Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mayor Boris!

To the fury of the left, Boris Johnson, the man they all thought was just a joke, has won the mayoral election. It's what makes democracy exciting. No-one would, at the outset, have predicted a Johnson victory, but during the course of the campaign a general schadenfreude with Ken Livingstone, coupled with the disaster that is, at present, the Labour government, combined to give a newly disciplined Boris the edge, and then a comfortable victory. He was way ahead on first preferences, and then the second preferences just confirmed his victory.

In victory, Boris's speech was magnanimous indeed. Not everyone would agree with his generous assessment of Ken Livingstone; perhaps it was true of his first term, but not of his second. But it was right to commend the man who was London's first elected mayor. Boris, too, showed he understood that his election was not ringing endorsement either of himself or the Tories. He said that he knew people's pencils had hovered above his name before voting; and that his victory had not turned London into a Conservative city. These were shrewd observations, and if he can maintain this sense of holding an office on trust from the people, and put his undoubtedly able team to work on London's behalf, then some people might need to eat their words in four years time, and he might even get a second term.

Brian Paddick, incidentally, gave a short speech which included his own tribute to Ken, but was noticeably lacking any congratulations to Boris. There are rumours that Boris is thinking of using Paddick to advise on police matters - I wonder if the man's lack of grace might make him think again.

There is, meanwhile, no shortage of advice to the Labour Party about what to do now (see the Matthew Parris article noted on the right), but Danny Finkelstein has some useful words of advice to the Tories too.

1 comment:

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