Forget Ken, Boris and Brian — vote for me

By Simon Round, April 25, 2008

This time next week, we will know whether Ken or Boris or perhaps even Brian is the new mayor of London. I have to confess the prospect does not excite me. Ken’s voice is too nasal for my liking, Boris’s hair is quite frankly a mess, and as for Brian — well call me prejudiced, but I don’t think a city the size of London should have a mayor named Brian.

The relative unpopularity of all three candidates (I have yet to meet anyone who is wholeheartedly in favour of any of them) leads me to think that maybe I missed a trick by not standing myself. True, I have no political experience whatsoever, but on the plus side, I have never called anyone “a concentration camp guard” and I am not a ludicrous buffoon.

And I have ideas for the capital. So, rather too late, I’m afraid, here is my blueprint for London.

Transport is at the heart of my vision for the city. Should it be bendy buses or Boris’s updated Routemasters? My proposal is to make Routemasters bendy. We can send astronauts to the moon so surely it cannot be beyond us to take London’s famous double-deckers and add a slight wobble to them. This would help bus drivers go around tight corners and would undoubtedly be a boon to the tourist trade.

Next, congestion charging. I have made a study of the congestion zone. The problem areas, it seems to me, are the main arterial routes from the south, the east and the west of the city. Therefore my plan is to exempt traffic travelling from North and North West London from the charge. People from these areas almost always have more important journeys anyway.

Other transport initiatives will include the long overdue Palmers Green to Holborn tunnel, designed to ease the commuting misery of those travelling between two of London’s most important locations. The fact that I happen to live in Palmers Green has no bearing on this policy.

Which brings me to one of my main initiatives. London, it seems to me, is too big and unmanageable. It has spiralled in all directions uncontrollably and now covers a vast area. It therefore makes sense to separate London into two separate administrative areas — a two-city solution if you like — to be called London and South London. London will take in everywhere north of the river plus nice places like Richmond Park, Greenwich and the South Bank. A security fence will be erected to keep undesirables out of the metropolis.

Policing is also at the centre of Londoners’ concerns. I will be attempting to ensure that the police have a more visible presence on the streets — by giving them fluorescent green uniforms with a floral motif.

Good housing is vital to a city’s success. As far as I can see, in the current climate the best use of our resources is to offer cheap mortgages to London’s neediest people — the homeless, those on low incomes, Jewish people, those working in essential services like journalism, and people with two smallish children and fairly high overheads.

In essence, we need to be inclusivist in our policies. We need to reach out to all Londoners, at least those who live in parts of the city we are not scared to visit. We need a clean city, a safe city, one with slightly better weather and fewer people with leaflets. So if you want a warmer, softer and slightly more yielding London, then vote Round — and I will make all of my, I mean, your dreams come true.

Last updated: 4:32pm, September 23 2009