Why I’m running for Mayor of London

This blog is now two years old. A thousand spank yous for your patronage. Now here’s your reward; not money, not respect, not a grope of that neglected flesh, but another blog post.

Of London, the writer and wit Doctor Johnson famously wrote, “it’s huge”. Though not quite big enough, it seems, for the egos of mop haired ridiculant Boris Johnson and his pinched voiced, ideologically muddled, Jew hating, tax parrying, paper-demagogue rival, “Red” Ken Livingstone.

The two men who would be London mayor (there are other candidates including an old plough horse and a bin with a human face painted on the front), have argued about transport budgets, their tax affairs, Boris’ decision to manage the riots from a camper van in the Rockies and which of them have been least faithful to their wives, but for me this is white noise.

What a great city like London needs is a complete overhaul, a year zero. That’s right, the depression of a big fat reset button and a desire to think both the unthinkable and the impractical. If it’s to shift from great to stupendous, the biggest smoke there is needs a visionary leader; a man who will sweep aside the old orthodoxy and institute a set of polices amounting to nothing less than a revolution in the political and cultural life of the metropolis. This town needs a super-mayor, an enema, a game changeling, a –

You know I’m talking about me, right?

Accordingly, I can announce, to my ever-loyal readers, that I, Ed Whitfield, shall be running as an independent candidate in the election on May 3rd. I’ve not formally registered you understand, so won’t appear on the ballot paper, which is why I must ask you to write my name on there with the pencil provided and make me your first and only preference.

So what can I offer that Ig and Ook can’t? The difference is night and day, Cilla Black and Paddy McGuiness: this candidate means business – none of your business.

I’ve carefully considered London’s problems, the carbuncles on its once beautiful puss, and have formulated solutions. Note I’ve done this on my own, without the need for an expensive team of policy wonks and advisers. Not for me the professional route, nor the pooling of so-called expertise.

My philosophy is that London’s difficulties are fundamentally simple, that the tendency in recent years has been to over think the answers to these tough questions. With that in mind I’ve given no more than 5 minutes thought to each policy area. I hope you’ll see that the answers are obvious, that it’s all about common sense, and if not common sense, then something very much like it.

Raising Revenue

London has a population of 8 million and its infrastructure is buckling under the pressure. We need to relieve that stress and keep this city moving. That means booty. So how do we wring additional pounds from the city’s cash rich populous?

If elected Mayor I will introduce the following revenue raising measures:

  • The abolition of the council tax and its replacement with a city-wide levy on Group Think: London’s populous is vast but uniform. Not everyone owns a house or declares all the occupants therein, but everyone saunters through a busy station concourse without due regard for the people behind them, or puts their bag on an empty seat on the train – even when its busy, thereby denying someone a chance to sit down, or lets their badly behaved kids run riot around public spaces, disrupting the peace of fellow patrons who had the reasonable expectation that the lobby of the National Theatre wouldn’t feel like a crèche, or ignore the “stand on the right of the escalator” rule. The Group Think Charge will be levied on those that exercise common behaviours. Initially, it will be high, approximately £6,000 per person, per year. This is to pay for the systems that will monitor Londoners and allow City Hall to collect the tax. All city dwellers will be scanned and their movements tracked using a capital-wide set of cameras equipped with facial recognition software. Everything the Londoner does will be itemised, with acts of consideration and selflessness disregarded. The remainder will have a cash value attached and a bill will be sent out each month. By the end of my first term I expect the revenues from the GTC to be £9b a year, or something.
  • The London Sales Tax: Councils worried about the abolition of the council tax will be reassured by my plan to introduce a sales tax on all transactions at 5%. The rate will vary for certain products, for example, baby food at 7% (to encourage breastfeeding), Blu-rays featuring Kirsten Stewart at 10% and short scarves tied at the front at 15%.
  • The Sentence Shackle: London has long struggled with dropped letters and missing words – a blight on the city’s ears. To compensate, all public spaces will be outfitted with speech bubbles – a plastic sphere with a cash slot at the top. Whenever a Londoner catches themselves dropping a letter or skipping a word, they’ll be obliged to drop a pound coin into the slot. To prevent evasion, city wardens assigned to public places and dressed in pink to make them visible, will enforce the law. If you’re approached by a warden and asked to deposit money into a bubble, you must, else a sanction will be applied: tazering to the genitals and a fine of up to £5,000.

Turbo-Charing Transport

The initiatives already outlined will pay for significant improvements in London’s transport network, but what are they? Well if you read on a bit and have a little patience, you might find out.

  • Sky Ways: That’s right, just like in Back to the Future Part II. We’ll hover convert your old road car for just £20,000 and give you free use of London’s air space along designated routes. S1-25 are already planned with S26-50 to be fully plotted by 2016. Hover cars are economical too, because they run on urine.
  • The Underground in the South: For too long we’ve listened to naysayers tell us that you can’t tunnel south of the river because the soil is too soft. ‘The clay isn’t up to it,’ they bleat, ‘the tunnels would collapse’. I’m the mayor that’s prepared to ignore that advice and take a chance. Four new lines will be introduced – Whitfield, The Southern, The Shadow and The Thin Blue. These lines will criss-cross the area from Greenwich to Bromley and will not call at St Johns. Londoners will be invited to name the new stations. Serious suggestions only please.
  • Road Tolls: For the purposes of road charging, all London’s roads will be designated as bridges and a charge applied per half mile of travel. Gates will be fitted at each charge point to collect the toll, simultaneously slowing the flow of traffic and preventing up to 5 road deaths per year.
  • New Buses: Londoners love their buses but they hate their fellow bus passengers. Well, under me, bus travel will become more customer friendly. New buses will be outfitted with individual soundproof compartments where travellers can sit either alone or with a partner. They’re blacked out too, so you’ll be permitted to have sex, masturbate or kill yourself therein. New laws will guarantee that drivers must serve every bus stop, even when there’s another bus there and they think they can get away with using it as cover to drive on, that they keep to time or die trying, and always complete their route, bringing an end to irritating instances of drivers wanting to knock off early to meet their partners or catch a game in the pub, terminating the service half-way with some bullshit about “having to turn around because the bus is running late”, and leaving their bewildered passengers stranded miles from their destination in the freezing bloody cold.

Cutting Crime

Rioting, stabbing, honour killing; what a party that was, but outside my social bubble Londoners are worried about crime and the very real effect it can have on their evening news bulletin. Fortunately I have some ideas:

  • Exploding paint canisters: We Londoners aren’t always in a position to prevent a mugging, rape, or violent attack but we can make it easier to find the perpetrator and expose them to vengeful vigilantes. When I’m elected mayor all Londoners will be given a free trunk of explosive paint canisters. Carry one on you at all times and if attacked, hold to the offender and activate. They’ll instantly be covered with a permanent dye, and because each paint formula is slightly different, effectively giving each canister its own “DNA profile”, matching an offender to the owner of an empty canister will be a piece of eco-friendly piss.
  • Citizens on Patrol: We’re forever hearing there aren’t enough rozzers on London’s streets, but given how ineffectual, racist, controlling and aggressive Londoners are, it seems to me we’re all qualified to be special Bobbies. Therefore, modifying a policy successfully piloted in the 1987 Steve Guttenberg movie, Police Academy 4, all London residents will have a new legal duty to enforce the law of the land. Not only will this mean a requirement to turn yourself in, should you be say, a black market trader or a pimp, but it will also be a licence to arrest anyone who looks to be committing an offence. To guarantee personal safety, all Londoners will be able to apply for Kit, including a stab vest, baton, firearm (with plastic rounds) and cuffs. The days when people just walked on by will be over. In Whitfield’s London, everyone will keep an eye on everyone else and haul them to a police station at a moment’s notice (should their suspicions be aroused). The hope is that turning all 8 million Londoners into licensed bullies will make them think harder about their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

New By-Laws

The GLA, under me, will be passing a series of new by-laws, designed to iron out the many creases in the London experience. These include:

  • Making it illegal to take a mobile phone into a London cinema.
  • A tax on London cinema food that will bankroll a new fund to make films set in the capital that aren’t about gangsters or mockney hard men.
  • The criminalisation of irritating arseholes touting for charity direct debits on the street.
  • The best price guarantee: an initiative designed to encourage savage undercutting, dictating that an eatery or place of business must offer their goods and services at a rate equal to or less than their nearest competitor if it can be shown its cheaper elsewhere.
  • A law that ends the nonsense of gratuities or “tipping”, making it illegal in all London’s bars and restaurants. Establishments will be fined if there is any significant hike in their prices following the introduction of the ban, with a review to follow every 3 months.
  • The introduction of special interest or “safe” zones, whereby Londoners can enjoy their interests without interruption. This is modelled on Soho, where homosexuality, cinema and vice is well served. Areas for naturists, the ugly, animal haters and the elderly are planned.
  • A ban on all dogs.
  • A law that requires the BBC and other media institutions to maintain a significant presence in the capital – Londoners don’t want to watch shows set in or around Salford.
  • A referendum on independence from England and the formation of a republic, to take place no later than May 2016, but we’ll talk more about that when I’m elected.

If you like the look of my package, don’t deny yourself. Cast your first and only preference for Whitfield on May 3rd. London won’t solve itself, you know. I’m counting on you and though you don’t know it yet, you’re counting on me.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Well, that’s a much better set of policies than mine. I will be voting for you at the election.


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