The race is on now for the new London Mayor. Will it be Ken Livingstone, or the tousle-haired, much-lampooned Boris Johnson? (The other candidates won’t get a look in.) The fun has already started with Mr Livingstone and Mr Johnson firing insults at each other across the airwaves and newspaper columns. Adding to Mr Johnson’s image as a character out of the Beano comics, even his father has weighed in: ‘I just don’t think people want another four years of Stalinist Ken Livingstone, and Boris will be a fresh voice.’ Meanwhile, the ‘Stalinist’ has said: ‘London is currently the world’s most successful city and requires serious city administration, not a shambles.’ Now, the shambles in question has always struck me as a personable chap, obviously clever and keen.
Townies are quick to take a pop at Livingstone mainly for the congestion charge but we have won the Olympic bid. We need someone to steer the city through this challenge. Mr Livingstone, I suspect, would be the more organised of the two, but Mr Johnson would be a marvel at boosting morale when the inevitable chippiness from Londoners about the cost and disruption sets in.