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.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Skrillex and Diplo's 24-hour DJ set shut down by police after 18 hours
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'