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NPR's Morning Edition
Broadcast 27/04/2000, Story 13

London is in the final stage of an american style campaign to choose the city's first ever directly elected mayor

The favorite in next week's election is ken livingston running as an independent candidate he quit the labor party after prime minister tony blair branded him and he responsible radical and prevent themselves from becoming the labor candidates players' attempts to manipulate the outcome have made the election a referendum on the prime minister's leadership raising questions about why london's public transportation system has sunk so low and why it's cost of living has gone so high

From london n. p. r.'s julie mccarthy reports

Tony blair set out to revolutionize politics in britain devolving power to a scottish parliament a welsh parliament and now a directly elected mayor for the seven million inhabitants of london what blair didn't calculate is that the more democratic things get

And this year the group home with a lot of that of that now but i doubt about that said today that does not involve the communities that that it's a challenge and i think that that i would have not yet that that that terrain is well known that out today we need to wait it out

It can livingston is a lesser assault on politics and former leader of the greater london council that margaret thatcher disbanded in nineteen eighty six is back as the eccentric foreign aid tony blair side he keeps frogs and toads and new known as red ink and for his leftist leanings his old labor did tony blair's new middle of the road third way

The populist in polyester traverses the city and approval double decker bus attracting attention like the pop star the blast tony blair for maneuvering and out of the labor party's nomination and i tried very good candidate and we're not cutting it otherwise and i don't care about that

Livingston wants most of the votes of labor's rank and file

But player opted for a split nominating system that gave greater weight to members of parliament say you voted overwhelmingly for the prime minister's man the former health minister frank thompson was declared the winner

This campaign is doing so poorly the british press has dubbed it the labor pains even tony blair talks less about his candidates qualities that he does livingstone's missteps such as his recent remarks that the international financial system has killed more people than world war two people want to know why there are no doubt about the evidence that out about all of these doubts about statements he's made

Now i have a problem and will the real frustration is that despite the house and that's all it is often be difficult at best in all of the trees and won his first ever mayoral race has taken a page out of american politics where big city races are often more about personality and policies the american model has also brought in

Elements of negative campaigning handing out literature one morning to the conservative party

And even argentines had unvarnished contempt for ken livingston said adding that many asthmatics who supports the right to the capital of russia the i. m. f. l. brings together the civil suit arising from asia by vannatter and historic assisi which is the foundation of the city's prosperity when we decided to pull the labor party to run as an independent he did comparable in the knowledge that he is hugely popular as both a personality and politicians

Polls show him winning just under fifty percent of the vote supporter david johnson is the fact that blair is aligned against him has only helped

A lot of people feel betrayed by the label on its kind i don't think that he would like them to be needed on the subject of we've seen that he's not going to say that

It is not an account in spite of what he thinks is right

London will be the first british city to directly choose its mayor a step toward political accountability that represents a watershed for britain

Labor and p. j. record and said londoners are ready to wait until uncharted waters we've seen movies and that's the american big city bosses of manson's song was because most people know that the rich should pay the money that the mayor ed koch and so on and they have one level they're horrified by the idea of an all powerful city policy on the other hand there is a certain element to say well we need somebody's strong powerful as they can so that the buses

Public transport is the central issue in the campaign britain has europe's most decrepit a real system and privatizing the subways or the true is the single most talked about topic when candidates like livingstone

Plunged into crowds in nineteen eighty four hours friday night i had the ability to do it

I want to know about privatization is deeply unpopular with londoners because they equated with the country's privatized above ground rail system discovered the deadly crash in central london just last fall conservative candidate steven norris who loses points for being pro privatization but he gained ground in public debate

Talking about fixing london's one hundred thousand empty housing units and rainy in an escalating cost of living that has placed london

Leon the reach of most ordinary wage earners

That's a very bad decision will have married to a police officer simply because of all to the good news is that the the telephone live in the communities that they themselves government affairs in one week london alexa leader and will be expected to promote its unique commercial and cultural interests he must regulate its tourist cleaning streets and revived its public transportation

If independent and livingstone's support holds them and

Mr. city hall

We'll return under a government that dislikes him as much as the conservatives want to throw him out julie mccarthy n. p. r. news london

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