The Thick of It


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Will the green agenda win?

How green London can be is one policy area the Mayor has real power to make a difference in. Ken Livingstone has already moved London towards becoming a "sustainable city 2020" and introducing the low emission zone and Congestion Charge. I have documented my support for this previously and it needs stating again because it is so vital.

In today's Guardian Society John Vidal appraises the leading candidates, quoting numerous 'greens' who variously support Livingstone. Anyone who cares about London and who cares about the envirnment should read it.

London currently leads world cities in tackling climate change. Boris Johnson would see this end. Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth says that "(London) has emerged as a leader in the struggle to avoid catastrophic global warming. This is in large part down to the leadership of Ken Livingstone." Stephen Haile of the Green Alliance dubs Ken a "trailblazer (who) sets the standard for leadership and action matched by no one else in British politics."

This is fine praise. Coupled with progressive transport policies that will make a real difference to London, Ken really trumps it for those who can bothered to find out.

The Evening Standard's grossly biased coverage of the election makes it easy for Labour/Ken supporters to get pessimistic. I don't believe this is necessary and it certainly won't help get Ken re-elected. Thankfully The Ipsos Mori poll published today shows Ken in the lead, if only by 2% - though this is remarkably similar to last week's ICM poll. A significant number of Londoners are progressively minded and will back Ken. The Labour movement needs to keep reminding them why. A better environment and better transport are two great reasons.

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