The Futility Monster

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Posts Tagged ‘London mayoral election 2012’

12 For 2012

Posted by The Futility Monster on January 2, 2012 @ 20:23

Continuing a fine annual tradition, it’s time to lay down a few markers for the coming year. It’s going to be a busy one, methinks…

  1. Starting at home, with yet another boring prediction, the Coalition will last the whole year. Get used to it, Labourites. It ain’t going anywhere.
  2. The Lib Dems will take a pounding in the local elections, especially in Scottish councils, where they will be wiped only for the saving grace that is a truly proportional electoral system. Predictably, it will all be dismissed, and the Lib Dems will accept it and carry on.
  3. David Cameron will finally conduct a proper reshuffle, though it still won’t be particularly far reaching. Osborne isn’t going anywhere and neither is Michael Gove. Lansley may be moved if the NHS reforms pass successfully to give someone else a chance. He will definitely be removed if they fail. The Lib Dems have such a paucity of front bench talent that there is very little room for manouevre… but maybe Nick Clegg will at least get a real portfolio at last, now the “political reform” agenda has vanished.
  4. Ed Miliband will remain Labour leader, in spite of generally underwhelming election results and another defeat to Boris in the London mayoral election.
  5. In Europe, the Euro crisis will be resolved with a “treaty”. The treaty will not get the UK’s blessing, and the EU will proceed into a closer union without the UK, creating overwhelming calls for an in-out referendum. If it starts looking tempting, expect Labour to back the idea.
  6. France will get a “Socialist” President as Sarkozy plunges to inevitable defeat.
  7. Rick Santorum will win the Iowa caucuses, but Mitt Romney will be the Republicans nominee for President.
  8. Barack Obama will squeak a narrow re-election against Mitt Romney.
  9. The Democrats will either lose control of the Senate or it will be an exact 50-50 tie, with Joe Biden, VP, suddenly finding a reason to exist. The Democrats will not re-take the House, but it will be close. This disastrous deadlock will result in two more years of pathetic governance in the States.
  10. Syria will continue to make a mockery of the West – and the uprising will eventually be brutally suppressed. Meanwhile, the rest of the Arab Spring becomes stillborn, and the tendency towards strong, authoritarian governments in the region will persist.
  11. Iran will successfully navigate the year without there being any progress on disarmament, and there will be no military activity of any sort. However, the West will begin sounding the war-drums, and the useless public will buy it.
  12. And all the while the schizophrenic public will continue to ignore the fact that Afghanistan has been, and will continue to be, a catastrophic failure. More lives will continue to be lost, though Obama will, mercifully, confirm a long, slow, drawdown over the next few years.

And the usual bonus prediction… Manchester City will win this year’s Premier League.

See you at the end of the year!


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Lembit For London

Posted by The Futility Monster on June 4, 2010 @ 12:00

Have I Got News For Him...

Being the Lib Dem candidate for mayor is not a job for those who have an aspiration on actually winning it. The main reason for that is London is stuck in a Labour/Tory battle of the beasts, and they absorb all the coverage to the detriment of everyone else.

This is helped by the fact that the election uses a ludicrous system, called Supplementary Vote, which doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world other than Britain. It ensures that, realistically, there can only ever be one of two winners. And yes, I know Ken Livingstone’s first win was as an independent, but, again, it was a two-headed battle between “left” and “right”, with only two candidates that could win.

Consequently, the Liberal Democrat nomination for London mayor is hardly a prize they fall over each for in the Party. It’s a hiding to nothing, which will drain two years of a candidate’s life, and which might cost them financially too.

This time, the Liberal Democrats will probably battle it out between non-entities on the London Assembly, or other London Lib Dems no one’s ever heard of. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If, somehow, the Lib Dems can prise Lembit Opik away from his attraction to a career as a stand-up comedian, and I know that will be difficult, they have themselves the right candidate.

Lembit is a man desperate to prove himself after his general election defeat. A man who has the personality and the charisma to keep the Liberal Democrats right at the centre of the London campaign; a campaign that is going to require sharp elbows if it’s going to match the big beasts of Ken and Boris once more. He certainly passes the Mike Smithson test of being such a well-known figure that you can be known just by your first name.

Futhermore, despite most people not realising it, he is actually pretty damn smart. Whenever he’s been on TV in a Question Time style programme, he always resonates well with the public by making sensible, decent and honestly liberal argument. If only he was more organised, and more disciplined, he would not be in his current, rather embarrassing, position.

I know Lembit is another of these political Marmite figures. People within and without the Lib Dems either hate or love him. OK, maybe love is too strong a word. But he is certainly recognisable, and has the presence to make it a very good battle. And I know he would relish the limelight.

Here’s hoping…

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