Who can forget the fiasco in which Ken Livingstone clambered to be taken back into the fold of New Labour when his principles and policy making resonated with the socialist guard which he accused Blair of sidelining to the touchlines of Labour’s political field? Who can forget the rhetoric from Ken on how employment opportunities are better than they ever were, when the reality is that unemployment has grown in the last 6 years in the capital. Worryingly, Ken seems to have forgotten that London is not just about inner city boroughs and their problems, it is about those boroughs like Enfield who have similar concerns and issues and where inflows of migrant communities mean that the demographics of ‘outer’ boroughs are changing rapidly.
Who can also forget the Conservative candidate, Steve Norris – friend of big business and who, remarkably, seemed to be falling in line with the policy making of Ken at the last mayoral election. I for one found it disturbing that both candidates were agreeing to such a large degree with each other even though they came from polar political ideologies. Additionally, more recently the ‘caring and sharing Tories’ voted against the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which we as a Party supported in Parliament. This scheme is supposed to protect rental deposits on assured shorthold tenancies being used by landlords on the basis that there have been breakages in the property. Many landlords have also hung onto the deposit for more than 3 months after the tenants have vacated the property. Few reasons have been given to tenants as to why they have hung onto the deposit which on average is about £1,500.
As the Chief Executive of a Citizens Advice Bureau with 3 bureaux covering Enfield, this issue has had a real impact on young people. It has also meant that many have had to receive advice on how to take their previous landlords to county court to recoup the deposit. Yet, the Tories voted against something as basic as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and they believe that they are in tune with the needs, desires and aspirations of Londoners? Clearly Cameron’s spin machine has not caught up with the spirit and soul of the Tories which is pro-big business, anti-immigration and vehemently against the financially and socially excluded. As I like to say, the Tories remind me of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and even then, the clothing just does not quite fit!
The time has therefore come for the capital to have a Lib Dem Mayor. That time is fast approaching and I hope that you like me, will work tirelessly for our Mayor to be at the helm of the most exciting, vibrant and dynamic city in the World. More than ever Liberal Democrat principles and policies are needed in a fast changing and complex environment and which are in tune with the needs of Londoners.