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Friday, April 04, 2008

Scientific Justification For Voting Ken Lindsey (Er... What?)

Following my late night design session, I logged onto the spoof website this morning to find a whole bunch of comments demanding to know how a moderate Labour type like the one he purports to be could justify supporting Livingstone for Mayor of London. I don't have this sort of problem myself, as I explain my position far more consistently and cogently than the idiot who is impersonating me. In fact my only two comments on the subject were criticising the Greens' sense of poetry and Jon Cruddas' sense of geography.

Nevertheless, I thought I'd better demonstrate, scientifically, the basis of my decision to support Ken for Mayor. The successor organisation to Charter 88 has designed this nifty website, which tells you which mayoral candidates' policies you most support. So I'm going to take the test now and write up the results as I go along.

The capacity of London's airports should be increased.
I've always supported the Kyoto agreement on climate change and attacked Boris for opposing it. So I'd better say no.
The Congestion Charge should be the same for all cars regardless of their engine size or exhaust emissions.
Cancelling the £25 congestion charge for gas-guzzling Band G vehicles is a policy that we and our Green allies have recently attacked Brian Paddick for. So obviously it's no to this one.
All residential streets should have 20 mph speed limits.
We've pioneered 20 mph speed limits in Hackney and as the father of a young child how could I not support this. Faster traffic should use the strategic transport distribution routes. So I agree with this one.
The planning rules that protected the views of the Palace of Westminster and St Paul's Cathedral should be reinstated.
I'm often attacked for supporting unrestricted planning, but it's totally unfair. I've had a much more sensible approach since the Darren Parker debacle. These Tory planning waivers should be reversed.
London doesn't need any more skyscrapers.
My wife Linda voted against the Dalston skyscrapers on the Planning Subcommittee because she thought the buildings were not appropriate for the location. I'm a bit more iffy on the subject, though it depends on whether they contain affordable housing. I'll abstain on this one.
The Congestion Charge should be abolished.
Obviously not in a million years would I agree with this.
'Bendy' buses should be withdrawn from service from inner London.
I've always preferred the old Routemasters myself and although the bendy buses are good for getting ordinary people to work, they also encourage street crime. So I agree with this.
London City Airport should be closed.
Whatever for? It's a nice little airport on the Thames that never did anyone any harm.
We should continue to ban the feeding of pigeons in public spaces.
Pigeons spread diseases and I don't want Augustus getting ill through handling them. On the other hand, for some old people pigeons are the pets they can't afford. I'll abstain on this.
Specific targets on the level of affordable housing that must be built in London should be scrapped.
As I recently argued, Boris' policy of scrapping the 50% target will simply price housing out of the hands of ordinary Londoners. So it's a definite no on this one.
The lack of affordable rented accommodation is a bigger problem in London than immigration.
I've always argued for sensible policies on immigration, but since when has immigration been a bigger problem than decent housing? It's a yes from me on this one.
Public sector workers should reflect the ethnic diversity of the communities they serve.
I'm very proud of the ethnic diversity of Hackney and we on Hackney Council have worked very hard to ensure that the community is fully and properly represented in the allocation of Council jobs. So of course I agree with this.
Inter-racial marriage should be strongly discouraged.
I hardly need respond. Total rubbish.
The 'stop and account' form that the police have to fill in when they use stop and search powers should be scrapped.
I'd like to see it modified to make less paperwork for police officers, but not scrapped altogether, or we may go back to the bad old days of 'sus'. So it will have to be no to this one.
Under 18s who abuse their free travel on buses should have it withdrawn and have to earn it back through community service.
I completely agree. They should be made to scrub the walls clean of graffiti by yobs like Banksy and dig the flowerbeds of Sir Julian Pipeshaft while he's on important Council business.
People found in possession of cannabis should be let off with a warning so that the police can concentrate on fighting harder drugs.
I'm completely opposed to decriminalisation of cannabis, mainly because it's a LibDem policy. But the police are hard stretched and need to focus on the crack dens and heroin dealers round Hackney, so I'll have to agree with this.
Penalising anti-social behaviour among young people is more important than investing in youth centres and youth services.
This is the sort of question posed just to catch me out. Everyone knows I've been a supporter of ASBOs and other methods of getting tough with anti-social behaviour among young people. But that doesn't mean I expect them to fend for themselves without community facilities. I'm not a Tory on this issue! So it's no.
We should increase the number of Community Support Officers on the streets to support police.
I've tended to swing both ways on this one, although I never said anything quite as outrageous as my spoofster, when he said of the CPGB that "they have yet however, to arm the workers, unless the proliferation of PCSOs is a first step." I think we probably have enough PCSOs deployed now, so I'll say no to this one.
The Mayor of London should have the power to appoint London’s Police Commissioner.
Totally disagree. What's the point in having a Metropolitan Police Authority if it doesn't hire and fire its police chiefs? No to this one.
The Greater London Authority should have powers over primary and secondary education in London.
I'm very nostalgic about the days of ILEA, when good comprehensive education was available to all in London and we didn't have Tory boroughs charging parents illegally for admission. So I'll agree with this one.
The London Assembly should be replaced with a body appointed by the London boroughs.
Definitely not - that would shift the balance of power towards the Tories and LibDems.
Tackling poverty should not be a priority for the Mayor.
Again, hardly worth commenting. It should be the highest priority.
Unemployment should be tackled by giving businesses more freedom.
"Giving more freedom to business" is a euphemism for scrapping the minimum wage, weakening health & safety laws, attacking the trades unions and other Tory savagery. A definite no to this.
The portion of Council Tax set by the Mayor should be frozen or cut over the next four years.
I've been vociferous in the past about the London precept on my council tax being used to fund a festival of Cuban culture to celebrate 50 years of the revolution. But I wouldn't want to see a Labour Mayorship with a reduced budget. So I have to vote no to this one.
The jobs and long term regeneration that the Olympics will bring are more important than its cost.
Everyone knows I have absolutely no interest in sport, but I have expressed concern about the spiralling budget for the Olympics. I'm not convinced about the regeneration and employment benefits, so I'll vote no to this one.

That's all the questions - now you have to tick the ones on which you have the strongest views one way or the other. I'm choosing these: Emission charge cars, 20 mph speed limit, Congestion Charge, Targets affordable housing, Immigration vs. affordable accommodation, Diversity public sector workers, Inter-racial marriage, Under 18s free travel, Appointing Police Commissioner, Education powers, Appointment Assembly, Tackling poverty, Free business to fight unemployment.

Then you click on all the candidates so the result does not just match you to the parties already represented in London and you press "result". And the person whose manifesto are most closely matched by my views is...

Shurely shomething wrong...
What? Something must be wrong. Don't tell me everyone has moved to the right so fast I've been left behind. This could destroy my image. Linda... Linda... help. What do I do?

Mind you, the viagra woman/viagra man alliance seems to have worked well - look at their identical scores relative to mine and compare them with floppy Paddick!

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