• Indecision Internationale: London Mayoral Election – Commissioner Paddick

    Tired of American politics? Then why not look overseas and take solace that it's not quite as insane as the London Mayoral elections taking place on Thursday? Some limey named Rich Johnston keeps holding our hand through it all:

    Brian Paddick, an ex-police commissioner, is the main third party candidate standing for London Mayor. He was once going to be the Conservative Party candidate, until he changed his mind.

    That he is a practising homosexual subject to domestic abuse has hardly had any play, even amongst the most conservative of media. Compared to Ken Livingstone's five children from three women, or Boris Johnson's high profile affairs and abortions, Brian's long-term monogamous relationship seems the most respectable. Although he was married to a lady in the eighties, like so many politicians, he flip-flopped.

    Even Brian's drugs policy, where he instructed his officers not to make arrests for cannabis possession (think The Wire's "Hamsterdam" spread out across a London borough), was respected by much of the media.

    The problem with Brian is that while he's certainly a figure of authority, he's seen as an uninspiring candidate. His policies have no bite; they seem mundane, more managerial than inspirational.

    So he's been going on the offensive of late, trying to at least persuade people that he might have an actual personality. He's just called Ken Livingstone a "nasty little man" and of Boris, said, "I wouldn't trust him to run anything for me." For Brian, these are strong words.

    But unlike other major British elections, the London Mayor uses the "Alternative Vote" system, where voters have a first and second choice. When Brian is eliminated (and he will be), his voters' second choices will go to Boris or Ken. If Brian says which of the two candidates he supports more, he could swing the result.

    Except right now, he isn't saying.

    So while Ken and Boris and slamming the hell out of each other, even when Brian attacks them, they turn the other cheek and are, well, remarkably nice to him. And not just in case Brian gets some old friends to throw them down the stairs.

    In the next installment of Indecision Internationale, it's Election Day in London!

    Tags: Boris Johnson, Indecision Internationale, Ken Livingstone, London


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