This Thursday Londoners go to the polls to elect a Mayor. The race is neck and neck between Tory candidate Boris Johnson and Labour’s Ken Livingstone.
Let me make it absolutely clear that there are overwhelmingly positive reasons to vote for Ken Livingstone. Most of all, Londoners will be better off with a combination of measures to cut fares, rents, and the cost of childcare, restore EMA and tackle crime. Many will be better off by over £1000 during the four years of his mayoralty through his fares cut alone.
But as someone who doesn’t live in London I have an interest in seeing him win, and so do people in all parts of the country. The reason is very simple. The Conservative Party.
The Conservative Party are ripping the guts out of our country. They are tearing into the NHS. They are attacking public services. They have slashed and burned all the way to recession.
If they win London on Thursday next week they will conclude one thing – they can carry on. They won’t take it as a vote of confidence, they will take it as massive morale boost and an indication that they could go further.
If you know someone who has lost their job, or had their EMA cut, or their student fees hiked, or their pension grabbed, or their services cut, or wants something done about the pasty tax, the granny tax or the scandal of phone-hacking and Jeremy Hunt, then you will know how the last thing we need is the party at the heart of all this feeling like it can go even further.
We can’t afford it.
David Cameron will be popping the champagne corks if Boris Johnson wins. The right wing of his party will want to unleash more and more attacks. That will be bad for every single one of us.
Putting a smile on the face of Boris Johnson on Friday next week means a smile on the face of George Osborne, Andrew Lansley, David Cameron and rest.
Don’t do it.