London Mayoral Elections and SaveKEMP
You are probably bored to death already with the Mayoral elections. By now you have received your GLA booklet on the candidates; you’ve seen them on TV (not all of them, some are not allowed…); you have heard them on the Radio and found their mugshots, I beg your pardon, their photographs all over the newspapers.
What can a humble local campaign add to the general discussion? Not much, but we will tell you how we fared with the candidates ourselves as a group.
Of course the hottest news is that the current Mayor, Boris Johnson, has done a U-Turn on his U-turn and quite simply stabbed us in the back. Not sure how sentencing to destruction our precious and ONLY Park sits with that pledge on Boris’s brand new Manifesto of “Restoring 300 acres of Green Space and Planting 20,000 trees”. I am no Pythagoras, but I think he would have fewer trees to plant if he spared those already living at KEMP.
Don’t take my word for it though, here is the link to Boris’s response to Phase 2 consultation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/88684983/18/King-Edward-VII-Memorial-Park-Foreshore
As you can see, we East End oiks are such an ungrateful bunch! Thames Water will even make the park bigger! We really can’t get it through our uncouth, jellied-eels and pie&mash congested brains… thank God we have the Eton elite to guide us and tell us what is good for us!
Don’t worry though, we are not the only ones. Boris also did another U-turn. Allow me a little aside: with all these flips and turns I am starting to suspect he might be training in rhythmic gymnastics. I don’t know what Danny Boyle has in store for the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony but if it involves Blond-Wonder-Boris in a leotard twirling a ribbon I might just watch it. But back to the matter in hand, the Mayor decided this time to support the campaigns in Southwark (all of them, in block). Pray do not read too much into the fact that Southwark has a Coalition MP whereas we are represented locally by an Independent Mayor who very openly supports Ken, by enfant-terrible John Biggs at the GLA and by a Labour MP in the House with the big boys.
In essence, Boris screwed us.
So what did “man of the people Ken” do? Did he jump to the rescue? Did he rush in when his mate Lutfur and all the Council were working hard to get Thames Water to see sense? Of course… NOT. Make no mistake he was happy enough to meet with Richard Aylard CVO, ex Personal Secretary and Treasurer to the Prince of Wales and still Extra Equerry to HRH a few times, but unfortunately he had no time for Carl Dunsire AEE (Acquired East Ender) and Chairman of SaveKEMP. Perhaps we should have offered a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape since he left all of his at City Hall when he was booted out last time…
So, no luck with the two main horses in the race.
Surely the Green Party candidate would oppose the destruction of the ONLY remaining park for the kids of Shadwell, I hear you ask. Surely Jenny Jones would be horrified by the prospect of endangering one of the key assets in TH biodiversity plans, I hear you object. Nope. We don’t exist to her. She never replied even to the (cheeky) tweets we sent her. A Green candidate without an opinion on unnecessarily destroying parks… charming.
And the other candidates? N/A
The mood is a bit sombre at SaveKEMP this morning but it won’t last. We are a remarkably persistent lot, or what the French call “A royal pain in the arse”.
There is still time before Voting Day, if you fancy it, please get in touch with the candidates and tell them how you feel about this issue. One thing we will tell you though: do not fool yourselves thinking that there are bigger issues in London than saving our park. Saving our park means recognising that green spaces are not a luxury but a necessity; it means not picking on the vulnerable; it means caring for sustainable development; it means standing up for the people and not the corporates; it means keeping one’s word (hear that Boris?), putting the money where the big mouth is (that’s you Ken!) and actually doing what one is preaching (yes Jenny, I haven’t forgotten you).
Good luck London.