Boris Johnson came across reasonably well on last night’s London Talking debate as did Brian Paddick who quite impressed after a slow start. Livingstone looked tired and old and tried to blame the recent surge in teen murder on Thatcherism from what I could work out. Nothing to do with ten years of a Labour government and eight years of a Labour Mayor then.
I was disappointed by the audience to be honest. With only 12 per party they were all party representatives and horribly partisan. The candidates were models of reasonableness in comparison. In particular the questions from Labour and the LibDems to Boris were at best un-illuminating and at worst just insults. I don’t think many London voters would have been impressed by these questions.
Ealing councillor Ed Yeo was one of the Tory “audience”. He fluffed his question to the Mayor which came out essentially as: “Why are you being so nasty”. The Mayor was able to brush this off easily as he had indeed been pretty sweet through the proceedings. As we saw with the little helpers and leftie Muslim letters to the Guardian the Mayor can afford to sound reasonable when he has lots other people who can do the nasty stuff for him. So it proved with questions to Boris where a Labour activist raised the Darius Guppy slur and with a LibDem lady piling in too. Not very edifying when there are big issues of transport and policing to deal with.
The combination of children’s presenter Konnie Huq and a bunch of over-excited activists made for pretty jarring viewing.