Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Vote Anyone But Boris: If you want a Fairer London

The non-political campaign group "My Fair London" has sent out this email yesterday to supporters following the refusal of Tory Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson to pledge to take action to reduce inequality. Vote anyone but Boris? Needless to say. I agree! (but the only way to stop Boris is to put Ken 1st or 2nd on your ballot paper).

"Dear John,
This Thursday Londoners will have your chance to chose the next Mayor of London. As a signatory of our e-petition you want the next mayor to take action on inequality in London. Ken Livingstone, Jenny Jones, and Brian Paddick all agree and have signed up to our five-point plan of action. Only one of the main candidates is not prepared to take action on inequality: Boris Johnson. So we're calling on you to vote against Boris on 3rd May.

The My Fair London campaign is non-party political. We have engaged equally with all of the four main candidates. We have spent the last few months presenting The Evidence to them, which is that:
  • the gap between rich and poor in London is at its highest point in a century;
  • evidence proves this gap is bad for society - undermining trust, increasing crime, destroying social mobility, and worsening health; and
  • the vast majority of Londoners back action to reduce this gap.
Three of the candidates - Ken, Jenny and Brian - listened and responded by signing up to our five-point plan. One candidate - Boris - ignored both the evidence and Londoners' views. It's time to send a message: since Boris doesn't care about inequality in London, he won't get my vote.

But this is not just about decisions made in London. The result of the mayoral election sends a message to the politicians in Westminster. They make the key decisions that drive inequality in London. We need a mayor who lobbies the government to address the gulf between rich and poor that divides Londoners. Boris has spent recent years doing the opposite: he has been a consistent critic of the 50p tax rate. He has finally got his way: George Osborne's budget slashed the top rate of tax for those earning £150,000 or more. This will put an average of £10,000 back in the pockets of each top rate tax payer.

Not content with that, it seems Boris wants the Chancellor to slash taxes for the rich even further. In an interview for the Sunday Telegraph this weekend Boris called for making London more tax competitive, interpreted by most commentators as a thinly-veiled reference to the need to cut taxes for the highest earners further.

With the mayoral race neck and neck, Boris' victory is far from guaranteed. It's time to say no to soaring inequality and no to Boris Johnson.

You are one of 850 Londoners who have signed our online e-petition. Thank you! You have been critical to the success of our campaign. There is still time before the election to get more Londoners to sign up. Please take 2 minutes to email 10 of your friends, family and colleagues to sign our e-petition at http://www.myfairlondon.org.uk/sign-the-petition/.

Thanks again for your support,

Peter Robbins
London Equality Group

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