Londoners decide on a mayor for the capital today in the four-yearly local elections, and leading the polls is Conservative candidate Boris Johnson. This is the man quoted as saying "Out of my way, small car driven by ordinary person on modest income. Make way for the Nissan Murano!"
London residents are fed up with incumbent mayor, Labour MP Ken Livingstone, who has been running the city for eight years now. Opposing candidate and Tory Boris Johnson, however, seems like a dubious contender for the post. Calling Ugandans "picaninnies", George Bush "liberator of Iraq" and that for obese people it's "their own fat fault", London's left-wingers are anxious about seeing the blonde bombshell in charge of a budget of £11.3bn (€14.5bn) and a city of 7.5 million multicultural residents.
"Livingstone is the hardest of hard Left"
David Duff is a conservative supporter from the south of England. He is retired and runs the blog Duff and Nonsense
I have watched two live debates with the three main candidates - Brian Paddick (il-Lib-non-Dem), Ken Livingstone (the incumbent for two terms, standing, as usual, for no-one but himself and his Trot-lot cronies under the false colours of Labour) and Boris Johnson (Tory toff). Paddick is platitudinous to the nth degree. He rose rapidly upwards through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police which should be enough to tell anyone that he's a politically correct nonentity almost certainly promoted beyond his ability. Livingstone has always lived down to my expectations of him. He is a political viper. (...) I was never fooled by his cheeky chappie public persona. Livingstone is the hardest of hard Left and the quicker London is rid of his, and his corrupt cronies', pernicious influence the better. Which leaves Boris! (...) He is, on the face of it, your archetypal Tory toff. Eton and Oxford educated, he worked for a while in the media ending up as editor of my favourite mag, the Spectator. He became a Tory MP for Henley-on-Thames which is very definitely as posh as it sounds. Boris has spent a considerable amount of time pretending to be a buffoon. How difficult that was for him remains to be seen!
He tends, as my old mother used to put it, to open his mouth and let his belly rumble which is actually rather refreshing when contrasted to the ultra-careful mumblings of other MPs terrified of upsetting their PR advisers. For example, recently he used the word "piccaninnies" in referring to black children and all the usual po-faced suspects leaped up and down screeching imprecations. It was also a word used, famously, by Enoch Powell 40 years ago so that, too, added to the furore."
"Boris Johnson's views are homophobic and racist"
Kel is a left-wing political commentator from London and runs the blog The Osterley Times.I have long argued that Boris's bumbling nature allows us to overlook the fundamentally flawed aspects of both his candidacy and of Boris himself. It's not just that he belongs to another age, it's that his views are homophobic and racist and we overlook them because people say "Oh, that's just Boris".
On driving Chelsea tractors through London Boris says:
"Tee hee, I said to myself ... out of my way, small car driven by ordinary person on modest income. Make way for the Nissan Murano."
"ordinary" people are defined by their "modest" income
which presumably makes high income earners extraordinary.
Boris has also compared gay marriage to bestiality. Is this really the person that one would want representing the most multicultural city on Earth? Can one imagine any other politician being able to call black children "piccanninies" and comparing gay marriage to bestiality and for them not to be hounded out of office?
But then there are his actual policies."
An election campaign poster encouraging Londoners, who are often distracted by mice on the underground, to vote on May 1st.
Ken Livingstone and Liberal Democrat challenger Brian Paddick at a mayoral election seminar held by a gay and lesbian lobby group.
A pro- Livingstone newspaper advert.
Influential graffiti artist, Banksy, famous for his rats, commits his vote to Ken Livingstone.