Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Word or Two About Brian Paddick

I voted for him in the London Mayoral Election. I don't regret my vote for a moment - one of the joys of the proportional system in London is that you can vote strategically and for your personal preference as well. Despite my reservations about him as a former commander in the Metropolitan Police, I felt it made sense for a former, avowedly socially liberal Met officer to offer changes to how the force was governed and run - that issue really being paramount for London (whether it knows it or not). But Paddick crashed and burned. Want to know why?

1) Losing your temper with supportive interviewers really doesn't help your cause.
2) Slating the incumbent during the campaign whilst confessing to nearly joining the Conservative Party suggests you're a closet Tory; being an out gay man partying with Ian McKellen and Elton John suggests you're a screaming queen. Way to split your own vote.
3) Vince Cable would have been a wiser choice after all. Being an existing London MP, with huge economic experience with Shell, a rapier wit and massive popularity, Cable would have been a serious challenger against Boris, let alone Ken. Paddick came across as humourless, arrogant and boring in a campaign dominated by huge, media-friendly personalities; Cable's Commons demolition job of Gordon Brown made him a nation-wide hit, and despite not running for the top Lib Dem job, he hasn't missed a beat. The Tories thought outside of the box in choosing their candidate and it worked - they now have someone in high office with national attention. Cable will never be Chancellor - the Lib Dems should have proven themselves as hungry for power.

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