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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Two great London manifestos for 2012

Why publicise one manifesto when you can publicise two? Given that Charles Kennedy once reportedly called the Liberal Democrats "not so much a broad church as a hexagonal cathedral", I can hardly, as a Liberal Democrat, go into an election period with only one manifesto. The first of my two is obviously that of Lib Dem London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, who I think would make a much better mayor than would any of the other candidates - unsurprisingly, he gets my (first preference) vote. 

What then, is this second manifesto to which I refer? At this point, reader(s) will probably be expecting me to heap praise upon the manifesto of Boris Johnson, given my active role as a Vice-Chairman of the Lib Dem Friends of the Conservative Party. Few things give me greater pleasure than the fact that one of my friends recently told me that he thought that this was a real organisation; sadly, it is merely a figment of what passes for my imagination. When it comes into being, its patrons will be Lady Bracknell (on account of her having said that the Liberal Unionists "count as Tories. They dine with us. Or come in the evening, at any rate") and Lord Birkenhead (a prominent Tory who, upon popping in to use the lavatory at the National Liberal Club and being asked by a porter if he was actually a member, responded: "Club? I thought it was a public convenience").

I shall end the suspense by saying that my 'second manifesto' is not that of a mayoral candidate or a political  party, but is that of the London Jewish Forum (LJF). I sit (in a strictly non-political capacity) on the steering group of the LJF. LJF is having a busy pre-election period, including hosting meetings with the major London mayoral candidates, including one with Brian Paddick. The manifesto is a useful summary of where the LJF stands on those London issues that are of most concern to London's Jewish communities and is well worth a read. 

Brian Paddick's Lib Dem manifesto also looks really interesting and the next few weeks are going to be fascinating for all observers of London and its politics. Oh, and those of you who live in my part of London might be interested in the website of Chris Richards, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly candidate for Barnet and Camden, who would do a great job if elected.

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