• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

London Mayoral PODs

Oppo

Erik Ƭ̵̬̊
Pronouns
he/him
Given that the 2021 elections are coming up, I figured this would be an interesting conversation.

While Ken Livingstone was the clear frontrunner for the 2000 election, there seemed to be one candidate that could defeat him. Polls showed that 66% of Londoners would probably or definitely vote for Richard Branson as an independent, as opposed to 55% for Red Ken. Only 30% said they would not vote for Branson. What vision does Branson bring forward for the city, and does he use this to kickstart a new political movement? I could also see Branson aligning with New Labour, but he is rather eccentric and independent-minded. As for the Tories, while Jeffrey Archer's reputation was rather poor even before the perjury scandal, if Heseltine accepted Hague's offer he'd be a much more formidable opponent.

Boris Johnson's candidacy in 2008 was a bit of a shock, as several other candidates declined to step forward. Cameron famously wanted John Major to run and @Thande has noted that a number of Tory activists wanted Jeremy Clarkson to stand. Imagining a Clarkson vs. Livingstone debate is good fun, but this could bizarrely result in Britain's other Jezza C becoming PM as a politically incorrect oaf staunchly opposed to Brexit (he's even said he'd vote for Starmer's Labour!). This could give us a very cursed Clarkson GNU to stop No Deal instead of Clarke or Bercow (lol remember that?). Cameron was also aiming to recruit Nick Ferrari, but he was disinterested in giving up broadcasting. Greg Dyke said he'd run only as a LibDem/Tory fusion candidate, but I suspect he was never really interested after saying Livingstone had done "not that bad a job."

As always, I imagine @cikka will have some good Ken ideas.

For a more general question, how inevitable is it for the mayor of London to enter national politics? Johnson seems to have set the trend as it looks like Khan is a frontrunner to replace Starmer. Of course, several of the names mentioned here are political outsiders Johnson and Khan were already in the shadow cabinet when they ran. Could someone with the profile that being mayor provides start a new party? Branson is probably the best bet for this, as he has enough cash to get the ball rolling.
 

cikka

A Nerd From A 1990's Family Film
Location
Kentkingsh- kentklungklicklingshirekington
Pronouns
she/her
As always, I imagine @cikka will have some good Ken ideas.
"good" is a relative term

I'm less good at predicting electoral trends than I seem, but if I recall Rawnsley's Servants of the People correctly, the Blair government put out feelers basically everywhere for someone to beat Ken. The real stars lay in the selection. There is of course my personal favourite in Mo!, as despite the fact she was not from London nor serving in a London constituency, she was wildly popular, and Blair basically shat himself trying to get her to run. She had ambitions towards Foreign Secretary, however, and refused. Later on, she actually accepted it, but it was too late, and Dobson refused to drop out.

If you want the boring vanilla choice, there's always Nick Raynsford. As Minister for London, Raynsford led the drive on the London Mayoral plans in the first place. He was lined up to be the Blair selection, at least before Dobson stepped back in.

Then, of course, there's "Dobbo".

If only you knew how bad things really are.
1617659984496.png


Frank Dobson's existence was pain during the mayoral selection. He was always in the category of Robin Cook and Donald Dewar, as not being quite clean-cut or such. Dobson refused to run for mayor, at one point saying how absolutely completely entirely definitely happy he was as Health Secretary. Then according to Rawnsley, he was accosted outside of a meeting (can't remember what for), by two union men who demanded he run against Ken. He then hopped into the race, running as a kind of jovial yorkshireman who made rude jokes and wasn't your typical Blair type. For him to win, what I would recommend is Ken, instead of running as an independent, waving his fist in the air for the sake of staying in the party.

IDK i'm kind of just bullshitting at this point.

oh and there's Glenda Jackso-
 

cikka

A Nerd From A 1990's Family Film
Location
Kentkingsh- kentklungklicklingshirekington
Pronouns
she/her
On the point of the national ambitions of London mayors, I wouldn’t be surprised if the position becomes a stepping stone for the premiership in the long term.

I’d like to see a TL where a party to the left of Labour becomes competitive.
Ken has been called the most successful Labour left politician, so him joining Respect would probably make waves in the party. Nicky Gavron was basically actively campaigning for or at least supporting his reentry when she was selected in 2004, according to Andrew Hosken. Perhaps if Banks wins the Labour selection in 2004, and we have the BATTLE OF FORMER GLC LEFTISTS, Ken will leave Labour behind as he did in 2016, and fuck off to the Yaqoob-Monbiot GALLOWAY Alliance of Anti-Iraq Wankers.
 

Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
I've never heard of the Clarkson thing and in any case the leadership is no more going to give it to him than they are Farage. They wanted to use the nomination in their own image, not with a view to Hague bullshit fauxpopulism XS. He'd also almost certainly lose the general given it's, y'know, London. (Though the use of him with his actual metropolitan eurofederalist views on here is woefully few and far between)

Anyway, the obvious divergence on the Tory side is that Nick Boles never gets cancer. That means Bojo probably gets sacked as a junior minister under the coalition and never becomes PM or leader.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Anyway, the obvious divergence on the Tory side is that Nick Boles never gets cancer. That means Bojo probably gets sacked as a junior minister under the coalition and never becomes PM or leader.
Boles was that likely to beat Johnson to the candidacy, or you mean Johnson wouldn't have tried it if Boles hadn't withdrawn?
 

Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
Boles was that likely to beat Johnson to the candidacy, or you mean Johnson wouldn't have tried it if Boles hadn't withdrawn?
I mean that Boles was clearly going to be the candidate until he had to withdraw. The supposed open primary was ran on a a shortlist so it was always going to be the candidate the leadership wanted. BoJo was hired by the leadership when Boles withdrew, and, as was noted upthread, it was only after a long process. They literally approached BoJo and asked him if he wanted to be the nominee.

I think it's obvious he wouldn't be a success as a minister. He clearly wasn't on course for a top job as he'd already been refused at one Cameron reshuffle and Cameron and Osborne didn't rate him. (The Tories also really started polling huge leads after 2008, at least until Expenses, so they're not going to feel a need to promote him) So he probably stays in the higher education brief. That's not going to make him popular under the coalition due to tuition fees and combined with his own boredom/inability in the job/likelihood of scandal it's very likely he goes back to the backbenches at some point. He'd focus on journalism/reality TV until the referendum, where unlike OTL he wouldn't hesitate to back Leave. Assuming Leave wins (We're dealing with a decade of butterflies after all) he's probably brought back in another mid-ranking ministerial role and is probably sacked again at some point.
 

Incognitia

Active member
I think it's inevitable that London mayors become players in national politics - they're directly elected by around 10% of the national population, and they have a big media profile (not least because the media are all based in London!)
Only way to avoid it would be to give the London boroughs a federal Not-The-GLC-Honest, run by a grey-faced committee with a rotating chair, so there isn't a single personality as the face of it.
 

cikka

A Nerd From A 1990's Family Film
Location
Kentkingsh- kentklungklicklingshirekington
Pronouns
she/her
So I brought this up in my test thread, but 2012 is an election you could probably swing with some bad moves by Boris meaning Ken gets some more libdem etc. second preferences. I don’t know quite enough about Boris’s term as mayor, but it seems simple enough for Ken to pull an upset against him.

I think that opens some unique possibilities for Boris, for Ken, for London and for Britain as a whole. With a renegade Boris stomping around angling for any kind of by-election, Cameron would probably be shitting himself should he ever get back into parliament. This is my worst period of Ken (read: anything after 2008) so I don’t quite know what would be happening in City Hall, but presumably nothing pleasant, and Ken saving his own bacon seeming like a lost prospect even by advent of SV him managing to slide back into office again.
 

Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
There are no good by-election possibilities for Johnson in that parliament, at least before Newark but by that point he's going to be selected for a safe seat for the general. He'll go back into the media/journalism and do the rubber chicken circuit in the meantime.

You can obviously throw in butterflies and divergences and all sorts but it won't hugely effect anything directly on the Conservative side. Assuming minimal butterflies Johnson is essentially going to follow the exact same career path as OTL. It's going to effect things more on the Labour side.
 

Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
To be specific things might diverge after 2015. Without being tied to the London electorate he'd almost certainly set himself up as a right-wing critic of Cameron during Farage mania. And on that basis and with a very small majority, Cameron might feel compelled to give him a job. Even a relatively mid-ranking job might mean he decides to support Remain. But equally he might get a job and support Leave anyway. There's a lot of plausible outcomes you could have.
 

Nomad

Well-known member
A somewhat obvious PoD, but Livingstone winning in 2012 could have some very interesting implications if he put himself forward again four years later-the reason being that three candidates for the Labour selection in 2016 nominated Corbyn as a way to curry favour with the membership-which obviously wouldn't happen if there was no vacancy. So ironically, Livingstone being more successful in the 2010s probably butterflies the Corbyn leadership.
 
Last edited:

cikka

A Nerd From A 1990's Family Film
Location
Kentkingsh- kentklungklicklingshirekington
Pronouns
she/her
A somewhat obvious PoD, but Livingstone winning in 2012 could have some very interesting if he put himself forward again four years later-the reason being that three candidates for the Labour selection in 2016 nominated Corbyn as a way to curry favour with the membership-which obviously wouldn't happen if there was no vacancy. So ironically, Livingstone being more successful in the 2010s probably butterflies the Corbyn leadership.
That’s actually an excellent butterfly.
 
Top