Having been previously rejected by his own party members for the role of LibDem President and more recently the voters of his former Parliamentary constituency, it seems Lembit Opik can’t wait to offer himself to the voters of London as their potential next Mayor.
Hopefully he’ll forgive those of us who actually care about our city if we’re less than thrilled at the prospect of Mayoral candidate Lembit, an offer which so far comes with no vision or big idea for improving the lives of Londoners.
If, as some seem to believe, having a line in so-so gags and a memorable name was all Londoners wanted in a Mayor I guess Opik would be a credible candidate but it’s not and he isn’t.
Lembit seems to be confusing electing the Mayor of a city-state with casting a cheap reality TV show.
If he wants to be one of a slate of “colourful characters” I’m sure ITV will gladly hire him for whatever Z-list celebrity fest they’re currently planning. But whereas the producers of I’m A Celebrity might well be looking for wacky, zany, “colourful characters”, Londoners are looking to elect a Mayor capable of using the role’s kudos and profile to defend their interests in discussions with national Government.
What I don’t understand is why Opik’s desire to run is taken even remotely seriously when the party has far more credible and deserving potential candidates in (for example) London Assembly Member Dee Doocey and 2000 contender Susan Kramer.
It’s true that Doocey looks at me like I’ve gone mad whenever I ask if she’d consider running but she’s a vastly better potential prospect than a rejected MP looking for a new pace to be ‘colourful’.
She and Kramer also win on the ‘actually capable of doing the job’ front.
Surely for a party now in national Government that, rather than being ‘colourful’, should be a bigger requirement for whoever ends up leading the LibDem charge in London?