Count Binface, a man who claims to be a 6,000-year-old ‘independent space warrior’, is running to be London mayor. In the normal run of things, this sort of joke candidate would get little to no attention – but the 2021 London mayoral contest is not your average election. In fact, it is potentially the worst election of any kind ever witnessed in a liberal democracy.
Londoners, desperate for something that has been utterly lacking from all the major candidates, have scoured Binface’s manifesto and found that amongst the joke policies, there are some not half-bad ones in there. ‘No shop to be allowed to sell a croissant for more than £1,’ has been pounced upon as particularly noteworthy. The fact that maximum pastry pricing is one of the meatier policy announcements in this election says a great deal about the whole campaign to be London’s next mayor.
The efforts of the major parties have been risible. Sadiq Khan has run on a ‘more of the same’ platform, which would be all right if he hadn’t managed to do pretty much sod all since getting the job in 2016. Worse, he’s often come across as smug and lackadaisical – this election is in the bag for him, he knows it and appears to be not ashamed to show it. Shaun Bailey’s campaign, meanwhile, has been gaffe strewn and has failed to cut through at all.
The other major parties have been an equally depressing sight. Luisa Porritt, the Lib Dem candidate, has at the heart of her campaign a policy that makes me want to scream, entitled ‘Homes in the heart of our city’. It basically assumes that post-Covid, businesses will no longer require office space, so hey, let’s turn it all into affordable housing.