Leading Article: The race for London's mayor has descended into farce
Saturday 06 November 1999
Yesterday we were treated to a walk-on role for the Data Protection Registrar, of all people, who is following up complaints from Labour Party members that they have been receiving unsolicited mail from the Frank Dobson campaign. Perhaps the fact that Mr Dobson's staff saw fit to send one of their letters to a certain Mr Ken Livingstone asking for his support tells us all we need to know about that shambolic campaign. We can certainly look forward to more black comedy as the Labour leadership fastens upon more and more absurd ploys to stop Mr Livingstone running, which serve only to improve his standing. Precisely why the notion that all the candidates should simply compete on an equal basis seems so alien to Millbank remains a mystery. In any case we can still enjoy the is-she-ain't-she-gonna-run? routines of Glenda Jackson, who hasn't been in anything quite this funny since she worked with Morecambe and Wise.
Not that the Tories have performed any better, offering a contest between Steven Norris and Jeffrey Archer, a man from the past versus a man with a past - as Susan Kramer, the worthy Liberal Democrat candidate, put it.
But where are the big beasts of the London political jungle? Why did Michael Portillo and Peter Mandelson not think it worthy of their talents, even when they were in the political wilderness? Where is Simon Hughes? Where, even, is Richard Branson? The job of mayor of London does not deserve to be fixed; nor does the contest deserve to be a farce.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV - TV review: No wonder Cilla's chuffed with this story of her life – even the Beatles take a back seat
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke