02 May 2008

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in

Today is a very interesting day across the (world's most radioactive) sea, with local authority election results being announced throughout England and Wales, and of course in the London Mayoral contest. Labour look set to record a defeat not seen since John's Major's last local elections before Tony Blair was swept to power, and the Liberal Democrats have moved surprisingly into 2nd place on overall % of national votes. While it is never good to have one party in power for too long as corruption inevitably sinks in, the projected swing to the right, especially with the prospect of Boris Johnson winning the London Mayoral election, cannot be seen as a healthy thing.

The Mayoral election is arguably the most important result. With 5.5 million registered voters in London, the mayor is the most important directly elected position in the country, and is seen by many as the truest reflection of the national mood in the UK. If Johnson, famously uncouth and known for racist and bigoted comments (writing in the Telegraph on one occasion that "it is said the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies"), is reflective of the national mood in the UK, then you can cross the country off my visiting list for the next four years or so.

With John Gormley introducing a new Green Paper here in Ireland on Local Government, and recommending the introduction of a directly elected Mayor for the greater Dublin area, the London election is a great preview of how time and time again people will put their own self interest (in London's case Boris' opposition to the Congestion Charge), above the greater good of the community. While no-one could accuse Dublin Corporation of excessive altruism, the notoriously self-centred and cocaine-fuelled Celtic Tiger cubs of Dublin can practically be guaranteed to hand the keys of the city over to the vainest, vilest and most self-serving demagogue that slithers their way onto the ballot papers.

Royston Brady, your day will come.

Green Paper on Local Government


At 5:50 pm, Blogger Aidan said...

I think thats a simplification of the mayoral election Dave.

There was a certain degree of apathy towards Livingstone, no longer the plucky outsider but the establishment candidate, also his campaign was lack luster, and he seemed bored.

But yes, suburbia has fallen out of love with "New Labour", Blair took a bloody nose over Iraq at the last elections, but as one commentator noted people still had money in their pocket, and there was an economic feel good factor at work.

Staring at a potential recession, and the house price hangover, has made people cautious. If the Tories got in I'd be tempted to go back in, but thanks to Gordon's botched economic policies the pound is around the same place the punt was when the euro kicked in, so I'll have fuck all to show for my years here.

Cheers Gordon!

Like the blog Dave, particularly the entry about storytelling in the workplace.

At 8:21 pm, Blogger Unkie Dave said...

you'd still have the experience of living abroad that while broadening your horizons makes you appreciate what you have back home, bad and all as it can be, all the more.

I like London, once you get over the icky black residue that it leaves over every pore and inside every orifice, but its not somewhere I could see moving to permanently. While it is amazingly multicultural and has an energy all its own, it also has the same insularity that all great cities have, ie if it doesn't happen in London its not worth caring about. The election of the bastard love child of Mr McGregor and Peter Rabbit (or any of his eligible sisters) is just one symptom of this problem (its how Guilliani and Bloomberg got elected in New York).


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