You'd expect this, but it was striking nonetheless. Ken Livingstone's speech had authority, ambition and laid great stress on his fitness to deliver what he characterised as the biggest expansion in public transport since the Victorian era. Even if you don't believe his numbers, he has them at his fingertips - lots of them. The invitation to contrast this with the competence of his rival was both implicit and explicit.
The last eight years, he said, was but "a springboard for what's to come," with the sum to be invested in improving public transport over the next four years going up by £1.7 billion per year compared with his second term and the building of Crossrail to cost £16 billion. Voters were effectively being asked if they'd trust Boris Johnson to spend such massive sums wisely.
He defended his record: an expanded bus service, the Oyster card, the use of cars in London remaining "largely stable" when a large increase had been predicted, free travel for children and pensioners and half price travel for those on income support.
Promises included continuing investment in the Underground and the Overground, which he acknowledged had been the system's poor relation. There would be better lighting and policing, more CCTV and carriages on trains. The former Silverlink service (including the old North London Line, which I travelled to Stratford on from Hackney Central) will be expanded to create "the long-awaited orbital service around London." He affirmed pledges for more cycling provision, improvements to Docklands Light Railway, and preparations for the Olympics. A rabbit from the hat - more than matching matching Boris and pleasing The Sun - was to promise that injured armed service personnel would be able to use all public transport free.
He spoke of a total of £46 billion of investment in public transport for London over the next ten years: "That's why the issue of competence and administrative experience are an important factor in this election." (nudge, wink).
On safety, he said there'd been "a dramatic increase in safety on public transport," and on roads thanks to Green MA Jenny Jones, and re-phasing of traffic lights to give pedestrians longer to get across. On carbon emissions he said that hydrogen-fuel buses are on their way. There's more, but time is against me. To listen to the whole speech and the question-and-answer session that followed, CLICK HERE.
Inspect full manifesto here.