The candidates' manifestosThe official booklet, sent to all electors, listing all the candidates for Mayor and their programme (if they pay £10,000) has arrived. Fairly democratic actually, except of course for the £10,000 which one candidate apparently couldn't afford.
It makes informative and amusing reading.
We learn that, like Ken, the BNP is going for the Irish vote. A young student is featured saying "I'm voting BNP because I'm Irish and the BNP are the only party that cares about the indigenous peoples of these islands" and a builder says "We should celebrate things like St. George's Day and other Christian festivals like St. Patrick's Day instead of other festivals such as Ramadan and Eid".
The candidate of the English Democrats disagrees. His campaign slogan is "Save London from Labour's Tartan Taxes" and he complains that "currently £100,000 is spent on a festival such as St Patrick's Day whereas St George's Day is mocked with a screening of 'The Life of Brian' in Trafalgar Square". He ends up sloganising "Vote for England. Vote for Matt . . . O'Connor".
The Christian Party candidate isn't very charitable either. "Stop the mega-mosque at West Ham", he proclaims.
Apart from that, the BNP and Ken agree that pensioners should have 24-hour free travel passes and the Left List (aka SWP) and the Greens agree that the London "living wage" of £7.20 an hour should be forced on employers. The Left List candidate claims in passing to be a "socialist" even though she wants to keep gap between rich and poor but to make it smaller. UKIP wants to subsidise tube fares and reduce taxes both at the same time. Ken does his best to disguise the fact that he's the Labour Party candidate.
The candidates on the lists are also all listed as are those standing in the 14 constituencies. We are down as "The Socialist Party". This s-word only occurs in two other places. In the name of the "Communist" Party's "Unity for Peace and Socialism" list and of the Militant Tendency candidate in Greenwich and Lewisham who is standing as "Socialist Alternative" (not that he is).