We've been campaigning hard for the past few months to raise awarness of these elections because we know what a huge impact they will have on the life of every Londoner. The eyes of the world will be on London over the next four years in the run-up to the Olympics. The essential question is, who do you trust to run this city and represent Londoners on the international stage?
Boris Johnson may tell good jokes on TV, but there'd be nothing funny about putting him in charge of London ’s £11bn annual budget, not to mention its £39 billion transport budget. He simply doesn’t have the organisational capacity or political skills to do the job.
As even the Telegraph said yesterday, “London is not a comic spectacle… What is there in Mr Johnson's past to suggest that his mayoralty would be anything but that? Where is the evidence of his adroitness in administration, his sense of responsibility, his ethic of public service?”
These elections decide London ’s future for the next 4 years. Please do not waste your chance to have a say. To judge for yourself who is best to run this city, here are the records of the 2 main candidates:
- Crime has fallen in London for five years in a row
- 10,000 extra uniformed police officers on London ’s streets
- 15% decrease in recorded crime in London since 2002-3
- Special safety initiatives for students and women
- Has promised he will make "big savings" and "real economies" in the police budget.
- Plans to scale back local policing
- Has overseen the biggest public transport investment programme in half a century
- Introduced travel discounts for students, under-18 and the elderly
- Massive Crossrail project to link West and East London
- Did not bother to vote on Crossrail in parliament
- Did not bother to vote to defend the Freedom Pass for older Londoners
- Underestimated the cost of his bus policy to reintroduce conductors by £100 million a year
- Wants to reprivatise the Tube, which has been disastrous for the national rail network
- Delivered three times as many affordable homes per year as when the Greater London Authority was set up in 2000
- Has won £4bn from the government to launch the biggest home-building programme in the capital in a generation
- Intends to scrap the 50% affordable housing policy - meaning more Londoners will be priced out of the housing market
- Promises a First Step Housing Scheme but only available to those with an income of £60,000, ruling out 80% of Londoners
- Has made tackling climate change his number one priority
- London is the only major city in the world where there has been a significant shift from the private car to public transport, cycling and walking - cycling levels have increased by 80%
- Cleaned up all London buses and London black cabs to improve air quality
- Has started implementing the most comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions of any government in the world
- Delivered a 20% reduction in the carbon emissions of new developments
- Praised George Bush for “screwing up the Kyoto Treaty” on climate change
- Self-confessed “evangelist” for nuclear power
1. ON ISLAMOPHOBIA
"The attack on Muslims threatens freedoms for all of us. Every person who values their right to follow the religion of their choice or none should stand with the Muslim communities today." The Guardian, 20th November 20062.
2. ON RACISM
"All racist and anti-Semitic attacks must be stamped out. However, the reality is that the great bulk of racist attacks in Europe today are on black people, Asians and Muslims - and they are the primary targets of the extreme right."
3. ON LONDON 'S DIVERSITY
"I am proud of London 's reputation as the most diverse city in the world where the contribution of all communities is celebrated"
4. ON THE MIDDLE-EAST
"It is evident that the war in Iraq was not justified. It has made the situation worse. The illusions with which it was launched are collapsing."
1. ON ISLAM
"To any non-Muslim reader of the Koran, Islamophobia seems a natural reaction.. . Judged purely on its scripture - to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques - it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions." (Spectator 16th July 2005)
The proposed ban on incitement to "religious hatred" makes no sense unless it involves a ban on the Koran itself." (Telegraph 21/07/2005)
"Islam will only be truly acculturated to our way of life when you could expect a Bradford audience to roll in the aisles at Monty Python's Life of Mohammed." (Telegraph 21/07/2005)
2. ON BLACK PEOPLE & THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Referred to black people as 'picaninnies' 'with watermelon smiles' (Daily Telegraph, 10/01/02)
“Do you really mean to say the empire wasn’t a good thing? ... The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more… The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the understanding that this time they will not be asked to feel guilty.”
3. ON IRAQ
"If we know the Pentagon, there must be a very good chance that this will be an outstandingly successful and stress-free war."
"Whenever George Dubya Bush appears on television, with his buzzard squint and his Ronald Reagan sidenod, I find a cheer rising irresistibly in my throat."
4. ON ISRAEL
"If I were an Israeli, I would be astounded that any member of the British Government or Opposition felt able to criticise Israel at all." (The Telegraph, 03/08/2006)
"If we were Israelis... we would dispatch an American-built ground-assault helicopter and blow the place to bits. Then we would send in bulldozers to scraape over the remains, and we would do the same to all the other houses in the area... After decades of deranged attacks the Israelis have come to the conclusion that this is the best way to deter Palestinian families from nurturing these vipers in their bosoms, and also the best way of explaining to the death-hungry narcissists that they may get the 72 black-eyed virgins of scripture, but their family gets the bulldozer." (The Spectator, 16th July 2005)
5. ON DIVERSITY
"We must begin the re-Britannification of Britain "
Please make sure you vote today - it's very close so your vote will definitely make a difference.
To find out where your nearest polling station is, go to http://www.londonelects.org.uk/
Please forward this as widely as possible.