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Live webchat with Ken Livingstone, TODAY 11.15am to 12.15pm

(157 Posts)
FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Apr-12 10:07:52

In the run up to the London Mayoral elections in May, we're very pleased to announce that Ken Livingstone will be joining us for a live webchat on Wednesday 18th April from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm. You can read more about Kens plans for London on his Mumsnet blog here.

Ken Livingstone was London's first elected mayor between 2000 and 2008. He was born in Streatham in 1945, attending Tulse Hill Comprehensive and working as a lab technician at Chester Beatty cancer research unit. Since becoming the MP for Brent East he has lived in Cricklewood.

Join us for the webchat and make your voice heard about what you want to see from the capital's next Mayor. He's keen to hear your views and answer your questions. As ever, if you can't make it, please post up your advance questions here.

Thanks, MNHQ

Crumblemum Tue 17-Apr-12 10:44:51

Do you really think you're up to the job? We need a good Mayor who can make the city work (not indulge it) but also focus on things like childcare costs and gang/ street crime.
I think all the issues associated with you (tax, anti-semitism, cronyism) show you're a bit distracted from what needs to be done most urgently.

Do you think it was a bit self-indulgent deciding to run for a third time?

thinneratforty Tue 17-Apr-12 11:17:33

I've seen recently your commitment to the tramlink extension.
www.bromleytimes.co.uk/news/ken_livingstone_pledges_to_extend_croydon_tramlink_to_penge_1_1349989
Would you consider supporting extending the R11 bus route to the Princess Royal University Hospital?
It is the only bus that could potentially go between QMS and the PRU site.

TheBlackShiksa Tue 17-Apr-12 13:32:02

Could you clarify what you meant when you said you were going to "make London a beacon for Islam"?

LineRunner Tue 17-Apr-12 13:34:37

I live in the north-east and would love to bring my children to their capital city to visit the British Museum and Natural History Museum, but the costs are crippling.

Does that matter?

eggsandham Tue 17-Apr-12 15:15:52

Hi Ken. Thanks for doing this webchat. So....when Boris got elected 4 years ago I was pretty concerned and thought he would end up being a total disaster for London. But it hasn't really turned out that way. Now when friends ask me why they shouldn't vote for Boris, I struggle to think of many things he's got wrong. Can you help me out? (and I need more than your point about public transport fares, people accept that, but it doesn't really feel like enough). Thanks.

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 17-Apr-12 16:32:46

What do you really believe about FGM? My entire view of you is coloured by your apparent support for people who believe this practice to be acceptable.

cazroz Tue 17-Apr-12 16:42:03

I come from a long line of socialists...but have to say I found your comments re Jewish voters appalling. I don't disagree that there are many wealthy Jews in London - but there are just as many trying to scrape a living and thousands more in between (hey - just like any other community group it could be said).

I'd like to ask: why on earth would you assume that wealth would cancel out any form of altruistic principle (ie voting Labour)? And yes, I know that you have apologised etc etc - but as far as I am concerned there is no smoke without fire - so what can you say to win back my vote?

painterlyswoosh Tue 17-Apr-12 16:43:03

So I read your guest blog. My, it sounds wonderful! Everything that Bojo has cut will be reinstated, with a fare cut to boot. How lovely.

I know you said that some of this will be funded from money from the annual mayoral budget profit, but I find it very hard to understand how, in these tough times, there is budget left over to fund all these projects (1700 police officers back, 7% fare cut, childcare grants, a not-for-profit lettings agency, bringing back the EMA).

If I were more sceptical, I might think you were just making a ton of promises that you knew you weren't going to be able to keep just to get into office hmm

So, could you please be VERY SPECIFIC about where all this money will come from? As you've done the job before, you'll know exactly how it all works.

Many thanks.

ChazMax Tue 17-Apr-12 16:51:03

Hi Ken,

Can you let us know what you think about the Boris bikes? What do you think about all these people cycling in mad, busy, London traffic without helmets?

Thanks

LineRunner Tue 17-Apr-12 17:20:27

I don't think my question upthreda made sense - sorry - I'll ask it again below.

LineRunner Tue 17-Apr-12 17:29:20

Dear Ken

I live in the north-east and would love to bring my children to their capital city to visit the British Museum and Natural History Museum, but the journey costs on the train and tube are crippling, even though the museums are free or reasonably priced to get into special exhibitions.

Does it matter that a 'free' visit to our British Museum in London in unaffordable for many families?

How could you use your posiition to bring pressure to bear on train companies to consider the needs of families from the north, who wish to visit national collection in the capital?

(I am more fun as a parent than this makes me sound) smile

I don't have a vote but I know people by the way ...

nowit Tue 17-Apr-12 17:35:52

Hi Ken,

A bit of a random question.

If you were an Olympic athlete, what would your sport be?

bruxeur Tue 17-Apr-12 19:32:48

Long-distance obfuscation - many many years of training, will medal for sure.

EldonAve Tue 17-Apr-12 20:03:56

How will you fund your pledges?
Will the GLA precept (or whatever the portion of council tax that goes to city hall) increase?

crazynanna Tue 17-Apr-12 20:58:22

You have my vote,Ken!

wheeler Tue 17-Apr-12 22:41:42

Ken - about violence against women in London -

Your crime manifesto is very strong on the police response to sexual violence and the funding of rape crisis centres. You also make an agenda-setting commitment to tackle sexual harassment. And it’s great that you commit to ensuring that work on gangs always takes girls’ needs into account.

But - you don’t make any mention of FGM, forced marriage or honour-based violence. These crimes affect 1000s of girls and young women in London every year (there were 7,000 babies born to women who had undergone FGM in London last year; hundreds of girls seek support facing threat of forced marriage).

If elected are you committed to taking a proactive lead on these issues, by eg establishing a London-wide plan to end and prevent them?

Also, Boris’ administration listened to the arguments of women’s organisations and introduced an excellent, if under reported, London-wide strategy on ending violence against women and girls. This has been admired and copied by other cities and around the world. Are you committed to renewing and furthering this strategy and the work it has lead to?

Thanks

Betelguese Tue 17-Apr-12 22:57:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 00:08:41

Ken I haven't decided what to do with my vote yet. I have overall liked both your and Boris's achievements as mayor. The ex policeman is not appealing to me.

So Ken, why should a disabled, lone parent to two teens, vote for you over Boris?

Liz0034 Wed 18-Apr-12 00:16:18

Good evening Ken,

I have been a London cyclist for a few years and used to live in the East end. All the work that has been done regenerating the whole of East London is greatly appreciated.
Now that I live in West London (Borough of Ealing) I can see the Barclays bikes making their way here slowly...
Though, what good does it make when the roads tarmac is so poor and damaged and it feels so unsafe to cycle due to dense traffic and little cycle ways?

How will you make cycling safer?

Thanks,
Liz

SPSS Wed 18-Apr-12 01:11:52

A lot has been debated and agreed about the need to encourage and promote cycling amongst Londoners. There has been broad agreement that more Londoners should be encouraged to take up cycling for commuting, for pleasure riding, and for health and fitness – in addition to the environmental benefits of substituting motorised transportation for pedal power.

It has been particularly argued that young people should be introduced to, and supported in, taking up cycling from early childhood so that cycling becomes integral to their lifestyles as future adult Londoners.

Indeed, so many of London’s numerous and beautiful parks offer such fantastic opportunities for introducing to children the pleasures of cycling, and for helping them learn to ride safely and confidently in a minimal-hazard environment.

And yet, ironically, parents who would like their little children to learn to ride in a safe environment as in a London park are unable to take their children and their children’s bicycles on London’s buses and tubes to reach most of these otherwise-suitable parks.

Having just purchased bicycles for my two children, aged 5 and 8, so we may, as a family, go cycling in the various parks and trails in London on the approaching summer weekends, I realize now that even on weekends, bicycles are generally not allowed on the tube network, except on a handful of inconvenient segments that anyway do not let one reach all the parks; certainly the tube station near our home does not allow boarding with bicycles (unless foldable), so we cannot even get on the network from home with our children and their two-wheelers.

This prohibition is definitely some remnant, unfounded rule - there is no reason why a family with little children as mine must have to ride on the vehicular streets of London in order to get to a park where they want to ride their bicycles in safety.

Arguments are always made where there is no motivation to make a difference, and safety is a versatile, catch-phrase argument to use.

Yes, safety of passengers is a genuine concern, and I can assure you no one wants safety compromised. But it cannot be argued that safety is compromised in other underground networks around the world where bicycle carriage is permitted (such as in San Francisco area in California). Nevertheless, safety is a far greater and more legitimate a concern in crowded (such as weekday) transit than on weekends, when most carriages are empty, and families want to take children’s cycles to parks.

Furthermore, some double buggies, cellos, and suitcases that passengers travel with on the tube (to or from Heathrow, for example) even on weekdays should be as much a concern for safety as bicycles. Why is there no restriction on any of those? Some children's bikes are much smaller than some of these large suitcases and cello cases people travel with on the tube!!

Let's think this through: what happens if there is an emergency situation and there is a need to evacuate? Bikes, just as suitcases, will need to be left behind - no matter whether the access is by lift or escalator.

Considering all of this, can you then, use your office, if elected, to bring about changes to the Conditions of Carriage that will serve as reasonable solutions toward furthering bicycle usage in London? For instance:

•Bicycles could be permitted only on weekends during certain ultra-non-peak hours (say before 9am, and between 4pm and 7pm)
•Bicycles could be permitted only in the last and the first carriage of the train, which are boarded from the far end of the platforms
•Bicycles could be permitted only at those tube stations that have an operating lift that the bicycles may be transported on
•Bicycles could only be permitted on the tube when travelling as a family, not as adults unaccompanied by children
•Buses could be fitted with bike racks as have been done in other cities with success (see picture on the web, from Seattle, USA, etc.)

With these changes in rules, London will become much more cycle friendly to families, and we will be encouraging the internalization of a cycling culture in the next generations.

With these changes, my five year old, wishing to get across town to a park (where she'd want to ride her bike) would not need to ride her bike on the vehicular city roads all the way to the park because the safety of our roads is far from ideal for a child so young and inexperienced to ride on.

Please use your office to change the Conditions of Carriage to something more sensible and furthering of the good cause of family activities and cycle ridership.

Thank you in anticipation of a change for the better.

heliumballoon Wed 18-Apr-12 03:13:46

Welcome to MN Ken.

I asked Boris a question which he did not answer (looking back at his webchat he did seem to ignore some of the harder questions and was given an easyish ride). Can I ask the same question of Labour?

I am interested in which party will bring more women into decision making roles in the running of London. Can you tell us about the women you would include on your management team? Can you tell us as well about how many Labour Assembly members are women, and compare that to the Conservative total. Thank you.

I know we are only allowed one question but I also think Ken should be able to reply once and for all on the accusations about the use of actors in his campaign video.

dogindisguise Wed 18-Apr-12 09:14:54

Will you extend the congestion charge beyond its current zone to help improve London's terrible air pollution and tackle traffic congestion?

sfxmum Wed 18-Apr-12 10:13:48

I am not sure about bicycle on the tube but cycle lanes that are not death traps would be good, cycle lanes in London are a joke and in my outer London borough a sort of cruel joke

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 10:20:39

testing

cm22v07 Wed 18-Apr-12 10:24:25

I earn 21k a year and I'm Jewish, am I too rich to vote for you? By your own logic the 6 figure salary you earned last year would mean that you are too rich to vote Labour, no?
Can you not see how your comments about "Jews being too rich to vote for you" tapped into ancient and dangerous anti-semitic tropes? Why would I, a life long Labour supporter vote for you when you spew comments that take Britain 60 years back?

littleducks Wed 18-Apr-12 10:39:57

This is my first time voting for mayor, now live in zone 6, I must admit that I have been a bit hmm about Ken (despite the fare promises) after the tax fuss.

I am a student on a nhs bursary, dh is working full time, so we both travel into central London, a big expense. We rent, we are not applicable for housing benefit, but really our rent is a huge cut of our income. What could be done for us? We want to live in a small house, with a bedroom each for our two children (boy/girl) and a garden for them to play in. I don't think that is an unreasonable dream but the cost is huge here. We currently rent a 2 bed flat with a patio garden, with noisy neighbours sad. There is no way we would ever get a council house or anything like that. Is there ever going to be anything done so that there is affordable, good quality housing with a little bit of security for working families London?

YouCanDoTheCube Wed 18-Apr-12 10:54:51

Hello

As an onlooker (I'm not in London) this looks like a sickening election for feminists. We have one loathsome comedy neocon who can't keep it in his pants and couldn't be less interested in women's issues (that's Boris in case you're wondering) and one candidate who consorts with advocates of FGM and wife-beating.

Anyway.

My question is: why don't you just apologise when you get things wrong? When you make remarks that reasonable people could interpret as anti-semitic or homophobic (the Tories being 'riddled with gay people') - what's your beef with just saying 'I'm really sorry, my mouth ran ahead of my brain, that's not what I meant but I do understand how it can have been misinterpreted'?

Can you not see that your refusal to do so causes you serious damage?

DilysPrice Wed 18-Apr-12 11:00:37

I'd just like to say that I was a young mother when you first became Mayor - and I remember the way the buses used to be - slow, unreliable, inaccessible, and delayed by everyone paying fares in cash.

The revolution in the London bus network transformed my life and that of many mothers more disadvantaged than I, living out of range of the Tube network, and unable to access the Tube with buggies and toddlers anyway. So essentially I'd like to say thank you - and for the Oyster card and Congestion Charge, and other changes in the fabric of London too numerous to mention.

But please, please, please, if you're going to buddy up to anyone, could you please check that they're not madly homophobic, anti-Semitic or pro-FGM first.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Apr-12 11:18:54

Ken on his way - possibly stuck on the tube smile - but we may be a few mins late starting...

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 11:19:35

Thanks for letting us know.

Sharpkat Wed 18-Apr-12 11:20:23

Stupid question, but where do I find the webchat?

KajalO Wed 18-Apr-12 11:22:28

The number of people sleeping on the streets of the capital is rising. I’d like to know whether Ken will pledge to lead a new drive to tackle homelessness in London if elected – and how he proposes to do this.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Apr-12 11:24:45

Sharpkat

Stupid question, but where do I find the webchat?

Right here on this thread! Ken will be along any minute now [keeping everything crossed]

Sharpkat Wed 18-Apr-12 11:27:40

Thanks Justine.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Apr-12 11:30:54

BBC London Film crew here at MNHQ - no sign of Ken yet though...

From what I see as a Londoner, it's areas with a high density of population that have issues with anti-social behaviour - we're not designed to live on top of each other in cramped accommodation. All I can see around me is more and more developers building one or two bedroom flats and apartments on land that used to have maybe one or two family houses, putting pressure on services and the people around them. As far as I can see it's just developers maximising profit under the guise of solving the housing shortage in London. Is anything going to be done to curb this?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Apr-12 11:34:33

Pleased to say Ken is in the house (buses very slow today) and will be getting going imminently.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:34:35

Hi Ken here, sorry I'm late - blame bus delays! But glad to finally be here

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 11:34:47

Did bbc film Boris at MNHQ?

Oh and hello <forgets manners> blush

littleducks Wed 18-Apr-12 11:35:14

Tut, tut.

KiwiHol Wed 18-Apr-12 11:35:22

Hi Ken - about violence against women.

I appreciate your commitment to deal with sexual harassment in public places. Can you outline specifically how you will tackle FGM, forced marriage and 'honour-based' violence? Boris' manifesto has clear action on these issues where yours does not seem to have any plan to work on these areas.

littleducks Wed 18-Apr-12 11:35:44

Apologies x-posts.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:35:58

Crumblemum

Do you really think you're up to the job? We need a good Mayor who can make the city work (not indulge it) but also focus on things like childcare costs and gang/ street crime.
I think all the issues associated with you (tax, anti-semitism, cronyism) show you're a bit distracted from what needs to be done most urgently.

Do you think it was a bit self-indulgent deciding to run for a third time?

I have a young family growing up in this city and it is because of my desire to ensure the future of this city for them that I am motivated to stand for election.

I couldn’t agree more about the need for a good Mayor, focusing on the issues that matter to Londoners, and I’m proud that policies such as childcare are at the heart of my manifesto offering to Londoners.

I believe this election should be about exactly those issues and who London will be better off with. But it is precisely because Boris Johnson and the Tories want to ensure the election is about anything but this, that they have persistently tried to talk about other issues, such as those smears on me you mention. They know if the election is fought on the grounds of who will ease the cost of living for Londoners, they will lose.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Apr-12 11:37:07

SophieNeveau

Did bbc film Boris at MNHQ?

No they didn't.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:37:25

littleducks

This is my first time voting for mayor, now live in zone 6, I must admit that I have been a bit hmm about Ken (despite the fare promises) after the tax fuss.

I am a student on a nhs bursary, dh is working full time, so we both travel into central London, a big expense. We rent, we are not applicable for housing benefit, but really our rent is a huge cut of our income. What could be done for us? We want to live in a small house, with a bedroom each for our two children (boy/girl) and a garden for them to play in. I don't think that is an unreasonable dream but the cost is huge here. We currently rent a 2 bed flat with a patio garden, with noisy neighbours sad. There is no way we would ever get a council house or anything like that. Is there ever going to be anything done so that there is affordable, good quality housing with a little bit of security for working families London?

Hi littleducks, we're going to set up a Mayr's lettings agency to cut the cost of private sector renting and start building good council homes for rents that people can afford. We used to build 50,000 homes for rent each year in London. In the last 6 months only 56 have been started.

jonnybristol Wed 18-Apr-12 11:37:48

What are you going to do about COUNCIL TAX? Boris has said he will cut it by 10 % over ten years.

bobthebuddha Wed 18-Apr-12 11:38:15

Do you think operating via a limited company rather than PAYE if you're the 'brand' and the only source of income generation for your company is consistent with a socialist stance? Doesn't PAYE provide more tax revenue for schools, hospitals and welfare?

jonnybristol Wed 18-Apr-12 11:38:20

* i meant four years

EmsieRo Wed 18-Apr-12 11:39:04

I have always been a Labour supporter, as have my whole extended family, but as Jewish Londoners, I know many of them feel quite strongly that they will not vote for you (rightly or wrongly).

My question is, why do you think Labour has not put anyone else forward for this role? Are there no young, dynamic party members who would be far more suitable and deserve a chance to change things? Arguably, you have had your chance.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:39:59

painterlyswoosh

So I read your guest blog. My, it sounds wonderful! Everything that Bojo has cut will be reinstated, with a fare cut to boot. How lovely.

I know you said that some of this will be funded from money from the annual mayoral budget profit, but I find it very hard to understand how, in these tough times, there is budget left over to fund all these projects (1700 police officers back, 7% fare cut, childcare grants, a not-for-profit lettings agency, bringing back the EMA).

If I were more sceptical, I might think you were just making a ton of promises that you knew you weren't going to be able to keep just to get into office hmm

So, could you please be VERY SPECIFIC about where all this money will come from? As you've done the job before, you'll know exactly how it all works.

Many thanks.

Hi painterlyswoosh.

I’m going to run through in a nutshell here – but for more info please look at my website www.kenlivingstone.com

· My fares pledge will be funded by TfL’s operating surplus – and it will not affect investment. TfL consistently has a surplus on its operating budget and
· last year this was £727mn. This operating surplus grows every year. This is an excess in the budget, over and above the projected budget. My policy is to put that money back into Londoners’ pockets and purses.
· My policing pledge will be funded by cracking down on the millions of pounds worth of waste in the Met police we know exists – from first class flights to chauffer-driven cars.
· My childcare pledge will cost £3.4 million per year and will be entirely funded through the GLA budget. We will pay for this through releasing uncommitted contingency money (of a budgeted £10.6 million in 2012/13)

· The money that will pay for my EMA pledge and energy pledge is money that already exists. The EMA pledge will bring together existing funds from colleges, universities and councils, providing central administration at city hall, and I am already in discussions with key partners about delivering this.
· Under Boris Johnson London has lost out on over £400 million of funding for home energy efficiency that could have been secured from energy utilities’ national obligations. His own RE:NEW scheme has only delivered measures to 40,000 homes, against his target of 200,000 by May 2012. This has meant hundreds of thousands of London households paying higher energy bills than they needed to.I’ll call an immediate Energy Summit of all the main domestic energy suppliers and work with them to ensure that London gains the maximum possible benefit from the remaining free insulation programmes that end in 2012 and gets its’ fair share of the £1.3bn per year energy companies are required to spend on home insulation from 2013. On average, a household that installs proper insulation will save £150 a year off their energy bills.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:40:17

KiwiHol

Hi Ken - about violence against women.

I appreciate your commitment to deal with sexual harassment in public places. Can you outline specifically how you will tackle FGM, forced marriage and 'honour-based' violence? Boris' manifesto has clear action on these issues where yours does not seem to have any plan to work on these areas.

30 years ago the GLC Women's committee, with my support started the campaign to make FGM illegal in Britain and I believe we need to ensure prosecutions where parents take their children abroad for FGM. When I was Mayor we made police take domestic violence seriously and keep in touch with the women victims and this was a key factor in reducing the murder work. I'll make sure the police have the resources to deal with this if I'm Mayor.

I'm happy to pay more council tax if it means services won't be cut - individual savings of a couple of quid mean nothing if it buggers everything up from a wider POV.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:42:26

jonnybristol

What are you going to do about COUNCIL TAX? Boris has said he will cut it by 10 % over ten years.

Hi Jonnybristol. I will freeze the council tax for the 4 years if I'm mayor, and my fares cut means the average London public transport used will be £1000 better off over 4 years. In comparison Boris's proposals will save the average household just £30 per year

doiwant3 Wed 18-Apr-12 11:43:16

Dear Ken,
I am not a Tory voter, and voted Labour in the last election. However, I don't think I can vote for you because you've been so offensive to my community - the Jewish community. I know we don't count for much, votes wise, but I just don't understand why you think it's a vote winner to actually be offensive to us. Please could you explain?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:44:42

To all those who asked about attractions and visiting London

We have the highest fares in the world, they are twice the European average. I think the government should cut fares outside London in the way I'm going to do inside London. But when you do get to London your children can travel free on the buses because I introduced that change last time I was Mayor.
I was part of the campaign to end Museum charges and I made visits to London Zoo free for school parties, but Boris stopped that.

AstroidPrincess Wed 18-Apr-12 11:44:48

Hi Ken. I'm an admirer and a big fan actually. I can understand what you stand for, which increasingly I find I don't with most of today's politicians.

My question is slightly morbid but I'd like to know if you died tomorrow, what would you most like to be remembered for in terms of your time in politics?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:44:57

eggsandham

Hi Ken. Thanks for doing this webchat. So....when Boris got elected 4 years ago I was pretty concerned and thought he would end up being a total disaster for London. But it hasn't really turned out that way. Now when friends ask me why they shouldn't vote for Boris, I struggle to think of many things he's got wrong. Can you help me out? (and I need more than your point about public transport fares, people accept that, but it doesn't really feel like enough). Thanks.

Hi Eggsandham , I can certainly help you out on this! I could spend the next hour answering this question, so instead let me run through where he has failed in relation to my six key pledges at this election. On transport, fares have risen as inflation busting rates, with a bus fare rising by 50% in 4 years – whilst the investment budget has been underspent.

On crime, he has admitted cutting the number of police officers on London streets by 1700 (live on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show, earlier this year in fact) – yet crimes including rape, robbery and youth knife crime are all up. On housing, despite the hundreds of thousands languishing on housing waiting lists across the capital, just 56 new home starts were made in London in the latest six month period. On energy, he has failed to take advantage of £400millions worth of funding he could have drawn down to help Londoners with their energy bills. And on childcare, his one action on this issue has been to scrap the London Childcare Affordability Programme I had established to help London families. In terms of what he hasn’t done – he has stood by and failed to speak up for London as EMA was cut, tax credits were cut, NHS reforms pushed through and tuition fees pushed up. Yet he has found the time to successfully lobby the government for a cut in the top rate of tax – a move that only the richest 1% of Londoners will benefit from.

slug Wed 18-Apr-12 11:45:59

Hi Ken

I watched the latest Met commissioner on the news last night promising to tackle racism in the force. While I think this is an admirable and much needed policy, how long will it be before the same policy is applied to sexism in the force?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:46:58

There's been a few questions from Chazmax and others about bikes...

Regarding the cyclehire scheme, at £12k each, they are the most expensive bikes in the world. I will appoint the green candidate Jenny Jones to take charge of improving the safety of cyclists in London and reinstate pedestrian and cyclist safety as the top priority for TfL. Most cyclists are killed by HGVs turning left. We will cyclists a 5 second start ahead of everybody else at green lights

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:47:58

crazynanna

You have my vote,Ken!

Thank you very much crazynanna! I just need a million and a half more now.

Prolesworth Wed 18-Apr-12 11:51:17

You've got my vote too smile

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:51:36

doiwant3

Dear Ken,
I am not a Tory voter, and voted Labour in the last election. However, I don't think I can vote for you because you've been so offensive to my community - the Jewish community. I know we don't count for much, votes wise, but I just don't understand why you think it's a vote winner to actually be offensive to us. Please could you explain?

I'm sorry you have been upset by this because I have never said these things and if I had there wouldn't be so many Jewish activists working on my campaign. Nicky Gavron, the woman I appointed as my deputy mayor is Jewish and worked really well with me during my previous two terms. I have always valued the contribution made by the Jewish community to London. As mayor we worked closely with the London Jewish Forum to promote Jewish culture and events across London and will do so again.

bobthebuddha Wed 18-Apr-12 11:52:39

C4's Fact Check has questioned your ability to deliver fare cuts with the TFL 'surplus' you mentioned. If you were cutting fares would you still be able to invest in transport?

And you say you'd not be increasing your Council Tax precept. In your last tenure it went up by more than 100%. We're in a recession - can you really not to raise it again while making all these promises of spending?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:54:31

AstroidPrincess

Hi Ken. I'm an admirer and a big fan actually. I can understand what you stand for, which increasingly I find I don't with most of today's politicians.

My question is slightly morbid but I'd like to know if you died tomorrow, what would you most like to be remembered for in terms of your time in politics?

Hi AstroidPrincess - good question! I'm an atheist and so I don't expect to be looking down on you all after I'm gone, but if I am I hope you'll be talking about my cheap fares policy and the legacy of the GLC women's committee which raised so many of the issues that Mumsnet carries on campaigning on.

thestringcheesemassacre Wed 18-Apr-12 11:54:39

Ken,

I live in Surrey, so can't vote, but I think you're the best candidate for London and I wish you much luck.

TrophyEyes Wed 18-Apr-12 11:57:17

Hi Ken,

Some resources, such as Chapter 1 and East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services, which help those who are living with, or who are in the process of leaving or recovering from domestic abuse, have received horrific cuts over the past few months. Will you be putting any measures in place to safeguard these services, at a time when the likes of Women's Aid and Refuge are reporting a strain on their services?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 11:58:16

heliumballoon

Welcome to MN Ken.

I asked Boris a question which he did not answer (looking back at his webchat he did seem to ignore some of the harder questions and was given an easyish ride). Can I ask the same question of Labour?

I am interested in which party will bring more women into decision making roles in the running of London. Can you tell us about the women you would include on your management team? Can you tell us as well about how many Labour Assembly members are women, and compare that to the Conservative total. Thank you.

I know we are only allowed one question but I also think Ken should be able to reply once and for all on the accusations about the use of actors in his campaign video.

Labour's assembly candidate list has a majority of women as opposed to just one on the Tory slate. Labour's women candidates have been launching our women's manifesto this morning, so look out for that. Val Shawcross is going to be my deputy mayor and will be in charge of running TfL.

And we didn't use actors on our broadcast - they are all ordinary, Labour supporting Londoners. It's worth watching our follow up video where some fo the people featured say why they wanted to be involved on kenlivingstone.com

poppyseeds99 Wed 18-Apr-12 11:59:20

Hi Ken,

I read your guest blog and I like the fact you're fighting for cheaper transport - an issue that affects Londoners across the board (both rich AND poor...). In his webchat, Boris Johnson mistakenly said that transport for under 18s in London was free - which just shows how out of touch he is.

You had two very successful two terms as London Mayor - you introduced the Congestion Charge and secured the Olympics 2012, which were both impressive achievements.

My question is:

If you were re-elected, what would your single biggest achievement be in your next term as London Mayor? What one thing would you really prioritise to make London a better Capital?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:00:30

SophieNeveau

Ken I haven't decided what to do with my vote yet. I have overall liked both your and Boris's achievements as mayor. The ex policeman is not appealing to me.

So Ken, why should a disabled, lone parent to two teens, vote for you over Boris?

Hi Sophie, I'll reinstate the disability access programme for our tube and trains stations, make sure dial a ride and taxicard are properly funded and we're going to give grants and loans to parents who want to go back to work but can't afford childcare. Your teens will benefit when we reintroduce the Educational Maintenance Allowance of £30 a week

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:01:29

Poppy, I am so glad you picked up on the fact Boris ignored me when I pointed out he was wrong stating public transport was free for under 18's in full time education.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:02:49

bobthebuddha

C4's Fact Check has questioned your ability to deliver fare cuts with the TFL 'surplus' you mentioned. If you were cutting fares would you still be able to invest in transport?

And you say you'd not be increasing your Council Tax precept. In your last tenure it went up by more than 100%. We're in a recession - can you really not to raise it again while making all these promises of spending?

Hi bobthebuddha. In the next four years the Mayor has got to do everything to keep the cost of living as low as possible so I'll cut fares, freeze the council tax and congestion charge. This won't affect investment because Boris cancelled all my transport investment plans expect the bike scheme and the investment budget has been underspent by £1bn under Boris, so there is the money there.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:04:02

Will you add more disabled parking spaces at tube/train stations that have lifts too please? if you are later than 10am the spaces are gone for the day.

AstroidPrincess Wed 18-Apr-12 12:04:25

Oh can I ask another one. My partner and I both wanted to attend the olympics, but the prices of tickets were quite outrageous. Do you feel that the Olympics are really the 'People's Olympics' when most Londoners couldn't afford a ticket, and even if they could, wouldn't even be able to get tickets for the events they wanted to see?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:04:46

poppyseeds99

Hi Ken,

I read your guest blog and I like the fact you're fighting for cheaper transport - an issue that affects Londoners across the board (both rich AND poor...). In his webchat, Boris Johnson mistakenly said that transport for under 18s in London was free - which just shows how out of touch he is.

You had two very successful two terms as London Mayor - you introduced the Congestion Charge and secured the Olympics 2012, which were both impressive achievements.

My question is:

If you were re-elected, what would your single biggest achievement be in your next term as London Mayor? What one thing would you really prioritise to make London a better Capital?

Ho poppyseeds99. Our biggest crisis is housing and the next mayor has to build good homes at rents people can afford. There's enough brownfill sites for a third of a million homes. I want to build them over the next 10 years using investment from pension funds.

heliumballoon Wed 18-Apr-12 12:05:15

Thank you for answering my question Ken. One women on the Conservative candidate list- that's shocking! No wonder Boris dodged the question.

Shakey1500 Wed 18-Apr-12 12:05:35

Hi Ken

What's your biggest gripe about the Tube?

Do you like Boris's hair? grin

AstroidPrincess Wed 18-Apr-12 12:07:33

I must say I feel very disillusioned about the Olympics now, which has only served to further highlight the differences between those who have, and those who don't, in my mind.

bobthebuddha Wed 18-Apr-12 12:08:28

I'm not convinced 'there is the money there' at all I'm afraid, but thanks for your answer. Is that tax issue the big elephant in the room however grin

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:08:39

dogindisguise

Will you extend the congestion charge beyond its current zone to help improve London's terrible air pollution and tackle traffic congestion?

Over 4000 people die prematurely each year in London because of pollution, on average losing 11 years off their life each. The EU is about to fine London £300 million becuase we have the worst air quality in Europe. This would mean £100 on a band D council tax! The congestion charge zone is too small to solve London's air quality problems so extending it isn't the answer and I won't extend it.
Almost the first thing I'd do is to meet the EU environment commissioner to see if we can work together to avoid this fine and work together to improve air quality.

Solo Wed 18-Apr-12 12:09:56

I'm fed up with the leaflets through my door, addressed to me personally hmm they are a HUGE waste of money in my opinion.

<just saying>

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:10:19

I didn't know about the air quality or fine, Wow!

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:10:32

Shakey1500

Hi Ken

What's your biggest gripe about the Tube?

Do you like Boris's hair? grin

Hi Shakey1500 it's the almost daily delays on the Jubliee lines which always make me late for meetings (not to mention the exortionate cost these days!).

Not all gentlemen prefer Blondes....!

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:11:02

Shakey1500

Hi Ken

What's your biggest gripe about the Tube?

Do you like Boris's hair? grin

Hi Shakey1500 it's the almost daily delays on the Jubliee lines which always make me late for meetings (not to mention the exortionate cost these days!).

Not all gentlemen prefer Blondes....!

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:11:53

Solo, I never look at political leaflets I bin them, I do my own research.

Shakey1500 Wed 18-Apr-12 12:12:22

grin Arf!

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:12:59

AstroidPrincess

Oh can I ask another one. My partner and I both wanted to attend the olympics, but the prices of tickets were quite outrageous. Do you feel that the Olympics are really the 'People's Olympics' when most Londoners couldn't afford a ticket, and even if they could, wouldn't even be able to get tickets for the events they wanted to see?

I didn't get any tickets either, AstroidPrincess! But, the reason I bid for the Olympics was to get the investment in the East End of London and without that we would never have had the London Overground upgrade and DLR extensions to Stratford international and Woolwich, and there's 3000 homes available to Londoners after the athletes go home.

Solo Wed 18-Apr-12 12:13:01

So do I Sophie which makes it even more of a waste of money. I also hate the way it's actually addressed to me!

heliumballoon Wed 18-Apr-12 12:13:17

Boris was also out of touch when he answered my complaint about the replacement of bendy buses with routemasters. He said he would urge bus drivers to be more buggy friendly. That's a pointless endeavour when the simple fact is that a bendy bus had space for up to six buggies (if people had nippy little McClarens) while a routemaster fits two or three, leaving me often at the bus stop. I just get the feeling Boris never took these buses himself.

LineRunner Wed 18-Apr-12 12:13:25

How are you going to fight the smears, Ken?

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:16:01

No one has asked this one so far so I will.

Ken, Boris was asked for his version of the "Lift" incident, do you want to comment on his version of events, on the webchat we had with him?

MrsMicawber Wed 18-Apr-12 12:16:29

I am disgusted by the way you dodged the Jewish question. Do you deny your comments to the Rueben Brothers?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:16:40

bobthebuddha

Do you think operating via a limited company rather than PAYE if you're the 'brand' and the only source of income generation for your company is consistent with a socialist stance? Doesn't PAYE provide more tax revenue for schools, hospitals and welfare?

Now all the candidates have published their tax returns you can see I've paid 35%. Boris paid 41% but then he does earn £500k a year. The Tories are trying to make this election about everything apart from who will make Londoners better off, and their persistent attempts to talk about tax are just a diversion from the real issues of the election.

heliumballoon Wed 18-Apr-12 12:16:56

Yy please answer Bob's question about your tax affairs.

AstroidPrincess Wed 18-Apr-12 12:17:25

Thanks for answering my questions and I hope you win Ken! We need someone in who cares about ordinary Londoners. I miss you on LBC on Saturdays though!

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:17:48

TheBlackShiksa

Could you clarify what you meant when you said you were going to "make London a beacon for Islam"?

That isn't my view - I want London to be a beacon of tolerance and good community relations. I won't put one religion or belief over any other.

heliumballoon Wed 18-Apr-12 12:18:06

X post sorry

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 18-Apr-12 12:18:10

Ken are you going to answer the question about your personal tax arrangements?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 18-Apr-12 12:18:37

x-posts, sorry!

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:18:46

LineRunner

How are you going to fight the smears, Ken?

Good question LineRunner ! By just coming on mumsnet, doing TV debates and answering questions honestly.

MrsMicawber Wed 18-Apr-12 12:18:49

and can you please answer TheBlackShiksa Tue 17-Apr-12 13:32:02
Could you clarify what you meant when you said you were going to "make London a beacon for Islam"?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 18-Apr-12 12:20:07

Ken you are dodging a lot of questions.

Are you denying you said those things about the Jewish community? Are you denying you said that about London being a beacon for Islam?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:21:00

SophieNeveau

No one has asked this one so far so I will.

Ken, Boris was asked for his version of the "Lift" incident, do you want to comment on his version of events, on the webchat we had with him?

I've been stuck in lifts with Norman Tebbit and Mrs Thatcher and they were never rude to me (but she did abolish me!). I want to make sure this election is about policies that matter to ordinary Londoners, not rows in lifts.

AstroidPrincess Wed 18-Apr-12 12:21:59

I know I won't get anymore questions answered so I'll just say, please do something about affordable rents if you get in please! I live in a 1 bedroom council house with 2 children.

Good luck with the campaign!

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:23:00

EmsieRo

I have always been a Labour supporter, as have my whole extended family, but as Jewish Londoners, I know many of them feel quite strongly that they will not vote for you (rightly or wrongly).

My question is, why do you think Labour has not put anyone else forward for this role? Are there no young, dynamic party members who would be far more suitable and deserve a chance to change things? Arguably, you have had your chance.

Hi EsmieRo . My next administration will be filled with people who are young and dynamic and I still think I'm only 40!

LineRunner Wed 18-Apr-12 12:23:43

And please try to get the government to make national collections more accessible to non-Londoners, by making cross-country train travel affordable in this country again. National collections are more than 'attractions'.

MrsMicawber Wed 18-Apr-12 12:23:56

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKNtZTUwrTc&feature=player_embedded#! you are assuring muslims that you will “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam, saying: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” You described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.

I don't think that is quite synonymous with what you said above.

AstroidPrincess Wed 18-Apr-12 12:24:50

Should have said affordable rents and housing stocks.

MissAnneThrope Wed 18-Apr-12 12:25:01

Hi Ken

I live in an area with a large Muslim community. Increasing numbers of pre-teen girls are coming to school wearing a full-necked headscarf, and clothes which prevent them from running, jumping and .. being a child, basically.

Do you believe that these girls are choosing to cover their bodies, as if those bodies were taboo? Can young children make an informed choice about matters like these?

And if not, how would you as mayor ensure that they are able to enjoy their right to childhood? I know this is really a DfE thing, but I want a statement of intent.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:25:18

nowit

Hi Ken,

A bit of a random question.

If you were an Olympic athlete, what would your sport be?

Swimming - that's the only sport I do. I love swimming in the sea and watching all the fishes. Once I saw lobster as big as a bulldog - it would've been a hundred years old.

LineRunner Wed 18-Apr-12 12:25:43

I have to go to my lowly paid work now (on foot), but thank you for your intriguing answers, and may the best person win.

Porpoise Wed 18-Apr-12 12:27:22

Inevitable but important: What's your favourite biscuit? And would you share one of Boris's choccy digestives?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:27:34

YouCanDoTheCube

Hello

As an onlooker (I'm not in London) this looks like a sickening election for feminists. We have one loathsome comedy neocon who can't keep it in his pants and couldn't be less interested in women's issues (that's Boris in case you're wondering) and one candidate who consorts with advocates of FGM and wife-beating.

Anyway.

My question is: why don't you just apologise when you get things wrong? When you make remarks that reasonable people could interpret as anti-semitic or homophobic (the Tories being 'riddled with gay people') - what's your beef with just saying 'I'm really sorry, my mouth ran ahead of my brain, that's not what I meant but I do understand how it can have been misinterpreted'?

Can you not see that your refusal to do so causes you serious damage?

I do apologise when I get things wrong, but it usually doesn't get reported. My recent article in the Jewish Chronicle is a good example of this.

bobthebuddha Wed 18-Apr-12 12:30:11

Oh dear - you actually didn't publish your tax return though! That wasn't a properly formatted set of accounts, just what you wanted us to see.

I do agree with you that elections should be primarily about policies, but trust and integrity is also important. And the PAYE vs Ltd company is a big issue of integrity to many.

You haven't got my vote this time as in the past, but thanks for answering both questions (sort of).

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:30:48

MissAnneThrope

Hi Ken

I live in an area with a large Muslim community. Increasing numbers of pre-teen girls are coming to school wearing a full-necked headscarf, and clothes which prevent them from running, jumping and .. being a child, basically.

Do you believe that these girls are choosing to cover their bodies, as if those bodies were taboo? Can young children make an informed choice about matters like these?

And if not, how would you as mayor ensure that they are able to enjoy their right to childhood? I know this is really a DfE thing, but I want a statement of intent.

Hi MissAnneThrope. Each person must be free to make their own choice about how they live their life. The more people attack Islam, the more people will want to assert their identity. We need to live in a more tolerant society, where people of all religions and none live alongside each other peacefully.

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:33:17

Porpoise

Inevitable but important: What's your favourite biscuit? And would you share one of Boris's choccy digestives?

I'm a chocoholic and a white chocolate finger is my favourite (preferably a whole box!). I "ll share his biscuit if he cuts the fares.

EmsieRo Wed 18-Apr-12 12:34:15

Thanks! I just think it is a shame that you and Boris are the only two candidates with a serious chance - again...

Re- your answer to youcandothecube, the thoughts among many of my Jewish friends and family is that the Jewish Chronicle article was too little, too late. Having said the Jewish community wouldn't vote for you because they were too rich (a racial stereotype if there ever was one, and sadly not true for any Jews in my family!), you then backtracked and said the Jewish vote was not a homogenous one (which is stating the obvious). That article was quite unconvincing to me, and I am looking for reasons to vote for you as I really, really, don't want to vote Tory!

LindsayWagner Wed 18-Apr-12 12:34:47

Ken - your last administration left the sulphurous whiff of cronyism in the air. First, the Lee Jasper business - altho you were exonerated of serious wrongdoing there were irregularities in your administration's account-keeping and it all looked a bit, erm, rum.

Then the £1.6m of payoffs to your political staff when you lost your post - averaging 200k or summatlike - even tho you were under no legal obligation, and in fact had to change the law, to do so.

It's put me off. How will you put me back on again?

KenLivingstone Wed 18-Apr-12 12:38:42

I've got to go now but thanks very much to the Mumsnetters for having me today. I've really enjoyed my vist here (and the biscuits at mumsnet towers!).

MissAnneThrope Wed 18-Apr-12 12:39:57

Each person must be free to make their own choice about how they live their life.

Yes, that is precisely my point. These are children. They are not able to make these choices, they are not asserting their own identity. Adults are asserting their own identity, at the expense of their children's human rights - the UN right to childhood for e bloody g.

Society has an obligation to protect those rights - especially and at the very least, within its own institutions. Like in school.

Gah. I'd really hoped for something more nuanced than this from you.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:39:59

Thanks for giving us your time.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:41:02

MissAnn, I was disapointed with Boris and Ken, I may do a Siobhan vote at this rate.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Apr-12 12:42:12

Thanks for coming, Ken - and for staying on to try to squeeze in some more Qs

MrsMicawber Wed 18-Apr-12 12:44:07

Ugh.

MissAnneThrope Wed 18-Apr-12 12:44:26

I'm seriously considering, Soph.

noseynoonoo Wed 18-Apr-12 12:45:51

He does bang on about the fares doesn't he? Not everyone commutes to work and public transport in the outer boroughs is pretty scarce too.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 12:46:52

I don't have anything personal against Ken or Boris, they have both been decent Mayors. I just don't feel motivatedto vote for either at the moment.

MNHQ, is Siobhan coming on?

bobthebuddha Wed 18-Apr-12 13:10:53

Seconding SophieNeveau; I'd like to see Siobhan Benita on too with a blog & web chat. Livingstone stood as an independent too the first time round, albeit with a bigger support network and greater recognition. From what I've read of her, she definitely deserves a wider hearing.

MissAnneThrope Wed 18-Apr-12 13:13:13

What they said.
She sounds interesting. And female.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 13:15:33

Well, as far as I am concerned Lib Dem's picking a former I'm a celeb contestant, means I have no interest in voting Lib Dem. I have no interest in hearing what someone has to say after I saw their bare arse!

So the next best candidate was Siobhan.

smee Wed 18-Apr-12 13:30:11

Be realistic about how you vote - it's a two horse race. If you don't vote for Ken, Boris will get in. If that's what you want then fine, but there's really no point in voting for any other candidate than those two. Worth thinking about..

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 13:36:23

I don't vote that way, I don't see a vote as wasted. If I don't feel inspired I don't vote. Ken on bbc now!

DilysPrice Wed 18-Apr-12 13:38:24

You have two choices on your ballot. You are absolutely free to vote Green/BNP/ whatever as your first preference and then put whichever you hate least out of Ken & Boris. A first preference vote for a minority candidate is absolutely not a wasted vote.

smee Wed 18-Apr-12 13:38:34

Not saying it's wasted, but sometimes it's not as simple as just voting for who you'd like - if you vote for Siobhan Benita you're basically voting for Boris by default, as she'll split Ken's vote iyswim.

noseynoonoo Wed 18-Apr-12 13:46:03

smee - are you saying then that Siobhan is Labour-lite rather than for example Conservative-Lite? Or are you just trying to ensure a first vote for Ken?

Everything I've read seems to show that Siobhan is Independent and therefore not splitting anyone's vote. Like most people I'll give my preferred candidate my first vote and my next favourite my second vote.

smee Wed 18-Apr-12 13:52:49

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewgilligan/100151722/siobhan-benita-whitehalls-candidate-for-mayor/

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 13:53:39

I read in politics, Siobhan is a Blair witch project! Who is funding her is a mystery!

Well bare arse is getting no vote from me!

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 13:58:35

They are on ITV now. Boris said he would smarten up, his hair is a disgrace again. He will make London look like fools at the Olympics. as much as I have a vit of a crush on him blush

smee Wed 18-Apr-12 14:00:07

nosey, that link kind of explains it, so yes she's left, which means she'll split Ken's vote. There's no way she'll ever win, so yes a vote for Benita helps Boris get elected.

DilysPrice Wed 18-Apr-12 14:16:40

Smee - a vote for Benita only helps Boris if you leave your second preference blank, or give it to another minority candidate.

smee Wed 18-Apr-12 14:26:45

Yep, but it's still pretty pointless as she won't ever get elected.

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 14:28:43

Not everyone votes for a party shock some like me, look at the whole person! bad hair, affairs, religious comments, arse flashing on I'm a celeb which puts someone in Peter Andre levels to me! finances, lift incidents, past experience as well as policies!

Petrean Wed 18-Apr-12 19:34:32

I've just read through this and am baffled and annoyed by many of Ken's answers.

Ken says he will give cyclists a 5 second head start over vehicles at traffic lights. How on Earth is this achievable? I can't see this saving the lives of cyclists in
London. I can't even imagine it is possible to implement.

He comments on almost daily delays on the jubilee line. This is NOT my experience maybe he is just unlucky. I've been riding the jubilee line for 10 years I'd say it's actually improved considerably in recent years.

EMA to be reinstated for Londoners? Is this fair for every other child in this country no longer eligible? Is this achievable? Where is all this money going to come from Ken?

He really didn't answer the questions put to him regarding his recent comments on the Jewish incident, the Islam beacon comment or his tax issues.

Boris would get my vote if I lived in London, I don't anymore, I commute in every day but no longer live in London. I genuinely think he's the only candidate of choice. My opinion anyway.

justonemorethread Wed 18-Apr-12 21:54:02

So is Siobhan Benita coming on for a web chat?
It looks like she would really deserve the exposure....

Also can anyone clarify (sorry, ignorant)
If I vote for S. Benita as number one and Ken as number two what happens to my vote for S. Benita?
Why would a vote for her go to Boris?
<embarrassed at own ignorance>

SophieNeveau Wed 18-Apr-12 22:22:24

I remember someone on TV demonstrating this voting system, I got it at the time, now I am confused

Betelguese Thu 19-Apr-12 00:10:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smee Thu 19-Apr-12 09:57:46

It's a Supplementary Vote System, so in the first round, if someone gets 50% of the votes then they're elected. If not, then the top two vote winners get through to the next round, and all second preference votes are added to their totals. (You only get two preferences) Whoever comes out top wins.

Jenny Jones (Green) has suggested you put Ken as your second preference and he's said put Green if you're voting him first, so they've obviously got some deal going.

Basically though let's face it, it's hugely unlikely Benita will win, or be one of the top two candidates, so voting for her's basically a waste.

Neither Ken or Boris are likely to get over 50% in the first round either, but it's v.unlikely they won't be the top two vote winners, so it will be between them in round two. All of which means second preference votes are going to be what wins or loses the election, so think carefully and tactically before you vote...!

DilysPrice Thu 19-Apr-12 10:45:13

I disagree that a vote for your preferred candidate is a waste. Demonstrating that there is a lot of support for candidates outside the big two puts pressure on the BBC for increased coverage, and gives them much more visibility. If (say) Ken was elected with 25% of first preference votes and 15% second preference votes from Greens and 11% second preference votes from Siobhan B then that would give their views moral leverage. Ditto if the BNP came a convincing third place.

And of course there's always the possibility that if we all just vote for our favourites actually we'll discover that 50% of us would rather have Brian Paddick than anyone else - it's unlikely but stranger things have happened and we'll never know if we don't try.

Basically, if you've got nothing to lose, because you have your second preference to ensure you don't "let in Ken/Boris" then why on earth wouldn't you put your first preference candidate as your first preference?

smee Thu 19-Apr-12 11:02:22

Mmm, good point Dilys and totally fair enough - I think that's why they do the second preference system in a way and I like the idealism, but let's face it it will be Ken or Boris, and probably it looks like Boris atm.

I think the only thing that alarms me is that mostly people don't realise how it all works, so won't realise you can vote for one person and inadvertently help someone else.

noseynoonoo Thu 19-Apr-12 14:18:24

I think most people do know how it works and would be slightly insulted to read that others think they are too ignorant to understand the consequences of their vote.

Just let people vote the way they want to.

smee Thu 19-Apr-12 14:26:45

nosey I honestly didn't mean it like that - but just look up the thread and you'll see at least two clearly intelligent women saying they don't get it and asking how it works. I had to look it up a few weeks ago myself and I don't count myself as especially dim. grin

Yes people should vote the way they want to, of course they should, but a lot of people (v.bright people included!) just don't realise that voting one way can help someone they might not choose win.

DilysPrice Thu 19-Apr-12 15:27:36

Actually Smee. I think it's the other way around. Most people are much more used to FPTP, so they're thinking in an inappropriately "tactical" way, and I do hear them say things like "oh it's a wasted vote voting for Brian/Siobhan, it'll just let that bastard Ken/Boris in" when this is one election when you can use your first preference however you like, safe in the knowledge that you have a second preference.

justonemorethread Thu 19-Apr-12 16:55:17

'clearly intelligent', aawh, thanks smee!

justonemorethread Thu 19-Apr-12 16:58:23

Getting more confused though... Maybe not so much! Think I 'll just Google it later. Surely though if the BBC are duty bound to give a balanced picture they should give coverage to all candidates, or are they just not getting involved at all?

Betelguese Thu 19-Apr-12 22:23:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AvengerFan Thu 19-Apr-12 22:34:18

Boris has crap hair again, not impressed!

Now will they be on questiontime?

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