants to have a crack at a job which has more direct power than most junior cabinet ministers and certainly back bench MPs, the chance to deliver the Olympics and no formal powers of opposition. The Mayor of London can run London at his/her whim, only reliant on the amount of government grant they get. If that's not an attractive deal in politics, I don't know what is.

I think there are two things stopping potential candidates. The really ambitious ones want to wait for the next round of parliamentary selections before deciding to go for Mayor, which is why they are waiting in the wings, and I think there is genuine defeatism. No one wants to lose to Ken, and no one wants to be remembered as the Mayor who bungled the Olympics. I also think there is a view in the party that the powers of the Mayor are set up to achieve only green/red policy objectives, and therefore you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

All this is, of course, nonsense. The current bunch of candidates is uninspiring, but there may be one waiting in the wings that could do it; http://londonsalmon.typepad.com/london_salmon_small_fish_/2006/12/silent_candidat.html

Wayne B

I thought Carol Thatcher took an interest in this? - is she willing to be our candidate????

Account Deleted

It is not that hard to work out a Conservative platform to win on.

Account Deleted

Firstly, we need a 'can-do' pragmatist, not some raving upper class libertarian or some old style Conservative who will alienate liberal Tories.

I would offer the following points, having been in London for five years and had a fair few political conversations along the way.

1) Don't EVER praise/criticise immigration/multiculturalism in the capital, you win as many friends as you lose either way. Unlike most of the country where a firm line on these issues will win you votes.

2) Do talk about public transport, and support it. Lots of middle class people use it and the idea we are not going to support it is a huge turn off to most voters. Pledge support for Ken's initial congestion zone, but abolish the new extension as unworkable.

3) Do talk (and talk and talk and talk) about crime/anti-social behaviour. I know two people who have seen someone murdered in the five years I have been here, and know at least half a dozen who have been mugged. People are sick to death of the levels of crime in the capital. Though Ken has pushed for extra police, they are not as effective as they should be. Promise to open up the police service as much as you can to local scrutiny and do what you can to support this. Guiliani won in New York, one of the most liberal cities in the US on an anti-crime platform.

4) Don't talk about tax cuts. You can't talk about this if you are pledging more police and better transport. Talk about 'reducing waste' and 'transferring resources', pointing out Londoners already pay a lot of tax and that this should be sufficient for any increase in police resources/transport.

5) State you want to run London because you love it. State you are not going to be Ken Livingston, shooting his mouth off all the time but that you are going to be spending all your time promoting London, fixing the congestion problems and crime issues.
Overall, better someone from the City/a local council with a good track record of running something than someone who is a 'celebrity' only in CCHQ and friends with Cameron. Obviously, in private, whoever offers to run should be promised a safe seat once they retire from being mayor.

Spandau Ballet

Come on Syed Kamall, put your name forward.

Denis Cooper

I read recently that calling him "Ken" makes him sound like a national treasure.

Opinicus

@1am
Also
Talk about Labour's unfair public spending and shifting money out of London to its friends in the North.

Talk about splitting up the Met into a supra-London Force dealing with diplomatic protection and anti terror and insist that this is paid for by the Govt. Then split up the rest into 30 ordinary police forces under Borough Control. If thats illegal de jure do it anyway de facto and tell the Borough's to send up their decisions to you for rubber stamping. Even the Labour Borough's are more trustworthy on Crime than Sir Ian. Insist on Sir Ian's resignation.

Promise to co-ordinate road works between the Utilities and Town Halls. Get that right and you do far more for congestion than the Charge. The minute increasing the charging zone increases traffic in the central zone pounce on Ken.

Insist that the Olympics is paid for nationally not just by Londoners.

London Salmon

It's worth noting that the Mayor of London has no operational control over the Met, he only controls the budget of the Met Police Authority and provides funding for small projects, the other chunk of their budget comes directly from the Home Office.

The trap we fell into last time was making all sorts of promises on crime we had no power to keep.

london tory

"Candidates should come out now, and provide camps for us to support."

The problem with this is that the only people who have come forward to date: Borwick, Boff, Boles, Lightfoot and the other one, can't win, a fact apparently obvious to everyone but themselves.

A party chairman who is good at plotting but no good at politics has botched this from the start. We can't plot our way to victory like he tries to fix candidate selections: we have to actually persuade people to vote for us. And he shouldn't have taken seriously the silly Morris/Barwell paper advocating having decided all this by open primary (another silly idea for a city the size of London, with all the potential for abuse it entails). Closing nominations even before the absurdly early date initially chosen by the party, as that paper proposed, would have been an even bigger mistake. As it is, their proposal has merely encouraged those who have never done anything of any electoral significance, are unsurprisingly not in demand for their non-existent leadership and big project executive management abilities, and are just in it because they have nothing better to do.

On top of this, it isn't just the party chairman who fails to understand this election. So many of our party members have the same problem. Just think how many comments we've seen like this one in this thread:

"I thought Carol Thatcher took an interest in this? - is she willing to be our candidate????"

Its Militant Tendency for many years hamstrung the Labour Party. Unfortunately, we have our own moronic tendency of people who are seemingly incapable of understanding how this election that we've had twice now in London actually works.

The fact is, Darren, that we still don't have a serious, credible candidate whom impartial observers as opposed to said moronic tendency think can win. A flawed selection process will only get us a bored housewife who lives off inherited millions, a charisma-free local councillor, a person who writes policy research papers for a living, an ex-councillor who just lost his council seat, and someone who frankly appears to have lost his sanity.

If any of them actually became the candidate tomorrow they would be promptly written off by the media and then ignored until a few months before the election, whereupon the story would be "The Coronation of Ken” with the Tories’ failure to produce a credible opponent a side bar to the main story.

Indeed, the candidate might poll so badly that the party would be tempted to intervene to avoid electoral humiliation as Labour was forced to do with Nicky Gavron.

Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg were nominated by New York's Republicans, whose CVs, to say the least, did not read like those we currently have before us, were chosen (in a primary of registered Republicans only) a few months before the Mayoral election.

Selection systems should be judged by the quality of candidates they produce. A silly timetable and a silly voting system produces only silly candidates.

Londoner

I agree with "Spandau Ballet" - Syed Kamall is an obvious candidate. I emailed him a few months ago urging him to stand and he replied that he wanted to concentrate on his MEP work - but we must make him change his mind. He needn't resign as an MEP unless and until he is elected Mayor. He would be excellent in substance (a definitive conservative, understanding of business etc) and in image.

Failing him, what about Mark Field MP - recently left the front bench and once a London spokesman? I don't know a lot about him but do those that do think he might be a possibility?

Regarding the very good post from 1AM, I agree that no London Mayor could be against a multi-cultural and diverse capital - I think it would be difficult to "love London", which he correctly identifies as a pre-requisite, unless one was in tune with that. I don't think there is any harm in saying so, provided that a candidate also recognises that this does bring with it the need to address some of the issues that this raises - such as the need for a higher proportion of public expenditure to be spent in London to deal with such things as children in schools for whom english is a second language (and indeed for the "old" areas such as Dagenham where people feel left behind and turn to the BNP). But addressing such issues should also be linked with support for the vibrancy and variety that the mix brings to London, and praise for Londoners for making the mix work which, unlike in some northern cities, it does. The Brixton riots would be inconceivable in London now.

Jorgen

or some old style Conservative who will alienate liberal Tories.

Since the candidate would have to defend Cameron's experiment against a highly skilled demagogue, you are right in that point and perhaps that is one of the reasons, we don't have a candidate. No, the applicant has to be some "raving upper class" Cameronian and a such won't win.

Chris Heathcote

"what about Mark Field MP - recently left the front bench and once a London spokesman? I don't know a lot about him but do those that do think he might be a possibility?" there was a reason for his leaving the front bench- namely an embarrasing affair with Elizabeth Truss and the resulting divorce. I dont think we want another sleazy type reminding us of the Major years.

Rob Wilkins

I agree with much of what has been said. The "profile" candidates we need to stand a chance of beating Ken won't come forward for risk of their egos being dented should they not win, and the more unknown candidates (from a public perspective anyway) won't beat Ken because they aren't well-known enough. Seems like we have a catch-22 situation! And as for Syed Kamall.... he's undoubtedly a good MEP, but unfortunately he falls into the second category above! I wouldn't be putting myself on the line if I were him! Surely someone has the guts to step up to the plate and rid London of Livingstone for good!!

jeff randall

"Unfortunately, we have our own moronic tendency"

It's not just some members: the candidates themselves don't understand how to campaign. Just look at Nicholas Boles' fawning article about David Cameron in the Daily Telegraph.

Livingstone did not endear himself to Londoners by sucking up to Blair and New Labour (at a time when they were much more popular than Cameron and the Conservatives today). Both he and Steve Norris were taken seriously as potential Mayors by voters and the media because they were independent of their own parties and not afraid to say so.

Having said that, I'm not sure it matters that none of the seven (or is it six: they are all so forgetable it's hard to keep up) dwarfs knows how to campaign. It is clear that none of them can defeat Livingstone.

sjm

Maybe we don't have any viable candidates because most Tories recognise that the job is such a waste of time and public money?

In what way is London better off now than pre-Livingstone? All we Londoners now have more of is higher taxes, bad housing, over-crowding and yet another layer of bureaucracy.

Me, I'd back a campaign to abolish the Mayoralty and the GLA.

Martin Hoscik

SJM

The Mayor has had no powers over bad housing and over-crowding, those are borough issue. He does get some housing powers under the new powers given to him in the forthcoming GLA bill.

jeff randall

"Me, I'd back a campaign to abolish the Mayoralty and the GLA."

And here we go again with the politically tone deaf comments...

John Moss

Winning is about getting more votes than the other guy, complicated in London by the second preference system which was designed to keep a Tory mayor out.

Livingstone won the first ballot by 143,000 votes last time and the second by a further 28,000.

To win, we have to get more than 50% of the votes on the first ballot as the LD/Respect/Green vote all goes left on second preference and that means getting our voters out in every ward in the same numbers they voted in May 2006. We need at least 800,000 votes to win.

This means that CCHQ must start planning and running a long campaign from NOW. This needs organisation and funding, irrespective of the presence of a candidate.

We have MPs Councillors, existing GLA members, (five of whom will not be standing next time having either been elected for or selected to fight parliamentary seats or already indicated they will be stepping down). They can lead this.

We should be using 2007 to deliver and canvass to identify our support so that by the February half term of 2008 we are running a GOTV campaign with over 1 million pledged supporters on our records.

This isn't impossible as we polled more than 1 million votes in May. We just have to find the ones we don't know about and then get them to vote.

comstock

"To win, we have to get more than 50% of the votes on the first ballot as the LD/Respect/Green vote all goes left on second preference"

It's not impossible you could take some of the LD 2nd preference vote, and and Asian candidate could take the majority of the Respect 2nd preference vote. Just a thought.

WINSTON  McKENZIE - The Leading Candidate for Mayor of London

EXAMINE THE DETAILS BELOW CAREFULLY. Read with intent and ask yourself the question :-

- Could this man become the next Mayor of London?

“No individual with the power of authority should be in a position to impose his or her will at random on the community.”

WINSTON McKENZIE - The Leading Candidate for Mayor of London
- Watch this space! www.myspace.com/winstonmckenzieuk


Darren

I have to give credit where credit is due. I am referring to your assessment of the dismal showing by our Party with regard to the role to occupy the Office of Mayor of London.

I attended a Conservative Way Forward Political Question-Time recently where we were introduced, and likewise I cannot believe the lack-lustre approach to a position and challenge as potent as the one in question.

As announced at my National Press Launch, and shown on BBC Lunchtime News, and covered by The Daily Mirror, London’s Evening Standard, The Metro and many Local London Newspapers throughout Greater London, my challenge for Office is serious and with intent. Intent to “lead” from the start and oust the weary, tired, grumpy old man, Mayor Livingstone at the end!

There will be no defensive tactics. There will be no lies. I will speak the truth, and above all - I shall DELIVER !

Yes, I’ll float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee!

Throughout my journey around London’s 33 Boroughs, and on many occasions, I have heard talk of potential candidates. I have even seen one, who was so frightened, he reluctantly shook my hand! I don’t know what it is? I am fairly good looking, youthful and have a sporting personality. However, I am yet to be challenged. Please, please - Are there any Candidates out there big enough or ugly enough to challenge me? There are many issues to discuss. Many hands make light work. Together we can make hay and trash the enemy. Together we can form a strategy, a plan, a new way, and therefore create a new beginning.

I come from a famous family of achievers. More recently my Nephew “Ashley McKenzie” was featured intensely in the ITV’s X-Factor series. It goes without saying that our achievements as a family in the world of both Amateur and Professional Boxing is unprecedented. We have all set records that, thankfully, have not yet been rivalled in the World! From Amateur Champions, Domestic and World Class Champions, through to Premiership Football. We have been fortunate. I am used to success. I am currently Co-Founder and Chairman of The Croydon Youth Games, a mini-Olympic-style Competition for children aged 11-18 years of age, from Croydon, Greater London and beyond!

My Co-Founder and Campaign Manager is Marianne Bowness, former Mayoress of Croydon and former Wife of Lord Peter Bowness. Marianne has known me for some 26 years and worked with me throughout my political campaigning.

The concept of The Games is fantastic, particularly with the mouth-watering thought of the 2012 Games in sight, which is now in it’s fourth year, and growing. Details of which can be viewed on my website at www.croydonyouthgames.com

I must point out, there has been no funding to date from Local Government, together with the promise of help from Bodies such as Sport England - to no avail! The Games have become a personal victory, both for myself, Marianne, and chiefly the children of London.

They scathingly said it could not be done by one man. Where are you going to find finance? Where will you find the staff to initiate such a Project on such a vast scale? I was condemned, whipped and put out to dry - but they couldn’t stop me, or the hundreds of medal winners, and our Youth Work Experience Programme. Some 250 children participated for months on end in this Educational Programme through my offices, whereby they are taught how to organise, initiate and present a sporting competition of this calibre.

To my amazement, very few children knew the basics of simple mathematics, reading, spelling or English. How sad it is that in such a competitive age, with technology in abundance, the children are suffering immensely.

No! Let’s just issue a few ASBOs! There, there. That should keep the little brats quite. Yes, that’s the easy way - but already the sticky plaster is coming undone! Many children, through no fault of their own, run around like headless chickens, without any form of boundaries. Somehow we tend to forget that children, are children, after all, and must be taught and guided, as many of us that have reached adulthood, once had that privilege.

As you can see, I am very passionate about the children and their wellbeing. I have many policy ideas.

I am also more than concerned and, indeed, understand the implications and disastrous aspects of crime, particularly gun and knife crime, where life imprisonment should mean “life”, but has not been initiated. Political debate on this subject should be emphasised. No-one is prepared to talk of such issues. I am. Bring it on!

Other issues that concern many include the spread of “the Assassin” (the Congestion Charge), which has no care or regard for anything or anyone in it’s wake. If I am voted in, the proposed extension to the Zone shall be rooted out.

To be continued .. .. .. ..(See Website: www.myspace.com/winstonmckenzieuk)

WINSTON

(Tel: (m) 07949-32-42-01 (o) 020-8240-4444)

(P.S. The Characters in this episode are not fictitious. Everything stated is true and genuine. Let’s get it on!)

london tory

This is getting very depressing...

Martin Hoscik

Poor London Tory, I share your pain :-)

Greg McLean

Seen your whole page article in the Daily Express "Ringside" today 14/12/06. It's time the Conservative Party took notice of you. I think youre great. You do wonders for the kids of Greater London at the Croydon Youth Games. You would do wonders for London. I know 'cos I've worked with you. Youre magic. You bring everyone to life with your vitality and that's what London needs. Go for it, Bruv. Greg

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