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April 25, 2008


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I came to the opposite conclusion. Ken got off to a poor start but soon asserted himself. I thought Boris ran out of steam relatively quickly and he feels very much like a scripted candidate who resorts very quickly to filibustering.

But I agree that there is very little new ground in these debates now- there's been so many. But a lot of people are watching these for the first time and, if they are, they'll find these debates fascinating.


Paul Prentice

I think the problem with these national TV debates has been that the producers have been desperately trying to make the Mayoral contest relevant to people all over the country. But, although the job of Mayor is a highly influential position, it's genuninely not of any interest to the people of Aberystwyth or Aberdeen, Belfast or Bournemouth. The two-way (at best, three-way if you count Brian Paddick) debates become inherently confrontational as the programmes have to simplify the issues, and broaden their appeal to justify their airtime.

Perhaps that's why this election, more than any other, will be won by the bloggers and other media outlets where TV targets the wrong audiences, and does so in a way which patronises the electorate.

Mark S Brown

I thought Brian Paddick came out top in this debate on Question Time (broadcast Thurs eve - 24/04), especially on the subject of crime, and that Ken's credibility and experience outshone Boris' initial accomplished oratory. However, Boris, being Boris the Clown Prince, displayed his usual penchant for digging a hole for himself, tripping up on his own verbal meanderings within the array of his prodigious elocution. It validates people's suspicion that he lack credibility to be Mayor, that you can't take him seriously to be a serious candidate to be the Mayor of London. Boris' boundless energy and well-equipped argument all came crashing down/came off the rails with one comment from a member of the audience towards the end, gently berating poor Boris for never having experience of running anything compared to Ken. Ken did alright, despite the anti-semitic slur which he didn't bat down hard enough.

Tom Hunt

With Boris evidently ahead in the polls and the favourite to become the next Mayor of London, this debate was more about testing his credentials and watching him respond to Londoners concerns while under pressure. I think he passed with flying colours. While he has managed to transform himself into a serious politician, we know that underneath there is a politician with a fun sense of humour, an attribute greatly needed in most of our politicians.

Paul Canal

Boris won on points.
I thought Ken confirmed his dodginess by boasting about conning the government - and Britain's taxpayers - over the Olympics. £8bn is probbaly the biggest con in history, outding Jerome Kerviel!

Brian Paddick was a diminished smug irrelevance. He seems to have relaxed into certain defeat by being rude and interrupting innappropriately. They should have chosen Simon Hughes.

Boris stuck to his brief and slammed Ken on lying about TFL fares amongst other "whoppers". Does Ken have no shame?

It is a regret that David D and the producers did not allow substantive debate. On balance though the best programme so far.

Now for the real vote.


I agree - Livingstone at one point looked very much like someone who had spent too much time looking at the bottom of a pastis bottle. Boris, at least, should be hugely entertaining and I am all for politicans with peccadilloes - history has proven that they are usually far more successful and able than the kind who are chaste and sanctimonious. Go for it Boris!


Hmm, sense of deja lu reading comments 4 and 5.

Tom Hunt and Paul Canal have previously posted in remarkably similar, stilted, straight-from-the-script language here:

(and were talking complete rubbish, too). Tom Hunt also appears commenting here
as a 'floating voter' who thinks that Boris has the greenest policies, yet under the Statesman article dismisses the congestion charge as 'just a tax'. Elsewhere he says that 'People look up to men like Boris Johnson because they see hope, intelligence and pragmatism'. Obviously weighing the pros and cons up carefully, then.

Paul Canal is obviously a Tory party worker as the slightest Googling will tell you (although he doesn't mention this when informing us the 'Boris won on points'). Do you really think that writing the same thing on half a dozen blogs and forums won't get noticed? We've got one like that round our way called David Giles, and everyone's seen through him too. Don't make me get the fisking trowel out again.

Which out of the proudly gay Brian Paddick and the sex-mad, acerbic, witty, party animal Ken Livingstone would you say was the more chaste and sanctimonious, anyway? Neither of them is exactly Mother Teresa, are they?

Olympics? What's Boris going to do, refuse to help stage them? We're bloody stuck with the thing now, so we might as well get something out of it, like some decent transport improvements. However, since Boris supporters are only interested in increasing car use at the expense of that nasty subsidised public transport that lets the poor move around I doubt we'd even get that finished properly.

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