Wednesday, 30 April 2008

London's Burning

The election of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London should have some interesting implications over the next few years. I wouldn't say I'm totally surprised by his induction into City Hall; more disappointed than anything. Here is a man who has not only offended an entire race of people by using racially offensive terms with the flippancy of a modern day Alf Garnett. But the former Spectator Editor has virtually no political experience, yet all the public schoolboy smugness of a man who is fully aware that status and connections can buy you anything in this world . Livingstone noted that when Johnson announced that he was running for Mayor, he instantly saw him as a threat, because the cult of celebrity is so robust in this country. Bearing this in mind, I wonder whether Londoners opted for Boris for these very same reasons? Or am I being patronising? Has Boris received the most votes because middle England is looking for an extreme right-winger to sort out society's ills, or is it simply the case that Ken became a victim of his own arrogance? I'm not going to lie, and I may sound like I'm contradicting myself here, but I can fully understand why voters would choose to rid of Ken. Prior to Boris, I prayed for the day to have my say, angered by Livingstone's cockiness regarding the whole Congestion Charge controversy. And even as a black woman, I'll have to admit that I found Ken's 'race card' defence quite cringe-worthy during the Lee Jasper scandal. Yet despite his obvious flaws, I'm feeling quite nostalgic about the political maverick. Ken represents the underdogs who make up the majority in this city. The working classes, Blacks, Asians, and other minority groups who despite the facade of progress, are still at a social disadvantage in modern day Britain. So now I'll watch with interest as Johnson attempts to 'keep it real', by showing Black and Asian people that he can "out ethnic" them. I can just see the photo op now: BoJo standing outside an inner city comprehensive amongst a bunch of black boys, posing in a B-Boy stance with his hat turned the side. I suddenly feel quite ill.

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.