Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

In defeat, some hope

Progressives mourn the fall from office of one of its favourite sons. But at last, Ken Livingstone's commitment to London has finally been acknowledged and from the most unlikely source – new mayor Boris Johnson.

You shaped the office of mayor. You gave it national prominence and when London was attacked on 7 July 2005 you spoke for London. And I can tell you that your courage and the sheer exuberant nerve with which you stuck it to your enemies, especially in New Labour, you have thereby earned the thanks and admiration of millions of Londoners, even if you think that they have a funny way of showing it today.

Ken’s association with City Hall cronyism will soon be forgotten. His legacy will live on in a congestion charge that has helped pay for buses and free passes for young and old, and in helping to win the greatest sporting prize for any city – the Olympics. Never has so much been achieved by one man with so few powers with which to achieve it.

And in that is the second positive. The upside of having a largely toothless mayor with limited power is that buffoons could never be as dangerous detractors expect.

It may be cliché, but democracy was the winner last night. The election campaign seemed fresh and engaging, a far cry from the previous two general elections and every local election there has ever been. Londoners felt that their vote counted, which explains the spike in turnout. A technicality perhaps, but the electoral system played its part. The Supplementary Vote is the pick of an array of confusing systems now used in the UK. It delivers a decisive result as with First Past the Post but ensures that even a Green voter can be assured that their second choice could have significance. It adds legitimacy to the eventual victor – compare Boris’s final tally of 53% of the vote to Labour’s 35% at the last general election. Finally - painful to write this – the system guarantees that the least hated candidate wins. Time will tell whether the new mayor is able to cling to such a claim.

A quick look at The Tories

Creditability, Crunched