The London results

I woke up this morning hoping that Boris winning was just a bad dream – but sadly – it really happened. His acceptance speech though was very gracious – I would advise keeping that speechwriter standing just behind him at all times! Much as I have enjoyed Boris on TV shows I didn’t want him as Mayor of London. Didn’t want Ken either. However, the people have spoken and now the opportunity belongs to Boris and I hope desperately that he doesn’t bugger up all the good things that have happened in London since the GLA was created and that he does seek to re-unite this city.

Anyway – my poor Brian got hideously squeezed – and the knock on for my Assembly colleagues was a loss of two seats on the Assembly. As for the revolting result of a BNP member being elected despite a good turn out – that turns my stomach. Don’t know how colleagues will manage to deal with that every day!

We should get the ward results and therefore constituency results in due course – and I expect that in Hornsey & Wood Green the Lib Dem vote held up very well as overall Monica Whyte, our Enfield and Haringey candidate, polled more votes than last time and on percentage vote share changes had the best relative Liberal Democrat performance in London too (I think).

It was a huge surprise (seemingly to her as well) that Joanne McCartney held the Enfield and Haringey London Assembly seat for Labour. The Tories thought it was in the bag – but it wasn’t. Shades of the 2004 election where again Labour pulled off a surprise victory in the seat despite very high Conservative confidence that they would take it.

And together with the gain of the Tory seat of Brent and Harrow – the Labour Assembly members did not do as badly as expected on a night when Labour nationally had disastrous results in the local elections and when Ken lost. A bit of a silver lining for them there.

So – off we go – finding our way around a changed political map of London with a Mayor who may garner affection – but can he run London? We will see.

The morning after the night before: the moment when it looked like Paxman might punch Johnson

So – Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman grilled the three main candidates for Mayor last night. Personally – I thought Jeremy won hands down. Boris was appalling – and Paxman nailed him on his waffle approach by asking him for a figure for something he was proposing re-replacing bendy buses. Boris was baffled. Boris was bamboozled. But Boris didn’t answer the question. Boris was exposed as not knowing a thing really about bus costs.

At one point I nearly thought Jeremy Paxman was going to punch him – as he strode menacingly towards Boris repeating his question as Boris refused to answer!

Ken was somewhat downbeat – but competent. And Brian, despite a slightly nervous start in his statement, went on to make good substantive points about how to really tackle gun and knife crime – not just talk about it like Boris or say you can’t do anything about it like Ken.

Brian attacked Boris over his lack of experience of delivery and management. When asked about second preference votes – Ken said without hesitation that he would prefer Brian to Boris – but Brian said basically a plague on both their houses and that they were both bad in different ways. So true Brian – so true!

UPDATE: Here’s the Paxman/Johnson face-off from YouTube:

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

Brian Paddick's new website: take a look

Good to see that Brian Paddick’s new website is up and running – and worth waiting for.

Having had a look at Ken and Boris’s sites – Brian is now definitely winning the website battle! It’s direct, well-designed, colourful and easy to use.

Looking at Ken’s very dull, very drab effort, strikes me he feels that he has so much publicity through the state publicity machine that he doesn’t feel the need to put anything into his website. Lord knows he has plastered his face on enough things during his term of office – albeit with ‘Mayor of London’ as opposed to ‘Ken’ as the wording – to make sure his beautiful mug is burned into our brains at every turn. As for Boris – well his website at least shows willing – in that you can see effort has been made and thought has been given – but it’s not very interesting with a format that is too intense in terms of content on the home page etc.

Local news: play areas, 603 bus and Post Offices

Just been updating my website with news stories from the last week, and here are three highlights:

Ten most popular blog postings (1st quarter, 2008)

End of another quarter – so it’s time for another top ten list. Here are the blog postings which have proved most popular with readers of my blog in the last three months:

10. The interesting case of Seb Green – the admirable way someone has reacted when things go wrong.

9. I’m the bride – at last! – blogging prize, not wedding bells. But nearly as exciting.

8. One of my favourite topics for blog postings – about winning an election! This time Rachel Allison was the much deserving winner in the Highgate by-election.

7. I’ve blogged quite extensively over the last three months about the scandals surrounding Ken Livingstone and the funding of projects in London – so no great surprise that this posting about Ethnic Mutual’s grant made it into the top ten.

6. Low Copy Number DNA – one of those postings which keeps on getting traffic as, each time there’s a crime involving DNA records, people go hunting on the internet for more about this technique.

5. Mr Speaker doesn’t speak for me – I disagree with the Speaker’s decision to try to keep things secret.

4. Lots of online coverage for me first steps using Twitter.

3. A (then) Conservative councillor calls for sterilisation of people whose lifestyles he doesn’t agree with – An appalling insult to mothers and fathers.

2. Our sexist monarchy: why in the modern world should men still be able to elbow aside women in the line of succession to the Throne?

1. And in at number one: Brian Paddick comes calling. Somewhat surprised to see this at number one as it wasn’t the most interesting or exciting posting – at least in my eyes!

(Click to see the previous top tens).

Brian Paddick on the campaign trail in Haringey

Lynne Featherstone, Brian Paddick and Monica Whyte promote a green alternative to plastic bagsBrian Paddick came to Hornsey & Wood Green and we visited a number of hotspots. The area is becoming a bit of a regular haunt of his – he was here during the Highgate by-election too. This time I showed him Wood Green cross – which is the area that local residents in the Wood Green area are most worried about crime wise. There stands a disused and vacant and deteriorating police box. Originally conceived and procured to ease peoples’ fears by having police on the spot – it never really opened for enough hours for anyone to have the slightest confidence that there would be a police person in the box. So it failed. Such a stupid waste for what was a good idea.

We went to Alexandra Park station (Oyster needed / on the way); Ally Pally – to show Brian the historic building which Labour Haringey first built up a debt (for which we locals had to pay) and then tried to sell on in a highly controversial deal – stopped at the moment by a local group taking Labour Haringey to court; then off to the 603 bus route in Muswell Hill where Brian pledged to extend the operating hours of this much loved route.

In Crouch End he promoted the Crouch End Traders ‘Bag for Life’ and posed in front of the Clock Tower whilst he did various interviews with the local press. He tried to squeeze in Weston Park Post Office – but in the end Monica Whyte (GLA candidate and local councillor) and David Winskill (local councillor) went there to meet a disabled lady whose life will be ruined if Labour’s proposed Post Office closures go ahead.

And I went to visit Bonnie – living with husband, two children and sister in two rooms in terrible state – but more of this story in a while. I am on the warpath for this one.