Saturday, November 17, 2007

Paddick's Selection Should Spur Boris Into Action

There's a fascinating interview with Brian Paddick in the Telegraph today. I can't quite decide how credible a candidate for London Mayor he will be. On the one hand he's very adept at getting publicity, something a LibDem candidate often finds difficult. But on the other hand, like his old boss Sir Ian Blair, Paddick seems to have a character flaw which enables him to hit the self destruct button rather too easily.

There is no doubt that Paddick will be the strongest LibDem challenger yet, but it will be interesting to see whether he targets Boris or Ken Livingstone in his attacks. From a Tory viewpoint, Boris needs to mop up Paddick's second preferences in order to sweep past Livingstone in the second round, so expect Boris to make some gentle wooing noises to Paddick and his supporters as the election draws nearer.

Much has been written about Boris's alleged inactivity in recent weeks. The news section of his website has had one entry since the end of September. There hasn't been a press release posted since his campaign launch in early September. It is not suprising that eyebrows are being raised.

A candidate for a very visible position like this does need to maintain some sort of consistent profile, but the period between now and Christmas should be spent becoming an authority on the issues. The campaign won't get going until January, so there doesn't need to be a constant stream of media and policy announcements at the moment. But with Paddick now in the field, Boris will certainly need to become rather more visible than he has been up to now.


Anonymous said...

What does everyone mean by this, "the campaign won't get started til January"? In my Association, we started the campaign for the 2008 council elections the Saturday after this year's. In London the elections are four years apart so starting four months before isn't excusable.

M. Hristov said...

Boris has a real chance of winning but he will have to do his homework. He won’t win the election on the issue of “Bendy Buses” alone. His attack on the “Bendy Buses” was based on nostalgia for “The Routemaster”, when it would have been better to base it on the fact that it is easy to dodge fares on the “Bendy Buses” and they are supposedly unsafe. I have used London buses and the tube a lot in the last few years, mainly because driving into London is so difficult these days. I suggest that Boris gets off his bike and starts using public transport for a while. He will “pick up” a lot of problems simply by doing this.

Anonymous said...

"Paddick seems to have a character flaw which enables him to hit the self destruct button rather too easily. "

So he is like Boris then.....

Anonymous said...

Why should Boris have to be "spurred into action"? He's declared his candidacy for mayor of one of the biggest and richest cities in the world.

Perhaps he thought his mere announcement would spur others into action on his behalf. He has a reputation for laziness.

Anonymous said...

OTR- Paddick comes across as a decent sort- for a Libbie! BUT, i have trepedation that some form of 'scandal' is forthcoming. We shall have to wait and see....

Chris Paul said...

Oh Iain, no excuses please, this is the SECOND major hiatus in the Boris campaign feed. He did only get busy for a few days either side of the selection. Otherwise he's been nowhere.

He said in his application he would spend:

"A good deal" of time on the job.

But his site was deserted between declaring and late in the selection and now again between selection and today's date.

If Boris doesn't get busy and Paddick goes law and order and fairly right wing he could do remarkably well. Perhaps not quite enough to be the one getting Boris' transfers but Boris clearly couldn't give a monkey's about this job and that is communicating itself to the electorate.

Cameron must be really really annoyed at this feckless and disengaged attitude.

Incidentally Suz Blog suggested that Paddick's fellow on the Lib Dem shortlist were victims of (a) tokenism and (b) being set up. The Lib are even making the Tories look good on Equality.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine that Boris' handlers are keeping him well out of the way so that he can 'bone up' on the 'isshews' and reduce the number of inevitable gaffes to an amusing minimum. I do think that his biggest problem, despite his legendary intelligence and cranial capacity, will be being taken seriously as a candidate; so he does need to undergo some sort of personality transplant so that people see and recognise 'serious Bozza' and that he has a credible raft of policies for London. He will need much more than he displayed when running for the candidacy. That being said, if he does his homework and knuckles down to be a serious candidate, he could be a good mayor and will certainly present Londoners with a diametrically alternative option to Red Ken, who has become so identified with the office of mayor as to bealmost apolotical in party label terms.

I think we can dismiss the Lib Dem effort out of hand. They are not a credible force in London, they have a candidate riddled with character and professional flaws (how many ethnic minority voter is going to vote for an ex-policeman when the Met has proved so incomopetent, ineffective and deeply unpopular among those sections of the population)?

Best thing to do? Abolish the office of mayor which is completely unecessary, deeply costly and ineffective, and the pathetic GLA (ditto on all counts) and return the huge costs of both to the hard-pressed London council tax payer. Mrs Thatcher abolished the old GLC for good reasons. It makes sense: ergo, it'll never happen.

Anonymous said...

Boris has no chance of winning!

Boris reminds me of David Niven's description of Errol Flynn, 'There was only one thing you could be sure of, he'd always let you down'

Man with dose of 'Fanny Rats' not to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

oSimon is right to be concerned.

Paddick is a loose cannon, in more ways than one.

I wouldn't trust this man with an old penny.

Anonymous said...

Boris is detoxing. He says he is off the booze and he's losing weight. Expect a New Year blitz with a shiny brand new lean Boris?

Anonymous said...

As a Tory and Boris fan, I can't say I've been impressed. The Routemaster campaign is pretty hopeless. That horse has bolted.

Bendy buses are good for passenger loading and safety, bad for revenue collection, and bad for other road users.

But the money has been spent. They are a fact of life, move on. Boris gives the impression that he has never actually been on a bendy bus. Not all that helpful really.

Anonymous said...

Paddick is getting media. Boris is too busy earning money to be bothered.

I'm a Tory but I would rather Brian Paddick was our candidate than lazy Boris Johnson.