Tariq Ali seems to think that we should vote for Ken Livingstone on the basis that Ken has consistently opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the official Mayor of London website the mayor’s role is to:
promote economic development and wealth creation, social development, and the improvement of the environment. The Mayor also has a number of other duties in relation to culture and tourism, including responsibility for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.
It goes on to say that:
The Mayor has a range of specific powers and duties, and a general power to do anything that will promote economic and social development, and environmental improvement, in London. Before using many of his powers the Mayor must consult with Londoners, and in all cases, the Mayor must promote equality of opportunity.
Note the distinct lack of any foreign policy remit. On this basis, regardless of whether one agrees with Ken’s position on these matters (and I do not), it is of no consequence when deciding whether or not to vote for him. Ironically, if Ken had spent all his time focusing purely on the issues that matter to Londoners and no time at all pontificating on foreign affairs that are of no relevance to his job or cavorting with extremist Muslim clerics I wouldn’t actually be quite so opposed to voting for him.
Much as it is almost endearing that Tariq Ali refers to Al Qaradawi as an “eccentric muslim cleric”, that kind of rubbishes his entire article for me.
I empathise with your candidate-less predicament: I’d have another night on the long island teas if I were you, and then see who you end up voting for… could be quite fun.
You seem to be suffering the same problem as I; who to vote for in the mayoral election? Well I have decided after years of faithfull voting this way and that way, that I have had enough of politicians. I think that we are in a post-democratic age where the democratic process lets the elite completely ignore the ‘demos’ and run their own agenda under the cover of a democratic fig-leaf.
So I would suggest that we do not vote – perhaps a pathetic turn-out will give the politicians an idea of how bad we think they really are.
However I am sure that thier response to poor turn out will be to let primary school children vote.