Letter: Policy a handicap in race for Mayor

WITH THE vast acres of space devoted to the London Mayoral race, the Liberal Democrats' Susan Kramer (elected by one-member one-vote in the summer) is being obscured by lack of scandal and her clear, credible policies. It seems to me that for a candidate to be heard you must have either a party that doesn't trust its members, or one with candidates who are tainted with scandal or have exotic private lives. Policies, pah - who cares about them?

For the record, on transport, Susan Kramer will issue bonds worth pounds 7.5bn to raise finance for the Tube. After improvements begin to show, the bonds will be paid back by charging car drivers coming into central London on weekdays. They will buy a Travelcard as a fare to use road space and will get free use of that Travelcard on the Tube, trains and buses. Every penny will go to London Transport.

While New Labour spends more time attacking its own members and, like the Tories, flirts with part-privatisation, the Lib Dems are getting on in a hostile environment trying to promote their policies. Any success so far? Only the gaining of Islington Council (the spiritual home of Tony Blair) two Thursdays ago. Still, never mind: with no sex scandals or new Labour machinations involved, what's there to talk about?

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