Black Friday?

Keep the Far-Right out of London Government – see My London Diary

London waits the count of yesterday’s election, expected this evening, but woke up this morning to the news of terrible results for Labour around the country and predictions of all the pundits that Ken Livingstone would lose his bid to be re-elected as mayor.

On Saturday I went to hear Ken speak in Whitechapel, and after the meeting we travelled away on the same underground train, and I talked to him briefly before taking a few pictures.

A defeat for Ken will be a very black day for the future of London – a set-back similar to that inflicted by Thatcher when she abolished to GLC, a decision from which London was at last recovering. Cities can’t be run effectively without a proper city authority, nor by one led by a buffoon like Boris.

There are Conservatives who I could imagine making a decent throw of it, but he isn’t one – and none of those who could do the job would have attracted the media publicity that has led to Boris’s poll ratings.

I’m still hoping that the pundits got it wrong. Although I’ve not agreed with everything Ken has said and done he has got most of the real basics right, making London a much better place to live and become a cosmopolitan capital. It will be a very sad day for Londoners if he loses.

And, as I wrote for My London Diary on Sunday:

My photographs of London owe a great deal to Ken Livingstone and his transport policies at the GLC in the 1980s that made a quantum change in transport across the capital. It’s hard now to imagine the difficulties and of getting around the city before the Travelcard – assuming you aren’t in the class that always travels by taxi.

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