Life: Left of Centre

Why I’m Voting Ken for London

Posted on: May 3, 2012

Thursday May 3rd. A big day for Londoners. The chance to bloody the nose of this dreadful government, bent on ideological austerity at the expense of growth and jobs, and the chance to get rid of our useless London Mayor: Boris Johnson. Now it’s been a tough campaign, and not everyone is thrilled by the alternative on the Left: Ken Livingstone. I hear you, but it’s time to do the right thing and use your 1st and 2nd preference votes to give London a brighter future. A fairer, more equal capital where anyone and everyone can get on in life. That’s why I’m voting Ken for London.

Let’s face it, this hasn’t been the inspiring and exciting campaign for Mayor of London that perhaps we’d all hoped for. The contest has been set for some time now, with a two-horse race in place since Ken was nominated in 2010. Low visibility and the nature of a re-match of 2008’s Mayoral Race have sapped enthusiasm further, at a time when many people are switching off politics and trying to survive day-to-day, hand-to-mouth.

That said this is still an important choice. Boris has done nothing for Londoners. He may well be a laughable buffoon, but represents the same privilege and select interests that the Centre Right Coalition government does nationally. He’s a true blue Tory. A ‘Bullingdon Boy’ to his roots. Ken may be nothing new, or exciting, but he is the genuine Centre Left alternative, who knows and loves London and Londoners and would represent the very minorities and poorest people across our capital, who are simply without a voice at these times of desperate austerity.

That is why I’m voting Ken, and Labour, on Thursday.

A reminder of his main pledges on fares, police, the EMA and more are below:

  • To cut fares by 7% this year and freeze them throughout 2013. Oyster single bus fares will be reduced from £1.35 to £1.20. From 2014 fares will not rise above inflation.
  • Boris Johnson has admitted cutting 1,700 police officers. If Ken is elected, he will reverse his cuts. And he will reinstate sergeants to all 600 Safer Neighbourhood Teams, more of which will be beefed up to a minimum of 9 officers.
  • He will establish an all-London non-profit making lettings agency which, by cutting out Estate Agents’ profit, will help reduce rents and provide secure tenancies, and he will campaign for a London Living Rent – no Londoner should pay more than a third of their income in rent.
  • Ken will enable London households to save over £150 a year on energy bills through taking up money from energy companies for better insulation, which Boris Johnson has has failed to do – losing London £400m – and bringing in bulk purchasing deals to cut the price paid by Londoners for electricity and gas.
  • After the Tory-led government’s abolition of EMA he is committed to restoring a London-wide Educational Maintenance Allowance of up to £30 per week in term by bringing together existing funds in colleges, universities, and local authorities.
  • He will help families with the upfront cost of childcare through offering grants of up to £700 to low income families and interest-free loans to families earning up to £40,000 per year. Ken will campaign against the Tory cuts to childcare tax credits and  provide funding to create more out-of-hours childcare places at 200 nurseries across London.

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