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Month April 2012

Gernika 75

75 years ago yesterday the infamous German Condor Legion bombed and obliterated the Basque town of Gernika. And so aerial bombardment of urban populations became a central part of warfare. Terrorism from the air.

The German government has since apologised.

Madrid hasn’t.

 

 

London mayors

I caught most of the Mayoral ‘debate’ on ITV1 last night. Was it me or was it totally underwhelming?

Livingstone looked tired and going through the motions without much belief. Johnson didn’t say much of substance and was looking for the cheap laugh.

Here we are in the hedge fund capital of Europe but where was the anger, passion and fight over the injustices of the City of London and articulation of a new type of economy and society?

Perhaps it was the format (1 minute to answer something of great importance) or the audience or simply ITV with its “say something before we go for another commercial break”.. Aired at 10.30 (or was it 11) it didn’t expect too many Londoners to be bothered to tune in.

A little bit of housing, a little on crime etc… it was bitsy, lacked substance and didn’t do justice to one of the great capitals with a huge role in the banking crisis, spread of capitlalist ideology globally, home to oligarchs and a skewed economy based on inequality.

The Green candidate made a valid point about making London a city based on carbon neutrality, something forward thinking for the 21st century but one felt that other politicos simply mouth ‘climate change’ like they do ‘multi-culturism’ to sound politically correct but with no follow through.

The two leading mayoral candidates have replayed 2008, bored the pants off us and are frankly irrelevant to most citizens. One of them will have his moment of glory opening the Olympic Games and we will then forget himĀ  forever.

No wonder Cameron wants more Mayors. These posts have little power. Having said that they have great symbolism.But where are the leaders to use them?

A Melenchon would have used it as a platform to articulate an alternative. Livingstone (even if he pips in – somehow) looks like he does n’t have it in him to really lead that kind of movement. All it is to be is to be a call to vote in Neo-Labour. For what? Frankly, what’s the difference?

As for Johnson, if he wins, he is the successor to David Cameron.

Politics in London doesn’t look too healthy.